By Serife Cetin and Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
BRUSSELS/ANKARA (AA) – The support of YPG/PKK terrorist groups by the U.S. and European countries has led to more deaths and destruction in Syria, head of a Syriac non-governmental organization said.
"The time has come for Americans and Europeans to realize that supporting the YPG, with its current separatist agenda, does not lead to peace and security in Syria, but in fact cause more death and destruction, with the potential of a spill-over effect to neighboring regions," said Johny Messo, president of World Council of Arameans (Syriacs), in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
"Among the victims of such an irresponsible policy are Syria's indigenous Aramean people, who have been and continue to be threatened, intimidated and occasionally even eliminated (intellectually and physically) by the YPG," Messo added.
Messo said YPG/PKK terrorists have demanded the closure of Aramean and Armenian schools in the Derik and Darbasiyah regions of Syria.
"Essentially, they do this because the native Arameans reject their ongoing demands," he said.
Messo said these demands include the Kurdish language and textbooks to be incorporated in the school curriculum and YPG/PKK also expect the Arameans to ask for a permit or license for their schools to exist.
"The fact that the Aramean Christians and other vulnerable minorities in the region do not recognize the separatist PYD/YPG as the rulers of Northeast Syria is a thorn in the eye for them," he said.
"Threatening to shut down the schools of the remaining native Arameans of Northeast Syria is outrageous, scandalous and shameful," Messo stressed.
– YPG/PKK shutting down schools of Arameans
He said the World Council of Arameans "strongly condemns such acts of terror", and will do whatever it takes to prevent such developments.
"Shutting down independent schools of vulnerable minorities, such as the Arameans, exposes the exclusivist and destructive ideology, agenda and objectives of the YPG," Messo said.
Last week the YPG/PKK terror group shut down three Assyrian schools in parts of northeastern Syria under its control on grounds that the targeted schools did not have a license.
Messo said in the recent years, Syria's indigenous Arameans (Syriacs) were deliberately targeted in a number of ways by the YPG/PKK.
He said the terrorists have threatened, intimidated, oppressed and even killed Arameans in the region.
"Forcing the closure of independent intellectual institutions, which had already been recognized by the state, flies by all means in the face of international law and reveals the double-speak of the YPG with regard to human rights, civil liberties and especially a so-called free, democratic and pluralistic region they continue to promote," Messo added.
According to map calculations made by Anadolu Agency, the Bashar al-Assad regime controls about 59 percent of Syria, while the YPG/PKK terror group controls 27.7 percent of the country.
The YPG/PKK is Syrian branch of the PKK — recognized as a terror group by the U.S., EU, and Turkey.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK has claimed some 40,000 lives, including many women and children.