On Monday, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) sent an urgent request to the German federal government, demanding not to support the Syrian Islamist opposition any longer. “The politics of the Syrian National Coalition – which is controlled by the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood – should not be financed with taxpayer’s money, because their armed forces are conducting an open war against Kurds, Christians and other minority groups,” says a letter from the General Secretary of the Society for Threatened Peoples International, Tilman Zülch, to Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. “There should not even be any diplomatic support as long as Kurdish and Christian civilians and religious dignitaries become victims of robberies, kidnappings and hostage-takings carried out by the Islamists.” The federal government is planning to finance a “liaison office” of the Syrian Islamist opposition in Berlin. The STP criticizes the fact that neither the German public nor the opposition had been informed accordingly.
Many Kurdish people and members of other minority groups have already fallen victim to attacks by the Islamists. For instance, the Syrian Al-Qaeda branch al Nusra Front and other Islamist brigades of the so-called Syrian Free Army attacked the two Kurdish settlements Til Hasil and Til Aran (located about 30 kilometers to the south-east from Aleppo) on July 31. According to a local Kurdish politician, the Islamists shot at least 70 Kurds, mostly women and children – and it is reported that at least 700 Kurds have been abducted or are reported as missing. Thousands of people are on the run, Kurdish houses were looted and cattle was stolen. Both villages are located outside the Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria.
The Syrian Islamist opposition is said to have raided four Alawite villages in the north of the Syrian Mediterranean province Latakiya at the Turkish border a few days ago, killing 150 Alawites.
There is still no trace of the two Christian bishops who were kidnapped by an Islamist group on April 22, 2013. Ibrahim Hanna, the Bishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church of Aleppo, and Bishop Boulos Yazigi of the Greek Orthodox Church had been abducted near Aleppo. Their driver, a deacon, was shot dead by the kidnappers during the attack.
The STP’s Middle-East consultant, Kamal Sido, is available for further questions:
+49 (0)173 – 67 33 980
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Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker / Society for Threatened Peoples
P.O. Box 20 24 – D-37010 Göttingen/Germany
Nahostreferat/ Middle East Desk
Dr. Kamal Sido – Tel: +49 (0) 551 49906-18 – Fax: +49 (0) 551 58028
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SOCIETY FOR THREATENED PEOPLES
Göttingen, August 5, 2013