Kurdish War: March 17, 2004


Syria confirmed that it had arrested hundreds of Kurd separatists. The arrests came after the riots in northeastern Syria. The Syrian security forces now refer to the riots as anti-regime riots. This follows reports on March 15 and March 16 that Syrian police were still pouring into the predominantly Kurd city of Al Qameshli (Kamishli). The official death toll has now risen to 15 Kurds killed following a riot that began after a soccer game on March 12. Three more Syrian Kurds died in the town of Amodi. Syrian Kurds say the official figures are wrong. The Kurds sources (through an office in Irbil, Iraq) put the figure at 50 to 70 killed. They also report another incident where Syrian Kurds and Arabs clashed in the town of Hesice. Two people died in that incident. Turkey is worried about spill-over violence. Turkey reported on March 16 that it was putting its Syrian border security forces on increased alert.


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