(AINA) -- A joint statement issued by the Assyrian Federation of Germany and the Assyrian Federation of Sweden claims the assassination of an Assyrian military commander in Syria was carried out by members of the People's Defense Units (YPG), a Kurdish military group in eastern Syria.
On April 22nd commander David Gindo and Elias Naser were shot (AINA 2015-04-23). David Gindo was killed immediately. Elias Naser was critically wounded and left for dead, but he survived. He is unable to speak because one bullet hit his throat.
According to testimony from Mr. Naser, written while in hospital a few days after the attack, the assassins were members of the YPG. He specified the pseudonyms of three of them.
Mr. Naser said they voluntarily left with the 5 YPG members, expecting to go to a secret location for a meeting with another Assyrian. They were blindfolded en route and when they arrived at a location unknown to them they were accused of collaborating with both ISIS and government forces. David Gindo was severely beaten before being shot execution style. Elias Naser was shot in the throat and after he fell forward was shot in the back.
When the YPG members left Mr. Naser crawled 500 meters to a road where he was picked up and taken to hospital. He is now recuperating in a secret location, with his wife and children.
The following statement, posted on the YPG website, says an investigation has been opened into this incident:
ROJAVA, April 29, 2015 - On April 22, 2015, Commander of the Zerevani forces, Khabur Dawid Cindo, was martyred as a result of an attack, and his fellow fighters were wounded. We in the General Command of the People's Defense Units, Syriac Military Council and Khabur Zerevani Forces, consider this assassination as an attack against peoples in the region who share a new form of brotherhood and peaceful life. This attack has happened at a time that Syriac, Kildani, Assyrian and all Christian people are remembering the Seyfo Genocide with sorrow; at a time that our Units have gained significant victories against terrorist attacks of Daesh in Khabur area, Til Temr town where tens of our hero combatants have been martyred expressing a historical resistance.
Declaring for the public opinion, we will work decisively to bring the killers to justice, as we have put up a special committee for investigation on this incidental case; the results will be revealed once the process is completed.
It is not clear if the motive for this attack was political or criminal. The YPG gunmen stole 750,000 Syrian Pounds, 35 AK47s and few PKC machine guns from Mr. Naser's home.
Here is the joint statement from the Assyrian Federations:
On the night of April 22 two local Assyrian leaders from the Khabur area in Syria were taken from their homes and attacked by members of the Kurdish militia known as YPG.
David Gindo and Elias Naser were important leaders for the Assyrians of Khabur with Naser being the leader of the Assyrian militia in the area. It is through his miraculous survival from the attack the perpetrators of the heinous act have been identified.
On the morning of Wednesday April 22nd YPG gunmen ambushed David Antar Gindo and Elias Naser. Tragically, David was killed in the attack, and Elias was in critical condition in hospital at Qameshli, Syria. Days after he was admitted to hospital, Elias Naser wrote out the details of the attack (he was wounded in the throat and unable to speak). From Elias Naser's testimony, the attack occurred as follows:
On April 22nd, shortly after 23:00, Mr. Elias Naser and Mr. David Gindo arrived at Mr. Naser's home where they were confronted by five individuals from YPG demanding to speak with them. All five used pseudonyms, three of which were Kamal, Hamza and Dlovan.
The uninvited Kurdish guests sat with the two Assyrian leaders and drank tea, informing them that YPG leaders wished to speak with them about the looting, and that their colleague Riadh Gabriel was already at a secret location for a meeting concerning the matter. Trusting in what they were told, Mr. Elias Naser and Mr. David Gindo agreed to go with the YPG men. On route to the destination they were told that they must be blindfolded because the location of the meeting must remain a secret.
Once they arrived at the location they were tied with ropes and David Antar Gindo was tortured and beaten. The YPG men falsely accused Mr. Elias Naser and Mr. David Gindo of collaborating with ISIS and the Assad regime. These baseless accusations were a pretext to take control of the Khabour Assyrian Council of Guardians, starting with the elimination of its leadership.
After the YPG gunmen badly beat David Gindo, they took him and Elias Naser to an off road spot near the village of Jumayla, adjacent to the Euphrates damn (also called the Assad damn). The YPG men first executed point blank and in cold blood, David Antar Gindo, and then they turned their guns on Elias Naser. The time was, recalls Elias, around 2:30 am.
Fortunately for Elias Naser, the fatal shot intended to kill him struck him in the throat, and he fell forward as if dead. Though the YPG gunmen shot and kicked him in the body, Elias Naser remained motionless and was left for dead. Passing in and out of consciousness, Elias Naser waited until his attackers had left, freed his hands from the cords that bound him and crawled a distance of 500 meters to a main road where he was taken by a passing car to hospital.
The YPG gunmen also stole a sum of 750,000 Syrian Pounds, 35 AK47s and few PKC machine guns from Mr. Naser's home.
Presently, Elias Naser is recuperating in a secret location, thankful to be alive but nonetheless mourning the loss of his friend David Antar Gindo.
The Assyrian Federation of Sweden and the Assyrian Federation of Germany condemn the heinous act by the armed wing of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) which is the Syrian arm of the PKK. The decision to eliminate the two Assyrians is political and aimed at further weakening the Assyrian presence in the area.
It is becoming evident that the Assyrians are squeezed between ISIL and Kurdish political groups eager to occupy Assyrian villages and land. We also call upon Western governments to send direct aid and support to Assyrians in Syria and Iraq.
Assyrian Federation of Germany
Assyrian Federation of Sweden