Northern Syria: Kurdish protesters arrested by Turkish-backed factions

Northern Syria: Kurdish protesters arrested by Turkish-backed factions
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As demonstrations over the killing of a group of Kurds during Newroz celebrations continue, Turkey's ally ENKS has called people to end protests.

Several Kurdish protesters were arrested on Saturday by Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) in northern Syria as demonstrations in protest over the killing of five civilians near the Turkish-occupied city of Afrin continue.

The protesters were arrested at a checkpoint as they were heading to the town of Jindires, 20 km west of Afrin, to participate in a demonstration, North Press Agency said, citing local sources.

Five members of a Kurdish family were fatally shot by Turkish-backed militia on 20 March during a Newroz celebration in the town of Jindires. For Kurds, Newroz, or "the new year," marks the arrival of the new year on the spring equinox, and in a political context the day the fire of resistance against tyrants is rekindled.

The arrests on Saturday followed a call to end protests by the Kurdish National Council (ENKS), an ally of Turkey, while officials of the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) in the region threatened to arrest everyone participating in protests, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.

An ENKS official addressed a crowd of protesters and said that those participating in demonstrations "would have to endure consequences," and that "the council would not be responsible for the arrest of any of them," SOHR said. The official also stressed that ENKS "had no intention of continuing with protests."

ENKS, founded in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) in 2011 under the sponsorship of KRI president Masoud Barzani, has collaborated with Turkey during and after the invasion of the Kurdish-majority city of Afrin in 2018.