Nine protesters detained outside Turkish embassy in Tehran –
By Lawk Ghafuri
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Nine people were detained by Iranian security forces outside the Turkish embassy in Tehran on Saturday while protesting against Turkey’s ongoing military offensive in northeast Syria.
Since Operation Peace Spring began on Wednesday evening, protests have sprung up across Iranian Kurdistan, also known as Rojhelat, concentrated on the major Kurdish cities of Sanandaj, Baneh, Piranshar, and Marivan, amid a heavy security presence.
Hundreds of protesters also gathered outside the Turkish embassy in the Iranian capital Tehran on Saturday to protest Ankara’s Syria offensive. The protesters chanted “death to Turkey and Erdogan” and “Rojava is not alone”.
One protester, who wished to remain anonymous, told Rudaw at least nine people were detained by security forces.
“Minutes after the protests started, security forces forced the protesters to leave the area with force,” the protester said. “The security forces detained nine protesters.”
Abdullah Jahanbyn, head of a Kurdish lawyers group, and Ismail Salary, a Kurdish human rights lawyer, are among those detained, he added.
Haryana News Agency reported on Saturday that Jahanbyn and another man named Mohammad Hassan Mousavi had been arrested.
“Iranian security forces arrested at least two citizens at Ferdowsi Street in Tehran during a rally,” Haryana reported.
The protesters also painted anti-Erdogan and anti-Turkey slogans on the embassy walls.
— kurdish blogger (@kurdishblogger) October 12, 2019
On Friday, more than 400 protesters gathered in Sanandaj’s Iqbal Square carrying banners reading “Rojava is not alone, Rojhalat is with you”, “Kurdistan, the graveyard of the enemies”, and “Rojava do not feel you are left in limbo, Sanandaj is standing by you”. Another banner read “Death to Turkey and Erdogan” while protesters burned Turkish flags.
On Wednesday, Turkey began its long-threatened operation against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria after the US moved some of its own forces out of Turkey’s war path.
Kurdish forces and officials in their autonomous region of north and northeast Syria accuse the Turkish government of wanting to ethnically cleanse the area by pushing the Kurds out and settling Syrian Arab refugees in their place.
Almost 200,000 civilians have fled the area on the Syria-Turkey border due to continuous artillery bombardment. At least 40 civilians have died according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. SDF spokesperson Redur Khalil on Saturday put the number of SDF dead at 45.
The 40,000-strong SDF is battle-hardened after territorially defeating ISIS in northern Syria in March 2019, with Western air support. However it is vulnerable to Turkish airstrikes, leading to widespread calls for a Western imposed no-fly zone.