Threats Against Greater Kurdistan

Friday, 9 December, 2022 , 19:07

Thursday, December 15 at 11:00 PM Eastern Time (ET) 05:00 PM CET Where: Virtual 



In recent months the authoritarian regimes of Iran and Turkey escalated attacks on the Kurdish nation. Since the most recent uprisings in Iran, following the murder of a young Kurdish woman, Zhina Mahsa Amini, the regime has killed more than 130 civilian Kurds, wounded hundreds, and jailed thousands.

Turkey’s authoritarian President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning a new ground invasion into Syria’s Kurdish Region (Rojava). Turkish drones and artillery killed dozens of civilians and members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) two weeks ago. Erdogan plans to continue his ethnic cleansing campaign against the Kurds in Syria, as was done in Turkish-occupied Afrin in 2018 and Girê Spî (Tell Abyad) and Serêkaniyê (Ra’s al-‘Ayn) in 2019. 

The Washington Kurdish Institute (WKI) and the Kurdish Institute of Paris (Institut kurde de Paris) jointly invite you to join a timely webinar featuring keynote speaker Elham Ahmad, the President of the Executive Committee of Syrian Democratic Council (SDC). Ms. Ahmad will discuss the current situation in Rojava, the Turkish aggression, and the future of the Autonomous Administration of North and East of Syria (AANES), ways to protect the region, and more. 

Speakers, Asso Hassanzadeh and Soma Rostami will discuss the current situation in Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat) in light of the intense crackdown by the Iranian regime, the future of the uprising, the Kurdish demands post the regime, and more.







Andrew APOSTOLOU is a historian and a foreign policy expert based in Washington D.C. He has worked on human rights campaigns in the Middle East. He was previously the Director for Iran at Freedom House, America’s leading human rights and democracy promotion organization. He has testified to Congress about Iranian regime human rights abuses and has published widely on Iran and the Middle East. He has a D.Phil. in history from Oxford University.


Ilham AHMED was born in the Kurdish city of Afrin in Rojava, Syria. Ahmed has been part of the Kurdish struggle for freedom and democracy since the 1990’s, with a particular focus on women’s rights. As an active member of the Syrian Women’s Initiative for Peace and Democracy (SWIPD), a network of civil society organizations from inside and outside of Syria, Ahmed participated in a number of international conferences on women’s issues. Ahmed currently serves as President of the Executive Committee of Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), a coalition of multiethnic organizations representing the peoples of the federal region of northern Syria. Ahmed is the most recognizable and central figure for the regional authority of the most stable, peaceful region of Syria. The SDC is the political arm of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which has been allied with the United States Armed Forces in the struggle against ISIS and global terrorism. Ahmed has appeared on many TV news programs, in publications such as The Washington.


Asso HASSAN ZADEH is an academic and a political activist from the Iranian Kurdistan. He was born in Bagdad (1976) and returned to Iran with his family after the Iranian Revolution (1979). He accomplished his university studies in France and has a PhD in international law from the Graduate Institute of International Studies (University of Geneva). He is the former deputy-Secretary general and spekesperson of the Kurdistan Decmoratic Party (KDP Iran). He also served for many years as an advisor to the Iraqi Kurdistan Regional Government.


Soma ROSTAMI works for the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights—the leading institution reporting about the anti-government protests in Iran. Rostami was born in Bokan, Rojhelat, and currently residing in Iraqi Kurdistan (Bashur). She joined the Hengaw Organization for Human Rights in 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Technology and Business from the American University of Iraq.



5:00 PM - 5:45 PM (CET, Paris)
11:00 AM -11:45 AM (ET)

Q&A with Ilham Ahmed — Fighting for survival under the shadow of Turkish attacks 

5:45 PM - 6:30 PM (CET, Paris)        
11:45 AM -12:30 PM (ET)

Panel Discussion — Rojhelat rises against the regime