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State of the World's Minorities 2008 - Syria

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 11 March 2008
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, State of the World's Minorities 2008 - Syria, 11 March 2008, available at: [accessed 23 October 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Instability in Iraq indirectly led to more violence between Syrian Kurds and state authorities in 2007. As Turkish anger over cross-border Kurdish rebel incursions from northern Iraq increased over the course of the year and Turkey massed troops at the frontier, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited Ankara to express his support. With the crisis mounting, in early November around 200 Syrian Kurds took to the streets in the north-eastern town of Qamishli, near the Turkish and Iraqi borders, to express their support for Iraqi Kurds. Government security forces broke up the rally with bullets and teargas, killing one young Kurd and injuring four others. Thousands of Kurds attended the funeral of the Kurdish youth the following day. The incident raised the prospect of clashes on the scale of those in 2004, when security services cracked down on rioting fuelled by resentment over the continuing stateless status of an estimated 300,000 Kurds in Syria. In the end, 38 Kurds were dead and some 1,000 arrested.

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