News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The following article “Til Abyad’dan Cerablus’a“ was written by M. Ali Çelebi and carried in Özgür Gündem. It has been translated into English below.
Following the Kobanê victory and the beginning of the operation to liberate its surrounding villages another push is being made to liberate the area along the stretch of land from Girê Spî (Til Abyad), across from Akçakale, to Jarabulus. For ISIS, which wants to create a ring of death around the people of the region by controlling the Euphrates, the towns of Jarabulus and Mimbic are very important. On the other hand the liberation of Girê Spî, where ISIS has amassed an substantial force, would mean the creation of a chain of unity between the Rojava Cantons.
I asked Meryem Dicle Kobanê, a YPJ commander and one of the heroes of the battle for Kobanê, about both Girê Spî which lies to the East and Jarabulus which lies slightly to the west on the banks of the Euphrates. “Generally there have been clashes around Jarabulus and to the east. There have also been advances toward both Jarabulus and Girê Sp.
Meryen, an architect of the liberation, pointed to the official visit by PYD co-president and a YPJ commander with French President Hollande in Paris, underlining that international actors were now forced to pay attention to the Kurds and were compelled to listen to their voices.
She added that the Kobanê had been a battle against the remains of the Middle ages as well as the capitalist system, and that with its philosophy it had opened a path which was changing the course of events in the Middle East. Pointing to the role of women in the battle and the sacrifices of fighters such as Hawar Efrîn as examples she noted how such women and men had been the spark and the symbol of victory. She spoke of how Hawar took part in the operation to liberate Miştenur, where he lost his life, despite having been wounded by names before.
Meryem Kobanê concluded by noting “there is ISIS but thank god there are Kurds. It was the Kurds who stopped ISIS” before sending her greetings to Vedad Türkali, a prominent face in the revolutionary struggle in Turkey and one of its literary giants. “Say hello for us” she said “we send our greetings to all those who speak what is right and true.”
When I asked Cemil Mazlum, a YPG commander and another of the architects of the liberation of Kobanê, whether or not ISIS would return to Kobanê he said: “From what I have heard right now they have begun to settle internal scores. Some of them have fled from Rakka, Mimbic and Til Abyad. Some have also fled to Turkey. Turkey has become the biggest refuge. They executed many people who would not come to fight in Kobanê.
He added that continued vigilance was necessary against ISIS, which even if weakened poses a threat to all the peoples of the region, and underlined that the formation a common block remains essential in order to defeat these criminal gangs.
Cemil Mazlum noted that the honorable resistance against ISIS had not been broken despite the fact that ISIS had employed many tons of explosives and heavy weapons to attack Kobanê. He stressed that fighters such as Rojwan from Iran and Giwara, a Sorani Kurd from the KRG, had sacrificed to save other peoples of the Middle East from a massacre. He added that ISIS is still capable of making Kobanê into an obsession, thus pulling back from Mosul in order to re-attack Rojava. Speaking on the fate of the Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh who was taken prisoner by ISIS after the fighter jet he was piloting crashed during coalition operations, Mazlum said “they lost in Kobanê. This was a kind of revenge. This was an inhumane action, completely against the rules of war. They are committing these kind of crimes everywhere.”
From his words it is understood that as new shoots of life are growing up from the ruins of Kobanê the Kurdish factor will now play a major role in leading the push against ISIS. Even if things seem calmer for the moment they are preparing to move to confront the threat which faces them.
Barzani’s Visit To Paris
KDP Leader and KRG President Mesud Barzani and his vice-president Neçirvan Barzani have found the opportunity to visit the countries where the PYD and other delegations from Rojava have recently taken part in important meetings, betraying a certain childlike attitude as they break their own rules and muddy the waters with their questionable intentions. The same scenario played out as the French President hosted a delegation from the PYD and YPJ. Two days following this meeting Mesud Barzani went to Paris and met with French President François Hollande (February 10th 2015).
Nasır Hacı Mansur, a member of the governing body of TEV-DEM, noted that the KDP could not stomach France’s recent interest in Rojava, saying “they want to direct all diplomatic relations themselves. They want to run everything themselves. Europe had taken them as interlocutors, also on the subject of Rojava. Now they thinking ‘alas we are losing the initiative. Now the PYD is a direct interlocutor.”