On February 25, the Czech authorities arrested Salih Muslim, a leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), in the Czech capital Prague upon an official request from Turkey, according to the Turkish Anadolu Agency.
In late 2016, the Turkish Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for Salih Muslim. On February 14 2018 the ministry placed Muslim on its “most wanted terrorists” list and offered a bounty of nearly $1 million.
According to Anadolu Agency, Czech officials said that Salih Muslim will be produced before a court which will decide whether or not he would be remanded in custody. The sources added that the Czech authorities had asked Turkey to submit the necessary documents for Muslim’s extradition.
Meanwhile, Turkish security officials confirmed that Turkish Ministry of Justice had begun an administrative process to extradite Salih Muslim, according to Anadolu Agency.
Salih Muslim occupied the position of the PYD’s Co-Chairman from 2010 to 2017. During his term, the Kurdish party built its alliance with the US and founded the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in eastern Syria. Muslim played a key role in this process, according to Syrian and Turkish sources.
Due to his key role in crafting the PYD-US relations, the extradition of Salih Muslim will likely lead to more tension between the two allies, as they have disagreed lately on issues related to the Turkish attack on the PYD-held Afrin area.