News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
What follows is a translation of the article “Kobanê’nin SiViLLERi“ by Ersin Çaksu, a journalist who is currently in Kobanê. It appears in today’s Özgür Gündem.
ISIS gangs continue to attack Kobanê and YPG/YPJ forces continue to resist together with the people. We are again in Kobanê, the place we left five days ago. The residents of Kobanê are continuing in their defense of their country against all these heavy weapons without having lost any of their splendor. The YPG/YPJ fighters control most of the city and continue to provide for its effective defense. The YPG/YPJ forces which since the day this battle began have not lost the initiative for a moment are responding to ISIS heavy weapon attacks with small arms. The fighters, who are carrying out operations against the gangs on all three fronts, are achieving results.
There Will Not Be Just One Loser And One Victor
Once again we are in Kobanê and see no evidence of the groundless reports – such as the “border crossing has fallen,” the “police station has fallen,” “city hall has fallen” – that are purposely disseminated by mainstream media in Turkey now controlled by the AKP. In fact all that has “fallen” are the masks…street-street fighting is taking place in Kobanê and the YPG/YPJ fighters explain that the strategies for urban fighting and fighting on open fronts are different and that the city is under their control. When the resistors and fighters evaluate the battle of Kobanê for which so much effort and sacrifice has been made they say that this battle will determine the fate of Kurdistan in this century. The explain that there is a very sophisticated operation being launched against Kobanê and they lay great stress on the fact that it is no ordinary attack on just any place in Kurdistan. The fighters who say “Kobanê will be a breaking point for Kurds and the other peoples [of Kobanê]” speak of how Kobanê carries a similar meaning for the ISIS gangs whose own survival is tied to [the city] and for this reason they are attacking it with all of their force. The resistors say that there will not just be one victor and one loser in Kobanê and once more go over its intricacies, its confusions and the many actors involved. For in this war Kurds and the other peoples of the region, the ISIS gangs, Syria, South Kurdistan, Iraq, Turkey, the coalition forces under the leadership of the United States, and many other regional forces large and small are actively participating.
Civilians Are In Secure Areas
Of course those resisting in Kobanê, which has been Kurdistan’s Stalingrad, are not only YPG/YPJ fighters. Hundreds of citizens of the city have taken up arms and a position on the front lines. These residents of Kobanê – who never sent their families to the North since the beginning of the fighting – are also coordinating quotidian tasks (water, generators, food and logistics). Thousands of people who have not left Kobanê remain in secure parts of the city. Far from the specter of the crowds of ordinary cities we can say that Kobanê is “calm and quiet.” Of course it is a reality that every silence is pregnant with the sounds of a large explosion or clashes.
A Corridor Would Be A New Front
Kobanê is under threat of massacre. Because as we said at the beginning many civilians remain in the city and the gangs are continuing the same practices which they have used in Sinjar, Mosul and Rakka. Many civilians have died since the battle of Kobanê began on September 15th after being attacked by heavy weapons. The call and suggestions for an “aid corridor” that has been made in response to the threat of genocide has vital meaning and would be an important “front” in the struggle against ISIS.
Campaign For Military Aid To The YPG
A petition has been launched on the White House website in order call for official military aid to the YPG. It states that the YPG is the only group defending Kobanê and that “it is undoubted that with better and more modern weapons, YPG would efficiently halt ISIS’ motives to gain control of Kobane.” The petition, which can be filled out until November 7th, now has 13,500 signatures.
YPG: ISIS Gangs Bringing Up Reinforcements
The YPG Press Center has stated that the ISIS gangs, which have suffered many casualties in the resistance, are bringing up reinforcements from various centers such as Jerablus and Til Ebyad – including men, weapons and ammunition – and increasing their attacks on the city. The YPG said that in the last 24 hours of fierce clashes along 3 fronts 81 ISIS members had been killed. The YPG Press Center Reported: “As clashes intensified on the eastern front there was continuous and heavy fighting between ISIS and our forces. Our forces can confirm the death of 22 ISIS fighters on this front. In the southeast on the Miştenur Front the gangs attacked repeatedly under the cover of artillery bombardment. 11 ISIS fighters were killed by our forces and their attacks broken. One the southern front 42 ISIS fighters are determined to have been killed. On the Western front our forces destroyed one vehicle and killed 6 ISIS fighters.”
Seperately it stated that the YPG has launched an operation in Serêkaniyê in which 26 ISIS fighters, including one commander, were killed. A YPG fighter named Kamuran Koçbêr (Şexmus Mio) also lost his life in the fighting.