Defense Secretary Mark Esper says the United States will be withdrawing all troops from northeastern Syria and that he expects Syrian Kurds to seek aid from Russia and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
The closure meant that Yazidis in Sinjar, who wanted to travel to Dahuk, home to their celebrated Lalesh temple and tens of thousands of other Yazidis uprooted by IS’ genocidal spree, had to spend over five hours navigating hostile terrain.
On Sunday 30th of September, the Kurdish autonomous region held an election. Voters chose from more than 700 candidates to win 111 seats in Kurdistan’s Parliament, a year after a failed independence referendum to separate from Iraq.
After years of stagnant politics, unpaid salaries and corruption, Kurds have lost faith in politics. This shrunk the turnout of registered Kurdish voters for the upcoming parliamentary elections. However, observers say that this election could disrupt the delicate balance of power between the main Kurdish parties.
The two largest Iraqi Kurdish political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), are likely to agree eventually on a presidential candidate, but in the meantime several hats are in the ring.
According to Syrians for Truth and Justice, a Syrian NGO, Tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds are deprived of their Syrian citizenship due to the 1962 census. The group also estimates that over 46,000 Syrian Kurds remain stateless.