QAMISHLO (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish authorities in northeastern Syria have released a prominent official of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria (KDP-S), whom the official in question told Kurdistan 24 on Thursday had handed him over to the Syrian regime.
Abdulrahman Apo, a senior KDP-S member, said he was arrested in Afrin in July 2017, and then handed over to Syrian regime when the city was attacked by Turkey. He was delivered back to the Kurdish region in the northeast where the authorities released in Qamishlo on Wednesday.
“We were handed to the Syrian regime intelligence’s services… and was detained for about two months,” Apo said.
“I was interrogated several times, blindfolded.”
After the breakout of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the PDK-S has had tensions with the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the dominant party in Syria’s predominantly Kurdish northern and northeastern areas, known as Rojava.
This competitive relationship between PYD and KDP-S has been historically strained by mutual distrust, and recently exacerbated by the PYD’s arrest of local activists.
The PDK-S’ offices in Rojava have been attacked, burned down, and destroyed several times, the latest incident taking place in March 2017. The PDK-S at the time blamed the PYD-led local authorities.
The PYD is regularly linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey’s southeast over greater Kurdish rights. Turkey considers the PYD and its military force, the YPG, an extension of the PKK.
The PKK is listed as a “terrorist” organization by Turkey, NATO, the US, the UK, and the European Union.
The KDP-S was founded in 1957 and gained support from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), the main party in Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in Iraq.
Editing by Nadia Riva