News from the Revolution in Rojava and Wider Kurdistan
The administration of the Kobanê canton of Rojava has responded to recent attacks from ISIS forces in Jarabulus as well as the Turkish army across the border in the Akçakale district of Urfa with pledges to defend itself and the people of Syria, reports Erdoğan Altan in an article written for DIHA that was carried in Özgür Gündem.
Altan spoke with Enver Muslim, the co-president of the Kobanê canton’s executive committee as well as İsmet Şêx Hesen, the canton’s defense-minister.
Muslim, pointing to Kobanê as a place where Kurds, Turkmen, Arabs, Syriacs and Armenians are living together in peace, noted how it became a target of ISIS gangs with the support of dominant regional powers. Criticizing Turkey, who he accuses of sending ISIS gangs to Kobanê and Jarablus, Muslim reacted to the Turkish state’s claims that any movement [of YPG forces] across the Euphrates would constitute a ‘redline.’
Drawing further attention to how Turkey had kept open its border crossing at Akçakale when Girê Spî (Til Abyad) was under the control of ISIS, but closed it once the town was liberated by the YPG and its allied forces, Muslim said that “this behavior displayed by Turkish officials has not escaped our attention and we condemn it. And now Turkish soldiers are attacking points controlled by the YPG and public security forces. If these attacks continue positive results will not follow. Let Turkey not forget this, if ISIS takes over these areas then they will come to Turkey and Turkey will eventually pay the price.”
Muslim went on to say that they had in their custody captured ISIS fighters who had crossed into Rojava from Turkey, declaring that “we will strike ISIS wherever it exists and we will not allow it to gain the initiative. Because wherever ISIS is found there are massacres and oppression directed at our people, and for this reason we will only increase our struggle against these gangs. On the other side of the Euphrates there is ISIS, the enemy of humanity. How can a group which has the blood of all peoples on its hands be defended? We do not accept this. We are the people of Syria. We opt for peace and tranquility in Syria with all of its colors, its faiths, its religions and races. We as the Forces of Democratic Syria will decide to clear ISIS from every place it is found – whether it be Jarabulus, Minbic, or Babe. We have the right to intervene against ISIS everywhere that it is found and we will do this.”
‘This Force Will Fight ISIS Anywhere In Syria’
Kobanê Canton Defense Minister İsmet Şêx Hesen also offered harsh words for Turkey’s position on ISIS, saying “the Republic of Turkey is always making statements to the effect that ‘this place is forbidden, no one can go here’ or that this is our ‘redline’ or ‘yellow-line’ or whatever. The places they are speaking of are within the borders of Syria and no one has the right to interfere. Forces in which all the peoples of Syria have a place will decide upon such matters. And this force will intervene within Syria when and where it so chooses.”