ISIS launched a major multi-front military campaign against the Kurdish region of Kobanê in northern Syria. This is the third ISIS onslaught on Kobanê since March 2014. As the ISIS was unsuccessful on the two previous occasions, they are attacking with larger forces and want to take Kobanê.
In January this year, the Kurds in western Kurdistan (Rojava) established local administrations in the form of three cantons. One of the three cantons formed is Kobanê. The Turkish border is to the north of Kobanê and all the other sides are surrounded by ISIS-controlled territories. The ISIS has approached the Kobanê borders, using US made heavy weapons. Hundreds of thousands of civilians are threatened by the most brutal genocide in modern history. The people of Kobanê are trying to resist using basic weapons against the most brutal attacks of ISIS terrorists, with only the assistance of People’s Protection Unit in Western-Kurdistan, the YPG and YPJ, but without any international help.
Therefore a Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity is vital.
for a thorough report on the fighting in kobane, see this article:
The so-called international coalition to fight the ISIS, have not helped Kurdish resistance effectively despite witnessing the ongoing genocide committed against Kobanê. They have not fulfilled their real international legal obligations. Some of the countries in the coalition, especially Turkey, are among financial and military supporters of the ISIS terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
Therefore a Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity is vital.
If the world wants democracy in the Middle East, it should support the Kurdish resistance in Kobanê. Democratic autonomy in Rojava promises a free future for all peoples in Syria. In this regard, the “Rojava Model” – the secular, non-sectarian, democratic position in Rojava is the model which practices unity in diversity.
It is high time to give the global players the reason to believe otherwise.
We encourage people all over the world to show their solidarity with Kobanê. Go to the streets and demonstrate.
We urge you to join the Global Rally for Kobanê
Support the Resistance against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity!
The battle of Kobane has been continuing for the past month. The attacks started on the 15th of September, and according to initial plans, firstly the surrounding the villages and then the town centre was to all by the 20th of September.
The Turkish state officials also made contingencies in accordance with this plans and was expecting for 400,000 people from Kobane to come to Urfa by the 20th. This way, Turkey would be ‘the country opening its arms to Kobane when it falls’.
When this plan collapsed, in the redrawn plan some were talking of celebrating Eid in the mosques of Kobane. Some must have indulged in this plan so much that they were unable to held back from running with headlines like ‘the expected scenario never materialised’. Then Erdogan could no longer hold himself and gave away his feelings when he declared ‘Kobane is about to fall’. However, Kobane never fell; it resisted, and is still resisting. This resistance is now the main agenda of not only the Kurds and the Middle East, but the whole world.
Then let’s take a look at Kobane under a few subheadings:
The military situation
The 15th of September Kobane attack by ISIS was an expected development after ISIS occupied Mosul and overran military bases belonging to the Syrian army in Raqqah. The YPG made preparations for this within its means. When the attacks began, the YPG evacuated the surrounding villages around Kobane. Some of the people were brought to Kobane and the rest went across the border into Suruc next to their relatives. The evacuation of tens of thousands of people was a successful operation. The YPG was aware of the size of the attack that was being planned and took this precaution in order prevent a massacre.
The geographic conditions and ISIS’s superior weapons advantage meant that the YPG had to narrow the lines defence. By doing this, the YPG was able to better position itself. The last stage was urban warfare and so the main preparations were made for this. ISIS believed this to be a weakness and thought the progress it made on deserted lands was a success for itself. This is why Erdogan, some US officials and analysts made the claim that ‘Kobane was about to fall’.
However, the real battle with ISIS started on the edges of the town. ISIS fired mortars from a distance in the hope of clearing a path for itself. This is how it was able to enter the neighbourhoods on the outskirts of the town. They lost hundreds of fighters as a result of ambushes by the YPG/YPJ fighters. And for the past 4 days they have been unable to make any progress whatsoever. Many of their attacks have been repelled. Now, ISIS is attempting to use car bombs against YPG positions. These cars have been noticed and destroyed from a distance. In the havoc caused by these explosions, ISIS fighters are able to take a few steps forward. However, in urban warfare, those who know the city are at an advantage; and in the current urban war, the YPG has turned Kobane into the Bermuda Triangle for ISIS.
Another factor that has changed the course of the battle has been the intensifying coalition airstrikes. In the last few days, the strikes have been very effective. Strikes have ISIS’s heavy weapons, but because their supply lines have not been effectively targeted, as of yet, they are able to bring in reinforcements. According to some YPG commanders, if the coalition had conducted the airstrikes at this intensity from the beginning, ISIS could not have reached Kobane. This means, that the coalition is conducting a controlled and gradual campaign.
The coordinates for the coalition airstrikes are being supplied from Kobane. However, it must be said that not every coordinate given is being targeted. This is being read as part of the coalition’s desire to be ‘the saviour’. ISIS, on the other hand, is trying to spread itself across the city in order to decrease the effectivity of the airstrikes. If the sides on the ground mix in with each other than airstrikes will be more difficult to carry out.
YPG is surprising everyone by saying that it is not going to let ISIS live in Kobane. They say “Kobane is not Mosul”. We are talking about thousands of people willing to sacrifice their lives in order to live on their land. This is why ISIS taking Kobane, is as impossible as the Sun not rising tomorrow.
The international aspect
The Kobane resistance has opened the door to important gains for the Kurds in the press, the international community and in diplomacy. Those that had never even heard of Kurdistan before, now know of Kobane. This resistance has introduced the Kurdistan Freedom Movement and the Women’s Liberation Movement to the world. It has also opened important diplomatic doors for Kurdish representatives. Many important meetings were held with important forces in the world. These gains will consolidate the position of the Kurds in the region.
The Kobane resistance has consolidated Kurdish unity much the same way as the Halabja and Sinjar massacres did. It has led to a massive spiritual and political synergy. On this platform, first a KCK delegation went to meet with the parties of South Kurdistan, then the Southern parties gathered among each other and then the parties of Rojava joined them. All Kurdish political figures were forced to adopt a line of national unity; because it was finally understood that those that did not adopt this line would be damned by the Kurdish people.
Relations with Turkey
While the ISIS attacks were ongoing, Turkey invited Salih Muslim to Turkey. However, this invite never went any further than being a delaying tactic. The Turkish state made promises like “we will support you in every way, if need be we will also strike ISIS, just relax” probably in order to weaken the desire of the resistance in Kobane. The Kurds were aware of this, although they did not close the door on the Turks they did however take their own precautions. Currently, the Turkish state is not in good condition in the international arena. Even more striking was the fact that Turkey’s animosity towards the Kurds and how it dictated state policies was now out in the open. Turkey’s stance forced the Kurds to reanalyse the situation. This reanalysis is not only a political action, but one that occurred in the hearts and minds of all the Kurds. “How are Turkish-Kurdish relations going to be? Why all this animosity?” are only some of the questions being frequently asked.
Maybe Turkey needs to be thinking about these questions before the Kurds do. No doubt one place where the answer to these questions will be clarified is the island of Imrali, where meetings are continuing with the Kurdish people’s leader Abdullah Ocalan. Turkey’s policy towards and handling of the Kobane situation will determine the future of the meetings and dialogue in Imrali Island.
In conclusion, we are in the middle of a war. In wars, the balances can tilt from time to time. However, in a short time, ISIS will be gradually cleared from the neighbourhoods of Kobane, and the villages surrounding Kobane. As a result of this process, we can say that ISIS will also be cleared from the villages of Tel Abyad to the east, Sirrin to the south and Jarablus and Azzaz to the west. This charge will not only determine the future of the region, but will shape the destiny of all Kurds and Kurdistan.
Those who support this struggle for humanity will be victorious; those who positioned themselves on the wrong side of history supposedly being ‘impartial’ will drown with the dark forces.
History will write this, and we will witness this history.
The Kurdish town of Kobanê has recently become the centre of a geopolitical conflagration that may well change the course of Middle Eastern politics. After months of silence over the threat faced by Kurds from ISIS, the world is now finally watching, even if the ‘international community’ remains conspicuously quiet. However, many Western responses, be it from scholars, journos or activists, have somewhat predictably retracted into recycled critiques of US and UK imperialism, often at the expense of missing what is truly exceptional and noteworthy in recent developments. So, in the style of contemporary leftist listicles, here are four things we can and should learn from events in and around Kobanê.
1. It’s Time to Question the West’s Fixation on ISIS
If Barack Obama, David Cameron and Recep Tayyip Erdogan are to be believed, the ‘savagery’ of ‘fundamentalism’ is the primary focus of NATO involvement in Syria. Notably, many left…
At 1 a.m. on Monday 7 July, artillery bombardment shook Kunaftar Hill. When the shelling ceased, about 300 IS fighters that had crawled close in the cover of the night charged forward. Thirty-two fighters from YPG and YPJ took up positions inside and on top of a makeshift fortress, but they all went inside when their enemies edged closer. Crouching in narrow corridors, they kept firing from holes in the wall until the fortress was completely overrun.
From cleverly built “shelves” above the entrance, the defenders shot dead the first IS fighter that attempted to get in. Unable to force their way into the structure, IS fighters started throwing in hand grenades. One exploded next to 20-year-old Xemlîn, and the shock wave smashed her head against the concrete wall so she passed out. While tended to by her comrade Dicla, Xemlîn did not wake up again until after the battle was over.
Later an IS fighter screamed: ”Hand over your weapons! You are women, you cannot fight!” ”Do you want to go to paradise?” responded Dicla, “I will send you to hell!” The trapped defenders could now hear why the IS fighters went to get fuel – to burn them alive. The battle had been so drawn out, however, that the YPG and YPJ had had time to organize a counter-attack. They now charged up the hill from two sides, and at 8 a.m. had driven away the last attackers.
Two Kurdish fighters were killed this night. Şoreş was inside the fortress when he was shot through the eye, but continued firing his weapon until he was hit a second time. Mohamed fell when he charged up the hill: the survivors renamed it in his memory. After the battle, spotlights and rolls of barbed wire were placed around the outer perimeter. Despite these preparations, the fortress finally fell into IS hands last week, and the YPJ unit pulled back towards Kobanî town.
In countless battles, the mostly very young and poorly equipped fighters of YPG and YPJ have prevailed against the world’s most ruthless jihadist group. How is this possible?
There are a number of reasons. When trapped, YPG and YPJ fighters have no other option than victory or death. Knowing that IS will show them no mercy, they save the last bullet or hand grenade to kill themselves rather than be captured alive. Also their military training, although short in duration, is of a high standard. In combat, they act in a disciplined, coordinated fashion (unlike many other armed groups in Iraq and Syria, they aim before they shoot). They receive education along the lines of the secular left-wing ideology of Abdullah Öcalan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). YPG and YPJ are not only fighting IS, but for their vision of a democratic society. Less openly pronounced, but perhaps more strongly felt, is the idea of the Kurdish nation.
Also, most fighters were born and brought up in the same area, where their units operate. Even those who come from elsewhere are bound by a sense of “in-group solidarity” with their ethnic kin. And since they usually remain in the same small unit over time, fighters develop strong bonds to their comrades. In social scientific research, this kind of “primary group cohesion” is often described as key to success on the battlefield.
Lastly, “martyrs” are certainly mourned and honoured, but fighters neither seek nor celebrate death. On the contrary, frontline troops maintain a tangible joyfulness and love of life, and are often seen singing and dancing together.
The forces of YPG and YPJ have had their boots on the ground for over two years. They have substantial “fighting power” but limited firepower, and are now facing an enemy with vastly superior resources of arms and armour at its disposal (some of which was captured from the Iraqi army, and originally supplied by the USA). Unless reinforcements, armaments and supporting air strikes arrive very soon, Kobanî looks doomed to fall to IS.
A new text released by the comrades in Chile regarding the International Week for Anarchist Prisoners.
This publication aims to defend and spread our ideas and practices of freedom and continuous attack against all authority, in a context in which the state makes visible its repression and desire to gestate new attacks against the anarchist / anti-authoritarian environment, four of “Operation Salamandra” in the context of the” Bombs Case “.
With this we aim to propagate tensions, arguments and debates that encourage individual and collective reflection and to expand and strengthen the struggle, to nurture the path of total liberation in confrontation with the domain values.
We consider this necessary effort, particularly at a time when anarchists algunxs autodenominadxs strive to show a “clean” image of anarchy, trying to disassociate themselves ideologically from those arising in direct offensive by the destruction of the state, capital and all authority, favoring and legitimizing strategy of repression.
Shaking and showing solidarity in the context of the call for a week of solidarity agitation anarchist / anti-authoritarian prisoners (23 to 30 August), we wanted to spread the voices of our imprisoned comrades, spread their ideas about the nature of the fight against power. Solidarity affinity, informal organization, permanent tension and anarchic projectuality are some of the topics covered through the quotes and words of our comrades.
Answering the call of solidarity we break the isolation the state seeks to impose on our comrades, the condition of enemy prisoners, throughout the world. However, our perspective of solidarity as anarchists / anti-authoritarians is that it should go beyond the ideological issues, so we define our common bonds based on irreducible positions, confrontation with not necessarily identical domain, but immersed in the same revolutionary struggle.
We hope that the content of this anarchic gesture of agitation nurtures individual and collective journeys for those who, against all odds, have taken fierce steps along the path of permanent insurrection against power, for total liberation.
With our hearts and our actions salute all the comrades who face the power within and outside prisons, either in cages of the State, still in the open field, or from underground.
We remember Claudia López, Jonny Cariqueo, Mauricio Morales and Sebastian Oversluij.
LONG LIVE ANARCHY! ! !
“Contra viento y marea”: Folleto impreso por la solidaridad y el ataque antiautoritario (pdf):
This foldout began to spread from hand to hand between compas, also through libraries and points of anarchist / anti-authoritarian diffusion during the recent week of solidarity with anarchist agitation / anti-authoritarian prisoners. It contains reflections on the struggle in Chile, a selection of quotes from fellow prisoners in the world dealing with the nature and objectives of the struggle against power, and inside contains a poster that highlights the importance of the offensive solidarity.
Below is a Statement from Revolutionary Anarchist Action- Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet: IN SHINGAL, KOBANE AND ALL ROJAVA, ISIS IS DEHAK AND PEOPLE ARE KAWA
In Kurdistan, people are fighting against ISIS, “the procreated violence” given birth by capitalism and the states that start wars for their own benefits. ISIS, subcontractor of the states that pursue income strategies on the region, is attacking people while yelling “islamic state!” and “holy war, jihad!”. People are suffering from hunger and thirst, getting ill, getting injured; migrating and dying. They are still fighting in that struggle for existence. People are fighting not for the schemes and strategies around meeting tables, not for income, but for their freedom.
As freedom is to exist in danger of being non existant. As freedom is to live. Like the fight of Kawa, defending the life by resisting against Dehaks.
And now, USA, EU, Turkey; all the states that have expectations of income from the region, are establishing coalitions against ISIS, the “procreated violence” which in reality isn’t a disturbance to them at all. The ones who don’t like their position in the coalition start scheming, relations are getting tense and loose, and then tense again, while all the sides are changing their speech from dawn to dusk and acting inconsistent.
After all, this is the most obvious feature of any state. States can’t be expected to stand straight because states are spineless. Spineless states whose only expectation is income, would be founding ISIS yesterday, repenting it today and recognizing the islamic state tomorrow. And people will always be fighting for their future and their freedom, just like in the past.
Salutations to everyone who fight and defend the life in Rojava.
All the plots of states and capitalism will be destroyed, procreated violence will be extinguished, ISIS will lose against the freedom fighters and the people will be victorous as always. We take our belief in freedom from Kawa that stood against Dehak. And we take our belief from many comrades fighting against Dehaks.
*I am sending the interview of Ajansa Nûçeyan a Fırat (Kurdish News Agency)
Revolutionary Anarchist Action at the border guard
URFA/ANF 29.09.2014 08:17:20
Revolutionary Anarchist Action (DAF/Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet) is taking
part in ongoing people’s resistance at the Kobanê border. DAF members are
making a call, stating “Whoever calls themselves a revolutionary should
feel each bullet fired at Kobane as a bullet fired at themselves, and
should defend Kobane”.
To defend the Kobane resistance, different organizations from different
sections are taking place at the guard action along 25km long border. DAF
members are among them.
Revolutionary Anarchist Action member A. Melik Yalçın that joined the
border guard thats been going on for 6 days, stated that they joined the
action at Kobane border because they see the Kobane struggle as the
struggle of oppressed.
“ISIS mobs will lose against the freedom fighters. Struggle of our comrades that resist…