Kurdish Militia Close Down Christian Schools in Syria – Why Does the US Still Support Them?

September 4, 2018

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Kurdish militia closed down four Christian schools in north-east Syria on 28 August, the latest of a number of acts apparently targeting Christian ethnic minorities in the region.

The self-proclaimed administration of the Kurdish YPG militia, which is in control of parts of north-east Syria, shut down four Christian schools in the towns of Qamishli, Derik and Darbasiyah. It is understood the schools were closed because they refused to move to teaching the administration’s “ideologically saturated” curriculum. Christian residents and church leaders took the streets to demonstrate against the closures in Qamishli.

In January 2018, seven young Christians were abducted from Qamishli by YPG militia to serve as forced conscripts. Local representatives managed to secure the immediate release of all but one of the Christians who were kidnapped. Christian properties in the town have also been spray painted with graffiti marking them for “seizure” by the Kurdish YPG authorities. A Christian who helped publicise the marking of Christian properties stated the YPG authorities “are treating us like second-class citizens … employing various tactics to frighten and subject our people with the aim of taking possession of our final remaining properties and lands, thereby transforming our ancestral homeland into an autonomous Kurdish region.”

Christian residents and church leaders in Qamishli took the streets to demonstrate against the school closures on 28 August
Image credit: WCA-NGO

Despite repeated statements by the US government of its desire to aid persecuted Christians, the administration has supplied the YPG with weapons and is continuing to send millions of dollars of funding to the group, which has helped to fight against Islamic State in Syria.

This latest targeting of Christians by the YPG administration again raises the question: why is the US government funding the YPG, which persecutes Christians?