23 September 2015
Inevitably, the mass exodus of refugees from conflict areas was going to provoke the spilling into Europe of multiple disputes in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. Spanish soccer is the first to feel the weight of the baggage that has turned vast numbers into destitute refugees. Kurdish rebels have accused a Syrian coach who was hired earlier this month by Real Madrid after having been tripped on camera by a Hungarian camera woman as he was running towards the border a child in his arms of being an Al Qaeda fighter and the instigator of a deadly anti-Kurdish soccer brawl.
The allegations raised by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), believed to be associated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that is locked into escalating hostilities with Turkey, are serious. PDY media asserted that Osama Abdul Mohsen, the coach who landed in Spain, had been a fighter for Jabhat al Nusra, a major Syrian jihadist militia aligned with Al Qaeda.
The PYD and a Syrian Christian Facebook page charged further that Mr. Abdul Rahman had recently revived his Facebook page but had deleted the Nusra flag which in the past had been his cover photo. Also allegedly removed from the page were references to Mr. Abdul Rahman having fought against Kurdish forces in Amudeh, Serekaniye and Afrin. “Osama Abdul joined the rebel groups in 2011 and committed crimes against civilian minorities, including Kurds,” the PYD said in a statement.
… James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 25/09/2015