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Saturday, July 10, 2010 

An ignored attack by Syria against Kurds

Jonathan Spyer at the Gloria Center writes about something that's gone unnoticed in Syria:
On March 21, 2010, the Syrian security forces opened fire with live ammunition on a crowd of 5,000 in the northern Syrian town of al-Raqqah. The crowd had gathered to celebrate the Kurdish festival of Nowruz. Three people, including a 15-year-old girl, were killed. Over 50 were injured. Dozens of injured civilians were held incommunicado by the authorities following the events. Some remain incarcerated. This incident was just one example of the repression taking place of the largest national minority in Syria - namely, the Syrian Kurdish population.

Kurds constitute 9 percent-10% of the population of Syria - that is, around 1.75 million in a total population of 22 million. Since the rise of militant Arab nationalism to power in Damascus, they have faced an ongoing campaign for their dissolution as a community.

All this is taking place far from the spotlight of world attention. The current US Administration pursues a general policy of considered silence on the issue of human rights in Middle East countries. The Syrian regime remains the elusive subject of energetic courting by the European Union and by Washington.

As a result, the Kurds of Syria are likely for the foreseeable future to remain the region's forgotten minority.
We should be thankful for the internet. A serious offense was committed by Syria, yet no political systems in the world care about it. And if Syria continues with these atrocities, they are not deserving of recognition.

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