Tel Abyad /Girespi, Syria− Members of the al-Qaeda linked group of the Islamic state in Iraq and Sham (ISIS) resettled more than fifty Arab families coming from the al-Qalamoun area in Kurdish neighbourhoods in the city of Tel Abyad/Girespi in northern Syria.
The Arab families settled in houses owned by Kurds who were recently displaced after violence broke out in Tel Abyad between the Islamist fighters and Kurdish forces, sources in the city told ARA News on Saturday.
Muhammad Ali Wali, member of the National Coalition for the Revolutionary Forces and the Opposition, told ARA News that “any practices contradicting people’s rights are condemned by the coalition”.
“Such practices explicitly serve the tyrant regime sowing discord and hatred,” Wali said. “Those who carry out such arbitrary actions have nothing to do with the aspirations and main goals of the Syrian revolution in freedom and justice.”
In the same context, Ruqaya Muslim, a Kurdish citizen of Tel Abyad/Girespi said that the city “still belongs to the Kurds”.
“Even though we have been forced by extremists of ISIS to leave our homes and private properties, it does not mean that we will give up our legitimate rights to Arab settlers brought by the Islamists to accomplish their totalitarian agenda in our areas,” Muslim told ARA News.
According to activists, some Arab residents in the area demanded a so-called “demographic change”, which is mainly aimed at “depriving Syria’s Kurdish region of its historical and cultural identity”.
“They are trying to implement an Arabization and Islamization of our areas, but we will never give up fighting for our rights,” an activist said, preferred anonymity. “Opposition leaders are also responsible for the Islamists’ practices in the Kurdish areas since they avoided to show any solidarity with the residents and their suffering under ISIS and other al-Qaeda groups north Syria.”
Meanwhile, a member of the Local Civil Council in Tel Abyad −linked to the ISIS− revealed that the neighbourhood of Zorava (al-Lail) that was previously populated by Kurds “is now totally settled by Arab families who were displaced from their war-torn Syrian areas”. He stressed that “a considerable demographic change is taking place in Tel Abyad city.”
Due to the escalating violence across Syria’s Kurdish areas, especially in the city of Afrin and its suburbs north-west of Syria, most of the primary and secondary schools in several northern cities and towns turned into shelters for the displaced families who were forced to leave their houses amid violent clashes between the Kurdish forces of the Popular Protection Units (YPG) −PYD’s armed wing− and the Islamist groups.
Report by: Ridwan Bizar
Source: ARA News
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