News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
(ANF) The President of the Kobanê Canton, Enver Müslim, has spoken to ANF in a new interview in which he speaks about the progress of the resistance and its larger significance for Rojava and the region. Müslim was in Suruç on his way back to Kobanê after attending a meeting in the city of Hewler (Erbil) in South Kurdistan.
Müslim began by stressing the symbolic importance of the resistance in Kobanê – where youths of both sexes as young as 18 and 19 years old have been facing off against tanks with nothing but light weapons. Müslim told ANF that “our resistance has become a symbol of global humanity. Everyone who wanted to have a share in this humanitarian resistance has found himself or herself in Kobanê. This resistance, which became symbolic, prevented ISIS from reaching the city center. They have launched at least 20 unsuccessful suicide truck-bomb attacks. The mortar shelling which they have used to scare civilians and make them flee have not produced results. In Kobanê love of humanity, resistance and country has prevailed. Kobanê has become a castle of 21 Century resistance.”
They Wanted To Destroy The Work Toward A Free, Common Life
The President of the Kobanê Canton explained why ISIS targeted the city by reference to the success and symbolic importance of the democratic revolution that began here, saying “we were putting together an example for the future of Syria. Every people, every understanding and color have its own administration in a democratic fashion, and live according to its principals. It was in the dark, backrooms – where democracy, equality and common life were not wanted – that plans were drawn up to target Kobanê. Those who did not want a democratic Syria supporte ISIS. The steps we took with the 19 of July Revolution was showed the way toward a democratic Syria. For this reason Kobanê, which was the place the revolution was born, was made into a target. The goal was to destroy the democratic, egalitarian, free and common life that was coming to life in Kobanê. Both a military and a psychological campaign has been waged against Kobanê. They expected it to fall and had planned for this. What they want to destroy in Kobanê is the will of humanity for a free and common life.”
He continued by stressing that the system they had founded in Kobanê was important for the future of humanity and called on those forces supporting ISIS to recognize the damage they were doing to themselves and to humanity.
We Are Taking Humanity As Our Principle
Müslim described how the Syrian Baath regime had denied all peoples living in Syria except for the Arab peoples, saying “we had started the struggle for the freedom and equality of peoples before the revolution. There were claims that we had relations with the regime. This is slander. We opened our arms to both regime soldiers fleeing to us from the gangs and to FSA fighters fleeing to us from regime soldiers. Because we are taking humanity as our principle. Our struggle is for a free and equal life of the peoples together in a democratic system. Therefore how could we have relations which a system which denies the existence of different peoples? We are not a war-making force but a force defending itself and on the side of peace. We use weapons to protect ourselves. We will never go into partnership with a regime that does now include all the peoples and different groups in Syria. We will all live together in a democratic Syria.”
They Have Won Respect From Everyone
Müslim, who from time to time joins the YPG/YPJ forces on the front defending Kobanê, gave them credit for the progress of the revolution, saying “we have come to this point thanks to our martyrs. The resistance of our heroes have paid a heavy price for humanity. Our youth, many between 18-19 years of age, have taken an oath to defend their freedoms and land. They have shown a will to live and to make live. Each one of our resistors is a legend. They have become the future of a democratic Syria. They have become heroes of freedom, equality and love of the land. They carried out operations that ISIS did not expect. Americans explained how the resistance which they witnessed compelled them to show respect and to support it. We are indebted to our heroes and martyrs who have won respect from the whole of humanity. They have enabled us to hold our heads up high.”
We Are No Threat To Turkey
He went on to say that despite claims that there were no civilians in Kobanê thousands had remained in the city and thousands more had returned following YPG/YPJ advances, saying “there are still thousands of civilians waiting on the border. ISIS wanted to carry out a massacre. We have our criticisms of the position the Turkish state has taken towards us. We officially requested support for civilians and for the YPG/YPJ. Because, we said, if ISIS occupies Kobanê it would be a threat to Turkey. The Kurds of Rojava are not a threat to Turkey. An environment of peace and calm in Turkey is to our benefit. In regions such as Azaz and Til-Ebyad where they are neighbors with ISIS’s so called state soldiers and police have been killed. But in areas where we our neighbors there have been no problems. They should see the civilians living in Kobanê and provide support.
We Wanted The Peshmerga
Müslim also touched on the deaths of members of the Burkan El Firat -a branch of the FSA who were defending Kobanê along with the YPG – and affirmed that they were ready to work with any force that was on the side of democracy in Syria. He also touched on the coalition air campaign, saying “With the resistance of the YPG and YPJ the coalition bombings would not have had any results. The coalition planes which carried out continuous bombings in the city of Hīt in Iraq had no results and Hīt fell. Because there was no resistance by the forces on the ground. It is when the coalition forces bombings are combined with the resistance of the YPG and YPJ that there are results.” He also touched on the arrival of Peshmerga forces from South Kurdistan, saying “We wanted them, the South [Kurdistan] government approved and the peshmerga came. They added their force to ours. For this reason the talk that we did not want them was introduce with the goal of manipulating Kurdish unity.”
Humanity Has Won In Kobanê
Müslim concluded by saying that his meetings in Hewler had gone well, adding “we took part in an international conference. A conference took place around the Kurdish role in the Middle East, the resistance in Kobanê and ISIS. We had meetings with all international delegations as well as those from Kurdistan. All went positively. They promised to support Kobanê. Again there was a consensus among the parties of Kurdistan around the need for a national congress and a common military command.”
Finally he stressed that humanity had won in Kobanê, saying “the blood of Kurds from the four parts [of Kurdistan] flew in Kobanê. A spirit of togetherness developed among Kurds and their problems have taken on international dimensions. Whatever there is in humanity it has won in Kobanê.”