Who burned thousands of Arab homes in Syria's Hasakah province?
Some said the Kurdish YPG may be committing ethnic cleansing; others said the reports were propaganda. (Twitter)
The same militant group that has formerly been praised for fighting Daesh (ISIS) as an oppressed minority in Syria may be committing ethnic cleansing of its own.
Two days ago photos on Twitter showed a mass exodus of Arabs stranded on the Turkish border after leaving the Hasakah province, as buildings in the background went up in flames. Reports said the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), an ally of the Western-backed Free Syrian Army, was to blame, allegedly razing 10,000 homes in Arab villages near Kurdish-controlled territory.
Arab sources told Australia's The Times that Kurdish militants had burned their houses down and threatened to kill them if they didn't leave. Some said the YPG blamed Sunni Arabs for supporting the regime.
"The YPG said to us: ‘We will shoot at your children, and you will die if you stay here,'" Syrian Arab Mohammed Salih al-Katee told The Times. “I saw one of them writing on our wall: ‘YPG don’t forget, don’t forgive.'”
If true, it wouldn't be the first time Arabs have claimed such crimes; the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported some saying Kurds killed 20 Arabs and burned homes down near Kobani last month.
Hardly any news outlets have reported on it, so it's difficult to figure out the true story. It's a different narrative than what we normally hear of the Kurdish forces' heroic fight against Daesh, like in this video: