Akbar Shahid Ahmed writes: The Syrian Kurds believe their militia lost its Facebook verification as part of an online campaign by members of the U.S.-recognized nationalist opposition who are based in Turkey and have links with the Turkish government. Ankara dislikes the YPG and the PYD because of their ties to the PKK, a Kurdish militant group that has battled Turkey for decades. Turkish officials have argued for months that the PKK is as great a threat as the Islamic State — and in recent days, Turkey has responded to that perceived threat with a bombing campaign against PKK holdouts in the Kurdish region of Iraq that Syrian Kurds claim has extended into their territory.
That stance explains why the Syrian Kurds believe the Facebook move was part of a concerted effort by Syrian Arabs and their Turkish backers to damage their credibility. They argue that media reports about Kurds targeting Arabs in areas they take from the Islamic State are part of that effort as well. Arab residents of northern Syria have told multiple outlets, including The WorldPost, that they fear ethnically motivated persecution by the YPG.
Mutlu Civiroglu, a Washington-based analyst who closely monitors the Syrian Kurds, told HuffPost that Kurdish sources have identified what they say are two signs of evidence that there is an anti-YPG campaign extending to Facebook. [Continue reading…]