Syrian military troops and police have arrested hundreds of Kurds
suspected of being involved in the anti-regime riots in cities throughout
Syria over the weekend.
Kurdish sources said Syrian intelligence arrested hundreds of suspected Kurdish
separatists in Aleppo and surrounding communities. The unrest was sparked by
a soccer riot on Friday in the town of Qamishli near the Turkish border.
Syrian officials have accused the United States of
fomenting the Kurdish riots. They said the Kurds, who raised U.S. flags
during anti-regime demonstrations, were connected to the U.S.-aligned
Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in northern Iraq.
The unrest was termed as the worst in Syria since
the Islamic insurgency against Damascus in the early 1980s.
The sources said Syrian troops, backed by main battle tanks and
armored personnel carriers, patrolled towns and cities, including Damascus.
On Monday, Kurdish sources reported that Kurdish insurgents killed the
son of a Syrian governor in the Aleppo district. They said the insurgents
also raided an Aleppo prison and freed an unspecified number of inmates.
In the Qamishli area, government buildings and police cars were attacked
and in one case, a security police headquarters was torched. At one point,
the sources said, Kurdish unrest reached Damascus.
Syrian officials said six Kurds were killed, all of them trampled to
death in the soccer match in Qamishli. Kurdish leaders aligned with the
government said at least 19 Kurds were shot dead in clashes with Syrian
But on Tuesday, the Turkish daily Hurriyet, quoting Kurdish sources,
said more than 100 people have been killed in the clashes. Earlier estimates
placed the casualty toll at 80.
On Monday, Kurds in the
northern Iraqi town of Suleimaniya demonstrated in solidarity with Kurds in
On Monday, Syria acknowledged the extent of the damage from the Kurdish
unrest. Syrian authorities released footage of torched cars, damaged
buildings and even defaced portraits of the late Syrian President Hafez
Assad, father of the current president.
Syrian authorities has closed the border crossing of Nusaybin with
Turkey. Kurdish sources said Turkish nationals in Qamishli were attacked
during the unrest and their vehicles torched. They said the Turks have
returned to Turkey.