Syria’s Combat Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Commission released Dec. 29 a list containing the names of 615 individuals and 105 entities. Notably, the list included the name of Masrour Barzani, the eldest son of former Kurdistan Region President and head of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) Massoud Barzani. Masrour Barzani heads the Kurdistan Region Security Council and has been nominated to be premier of the new government.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) was quick to respond, releasing a statement Dec. 31 saying authorities were dismissing the matter as “ludicrous” because “[the list] is issued by a chauvinistic, oppressive regime that has been an adversary to the Kurdish people and has supported the terrorists in order to remain in power.” The statement accused the Syrian regime of “using internationally prohibited weapons against its own civilian people” as well.
Meanwhile, KDP Vice President Bashar al-Kiki released a statement the same day demanding the “removal of Masrour Barzani’s name from the Syrian terror list.” He told Al-Monitor in a phone call,
“Our [demand] has been relayed to the Syrian authorities,” adding, “They should rectify this mistake and lift [Masrour Barzani’s] name from the list.”
Regarding any future actions to be taken against Syria’s decision, Kiki said,
“The [KRG] demands a formal apology by the Syrian government to the Iraqi state and the region.”
Kiki said the KRG sees Syria’s actions as damaging relations between Iraq and Syria.
Kiki cited “political goals related to the Kurds’ situation in Syria” as the motive behind Syria’s decision, and he expressed his support for the legitimate rights and demands of the Iraqi Kurdistan region.
“The Syrian decision is incompatible with the war waged by the region and regional forces on terror since Masrour Barzani was one of the most prominent names to fight the Islamic State [IS],” Kiki stressed.
Syria’s and Iraq’s Kurds are standing in solidarity with Masrour Barzani against Syria’s decision. Writer Farouq Haji Mustafa said in his Jan. 10 opinion article in Middle East Online,
“Syria’s decision comes at a time when Masrour Barzani is getting ready to chair Kurdistan’s government,