News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
PYD co-President Salih Muslim has called on the KDP and YNK to cooperate in the formation of a united military council that would coordinate between peşmerge forces and the YPG following the occupation of town of Sinjar (Şengal) by the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham (ISIS) over the weekend – according to an article from DİHA and carried by Özgür Gündem. The occupation has resulted in the displacement of thousands of local residents and there are numerous reports of atrocities being carried out by ISIS fighters against members of the local Yezidi community. Amid the growing humanitarian crisis Muslim urged officials in Southern Kurdistan to “take the decision to form a council that would defend our peoples” in the wake of the ISIS advance in the region.
Salih Muslim made the remarks to İMC TV after the capture of Sinjar by the ISIS and reports that some peşmerge forces had initially withdrew from the area. In response to the capture of Sinjar YPG forces crossed the border from Rojava into Southern Kurdistan to support peşmerge and local civilian militias in the defense of Sinjar Mountain and the evacuation of thousands of refugees. YPG forces are claiming to be advancing on the town of Sinjar with cooperation of YNK peşmerge and local Yezidis who have taken up arms to defend their homes.
Commenting on YPG’s push into South Kurdistan Muslim said:“there is a massacre taking place against our Yezidi people there. The peşmerge left the people there alone and fled. On such a day such a response was expected of the YPG and they did [what was expected of them.]” Muslim confirmed that the YPG has cleared Rabia of ISIS fighters and were in the process of opening a civilian corridor to Sinjar Mountain in order to reach refugees sheltering there.”
Muslim said that the people of Rojava could not remain silent in the face of such events, saying “hundreds of YPF fighters and Yezidi youth are fighting in Sinjar. They are fighting this danger shoulder to shoulder. There are some peşmerge as well. There are violent clashes.”
The PYD leader also touched on the withdrawal of KDP peşmerge from Sinjar, saying “the people said what they saw. The peşmerge left them alone. There were no clashes between the peşmerge and the ISIS in the region. They withdrew without a fight. Of course there must have been a mistake or it is possible the wrong order was given. If not I do not think the peşmerge would have fled from the fighting.”
“Our People See The Truth”
Muslim went on to underline work to hold a national congress, but gave particular importance to the formation of a unified military council, saying “We have called for this. A military council should be formed. The YPG would take its place on a military council. They should take the decision to form a council that would defend the peoples we live together with. But there is no work in this direction and they do not accept it. They need to show respect for the will of the people. They need to stand up for the values of Kurdistan.”
Muslim also criticized reports by media close to the KDP that claimed KDP peşmerge had liberated Rabia, saying “some are confused. But everything is in the open and the reality is in the open. They pretend not to see. They need to see these realities as the people see them. The lies come out one way or another.”
On the question of the KPD’s request for heavy weaponry from the United States to fight ISIS, Muslim commented that the YPG had made no such request but added that “although we have a need we will use what we have at our disposal. We do not expect anything from anyone but do what our people request of us.”
Finally Muslim affirmed that every thing possible was being done by the people to assist refugees fleeing from Sinjar.