News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The following article “Muslim Hewlêr’e gidiyor” was written by M. Ali Çelebi and appeared in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.
Despite being signed in October the Duhok agreement still only exists on paper. ENKS has yet to be able to choose 12 members to represent it on the 30-person political body which is meant to function as a kind of consultative assembly. Following the Duhok agreement meetings were held in Qamishlo throughout the month of November by constituents of the autonomous administration, however owing to internal tensions within ENKS no decision has been forthcoming. The KDP-S, which is a part of ENKS, wants 4 of the 30 seats for itself. The other ENKS parties did not accept this. As a result there have been many setbacks within their earlier projections. A meeting will be held in Hewlêr (Erbil) in the coming days in order to get beyond these problems and to draw up a “road map.” The delegations will sit down at the table at this critical juncture in order to keep the warmer relations among Kurds from freezing over, to put their agreements into practice, and to push the idea of a military alliance beyond mere conjecture. Mediators will also be in the city. PYD co-President Salih Muslim will also go to Hewlêr in this capacity. As preparations were being made for a new meeting between Muslim and KRG President Mesud Barzani, in order to establish the position of Kurdistan around the attacks on its freedoms and to set the tempo moving forward, there was also an unexpected development in Kobanê.
The Mürşitpınar ve TMO Affair
Over the month of November the strength of the ISIS attacks around Kobanê were broken and the initiative passed to the YPG-YPJ. The Baath forces are closing their circle around Aleppo. ISIS and al-Nusra are attacking FSA groups in places such as Aleppo, Homs and Idlib and taking over important positions. Within al-Nusra’s different press organs stories have been broadcast which show the YPG as a target. This has been interpreted as preparations for an attack on Efrîn (Afrin). Different broadcasts and government statements from countries interested in the region also focused their attention on Efrîn and Aleppo. And just then there was the unexpected development on November 29th. At 05:00 in the morning a series of car bombs were driven across from Turkey and exploded next to the Mürşitpınar Border Crossing as they were passing into Kobanê. ISIS fighters coming from silos belong to the Turkish Grain Board (TMO) attempted to capture YPG-YPJ positions within Kobanê. This is to say that the attack was carried out from an area that Turkey has made into a buffer zone. Attacks were launched out on the other three fronts simultaneously. Following this comprehensive attack letters and telephone calls with the United States, Great Britain, France and other countries in the coalition increased. According to information I have obtained the United States requested data such as information, photographs, and video from the PYD immediately after the attack on the border gate.
‘At First Turkish Tanks Controlled The Border Gate’
PYD Foreign Relations Director Zuhad Kobani said they have no doubt that they came from the border gate: “It is clear and obvious that they came from Turkey. There are videos and photographs. First Turkish tanks arrived and took control of the area around the border gate. Then they pulled back. Following the suicide attacks ISIS positioned itself in the silos and was fighting from there. Our doctors saw them and said ‘perhaps it is aid.’ Because they came from the border gate. This is to say that Turkey made a road for them. They attacked Kobanê from four sides. They attacked in the south with tanks. Turkey is playing its last trump cards. They guessed that the precautions around the border gate would be weaker. The wanted to say ‘we took the gate quickly and captured Kobanê.’ No one was expecting it. Because that area belongs to Turkey. Everyone was shocked and terrified.”
I am asking TEV-DEM Executive Committee member and the Assistant Education Minister for the Cizîrê Canton Hisen Çawiş about the two person delegation from ENKS that went to Kobanê. According to the Duhok Agreement a commission chosen by the 30-person body needed to attend the meeting. “they are saying allow us to come and we will act on our own initiative. It doesn’t work this way. Rather than fighting they are going to come to show up and turn it into political material. Perhaps they want to send people who are connected with state intelligence. The YPG and YPJ are fighting in Kobanê. How will that group fight outside of YPG-YPJ initiative or the YPG military council? Kobanê in particular is a very sensitive area. It can’t be this way.”
Whatever the dimensions with which you access the developments and gains thus far, if the Kurds remain fractured and if they fail to develop a common perspective of resistance which can go beyond mere conjecture, surrounding countries and any madness like ISIS sells itself on the open market have shown that they can overturn everything. Developments are once again showing the importance of a common vision and thus the importance of the meeting that will be held in Hewlêr.