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the gruelling life of a kurdish smuggler


it is a trade as old as time itself - but iranian kurdish smugglers say their lives are getting even tougher. kurdish human rights group say more than 100 such smugglers were s dead by iranian border guards in the past year, as they try to take goods to iran to sell. persian's jiyar gol reports.






return to arms: hadaka | iran


filmmakers: salam hindawi, ali kishk and fathi gaouadithere are large kurdish communities in turkey, syria, iraq and parts of iran. many among them aspire to an independent kurdish state. but while the turkish, syrian and iraqi kurds are often in the news, much less is known about iran's seven million or so kurds."return to arms: hadaka" is a rare and exclusive insight into an iranian kurdish political party in exile in northern iraq which has recently renewed its military activity. in this film, al jazeera arabic correspondent salam hindawi gains access to the little-known but long-established democratic party of iranian kurdistan - or hadaka, to use its kurdish name.hadaka was founded in 1945 and is a left-wing group that wants kurdish self-determination in iran. in 1946, it briefly crea






iraqi kurds set date for independence referendum | news


officials in iraq's autonomous kurdish region have announced that the northern territory will hold an independence referendum on september 25.masoud barzani, the president of the iraqi kurdish regional government (krg), announced the vote on twitter on wednesday.hamin hawrami, a senior presidential adviser, said on his own twitter account that the decision follows a meeting of the major kurdish political parties in erbil, the region's capital.the referendum on whether to secede from iraq will be held in the three governorates that make up the kurdish region and in the areas that are disputed by the kurdish and iraqi governments but are currently under kurdish military control.talk to al jazeera - masoud barzani: kurdish independencethe disputed areas include swaths of northern territory th






iraqi kurds set date for independence referendum | news


officials in iraq's autonomous kurdish region have announced that the northern territory will hold an independence referendum on september 25.masoud barzani, the president of the iraqi kurdish regional government (krg), announced the vote on twitter on wednesday.hamin hawrami, a senior presidential adviser, said on his own twitter account that the decision follows a meeting of the major kurdish political parties in erbil, the region's capital.the referendum on whether to secede from iraq will be held in the three governorates that make up the kurdish region and in the areas that are disputed by the kurdish and iraqi governments but are currently under kurdish military control.talk to al jazeera - masoud barzani: kurdish independencethe disputed areas include swaths of northern territory th






iraqi government rejects kurdish move for independence | iraq news


the iraqi government has said it would reject any unilateral move by kurdish regional authorities to press for independence, according to a spokesman in the capital, baghdad.the statement on friday comes two days after masoud barzani, president of the kurdistan regional government (krg), announced that a referendum on kurdish independence would be held on september 25.germany sounds warning on iraqi kurds' independence vote"no party can, on its own, decide the fate of iraq, in isolation from the other parties," saad al-haddithi, iraqi government spokesman, said in a statement."iraq is constitutionally a democratic, federal country with full sovereignty ... any measure from any side in iraq should be based on the constitution," haddithi said.iraqi prime minister haider al-abadi had said in






iraqi kurds to vote on independence in september


irbil, iraq (ap) — iraqi kurdish officials announced wednesday that kurds in iraq’s autonomous northern region will hold a referendum on independence on sept. 25.masoud barzani, the president of the iraqi kurdish regional government, announced the vote on twitter. hamin hawrami, a senior presidential adviser, said on his own twitter account that the decision follows a meeting of the major kurdish political parties in irbil, the region’s capital.the referendum on whether to secede from iraq will be held in the three governorates that make up the kurdish region and in the areas that are disputed by the kurdish and iraqi governments but are currently under kurdish military control.it is not clear whether a ‘yes’ vote, which is expected to be the result, will lead to the declaration of indepen






barzani: iraqi kurds to vote on independence in september


irbil, iraq — masoud barzani, the president of iraq's autonomous kurdish region, says iraqi kurds will hold a referendum on independence on sept. 25.barzani announced the vote wednesday on twitter.hamin hawrami, a senior presidential adviser, said on his own twitter account that the decision follows a meeting of the major kurdish political parties in irbil, the region's capital.iraq's kurdish region, with a population of about 5 million, already enjoys a high degree of autonomy, including its own parliament and armed forces. but relations with the central government in baghdad have nosedived in recent years over a range of issues.iraqi prime minister haider al-abadi said in april that he respects the kurdish right to vote on independence, but he did not think the timing was right for the m






turkey again warns against holding iraqi kurdish referendum


baghdad — turkey's foreign minister has reiterated his country's demand that the iraqi kurds cancel a scheduled referendum for independence.mevlut cavusoglu told reporters in baghdad that turkey's expectation from irbil, the capital of the autonomous northern iraqi kurdish region, is "very plain and clear — and that is the annulment of this referendum decision."masoud barzani, the kurdish region's president, announced the vote on whether to secede from iraq would be held on sept. 25.cavusoglu says turkey has been saying all along that "the referendum decision is wrong" and that he would tell the iraq kurdish leaders so "once more" when he visits irbil later on wednesday.turkey — which has a large kurdish population and is battling kurdish rebels — is strongly opposed to an independent kurd






a dangerous smuggling route across iraq-iran border | iran


the border area is inhabited by iraqi kurdish shepherds and farmers. [mauricio morales/al jazeera]couriers use horses to carry contraband merchandise from iraq to iran. [mauricio morales/al jazeera]during the daytime, couriers camp in a location near the iraq-iran border, awaiting the delivery of contraband. [mauricio morales/al jazeera]mules are also used to transport contraband products to iran. [mauricio morales/al jazeera]the iraqi and iranian kurdish couriers span a wide range of age groups. [mauricio morales/al jazeera]alcohol and tobacco products are the main items smuggled into iran, due to local bans. [mauricio morales/al jazeera]a courier prepares himself for the trip across the border. trips are mainly done at night to avoid border patrols. [mauricio morales/al jazeera]couriers






kurdish english


you get one word in kurdish, or more (. ; kurmanci) then you get two words in english, each on with a word. click on the on/english word that matches the kurdish word on the screen to score. to go to the menu click the screen with the kurdish word. follow on twitter: https://twitter.com/zagrosarts.






turkey calls iraqi kurds' independence vote 'grave mistake'


ankara, turkey — turkey is criticizing iraqi kurdish officials' decision to hold a referendum in iraq's autonomous northern region, calling it "a grave mistake."in a statement released friday, turkey's foreign ministry said iraq's territorial integrity was a "precondition" for lasting stability for the country and called on iraqi kurds to be part of efforts to strengthen iraq's unity.this week, masoud barzani, the president of iraq's autonomous kurdish region, announced plans for a referendum on sept. 25 on whether to secede from iraq. the vote would be held in three governorates that make up the kurdish region and in the areas that are disputed by the kurdish and iraqi governments.turkey, which is battling a kurdish insurgency on its territory, is strongly opposed to moves toward kurdish






activists say kurdish-led forces advance on is-held raqqa


beirut — syrian opposition activists and media say kurdish-led forces are closing in on the de-facto capital of the islamic state group in syria, seizing a cotton factory only a couple of miles north of the city.the raqqa campaign, a facebook page affiliated with the kurdish-led forces, says the fighters seized the cotton factory, 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) north of the city on saturday. kurdish media also report the factory is captured.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights says the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces, backed by airstrikes from the u.s.-led coalition, are on a multi-pronged offensive, clashing with militants northeast and northwest of raqqa.the kurdish-led forces said friday they expect to advance on raqqa this summer, following their capture of a strategic






iranian tv magnate saeed karimian is killed


an iranian media mogul was shot and killed in istanbul late saturday in what turkish media described as a targeted killing that set off a manhunt for the unknown perpetrators.mr. karimian was among a group of iranian citizens given prison sentences in absentia by the iranian government earlier this year for alleged spying. an advertisement that appeared in the official newspaper of iran’s judiciary about three months ago also...






iraq's parliament bans kurdish flag in kirkuk | news


iraq's parliament has rejected a decision to raise the kurdistan flag alongside the iraqi flag on public buildings and institutions in kirkuk city.iraqi mps voted in favour of displaying only the iraqi flag on kirkuk's buildings on saturday, in a session attended by 186 members of the 328-seat parliament.hasan turan, an mp for kirkuk province, told the anadolu news agency that kurdish politicians walked out before the vote could take place.earlier in the week, the semi-autonomous kirkuk provincial council (kpc) voted in favour of raising the kurdistan regional government's flag (krg) alongside iraqi national flag on public buildings in the city.however, that vote was vetoed by most arab and turkmen members of the kpc.the issue comes at a time when krg leader massoud barzani has made severa






erdogan praises trump, denounces u.s.’s kurdish allies in syria


washington—turkish president recep tayyip erdogan praised president donald trump on tuesday for his “legendary triumph” in the november election and hailed his visit to washington as the launch of a new cooperative era for the two countries, but attacked america’s kurdish partners in syria as terrorists.with mr. trump standing by his side, mr. erdogan denounced washington’s syrian kurdish allies and said he would never accept them as partners in the region. mr. erdogan suggested that the syrian kurdish group is a “clear...






us starts giving arms to syrian kurds ahead of raqqa assault


washington — the united states started tuesday to deliver weapons to kurdish fighters closing in on the islamic state stronghold of raqqa, syria, the pentagon said.spokesman eric pahon said tuesday's weapons delivery to the syrian kurds included small arms and ammunition. it marks the beginning of a campaign to better equip kurdish allies that the u.s.-led coalition believes are the best fighting force against the islamic state, even though arming them has infuriated nato ally turkey.turkey considers the kurdish fighters to be terrorists. the u.s. has promised to mete out the equipment incrementally, based on the mission, to insure weapons aren't used by kurdish groups in turkey.on tuesday, kurdish-led fighters in syria closed within about 2 miles (three kilometers) of raqqa, where they ex






trump set to arm kurds in isis fight, angering turkey


president donald trump approved plans to directly arm kurdish fighters battling islamic state in syria, u.s. officials said tuesday, paving the way for an offensive against the extremist group’s de facto capital but angering turkish allies who view the kurdish fighters as terrorists.the decision to arm the ypg, the syrian kurdish militia the u.s. considers its most reliable military ally in the country, comes after a long debate...






jailed pro-kurdish party leader begins hunger strike


ankara, turkey — the jailed leader of turkey's pro-kurdish party says he is embarking on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions.selahattin demirtas said friday in a statement released by his people's democratic party, or hdp, that he would refuse food to denounce what he described as "unlawful, inhuman and arbitrary practices" in turkish prisons.demirtas said he also wanted to draw attention to hunger strikes by other prisoners in turkey. the hdp says more than 100 kurdish or other prisoners are on hunger strikes in turkish prisons, some for the past 40 days.it was not clear how long demirtas' hunger strike would last.hundreds of kurdish prisoners held a hunger strike in 2012 which they ended after a call by jailed kurdish rebel leader abdullah ocalan.






female kurdish sniper cheats death at hands of is


a kurdish ypj (women's protection unit) sniper was filmed reacting after a bullet fired by an islamic state (is) group opponent narrowly missed her head. the video was filmed in the is "capital" of raqqa as kurdish and syrian forces, backed by a us-led coalition, seek to force is out.the young woman is filmed laughing and exclaiming after her brush with death.she then tells the men with her to stop filming, saying: "enough, enough filming."






trump set to arm kurds in isis fight, angering turkey


president donald trump approved plans to directly arm kurdish fighters battling islamic state in syria, u.s. officials said tuesday, paving the way for an offensive against the extremist group’s de facto capital but angering turkish allies who view the kurdish fighters as terrorists.after months of internal debate, mr. trump approved a proposal to arm the ypg, the syrian kurdish militia the u.s. military considers its most reliable...






iraq parliament rejects kurdish independence referendum | iraq news


iraq's parliament has rejected kurdish plans to hold an independence referendum aimed at creating a kurdish state in iraq's northern territory, a legislator announced on tuesday.the resolution, which labelled the ballot due to take place on september 25 a "threat to … the civil peace and regional security", authorises haider al-abadi, iraq's prime minister, to take any measures necessary to preserve iraq's existing borders.a breakdown of the vote was not immediately available."kurdish lawmakers walked out of the session, but the decision to reject the referendum was passed by a majority," mohammed al-karbouli, an iraqi mp, said.can iraq's kurdish region gain independence?prime minister haider al-abadi and other top officials have repeatedly said the referendum would violate iraq's constitu






trump set to arm kurds in isis fight, angering turkey


president donald trump approved plans to directly arm kurdish fighters battling islamic state in syria, u.s. officials said tuesday, paving the way for an offensive against the extremist group’s de facto capital but angering turkish allies who view the kurdish fighters as terrorists.after months of internal debate, mr. trump approved a proposal to arm the ypg, the kurdish organization in syria that the u.s. military considers its...






reports: us troops deploy along syria-turkish border


beirut — u.s. armored vehicles are deploying in areas in northern syria along the tense border with turkey, a few days after a turkish airstrike that killed 20 u.s.-backed kurdish fighters, a syrian war monitor and kurdish activists said friday.footage posted by syrian activists online showed a convoy of u.s. armored vehicles driving on a rural road in the village of darbasiyah, a few hundred meters from the turkish border. clashes in the area were reported between turkish and kurdish forces wednesday a day after the turkish airstrike which also destroyed a kurdish command headquarters.the turkish airstrikes, which also wounded 18 members of the u.s.-backed people's protection units, or ypg, in syria were criticized by both the u.s. and russia. the ypg is a close u.s. ally in the fight aga






turkey hits kurdish areas in iraq's sinjar, northeast syria


ankara, turkey — turkish warplanes carried out airstrikes on tuesday against suspected kurdish rebel positions in northern iraq and in northeastern syria, the military said, in a bid to prevent militants from smuggling fighters and weapons into turkey.the attack killed at least 18 syrian kurdish troops, according to a monitoring group, as well as five members of the iraqi kurdish militia known as the peshmerga and drew swift condemnation from baghdad.syrian kurdish forces said the strikes hit a media center, a local radio station, a communication headquarters and some military posts, killing an undetermined number of fighters in syria's northeastern hassakeh province. the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights, which monitors the syrian war, also reported the strikes on the medi






the latest: turkish official: us arming kurds 'unacceptable'


beirut — the latest on syria (all times local):11 a.m.turkish media are quoting deputy prime minister nurettin canikli as saying the u.s. decision to arm syrian kurdish fighters viewed as terrorists by turkey is "unacceptable."the u.s. said it would provide arms to the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces to help them drive islamic state militants from the extremists' de facto capital, raqqa. turkey says the syrian kurdish group known as the ypg, which forms the backbone of the force, is the syrian branch of the kurdistan worker's party, or pkk, which is waging an insurgency in turkey.turkey, the u.s. and other western allies view the pkk as a terrorist group.hurriyet newspaper quoted canikli as saying wednesday: "the united states is providing every kind of aid to the pkk through (syrian






turkey threatens further strikes on us-allied syrian kurds


ankara, turkey — turkish president recep tayyip erdogan said sunday his country may take further action against kurdish militants in iraq and syria and insisted u.s. support for such groups "must come to an end."the u.s. moved troops and armored vehicles through several syrian cities and towns on friday and saturday in a show of force apparently intended to dissuade turkey and syrian kurdish forces from attacking each other.kurdish officials described the u.s. troop movement as a "buffer" between them and turkey.the u.s. has provided air cover and other support to kurdish forces battling the islamic state group in syria and iraq. in syria, it is working with the syrian democratic forces, which is dominated by the kurdish people's protection units, or ypg, but also includes arab fighters.vi






teenager brutally attacked by eight people in london for being an asylum seeker


a 17-year-old boy is in serious but stable condition after being brutally attacked by a gang in the british capital for being an asylum seeker. the kurdish-iranian refugee was waiting at a bus stop with two friends in croydon, south london, on friday, when he was approached by about eight people. “the suspects asked the victim…






activists say kurdish-led forces advance on is-held raqqa


beirut (ap) — syrian kurdish-led forces were closing in saturday on the de-facto capital of the islamic state group in syria, seizing a cotton factory only a couple of miles north of the city, activists and kurdish media reported.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights said the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces, backed by u.s-led coalition airstrikes, clashed with the militants in a multi-pronged offensive northeast and northwest of the city. the offensive brings the sdf 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the northeast of the city, the observatory said. fighting was also reported about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) north of raqqa and 13 kilometers (8 miles) to the northwest, the observatory said.the raqqa campaign, a facebook page affiliated with the kurdish-led forces, said the fig






erdogan hopeful for breakthrough in dispute on arming kurds


ankara, turkey — turkey's president says he expects his upcoming visit to washington will constitute a new "milestone" for the troubled relations between the two nato allies.recep tayyip erdogan also said friday he hopes that talks with u.s. president donald trump will lead to a "breaking point" in the u.s. decision to arm syrian kurdish rebels. he was speaking to reporters before leaving for china, followed by a trip to washington.turkey has been angered by a u.s. decision to provide arms to syrian kurdish fighters that turkey considers terrorists.the u.s. considers the kurdish fighters as the most effective group in the fight against islamic state militants.ankara wants the decision reversed, concerned that the weapons will end up in the hands of kurdish militants in turkey.






erdogan praises trump, denounces u.s.’s kurdish allies in syria


washington—turkish president recep tayyip erdogan praised president donald trump for his november election victory and hailed his visit to washington as the launch of a new cooperative era, but attacked america’s kurdish partners in syria as terrorists.with mr. trump standing by his side, mr. erdogan denounced washington’s syrian kurdish allies and said he would never accept them as partners in the region. mr. erdogan suggested that...






turkey: 71 syrian kurdish fighters killed in northern syria


ankara, turkey (ap) — turkey’s military says turkish troops and turkey-backed syrian opposition forces have killed — or “neutralized” — 71 syrian kurdish fighters in northern syria this week.the operations are part of turkey’s months-long incursion into its war-torn neighbor in a push against the islamic state group but also in an effort to restrict u.s.-backed syrian kurdish militias, which ankara has declared a terrorist organization and which it considers to be linked to its home-grown kurdish insurgency.friday’s military statement says that since the turkish operation started in august, the joint turkish and syrian opposition forces killed as many as 2,647 is militants and 425 syrian kurdish fighters in syria.it says that more than 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles) in northern






syrian kurdish official praises us decision to provide arms


beirut — a top syrian kurdish official says the u.s. decision to arm kurdish fighters with heavier weapons will help legitimize the force, which is denounced as a terrorist organization by turkey.the trump administration announced tuesday it will arm the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces "as necessary" to recapture the islamic state stronghold of raqqa. nato ally turkey strongly objects to the alliance because it sees the kurds as an extension of the insurgency raging in its southeast.ilham ahmed, a top official in the syrian democratic forces' political office, tells the associated press wednesday the decision means the sdf is the force designated to recapture raqqa.she said the decision is likely to be met with "aggression" from turkish president recep tayyip erdogan, who is to visit






syrian kurdish-led forces advance on is-held raqqa, say activists


beirut — syrian kurdish-led forces were closing in saturday on the de-facto capital of the islamic state group in syria, seizing a cotton mill only a couple of miles north of the city and clashing with the militant group on a number of fronts, activists and kurdish media reported.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights said the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces, backed by u.s-led coalition airstrikes, advanced as they clashed with the militants in a multi-pronged offensive northeast and northwest of the city.the offensive brings the sdf 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the northeast of the city, the observatory said. fighting was also reported about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) north of raqqa and 13 kilometers (8 miles) to the northwest, the observatory said.the raqqa campaign, a






kurdish-led forces advance on is-held raqqa, say activists


beirut — syrian kurdish-led forces were closing in saturday on the de-facto capital of the islamic state group in syria, seizing a cotton mill only a couple of miles north of the city and clashing with the militant group on a number of fronts, activists and kurdish media reported.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights said the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces, backed by u.s-led coalition airstrikes, advanced as they clashed with the militants in a multi-pronged offensive northeast and northwest of the city.the offensive brings the sdf 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the northeast of the city, the observatory said. fighting was also reported about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) north of raqqa and 13 kilometers (8 miles) to the northwest, the observatory said.the raqqa campaign, a






kurdish-led forces advance on is-held raqqa, say activists


beirut — syrian kurdish-led forces were closing in saturday on the de-facto capital of the islamic state group in syria, seizing a cotton factory only a couple of miles north of the city and clashing with the militant group on a number of fronts, activists and kurdish media reported.the britain-based syrian observatory for human rights said the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces, backed by u.s-led coalition airstrikes, clashed with the militants in a multi-pronged offensive northeast and northwest of the city, advancing several kilometers (miles).the offensive brings the sdf 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the northeast of the city, the observatory said. fighting was also reported about 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) north of raqqa and 13 kilometers (8 miles) to the northwest, the observatory sa






turkey threatens further strikes on us-allied syrian kurds


ankara, turkey (ap) — turkish president recep tayyip erdogan said sunday his country may take further action against kurdish militants in iraq and syria and insisted u.s. support for such groups “must come to an end.”the u.s. moved troops and armored vehicles through several syrian cities and towns on friday and saturday in a show of force apparently intended to dissuade turkey and syrian kurdish forces from attacking each other.kurdish officials described the u.s. troop movement as a “buffer” between them and turkey.the u.s. has provided air cover and other support to kurdish forces battling the islamic state group in syria and iraq. in syria, it is working with the syrian democratic forces, which is dominated by the kurdish people’s protection units, or ypg, but also includes arab fighte






turkey hits kurdish areas in iraq's sinjar, northeast syria


ankara, turkey — turkey's military says its warplanes have carried out airstrikes against what it says are kurdish rebel positions in northern iraq and in northeastern syria.a military statement says the targets that were hit in the early hours of tuesday were located on the sinjar mountain in northern iraq and also in a mountainous region in syria.the statement says the operations were conducted to prevent the infiltration of kurdish rebels, weapons, ammunition and explosives from those areas into turkey.ankara says members of the outlawed kurdistan workers' party, or pkk, are finding sanctuaries in neighboring iraq and syria, among those countries' own kurdish minorities.there was no immediate word on possible casualties.turkey has long claimed iraq's sinjar region was becoming a hotbed