News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The following article “Kobanê ve Kerkük” was written by M. Ali Çelebi and appeared in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.
ISIS – which is poisoning the Middle East like the spit of Cerberus, the many-headed guard-dog of the underworld or land of the dead whose saliva once spread poison throughout the world – has been dealt a serious defeat Kobanê. Many people came from Kurdistan and from around the world to Kobanê and joined in the resistance which finally liberated Miştenur HIll between January 18-19th and then the whole of Kobanê on January 26th. Almost immediately an operation began to liberate the hundreds of villages around Kobanê still under ISIS control. For ISIS itself, which believes that “God is on its side” this signifies a major trauma.
When I asked Meryem Kobanê – one of the YPJ commanders in the city – how they achieved victory against ISIS which has grown large enough to scatter regional armies and continues to receive support from countries in the region, she told me it was because of the human will to fight and the philosophy of the Kurdish liberation movement.
Meyrem Kobanê went to describe how the defenders of Kobanê had shown in a rebuke to ISIS that the most powerful weapon was a human-being and not some heavy weapon, and how they had believed in their victory and had vowed to remain in Kobanê until not a single house was left standing. She also described how as women they had fought against the ideology of male hegemony and how her fighters who had lost their lives in the operation to retake Miştenur had joined this push despite being injured on numerous previous occasions, and how the flags of TEV-DEM, and the YPG and YPJ now flew above Miştenur in their memory.
Following the subsequent victory in Kaniya Kurda near Miştenur two giant flags of the YPG and YPJ were raised next to one in the area. Turkey then responded by raising an enormous Turkish flag along the border, although for what exact reason or complex I am leaving to the reader to judge.
ISIS, which cannot comprehend this commitment to freedom, has now suffered its third defeat in Kobanê since March 2014. This time it has completely fallen on its face. In the first two attacks it was pushed back before reaching the city center. In its third siege it succeeded in entering the city center and capturing a large portion of it. However Kobanê was reborn in a new universe, a microcosm which harbored humanity, peace, equality and honor together with its fighters of different ethnicities resisting together in their opposition to occupation. The dialectic of Kobanê became intertwined in a historical opposition to an inhuman ISIS and pushed back a great darkness which had threatened to cover humanity.
Even as the hegemonic powers pursue their new games history will now flow in a new direction directed by the self-confidence won after Kobanê and the growing understanding of the importance of common struggle and the spirit of female resistance. Kobanê which has paid the price to become a symbol for the whole world will grow more robust as it now becomes a manifesto of struggle. The victors are the oppressed peoples of the region, women, and the workers who demonstrate an anti-capitalist stance. The great losers were the Saudi Kingdom, Qatar, the UAE and the AKP government.
Moscow and the USA
Russia did not officially invite the Rojava cantons to take part in the Moscow Conference (January 26-29/no result) which took place immediately after the victory in Kobanê. Kobanê will increase the ability of the Kurdish movement to exploit international contradictions. For example as the rivalry between the United States and Russia deepens recognition for Rojava will come on the table. According to information I have obtained a delegation including US Special Representative For Syria Daniel Rubinstein met once more with a high-level PYD delegation in Europe in the middle of January. The United States, which has refused to grant a visa to PYD leader Salih Muslim, might open its doors. If this does not happen within a short period of time it is expected that the US will host a PYD delegation. Certain signals have been given. If Turkey which has kept the water boiling around a peace process for years takes no concrete steps it might be forced to face off with the many new Kobanês within its own territory.
A Serious Battle Expected In Kirkuk
ISIS, the puss now oozing from the rot within the capitalist system, is an antagonist for conflicts among people. ISIS, a nightmare which bases its reputation on blood and does not see objections to itself of the many non-violent Muslims, may launch new attacks for revenge and its own dignity. Such was the attack on the south-west of Kirkuk on January 30th in which they used hit and run tactics, a bombing targeting the central security office and a suicide attack on the Qesra Kirkuk Hotel. ISIS wants to capture Kirkuk by using the people of the city against one another. After taking control Mosul and Kirkuk they will surround Hewlêr (Erbil) in crescent to the west and south and leave it isolated. In this way they can control the energy routs and go for Baghdad’s throat. They could also move to ransack Efrîn and some Turkish cities. The way out of this is to unite forces and multiple the number of Kobanês.
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