Syria Funeral Is Focus of Kurdish Anger
The mourners chanted, “Long live Kurdistan!” as the doleful cortege moved slowly toward the hillside cemetery, past the olive groves and pomegranate orchards.
Funerals have long become settings for political theater in strife-ridden Syria, where each side has tried to turn burials of war dead into highly public affirmations of their adversary’s barbarity.
But the procession Friday through the village of Basuta wasn’t just another instance of a funeral becoming a rallying cry against the government of President Bashar Assad.
In this case, the victims — a woman, two of her children and their young cousin, all killed Thursday when bombs fell on an Aleppo neighborhood — were members of Syria’s Kurdish community, the nation’s largest ethnic minority.
The deaths triggered widespread outrage in the region, a vast expanse of heavily farmed valleys and rocky highlands dotted with Roman-era ruins and other ancient sites.
“This was a criminal act,” declared Said Najjar, an official of the Kurdish National Council, who attended the funeral along with other Kurdish leaders. “It is proof of the regime’s criminality.”