The Jazireh Region of Syria is Witnessing Acts of Destruction and Rioting

        On Friday, March 12, 2004, in the city of Qamishly, a soccer game was scheduled between the two teams of “Al-Jihad” (of Qamishly) and “Al-Fatuwa” (of Deir Al-Zor). Thirty minutes prior to the start of the game, unfortunately a soccer riot broke-out between the fans of the two teams, which caused the death of three innocent children. The fans of “Al-Fatuwa” Club of Deir Al-or are known for causing trouble, but the soccer riot in this game was political in nature. Until now it is unknown who started it, but it seems that both sides aimed at a political issue. The fans of the visiting team “Al-Fatuwa” are comprised of the Arab tribes and the city along with its citizens are known for their support of the Iraqi Arab tribes and Saddam Hussein’s former regime. Prior to the start of the game the Kurdish supporters of Massoud Barazani among “Al-Jihad” fans began swearing at the Arabs, while the “Al-Fatuwa” fans began with their anti-Massoud Barazani slogans by calling him a traitor and chanting the name of Saddam Hussein and a fight broke between the two sides. It is worth mentioning that the majority of the Kurds in Syria and particularly in the Jazireh Region are illegal immigrants from Iraq and Turkey.

        The fight between the two sides (the Arabs from Deir Al-Zor and the Kurdish illegal immigrants) resulted in the death of many from both sides including three innocent children. The police interfered in attempt to stop these problems by firing in the air, but the fights had started in the stands and on the ground and then to the nearby streets of the soccer stadium of Qamishly.

        Eyewitnesses and many people in Qamishly claimed that the foreign Kurds have conducted many destructive acts of vandalism in the city by burning some of the government buildings and destroying many of the city’s civilized areas as well as robbing the banks. The Kurds did not limit their uncivilized destructive actions to government buildings only, but on Friday evening, they began to attack the innocent civilians of Qamishly and hurling stones at some of the homes and shops of Assyrians and attacking a bus for the Assyrian company of Ezla Tours since Assyrians are Christians and the indigenous people of Syria showing the hatred these Kurds have of the unarmed Christians, a hatred similar to that of terrorist organizations.

        On Saturday March 13, 2004, and during the funeral procession, Kurds began to hurl stones at the statue of Syria’s late President Hafez Assad, and burning some of the buildings and the train station and attacking the police. This caused the police to use tear gas and in other instances the confrontation between the protestors and the police force was through gunfire from both sides, which caused the killing and injuring of people. But now, according to what we were told, the clashes are confined to the Kurdish neighborhoods of the city. Due to these destructive acts, all of the shops have been closed in Qamishly since Friday. We were informed that the Assyrian Democratic Organization has met with the Kurdish political parties in Syria and asked them to interfere to calm the situation and to put a stop to the series of destructive actions that are being carried out by Kurds.

        We were told by other eyewitnesses that the Kurds have carried out similar chaotic actions in other cites of the governorate of Hassake such as Amouda, Derik, Ras Al-Ain and others. We also received the news of the killing of three Kurds in Deir Al-Zor by members of Arabs tribes as a revenge for the people who were killed in Qamishly during the soccer riot. According to the secretary General of the “Kurdish Progressive and Democratic Party,” Mr. Abdul-Aziz Daoud who is currently in Qamishly, the number of killed people so far is estimated at 14 people from all groups and 124 injured during Friday and Saturday’s rioting.

        In a conversation with an independent Arab political analyst, who asked to remain anonymous, he mentioned that these actions seem to have been prepared for in advance and it is of political nature and have crossed the boundaries of the typical soccer riots. It is obvious that there are organizations and groups outside of Syria who are behind this, especially since the Kurdish demonstrators in Amouda were chanting the names of Sharon and Bush. These actions seemed to be more than just a coincidence especially since the demonstrations have moved rapidly into other cities and the Kurdish protestors are extremely loyal to Massoud Barazani and are calling for separatism and raising Kurdish flags; Bearing in mind that this incidents are taking place only a few days after the signing of the interim Iraqi constitution and the recognition of Iraqi Kurdistan.

النبأ بالعربية
The News in Arabic

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