The Chameleons of Rojava

Text about PKK/PYD's politics by Ben Davies. It has since been pointed out that Davies holds extremely dubious pro-Islamist politics; as such, we reproduce this text for reference and for the more enlightening discussion below the article itself.

Submitted by Guerre de Classe on September 23, 2016

The recent exploitation of the collapse of the rebel front line in Aleppo by the PYD’s armed wing (YPG) and its allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces took some observers by surprise.

Having been praised by many (including Syrian revolution supporters) for determined resistance to the Da’esh juggernaut, the YPG became a pariah almost overnight for attacking every rebel group in Aleppo in its bid to grab as much territory as possible before the regime got there first.

In 2014 there had been something of a thaw in relations between the YPG and various rebel groups after years of fighting that had raged ever since the YPG took control of Syria’s northern Kurdish regions. The threat of Da’esh bearing down upon them forced several groups into an uneasy truce against a common enemy. The crucible was Kobane, which almost fell to Da’esh in September 2014 before FSA and YPG units drove the group back with heavy casualties on both sides (and more than a little help from US airstrikes). The Euphrates Volcano was the most prominent of the joint operations rooms.

Yet over a year later attempts at unity have fallen apart once again as the YPG assaults the rebels in Aleppo via the Efrin canton, accusing anyone and everyone who stands in their way of being “Islamist” aggressors. Indignation was expressed by observers online and offline, Syrian and non-Syrian. But given the YPG’s recent history, this move was hardly unexpected.

The YPG (“People’s Defence Units”) established in 2011 originated in the PYD (Democratic Union Party) established in 2003, the Syrian wing of the Kurdish Marxist rebel group PKK. The PKK has been engaged in a decades-long struggle against the Turkish state. The Assad regime had massacred tens of revolting Kurds in al-Qamishli in 2004, displacing thousands. The PYD was seen as an opponent of the regime in the aftermath of the massacre.

Up until April of 2011 when the anti-regime uprising was in full swing, the PYD was said to be engaged in a very lop-sided struggle against the regime. Up to 1400 YPG-linked activists were arrested, tortured and killed. The leadership (including current PYD leader Salih Muslim) was exiled abroad, unable to enter Syria for fear of arrest.

When the uprising began in March 2011 the PKK was initially supportive of the anti-government rising. Anti-Assad activists were interviewed on the PKK’s RojTV, given over to Syrian opposition use. Known opposition figures such as Abdulrazak Eid, Haytham Manna, Fayez Sara, Hassan Abdul Azim and Yassin al-Haj Saleh were interviewed. The PKK also encouraged Syrians to rise up and stage demonstrations.

That same March, Iran’s army began heavily shelling the PKK’s bases in the Qandil Mountains. The Qandil Mountains are a crucial stronghold; from this natural fortress the various PKK-aligned groups receive orders from the central command. Several branches of the PKK are garrisoned there alongside the PYD. This includes the Iraq-based Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party (PCDK) formed in 2002, and the Iran-based Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) formed in 2004.

After the shelling increased, jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan got the message. He ordered the pro-revolution discourse to cease from his Imrali Island prison. The tables turned; PKK propaganda outlets now smeared the revolution – for everything from demonstrations being carried out outside mosques (the PKK is avowedly atheist) to the revolution allegedly being “controlled” by the Muslim Brotherhood.

On April 6th 2011 Ocalan told his lawyer to transmit a message to the regime. The following was part of it; Ocalan declared that Assad should “met with the Kurdish organizations. The PYD is there, and if Assad’s Syria carries out democratic reforms we will support them.” In exchange for supporting the regime Ocalan suggested several steps:

Cultural and self-administration rights could be recognized as part of these reforms; for example, municipalities could be run [independently]. Kurds could be given the chance to administer their affairs for themselves and have their identity recognized. If they [the Syrian regime] do that, we will support them […]

He finished off his statement with a nonchalant remark: “The Assad family knows my approach to the cause.”

This is hardly an exaggeration. From 1979-1999, the PKK was welcomed by Hafez al-Assad. Syria’s late ruler helped the PKK to establish training camps and Ocalan gave him permission to use PKK fighters for operations in his proxy war against Turkey. The PKK also held official conferences (at least two by 1982) on Syria’s territory. Ocalan also received weapons and financial support from the regime. His organisation was essentially controlled by Syrian intelligence; Ocalan was too indebted to Hafez to resist.

When the PKK declared war against Turkey in 1984, Hafez allowed Ocalan to recruit thousands of young Syrian Kurds for the bloody struggle. By the 1990’s Ocalan was so obliged to the Assad family that he denied Syrian Kurds (or Kurdistan in Syria) existed; he claimed most were “immigrants.” As such, the PKK would “return them to their original homeland.”

Such was Ocalan’s dependency on Hafez al-Assad’s clique for support that he was even prepared to deny that the existence of the Kurdish people in Syria had any historical basis. His statements never came close to criticising Assad’s tyrannical mistreatment of his own Kurdish population – in fact he encouraged Assad’s “Arabization” (expelling Kurds from Syrian Kurdistan and supplanting them with Arabs) by claiming they should never have been there in the first place.

By 1999 Turkey had tired of the PKK launching assaults against their state from Syria; Hafez was told to either give up Ocalan or face war. In 1998 Syria expelled Ocalan (he was then arrested and deported to Turkey in 1999) and went about normalising relations with Turkey. When Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father in 2000 he closed the PKK’s camps, renditioned key PKK members to Turkey and dismantled the infrastructure. However, some claimed that clandestine Syrian support for the PKK continued, and that the PYD may have been collaborating with the regime, even of engaging in subversive activity against the Kurdish population on behalf of the regime.

In by April 2011, Ocalan and the PKK had seen the opportunity to re-establish their organisation within Syria – on the side of the Assad regime. On April 13th 2011 Ocalan released another statement to his lawyer, reiterating his previous demands and adding:

If Syria accepts these demands, support will be given to Assad […] If the state moves in the opposite [direction], takes temporary steps and adopts a dilatory political approach, the Kurdish people, led by the PYD, will fight alongside the Arab opposition, following the principle of democratic self-administration.”

In other words, the PKK would side with whoever was guaranteed to grant it the breathing space it needed within Syria’s borders to take advantage of the collapsing regime and establish a Kurdish “state” based on Ocalan’s blend of hard-line socialism and “Democratic Confederalism”.

Assad took the bait. In April 2011 Ocalan sent 1000 PKK fighters from the Qandil Mountains into Syria in coordination with the regime’s security apparatus. They began to organise themselves into the “People’s Defence Units” (YPG), completely unmolested by the omnipresent regime forces. By late 2011 Assad had allowed the PYD to open six Kurdish language schools in territories under his control. These schools are openly used for propaganda and indoctrination purposes. In March 2012 another 2000 PKK fighters were allowed to enter Syria’s borders.

In July 2012 the regime put a plan of action into effect in coordination with the PYD and withdrew its forces from Kobanî, Amuda, and Afrin. In fact the regime abandoned most of Syrian Kurdistan, save Qamishli and al-Hasakah province. The PYD’s YPG units then systematically took control of the towns the government forces handed to them (with barely a shot being fired), claiming they “liberated” the territories from Assad’s grip.


The PKK also staged demonstrations in support of the regime when the links were reforged. This demonstration in Beirut was staged in 2011.

Consequently anti-regime demonstrations that had previously raged in the Kurdish territories were repressed by the PYD. Anti-Assad graffiti was painted over, Syrian Air Force Intelligence (secret police) headquarters were allowed to continue operations unmolested, and anti-Assad activists were assassinated by the YPG. Kurdish opponents of the PYD are subject to arbitrary arrest (which has continued to this day) and media outlets which the PYD deems too critical are shut down. This month the PYD banned the Kurdish Rudaw network from Kobane.

Kurds in Amuda protested against the YPG in 2013. The demonstration was reportedly fired upon and resulted in 7 fatalities and 40 injuries. The PYD/YPG became known as the “shabiha of the Kurds” for repressing demonstrations on Assad’s behalf. A 107-page report entitled, “Under Kurdish Rule: Abuses in PYD-Run Enclaves of Syria,” was released by Human Rights Watch in 2014. The report documented arrests (including abuse in captivity), killings and use of child soldiers.

Popular Kurdish opposition leader Mashaal Tammo had already been assassinated in suspicious circumstances in October 2011 as he organised an anti-regime coalition. Now others began to fall; tribal leader Abdullah Bedro was also shot and killed. The PYD denied any involvement, eventually admitting complicity when the body of a fallen YPG fighter was discovered at the scene. The PYD was also accused of killing of Dr. Serzad Hac Resid, the Aleppo-based representative of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYDKS). He had been involved in distributing video footage exposing the Assad regime’s brutality.

In 2013 YPG leader Salih Muslim (whose first act upon returning to Syria in 2011 was to meet with Bashar al-Assad as part of the “patriotic opposition”) was claiming the anti-Assad opposition forces were responsible for the 2013 chemical massacre in Ghouta, regurgitating pro-regime propaganda by essentially claiming rebel fighters gassed themselves and their families to induce foreign intervention. Muslim also claimed the collapse of the regime would “be a disaster” for Syrians. Muslim’s statements have often been overlooked by the media at large; in November 2011 he stated that PKK summary executions of Kurds deemed to be “traitors” were justifiable. “If the PKK punished people, it had its reasons,” Muslim remarked.


Free Syrian Army members killed in clashes with the YPG were displayed on YPG propaganda channels.

When Muslim was asked if his men would eventually join forces with the Syrian army, he was open to the idea. “Why not join forces if the Syrian forces are trying to return to the region in a different perspective and under new conditions? In that case the PYD will become a part of the Syrian army.”

When Assad’s advisor Bouthaina Shabaan boasted that the YPG was an integral part of the regime army the YPG strongly denied it – only for UN Ambassador Bashar al-Jaafari to back her up. “These Syrian Kurds supported by the American administration are also supported by the Syrian government – just for your information,” Jaafari said.

Shabaan and Jaafari aren’t the only ones to speak up in support of the PKK. Assad himself claims to have supplied them with many of the weapons they later used against his enemies. Architect of the Baniyas massacre Mihraç Ural claims the YPG hasn’t clashed with the regime and should be seen as “necessary.” Ural was responsible for introducing Abdullah Ocalan to Hafez al-Assad decades earlier.


Mihrac Ural and Abdullah Ocalan together in Syria during the Cold War.

It later emerged that Iranian forces had arrested PKK leader Murat Karayilan in 2011 after a tip-off from Turkish intelligence. After initially planning to rendition him to Turkey, Iran brokered a deal with Ocalan. They would free Karayilan in exchange for a ceasefire and the PJAK withdrawing from Iran. Iran also wanted the PKK’s central command to order the PYD to support the Assad regime to take some pressure off Assad. The request was granted; Karayilan was released and PJAK units withdrew from Iran to Turkey.

By 2012 the PYD and its YPG military wing as avoiding confrontation with the regime at all costs. Instead they turned their attention to the anti-regime opposition. In July 2013 the YPG seized Ras al-Ayn and its border crossing from anti-government forces. Two days later they stormed Tal A’lo. By September the YPG was even clashing with the FSA and shelling the refugee-populated town of Atme. By November the YPG had grabbed 40 more villages, including Aleppo province’s strategic Tell Tamer, and was actively clashing with Da’esh fighters (Da’esh also fight the anti-regime opposition) throughout the region.

By early-2014, cooperation between the FSA and various YPG groups began, as Da’esh presented a growing menace. The Euphrates Islamic Liberation Front, Liwa Ahrar Souriya (Brigade of Syrian Free Men) and the Liwa Thuwwar al-Raqqa (Brigade of Raqqa Revolutionaries) joined the YPG in fighting Da’esh.

By September 2014 the YPG had been pushed back to the tiny border town of Kobane by Da’esh. By then, the Obama administration had seen fit to make the YPG the sole benefactor of US arms and support. Backed by an immense volume of US airstrikes (and smaller FSA formations) the YPG managed to break the siege, recapture all the lost territory and launch an offensive that eventually unified the two YPG-controlled “cantons” in Syria with the fall of the border town of Tall Abyad in July 2015. Every battle fought by the YPG since Kobane has been heavily aided by US airstrikes.

What followed was less than positive. The YPG initially let the FSA formations put the green revolutionary flag up for the cameras before taking it down and replacing it with their yellow standard. Local FSA commander Abu Ali said the move violated an agreement between the two sides that both flags would fly. Merely a day after the fall of the city, his men left to rejoin their comrades in the north.

“We sacrificed so many martyrs for this flag,” he said. “Would you accept your flag being insulted in this way?” He wearily admitted that some FSA-affiliated groups would remain fighting with the YPG however, claiming the support (and weapons) they receive makes them dependent on them.

But this is hardly the most serious allegation; far more serious are the multiple witness accounts and reports by human rights groups claiming the YPG forcibly displaced thousands of Arabs and Turkmen from Tel Abyad and the surrounding regions. Methods of displacement included threats and burning down houses of non-Kurds, even though Tel Abyad and the surrounding towns aren’t historic been Kurdish territory.

Local civilians claim the YPG forced them to leave Tel Abyad, some 16,000 were displaced as the YPG advanced with heavy US air cover. In an unusual display of unity, more than a dozen anti-Assad opposition groups (from Islamic factions to secularists) signed a statement condemning the group.

One refugee claimed the group told local Arabs their territory was part of “Rojava” and they should go back to the Tadmur desert where they “belong.” Ibrahim al-Khider, a powerful local tribesman, was told that he and his people should “Go back to your desert.”

Spokesman for the Syria’s Turkmen minority Tarik Sulo also complained bitterly of his people facing displacement. Although the YPG is traditionally perceived as having a cordial relationship with Syria’s minorities, the Assyrian Khabour Guards nullified their alliance with the YPG. In a statement they claimed the group turned on them, killing their commander and trying to drive them out of their villages. One Amnesty report claimed the Arab-populated village of Husseiniya had seen more than 90% of its buildings demolished by the YPG to ensure that residents couldn’t return.

Although the YPG strongly denies these claims, their conduct in Tal Abyad seems rooted in long-standing YPG policy toward Arabs. In 2013 YPG leader Salih Muslim said that Arabs in lands they deemed to be Kurdish “will have to be expelled” because “all the villages” there belong to the Kurds. The reference to all the villages can now be understood in the aftermath of the takeover of villages with little to no Kurd inhabitants.

Some foreign fighters embedded with the YPG have also expressed reservations. A German volunteer described the YPG as sending untrained minors into battle with little training as if it were “a school trip with guns.” Adding that he couldn’t confirm systematic displacement, he admitted “they’ll trash the place” if it’s an Arab settlement.


Western reluctance to arm anti-Assad forces in case weapons fall into the “wrong hands” hasn’t applied in the case of the YPG, which has repeatedly given US arms to its counterpart in Turkey. This has included German anti-tank missiles and drones.

The YPG continued advancing, unifying several FSA groups in the “Syrian Democratic Forces” in October 2015. The groups included Jabhat al-Akrad (Kurdish Front) the FSA’s 99th Brigade and Special Operations Center 455. It also included Jayth al-Thuwar (Army of Revolutionaries) composed of former members of the now-defunct Syria Revolutionaries Front.

Despite friction with the anti-Assad resistance the YPG was often given the benefit of the doubt until February of this year during the regime assault on Aleppo.

On February 1st the Syrian Army’s 4th Mechanized Division, Hezbollah, Kata’ib Hezbollah (Iraqi Hezbollah) and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (an Iraq Shi’ite militia),attacked positions of the anti-Assad forces around Bakshoy, heading to the besieged Shi’a enclaves of Nubol and al-Zahraa. By February 3rd they overran opposition defences and relieved the two towns.

The assault cut opposition forces off from their Turkish supply line which had enabled them to get supplies into Aleppo and withstand the regime siege. However this could have been reversed or blunted (as the earlier Aleppo offensive had been) had it not been for the YPG and its SDF umbrella assaulting rebel positions 24 hours later on February 4th, grabbing the northern towns of Ziyara and Khreiybeh north of Nubl in coordination with the regime. The regime simultaneously attacked and captured Mayer and Kafr Naya.

Previously the YPG had taken towns in raids. However this was a prolonged assault on rebel-held Aleppo in coordination with the regime and allied forces. On February 6th the YPG and Jaysh al-Thuwar took two villages, al-Faisal mill and a hill as the regime advanced. They also coordinated with the Russian Air Force which bombed the town of Menagh for them. The YPG warned rebels to hand over the town or they would get the Russians to bomb them again (it’s worth noting that the YPG allegedly threatened Arab residents of villages surrounding Tal Abyad with US airstrikes in 2015).

On February 7th the regime’s forces were some 7km from opposition-held Tell Rifaat. At the same time the YPG & aligned forces took three villages and then (by the regime’s own admission) set up a joint checkpoint with the regime forces to coordinate their assault on the opposition.

The SDF has expressed no reservations on ignoring the regime, claiming they’re not a “a problem.” It may be surprising to some as various SDF’s factions claim to be FSA. However some groups (Jabhat al-Akrad and Jaysh al-Thuwar) are controversial; al-Akrad was expelled from the FSA for being too close to the PKK. Jaysh al-Thuwar members are former fighters for Jamal Maarouf. His SRF was expelled from Idlib and Aleppo for looting and extortion, practices which SDF members have continued throughout Aleppo province. Even their US allies refused lethal aid to the SRF in its early days, reluctant to be seen to be seen as close to them.

In fact SDF commander Abu Ali Bard claims the SDF is far from an anti-regime force as they “protect” Kurds alongside the regime (no mention of Arabs, despite the coalition allegedly having an inclusive focus) and “received weapons from them and fought against the organization (Da’esh) together.” Another nail in the coffin of the YPG’s denials.


A gathering of regime and PYD/YPG loyalists in Hasakah province. The Hezbollah flag should also be noted; Hezbollah backed up the YPG by sending 100 fighters to assist in operations.

On February 10th Mennagh was hit with over 30 Russian airstrikes and finally fell to the YPG/SDF. On February 11th they began an assault on rebel-held ‘Azaz (as boasted about by pro-regime Al-Masdar News) the most strategic anti-regime town in the province. On February 13th the SDF continued trying to take ‘Azaz, coming within 500 metres of the town. This prompted Turkish artillery to open fire on the SDF from across the border.

Prime Minister Davutoglu demanded that the SDF withdraw. The SDF refused, parading captured anti-Assad fighters on their TV networks as “al-Nusra.” On February 16th the SDF attacked the Castello road (the opposition’s crucial supply route) in an attempt to besiege the city. The attack was repelled.

The SDF then started taking opposition strong-points in the city with the backing of Russian strikes (as reported by pro-regime media). On February 26th the regime launched an assault on rebel groups through PYD-held territory. On February 27th regime forces handed over the village of Ahras to the SDF. Fighting continues around the city and its rural areas. The YPG has been accused of looting Arab towns and committing atrocities. Many Arabs fled into Da’esh-controlled territory in fear.

The Future of the PYD in Syria

Turkey has long viewed the YPG with suspicion, seeing it as synonymous with the PKK. As did the US Counter-Terrorism Centre until 2014 (the link was abruptly removed and the text altered). US association with the YPG has done more to put Syrians off the group and its allies than anything else. As analyst Kyle Orton put it:

The U.S.’s support for the PYD is sustained by a legal fiction—that the PYD is a separate entity from the PKK. It is not: the PYD is subordinate to the PKK command structure. As one fighter put it, “Sometimes I’m a PKK, sometimes I’m a PJAK [the Iranian branch of the PKK], sometimes I’m a YPG. It doesn’t really matter. They are all members of the PKK.” Understandable, then, that the U.S. arming the PYD upsets Turkey. But the PYD’s history means that the U.S. supporting it upsets many Syrians.

When heavy Russian bombardment of opposition forces began in September 2015 (under the guise of fighting Da’esh) the PYD immediately made themselves available to the Russians, claiming they would be willing to become partners in exchange for arms and air support. The YPG had made the same offer to the US-led coalition only a month earlier, inviting them to establish bases (the US has since established an airfield in PYD-controlled territory).

The PYD’s claim of being an ally of the FSA as it coordinates action with the US coalition and the Russian forces did nothing to make the group welcome in the eyes of the majority of Syrians. The US is widely seen as supportive of Assad and Iranian influence in Syria, a viewpoint which unfortunately stands up to the facts (and was hardly dispelled by Kerry’s threats directed at the opposition recently).

The PYD cannot be both anti-regime and pro-regime, anti-intervention and pro-intervention. In fact the PYD/YPG is often referred to as “the Kurds” collectively, as if Syria’s Kurds support the group as a whole. This misconception is clouding our ability to interpret events on the ground. Kurds are overwhelmingly anti-regime, rebel groups are full of Kurds and the Syrian opposition blocs are full of Kurdish groups. The one-time leader of the Syrian National Council was Kurdish politician Abdulbaset Sieda. Even the Da’esh attack on Kobane was led by a Kurd.

Since 2011 the PYD has been firmly on the side of the Assad regime. For now this is a tenable position. The opposition are too distracted by Da’esh onslaughts, Russian bombing and fighting the Assad regime to defeat them, to say nothing of the fact that they enjoy the protection of the US coalition. Although Turkey is shelling their fighters and proxies, it is also curtailed from moving against them. To intervene with ground troops would involve attacking a force aided by their supposed allies; US special forces are intermingled with the very units Turkish armed forces would be obliged to attack. It would create a backlash that Erdogan certainly doesn’t need.

It is true that the YPG has sometimes clashed with the Assad regime as many PYD supporters often claim. However these clashes have been limited, local skirmishes which are often ignited by disputes between YPG and regime commanders over control of territory or attempts to forcibly conscript Kurds into the regime army. There have been no permanent disputes or serious grievances between the two.

Should the balance of power tip in favour of the anti-Assad fighters, or should the regime fall, the PYD could quickly find its position untenable. Widely detested by Syrian opposition groups from Islamic fighters to secular forces, the YPG could easily be set upon by various groups in a marriage of convenience. Such was the case in 2012 and 2013 when the FSA, Ahrar al-Sham and al-Nusra Front rallied against them. Only next time the YPG may not be able to count on the regime to draw opposition fighters away from their fragile hold on Syria’s Kurdish regions.1

  • 1Originally posted here – https://unfetteredfreedom.wordpress.com/2016/02/28/the-chameleons-of-rojava/

Comments

potrokin

7 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by potrokin on September 29, 2016

First time I've read this. Very informative, thankyou for posting.

Spikymike

7 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on September 29, 2016

Given the more recent Turkish military intervention in Syria and the increased bombing and shelling of 'rebel' forces in eastern Aleppo and the history of shifting alliances between the Kurdish PYD/YPG and other global and regional players where has this left the Kurdish controlled area of Aleppo - are they also being bombed by Assad and Russian air forces?

baboon

7 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on September 29, 2016

I'm not entirely au fait with the latest military placements, but I don't think that there are any Kurdish forces in Aleppo, certainly not in the firing line - which looks to be just about anywhere the Russians and the Syrian regime decides. The Kurds control two great chunks of the Turkish border area to the north-east and north-west of Aleppo and it's neither in the interests of Turkey or Damascus for these to consolidate and join up, though the latter have worked with the Kurds before. It was raising an American flag over their base that the Kurds recently averted a direct Turkish bombardment. An attack on a direct US ally, the Kurds, by Russia or the regime would be a major escalation but it can't be ruled out.

On the coup and counter-coup in Turkey and more generally: http://en.internationalism.org/icconline/201609/14098/new-turkey-brings-new-problems-country-middle-east-and-beyond

jesuithitsquad

7 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jesuithitsquad on September 30, 2016

I'd be interested to hear what Flint has to say when fact- checking this article, but this

based on Ocalan’s blend of hard-line socialism and “Democratic Confederalism”.

caught my eye. I don't know anything about Ben Davies but the phrasing of that sentence implies to me he doesn't think highly of 'socialism' to begin.

Devrim

7 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Devrim on September 30, 2016

"The previous secular Kemalist system was seen as indirectly favouring the Shiite Aleviminority at the expense of the Sunni majority, since the Alevi form of Islam is seen as more adaptable to the modern world."

There are lots of problems with the ICC article, but this is pretty shocking. I wonder if the author thinks Alevis were being favoured in Maraş, Çorum, Sivas, and Gazi Mah.

Devrim

Richard 1917

7 years 8 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Richard 1917 on October 2, 2016

http://basnews.com/index.php/en/news/middle-east/289288
US Airbase in Rojava “Almost Finished”: Source
The airbase consists of a landing runway and a base for logistical support

KOBANI — An informed military source from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) revealed on Sunday, July 24, that the US troops have almost finished the construction of the military airbase in the southern Kobani in Syrian Kurdistan [Rojava].
The source told BasNews on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the information that "the US experts are now at the final stage of building the US airbase in the village of Sabit (35 km south of Kobani)", noting that "the US military support for SDF has reached advanced levels."
He further explained that "the airbase consists of a runway and a base for logistical support."
Regarding the significance of building two US airbases in Kobani and the Ramelan in Hasaka, the source indicated that "these bases will reinforce the US presence on the ground, and can be used as an alternative to the current demanding airbases subject to conditions, and they may hinder or affect the plans in the fight against Islamic State (IS).
"The construction of such bases is highly significant to the region as it will secure the US long-term support for the region and is an important step towards building political relations with the self-governing administration of Rojava, ruled by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), the source said.
He pointed out that the US bases in Syrian Kurdistan are a great achievement for Rojava while it is seeking to gain international recognition for its democratic self-ruling administration.
The source also explained to BasNews that "another vital aim behind the US bases constructed in Rojava is to get rid of Turkey's conditional airspace use as this base can be an alternative to Incirlik base which Turkey frequently threatens to shut it down for the anti-IS global coalition warplanes.
A senior military source in the US-backed SDF, revealed earlier that the US troops began building two military airbases in Syrian Kurdistan. The US officials however denied the report at that time while satellite images showed the expansion of an airbase near Ramelan.

http://basnews.com/index.php/en/news/middle-east/280945
France Setting up Military Base in Kobani
The French military advisors are overseeing the project

KOBANI — France has started setting up a military base in Kobani, Syrian Kurdistan [Rojava], said an official from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
The source confirmed to BasNews that the French army is establishing a military base for their troops on Mushtannour hill, southeast of Kobani, and a number of French military advisors are overseeing the project.
The source also revealed that dozens of French and British military advisors have arrived in Rojava, ruled by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party (PYD), to assist SDF in their fight against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.
A number of French and British military advisors are also providing advisory support to SDF in their operation to liberate Minbaj from IS, the source added.
The French defense ministry previously stated that French military advisors in Syria support Syrian Democratic Forces — in which the Kurdish forces are the major component — in the fight against IS by providing them with advisory assistance.

http://basnews.com/index.php/en/news/middle-east/269248
US Changes Plan of Building Air Base in Syrian Kurdistan
The Air base will be included in a large military compound in southern Kobani

KOBANI — USA has allegedly made shifts in its plan and decided to instead relocate it to the western outskirt of Kobani, and build its air base in a village in the southern part of the town.
A source from the Syrian Kurdistan administration in Kobani Canton, confirmed to BasNews that the US has halted its plan for setting up an air base in the Kharab-Ashiq village, eastern Kobani and it is now planning to build the facility within a larger military base in Sabt village.
According to the source, the US has previously bought a wide area of land in Kharab-Ashiq, but ultimately changed the plan to include the air base within a military compound in Sabt village.
Some local farmers from Kharab-Ashiq confirmed to BasNews that they have already sold their farms to the US air forces as they were planning to use the area for military purposes.
Sabt is an Arab village where the residents have abandoned their homes due to the military conflicts; the village is now under the control of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Meanwhile, the Obama administration is considering sending 250 additional US special forces to Syria to advise the rebel groups as part of a broader Pentagon recommendation on how to increase the pace of operations against IS, a US defence official said on Friday.
The new deployment is to lay the groundwork for local forces to retake both Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq, and eliminate IS' ability to use them as areas from which they plan external attacks, CNN reported.

Red Marriott

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Red Marriott on October 3, 2016

the US bases in Syrian Kurdistan are a great achievement for Rojava while it is seeking to gain international recognition for its democratic self-ruling administration.

the French army is establishing a military base for their troops on Mushtannour hill, southeast of Kobani, and a number of French military advisors are overseeing the project.
The source also revealed that dozens of French and British military advisors have arrived in Rojava, ruled by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Party (PYD), to assist SDF in their fight against the Islamic State (IS) in Syria.

So that's what anti-capitalist, anti-imperialist Kurdish autonomy looks like.

Blesk

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Blesk on October 4, 2016

He pointed out that the US bases in Syrian Kurdistan are a great achievement for Rojava while it is seeking to gain international recognition for its democratic self-ruling administration.
The source also explained to BasNews that "another vital aim behind the US bases constructed in Rojava is to get rid of Turkey's conditional airspace use as this base can be an alternative to Incirlik base which Turkey frequently threatens to shut it down for the anti-IS global coalition warplanes.

All my congratulations to the “proto-state” Rojava that allows thus the murderers of US Air force to compensate for the difficulties to use the Incirlik air base of their Turkish ally. Rojava is not yet a member of the Atlantic alliance NATO, but just a little more effort “comrades”. All the bullshit on “democracy without a state”, anti-capitalism, and revolution is nothing but just for show intended for libertarian and Marxist-Leninist milieus in line with any reform of capitalism.

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 6, 2016

jesuithitsquad

I'd be interested to hear what Flint has to say when fact- checking this article, . I don't know anything about Ben Davies but the phrasing of that sentence implies to me he doesn't think highly of 'socialism' to begin.

Well, since you ask... Davies is an Islamist, not a socialist. Guerre de Classe/antiwar/Třídní válka doesn't care what sources they use as long as it is anti-PYD, and they don't bother to fact check as long as the claim is anti-PYD.

Ben Davies

“Islamists” (bar one or two groups with clearly questionable strategies) are the only ones that will save Syria. In other words, the Islamic groups that won’t sell their struggle or their country for a handful of US dollars, Turkish tanks or token small arms.

Syria’s Enemies Are No Longer Hidden, Internal Or External

The "questionable strategy" he links to is about Ahrar al-Sham potentially being involved in Turkey's incursion "Euphrates Shield".

Caption: تضامن يا أنصار الله. إن شاء الله مصر قريبا.
Solidarity O Ansar Allah. God willing, Egypt soon.

#الاسلام #الاسلامية #سوريا #سوري #حمصي #حلبي #سوريا_حرة #جيش_السوري_الحر #الثورة #حرية
# # # Islamist Islam Syria Syrian # # # Homsi Halabi # Soeria_hrh Jeic_alsora_ahar # # # Freedom Revolution

#selfie #FreeSyria #EnoughWithAssad #solidarity #freedom
Source: Ben Davies tumblr

Ben Davies

there’s nothing wrong with “Islamists” unless you’re referring to extremists like Da’esh. Being a normal Muslim who wants your country to be run on Islamic principles is NOT a bad thing.

Ben Davies comment on "Chameleons of Rojava", Unfettered Freedom, September 29, 2016 at 1:11 am

Ben Davies

I know people who are part-Kurdish. I’m a Muslim; there’s no racism in Islam. If you’re a Muslim and you think people are racially superior then you need to sort your life out. In regard to my funding, I take no funding from anyone. The most I get in terms of funding is having been paid for a single news article in February of 2016.

If you read my recent pieces, you would know that I’m not at all friendly to Erdogan either. Erdogan is a hypocrite who murders Muslims and allies with imperialist powers like the US and Russia while feigning Islamic credentials. I recommend you read “Syria’s Enemies Are No Longer Hidden”, in which I implicate Erdogan in deliberately helping to compromise Aleppo’s defences in order to let the city starve.

Ben Davies comment on "Chameleons of Rojava", Unfettered Freedom, September 29, 2016 at 1:14 am

Erdgoan isn't Islamist enough for him because Erdogan't launched an incursion against Daesh in Jarabulus and al-Rai and pulled rebel fighters from Aleppo city to do it. Davies is criticizing Erdogan as not Islamic enough because Turkey is backing a rebel FSA/Islamist campaign along the border with Turkey rather than at this very moment fighting Assad in Aleppo city.

(LOL! One of my friends is part-Kurdish! See, I can't be racist!)

He also believes "There was never persecution of minorities in Islamic systems...The Prophet created an ideal system, and the caliphates afterward continued it."

Bonus: He's also an apologist for the Taliban.

Ben Davies

The Taliban movement began as a movement to punish child-raping warlords, hanging them and driving them from their fiefdoms. The Taliban started out with as few as 30 men, but rose to prominence and popularity because of their Islamic principles and refusal to tolerate paedophiles. Now the US has brought those same warlords back into power. An uncomfortable truth that has not got unnoticed by the Afghan population...

The Taliban don’t come from outer space. This group isn’t mutually exclusive to the Afghan people. The Taliban are anything but; they are local men drawn from villages and towns across the country. Men join them because their country is occupied by foreign powers that have installed child molesters in positions of power, dissolving the Islamic system (an affront to a devout population) and indiscriminately killing civilians.

In contrast to the conduct of the government, the Taliban strictly forbade looting and killing when they took over Kunduz in 2015. Although traditionally viewed in the west as racist Pashtun fighters seeking to marginalise Afghanistan’s other ethnic groups, the Taliban fight alongside a patchwork of different ethnic groups which includes Arab and Turkistani fighters.

The Coming Collapse of the Afghan “Government”, Ben Davies, Unfettered Freedom, Septenber, 28, 2016

Meet Ben Allinson-Davies, the British student interrogated for his support of the Free Syrian Army, ISABELLA ECKERT,The Tab, 2014/04/11

The main point of the article seems to be to criticize the YPG for its action east of Afrin in early 2016. I discuss that as a comment here. I've also written about it on these forums.

There are a lot of other points I will raise. The article is rather long and the approach of the author is to throw shit at the wall and hope something sticks. Its tedious.

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 6, 2016

Ben Davies

"When the uprising began in March 2011 the PKK was initially supportive of the anti-government rising. Anti-Assad activists were interviewed on the PKK’s RojTV, given over to Syrian opposition use. Known opposition figures such as Abdulrazak Eid, Haytham Manna, Fayez Sara, Hassan Abdul Azim and Yassin al-Haj Saleh were interviewed. The PKK also encouraged Syrians to rise up and stage demonstrations.

Haytham Manna went on to become the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council the political organization of the Syrian Democratic Forces which was created by TEV-DEM and the PYD. That was before Davies wrote this hatchet job. Manna is leader of the Law–Citizenship–Rights Movement (Wheat Wave Movement/Teyar El-Qemih/QMH). QMH has three seats in the Syrian Democratic Council. One of the QMH representatives in the SDC is Macid Hebo, who recently was a founder of the Syrian National Resistance, a group opposed to Turkey's incursion into Syria that uses obvious Syrian Democratic Forces imagery.

Syrian National Resistance

Kino Gabriel (Syriac Military Council/MFS), Colonel Tala Selo, Haytham Manna with Ilham Ahmed and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, March 4, 2016, Heysem Menna Rojava’da: “Cenevre’den çözümün çıkacağından kuşkuluyum” / Haytham Menna in Rojava: "I doubt it will be the solution from Geneva"

Ilham Ahmed and Flint, October 8, 2015

Manna also formed the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change with Hassan Abdul Azim. The NCBDC also included the PYD and the Syriac Union Party--the two parties that founded Rojava's TEV-DEM. The NCBDC also included the Democratic Socialist Arab Ba'ath Party which has a seat in the Syrian Democratic Council.

Ben Davies

"The one-time leader of the Syrian National Council was Kurdish politician Abdulbaset Sieda. Even the Da’esh attack on Kobane was led by a Kurd."

The one-time leader of the Syrian National Council was Arab politician Ahmed Jarba and the political party he leads Syria's Tomorrow Movement and its militia have now joined Rojava.

Ahmed Jarba, head of the Al-Ghad Front, shakes hands with Rojava envoy Aldar Khalil in Cairo. September 13, 2016

As to Abdulbaset Sieda, he has "joined the ranks of the enemies of Kurdish people" when he refused to walk out of the SNC in March when the other Kurdish parties left. A representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Syria accused him of "following the Turkish agenda" and said he "represents only himself". The KDPS is a rival of the PYD.

"Ben Davies

"Popular Kurdish opposition leader Mashaal Tammo had already been assassinated in suspicious circumstances in October 2011 as he organised an anti-regime coalition."

The implication Davies is making here is that the PYD killed Tammo. However:
"in October 2012, Saudi-owned TV channel Al-Arabiya published documents allegedly proving that Bashar al-Assad himself had engaged the Air Force Intelligence Directorate to assassinate Tammo"

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 8, 2016

Ben Davies

"the Assyrian Khabour Guards nullified their alliance with the YPG. In a statement they claimed the group turned on them, killing their commander and trying to drive them out of their villages."

David Jendo/Daoud Gendo being honored as a martyr by Syriac Military Council (MFS) and the Khabour Guards.

I've written about the Jendo murder before on Libcom forums. Noone seemed particularly interested in discussing it, but I think it was an important event.

The murderers of David Jendo were turned over by the YPG to the Cizre Canton courts. The murderers were found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for 20 years for the 2 killers, 4 years and 1 year for the 2 other accomplices.

People’s defense Court issued its final judgment in the case of the killing of the citizen Jendo

Jazira canton's human rights commission said the trial was fair, opened to public & independent orgs

ANF News

"CPFE continued by responding another allegation that “YPG militia killed David Jendo, the commander of the Assyrian Khabour village guards, in April this year. The guards were established to defend the Khabur villages from ISIS.” The Foundation said those who killed David Jendo got between 12 and 20 years sentences."

Christian Political Foundation denies AINA allegations against YPG, ANF News, Nov 9, 2015

Christian Political Foundation for Europe (CPFE) is a Christian Democrat group with no particular tie to Rojava, Kurds, KCK, or even the SUP/MFS or the European Syriac Union.

MFS putting images of martyrs. David Jendo in the top right corner.
Rojava News, October 6, 2016

The YPG has not driven the Khabour Guards or Assyrians out of their villages. The Khabour Guards have not been dissolved. The Khabour Guards were recently observed in uniform raising a cross ontop of Mar Zayya Church in Tell Gorãn, Hasakah. Recently, during the SDF's "Wrath of Khabour" Operation to seize ash-Shaddadi, Khabour Guards joined the SDF, fought under SDF banners as part of the campaign.

The PYD has a strong alliance with the Syriac Union Party. Together, they formed TEV-DEM. Syriac Union Party, the Syriac National Council and the Assyrian Democratic Party all have representatives in the Syrian Democratic Council. The Vice-President of the Cizre/Gozarto/Hasakah Canton is a Syriac--Elizabeth Gawrie. The Syriac Military Council (MFS) is part of both the Syrian Democratic Forces. The SUP has its own police force for Syriac/Christian villages and neighborhoods in Gozarto Canton called Sutoro.

As part of TEV-DEM's emphasis on Mother Tongue education, The Rojava Administration will provide education in Syriac
.
ANHA

"50 teachers are getting ready now to teach Syriac syllabus in Jazeera canton schools... Pedagogy Body has opened in Jazeera canton the first institute for preparing teachers of Syriac syllabuses in Qamishlo city in preparation for giving them in the official schools this year, 2016-2017. A 3-month summer courses of training were given to 50 teachers, who are supposed to be distributed to Syriac schools. The Pedagogy Body is seeking opening other similar institutes in the city of Derek and Hasake where the Syriacs live.

"The first 3 grades to be taught in Syriac language

"Teachers graduated from Orhi institute will be distributed on schools of Sere Kaniye, Tirbe sipi, Hasake, Rimelan and Qamishlo.

"During the next term, these syllabuses will be given in the first 3 elementary grades, while the Syriac language will be given as a basic course in other elementary schools...

"Lorina concluded that the Baathist regime has deprived them of learning their mother language, and giving syllabuses in Syriac at this time will be a historic step."

Video.

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 6, 2016

Ben Davies

"One Amnesty report claimed the Arab-populated village of Husseiniya had seen more than 90% of its buildings demolished by the YPG to ensure that residents couldn’t return."

I've written about the Amnesty International report on Libcom before and I recall there was a lot of discussion about it.

You can read the Full Amnesty International Report here. I suggest reading it in its entirety, not just reading a headline or soundbite. If you are curious, I can even show you were most of the villages mentioned are. AI was very specific with their choice of words and did not claim the YPG was conducting ethnic cleansing. I extracted some of the details of the report here. Not just the village of Husseinya but also the village of Asaylem (35km south of Suluk) had a demolition of 100 of 103 homes. These are the two largest incidents reported on by AI. In comparison, the SDF/YPG has liberated hundreds of villages and significant towns from Daesh and not displaced residents or destroyed homes.

Ben Davies

"Spokesman for the Syria’s Turkmen minority Tarik Sulo also complained bitterly of his people facing displacement"

In contrast, the Spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces is Colonel Talal Selo, a Turkman. He is also commander of the Seljuk Turkmen Brigade. During the Jarabulus offensive (2016) the Seljuq Brigade in Manbij said that they will join the fight against Turkey and allied rebel forces with the Jarabulus Military Council.

Colonel Tala Selo, Seljuk Turkmen Brigade, Spox of the Syrian Democratic Forces

Also, the president of the Syrian Turkmen Assembly downplayed accusations of displacement by the YPG:
al-Monitor:

"The president of the Syrian Turkmen Assembly, Abdurrahman Mustafa, told Al-Monitor there were no Kurds in Hammam Turkmen, where Turkmens of Tell Abyad lived and a limited number of Turkmen refugees had come to the border to escape IS threats, air raids and clashes. Turkmens who took refuge in Kilis were escaping from the clashes between IS and the Islamic Front. Syrian Kurdish journalist Barzani Izo, who is in the area of the clashes, said Turkmen villages are not controlled by the YPG. He said, “The YPG could not even get the Kurds who had left the region earlier to return to their own homes. Where are they going to find Kurds to settle in Turkmen homes? There is not a single example to prove this allegation.”

Erdogan fears fall of Syria's Tell Abyad, Fehim Taştekin, al-Monitor, June 14, 2015

The largest case of Turkmen displacement documented by Amnesty International was in Hammam al-Turkman

AI

"1,400 Turkmen families in the village along with 10 Kurdish families... approximately 1,000 homes in the village..."

There were skirmishes and 2 VBIED attacks after the YPG took the village. After those attacks, the YPG temporarily emptied the village.

AI

"18 June killing a YPG fighter and injuring one civilian and three days later IS shot and killed a second YPG fighter near the clinic. It was after the death of this fighter that the residents were told by the YPG that they had to leave the village... After extensive negotiations, Farid explained that 50% of the residents were finally able to return home on 17 August 2015."

In May 2016, it was announced that "Rojava adm. to open a Cultural center in Hammam Turkmen village to preserve Turkmen history, culture and language."
Here is a longer article in Kurdish about about the Turkmen Cultural Center: Tirkmen cara yekemîn wê bi zimanê xwe perwerde bibin

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 8, 2016

And for those who are really into tracking what different Arab opposition leaders think about the PYD...

Yassin al-Haj Saleh

This is the main cause of the Turkish government’s biggest mistakes in Syria. Turkey has not been able to deal with its own Kurdish problem on a basis of equality, freedom and fraternity. Just now, there is a real war in the Kurdish regions in Turkey, with poor people being humiliated, displaced and killed. To Syria, the Turkish government exported its bad experience in dealing with the Kurds. And to make things worse, the Syrian PYD imported from Turkey its experience there, people to apply this experience, and with spades of the modernist ideological rubbish, designed specifically to enchant middle class left-wing spinsters (mostly males) in the West. This has already caused a lot of suffering, and I am afraid it will only cause more. What we are witnessing is, in my view, the building of an ultranationalist, one-party system, with hidden connections to the Assad regime and Iran, and less hidden ones with the US and Russia."

"Syria is a unique symbol of injustice, apathy and amnesia", Yassin al-Haj Saleh, The Chronikler, 20 January 2016

I imagine that sort of position has not encouraged an invitation to the Syrian Democratic Council

Western mostly male middle class left-wing spinsters are a very important group to appeal to if you want to succeed in the Syrian Civil War! :P

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 5, 2016

baboon

I'm not entirely au fait with the latest military placements, but I don't think that there are any Kurdish forces in Aleppo, certainly not in the firing line - which looks to be just about anywhere the Russians and the Syrian regime decides.

For the entire war, the YPG has been in control of Şêx Meqsûd / Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood. I've written about it extensively here on the libcom forums. It has taken in thousands of refugees from Aleppo city, but thousands have also fled Şêx Meqsûd such as many Kurds leaving the neighborhood for a safer position in the Afrin canton.

Leafing through the residential records, he told Al-Monitor, “Around 90,000 people from diverse religions and races live in Sheikh Maksoud. More than half of the residents are displaced people seeking security. Our doors are open to everyone.. “Around two months ago, the population in the neighborhood reached 120,000, but recently, many were displaced outside Aleppo to flee the blockade,” Daoud added.”

Aleppo's displaced find refuge in Kurdish regions, February, 2015

Sheikh Maqsood is sometimes called "the 4th Canton".

Şêx Meqsûd is about 12.5 kilometers from Afrin SDF/YPG's front line in Tall Qarah. It is currently mostly Daesh and Assad loyalists that separate them. At the moment, SDF can't reach Şêx Meqsûd without crossing through territory that Assad loyalists hold. The most narrow bit of which is along Castello road.

It has an advantageous elevated position over much of the city and particularly over looks Castello Road ("the roman road", 214) which both rebels and Baathists see as a strategic supply line. The recent failed cease fire called for Castello road to become a demilitarized zone for the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Baathist besieged rebel held eastern Aleppo. Jabhat al-Nusra supporters and some FSA supporters organized a demonstration against that humanitarian aid. Then either Russia/Assad, the U.S. or rebels (the best guess seems to be Assad) attacked and destroyed the humanitarian aid convoy.

Spikymike

Given the more recent Turkish military intervention in Syria and the increased bombing and shelling of 'rebel' forces in eastern Aleppo and the history of shifting alliances between the Kurdish PYD/YPG and other global and regional players where has this left the Kurdish controlled area of Aleppo - are they also being bombed by Assad and Russian air forces?

If you mean Aleppo city, then it gets attacked by different rebel groups, sometimes small arms, sometimes artillery like "hell cannons". Plenty of videos on youtube about it. There have also sometimes been Assad airforce bombs that hit the neighborhood, but rebel groups are the primary aggressors against the neighborhood. Russia hasn't bombed the neighborhood.

For the rest of Aleppo Governorate that includes the Afrin and Kobani cantons. Assad largely does not attacked either canton. Russia hasn't attacked either canton. Rebels and Daesh attack them. Turkey shells all three cantons.

The official political difference between Assad and Russia relates to Rojava. Assad wants total dictatorial control over all Syria. Russia has said its fine with a political solution and federalism particularly in regards to Rojava. Russia has avoided attacking Rojava. During the recent fight over the control of Hasakah, Russia did not intervene on Assad loyalist behalf and it is rumored that they were involved in the cease fire that seceded most of the Assad loyalist holdings in Hasakah to SDF.

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 5, 2016

Ben Davies

In 2013 YPG leader Salih Muslim said that Arabs in lands they deemed to be Kurdish “will have to be expelled” because “all the villages” there belong to the Kurds. The reference to all the villages can now be understood in the aftermath of the takeover of villages with little to no Kurd inhabitants.

This quote has been discussed on libcom before.

The pro-KDP/anti-PYD Rudaw is taking that quote out of context.

Wladimir van Wilgenburg

PYD leader Salih Muslim outlined a clearer Arab policy in a recent interview, saying that the PYD’s militias would fight against jihadi groups, but would not force out local Arabs, whether settlers or native Arabs:

"There are three sorts of Arabs among us: there are those with whom we have always lived and who we have fought alongside. We defend the brotherhood between these peoples. There are those who do not belong, Arabs who came from outside, other countries or the region, the jihadists who have burned our homes, and decapitated Kurds. Finally, there are the Arabs who were moved to Kurdistan by force by [former Syrian President] Hafez al-Assad ... to Arabize the region. They are victims ... and we advocate a peaceful solution for these populations. Those who can return to their hometowns should do so and the others can live in peace with the Kurds" (AFP December 2).

Kurdish Strategy Towards Ethnically-Mixed Areas in the Syrian Conflict, Wladimir van Wilgenburg, Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 11 Issue: 23, December 13, 2013 10:35 AM

The above quote is printed in the AFP just 6 days after the Rudaw article. So consider it a direct clarification/refutation of the Rudaw quote.

Wilgenburg's entire article is well worth reading. Also, relationships between the PYD and many Arabs has improved since 2013. TEV-DEM's Project for a Democratic Syria clearly describes a multi-ethnic polity. The Syrian Democratic Council is carefully balanced in regards to ethnicity. Increasingly, Arabs make up an increasing share of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

I think there are many valid criticisms that can be made of the PYD, but ethnic cleansing isn't one of them.

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 6, 2016

Ben Davies

Western reluctance to arm anti-Assad forces in case weapons fall into the “wrong hands” hasn’t applied in the case of the YPG, which has repeatedly given US arms to its counterpart in Turkey. This has included German anti-tank missiles and drones.

This bit is just hilarious. The U.S. has supplied a number of TOW anti-tank missiles and other weapons to various anti-Assad forces.

Youtube playlist with 180 videos of U.S. made TOW anti-tank missiles used by CIA-vetted opposition. See, to get more TOWs, they have to record videos of how they are using them. Which has made TOW videos on youtube a thing.

The YPG and SDF don't get anti-tank weapons, though they do benefit from air strikes against Daesh by the U.S. Some French and U.S. Special Forces (about 300 involved in the Mabij campaign) are armed with anti-tank weapons. YPG isn't getting anti-tank or anti-aircraft weapons, and they aren't then giving them to the HPG(PKK) or YPS in Turkey. The one helicopter the HPG shotdown in Turkey was done with a Russian weapon. The HPG hasn't existed as a guerrilla group for almost 40 years without finding ways to smuggle weapons.

Most U.S. armament of the YPG so far has gone through "Arabs in the SDF". Thats pretty much just optics. But the arms have been limited to small arms and ammunition for them. There was only a couple of pallets at the battle of Kobane. It increased for the Ash Shaddadi, Tishrin and Manbij campaigns. Manbij was the largest coordination and commitment from the U.S. to the SDF so far.

Germany doesn't arm the SDF/YPG. They do arm the KRG Peshmerga (KDP and PUK). Some PUK Peshmerga arms probably have made their way into the hands of the YPG.

YPG fighter with a Milan anti-tank missile
Source

YPG released photo from the siege of Kobane of Milan anti-tank missile, probably in the hands of a KRG Peshnmerga heavy weapons squad
source

Al Jazeera

Iraqi peshmerga fighters have begun entering the Syrian border town of Kobane where they were expected to join the battle against Islamic State and the Levant (ISIL) fighters beseiging the town. Peshmerga forces entered through the Yumurtalik crossing on Friday armed with heavy weaponry, including anti-aircraft machine guns and mobile rocket launchers.

Iraqi peshmerga fighters cross into Kobane, Al Jazeera, 1 NOVEMBER 2014

KRG Peshmerga with Milan anti-tank missile, probably from Germany
Source

There were PUK Peshmerga elite troops from Dizha Terror (Counter Terror) unit with the SDF in the Manbij campaign.

Source

An earlier arms delivery from PUK Peshmerga Dizha Terror to the YPG (back when the YPG was still using the red patch, and its an older DT patch too)

Source

jesuithitsquad

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by jesuithitsquad on October 6, 2016

fwiw--with such a complicated situation, so much misinformation and active attempts at disinformation, i--for one--am very grateful for your contributions, Flint.

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 6, 2016

You're welcome. It is a very complicated war.

AndrewF

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by AndrewF on October 6, 2016

Thanks a lot for this Flint, the sheer length and 'throw mud at the wall and see what sticks' methodology of these c'critiques' exhausts me, its great you somehow still have the patience to pick them apart.

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 6, 2016

Blesk

All my congratulations to the “proto-state” Rojava that allows thus the murderers of US Air force.

"Member for 1 day 22 hours"

Hi there, new user! Welcome to Libcom! Unless you are a sock puppet. The U.S. airforce has been coordinating with the YPG since the battle of Kobane as of September 27, 2014. This is not news unless you have been living in a cave. Actually, quite a number of people living in caves know about it..

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 7, 2016

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 7, 2016

(removed)

WithDefiance

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by WithDefiance on October 7, 2016

Thanks Flint for your efforts to counter disinformation. Why is this bullshit even on the frontpage of LibCom. Though I think its important to stay critical, we also must also make clear efforts to counter misinformation.

Ed

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on October 7, 2016

Thanks Flint for the heads up on this dubious Ben Davies character; article removed from front page. Was going to remove the article in its entirety but you've now posted lots of info below it so don't want that to be wasted. Will just change the intro to mention issues with author.

As an aside, I asked you a question a while ago that I don't think you responded to: basically, with the UK voting for more airstrikes in Syria, I (and most lefties) opposed it on the grounds of it being yet more Western involvement in a war in the Middle East. But where does this leave the YPG? Don't they want/rely on heavy Western involvement? Where does that leave pro-YPG and anti-war movements?

mikail firtinaci

3 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by mikail firtinaci on July 23, 2020

*

*

potrokin

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by potrokin on October 11, 2016

Well I feel stupid- just goes to show that you shouldn't just automatically believe everything you read. Thankyou for straightening things out Flint.

altemark

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by altemark on October 12, 2016

Thanks for your informed posting, Flint.

baboon

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on October 14, 2016

A September 2014 exchange of e-mails between Hillary Clinton and her campaign manager, John Podesta (a counsellor for Obama) released by wikileaks this week, shows confirmation that Isis is funded by US allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar with further support from "western and US intelligence agencies". So much for the "lesser evil" argument above.

The document calls for increased support for the Iraqi Peshmerga forces, pointing to the Kurdish militia's "long-standing relationship with CIA and special (US) forces".

Clearly the YPG falls into elements supported, trained and armed by US imperialism (along with the British and French), which is further supported and cheered on by some anarchist elements on this thread above.

Blesk

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Blesk on October 25, 2016

Thanks to Flint, everybody here know what is allowed to be read and what is not.
So let's devote our precious time to believe in the propaganda of PKK, PYD, YPG, SDF, etc., those who are the only ones to say the truth.
But let's nevertheless have a last and final deviation, just for fun:

Syria's Kurds Are Contemplating an Aleppo Alliance with Assad and Russia
by Fabrice Balanche
October 7, 2015

http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/syrias-kurds-are-contemplating-an-aleppo-alliance-with-assad-and-russia

The PYD will not hesitate to cooperate with Damascus and Moscow in the north if Turkey and the United States continue prohibiting the unification of Kurdish enclaves.
[...]
Currently, the Syrian army still controls a third of Aleppo, which is connected to the rest of the government-controlled zone by a narrow road. But this corridor is being squeezed by the Daesh/ISIS on the east and al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra on the west. To win the battle for Aleppo, Assad will therefore need to cooperate with the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian franchise of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The PYD is eager to connect its cantons around Kobane and Afrin and open a corridor to Sheikh Maqsoud, the Kurdish district of Aleppo. An October 1 al-Monitor interview with PYD leader Salih Muslim suggests that the group may be seeking a strategic alliance with Assad and Russia in order to achieve that goal.

Okay, okay, nothing very new in these affirmation published one year ago.
Just to point out the strategy of our beloved "Rojava Revolution" partisans.
May their partners of Russian and Syrian Air forces continue to bomb rebel districts of Aleppo.

Spikymike

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on October 25, 2016

The truth may be found somewhere between the lines of the propaganda from all sides but I suspect only in retrospect. Still the posted quote by Blesk above perhaps aligns with Flints response (Oct 5th 22.50) to my much earlier question regarding Aleppo. The Syrian Kurdish regime's consolidation or even survival has left it having to seek out different alliances from time to time with it's more powerful regional powers and global players as the interests of those powers have themselves shifted in response to circumstances.

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 25, 2016

Blesk

Thanks to Flint, everybody here know what is allowed to be read and what is not.

Read and quote whatever you want. I reserve the right to mock you for it.

Ed

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on October 25, 2016

Hey, Flint, did you see my question about the pro-YPG/anti-war issue? Any help?

Ed

As an aside, I asked you a question a while ago that I don't think you responded to: basically, with the UK voting for more airstrikes in Syria, I (and most lefties) opposed it on the grounds of it being yet more Western involvement in a war in the Middle East. But where does this leave the YPG? Don't they want/rely on heavy Western involvement? Where does that leave pro-YPG and anti-war movements?

Flint

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on October 25, 2016

Ed

Hey, Flint, did you see my question about the pro-YPG/anti-war issue? Any help?

Ed

As an aside, I asked you a question a while ago that I don't think you responded to: basically, with the UK voting for more airstrikes in Syria, I (and most lefties) opposed it on the grounds of it being yet more Western involvement in a war in the Middle East. But where does this leave the YPG? Don't they want/rely on heavy Western involvement? Where does that leave pro-YPG and anti-war movements?

Are you also opposed to more Russian airstrikes? And more Assad regime airstrikes? Airstrikes in general?

If you are opposed to airstrikes, how do you feel about advocating anti-tank weaponry going to the Syrian Democratic Forces?

I already showed the videos of 180 TOW missiles being used in Syria. 1,030 TOWs have been used in Syria. Here are the Anti-Tank Guided Missile statitics for Syria, this shows who the U.S. has let it know it is officially arming. The Syrian Democratic Forces have acquired very few effective anti-tank missiles, but the al-Jadir family/Jarbulus Military Council (SDF) recently used at least two on TSK tanks as part of Euphrates Shield in the Sajur river area. More may have been used by Jaysh al-Thuwar (SDF) and Afrin YPG recently south of Mare. They captured a BMP (armored personel carrier). Tanks have supposedly withdrawn from the Euphrates Shield front with SDF.

If the issue is "Western"? Meaning U.S.? NATO? Who would you support selling or giving arms to the YPG and SDF? Russia? Assad? Sweden? Czech Republic? Ecuador?

If you can't support airstrikes or anti-tank arms or any arms... taking a pacifist position in regards to arms, well I would ask if your group could support the demands made by the recent Stop the War on the Kurds demonstration in the U.K. Whatever support helps the HDP or KCK groups in Turkey probably means they can then in turn help Rojava more.

Having the U.S. and other European powers (if not Turkey) delisting the PKK as a terrorist group would give them and the YPG more options for support. Also, the AKP and Republic of Turkey uses a "PKK designation" as a tool against a lot of Kurdish or leftist dissent. Academics, teachers, people calling for peace, journalists, politicians, etc... they all get called "PKK" or "terrorist" by the state, many of them are fired or arrested. It obviously makes it difficult for civil society in Turkey to support Rojava.

I would think that most pacifists and leftists could call for a cease fire and peace process between the Republic of Turkey and the PKK. Anyone object to that?

Humanitarian aid is something that usually isn't controversial. I give to the Kobane Reconstruction Board. KRB Facebook. The U.S. State Department once tweeted out a Kobane Reconstruction Board fundraiser, so it should be safe to donate to if you fear state hostility by the U.S. (You may have to ask the UK). Kurdish Red Crescent / Heyva Sor a Kurdistanê is also on the ground in Rojava. Whatever humanitarian aid they get, means they can then use other scare resources for other needs.

In the U.S., we are working on a speaking tour with a dismissed teacher Eğitim-Sen who along with thousands of others engaged in a one day strike last year to call for peace between the AKP-state and the PKK. After the recent coup attempt, 11,000 of them were dismissed, many of them are being fired. The American Federation of Teachers labor union passed a resolution against the repression. Perhaps you are part of a union or mass organization that could take a similar stand. Likewise, I know some unions that have started to donate to the Kobane Reconstruction Board.

In terms of what the YPG and SDF want from "the west", when Sinam Mohammad was speaking here in Baltimore at Hopkins a long time friend of mine from the peace movement here (American Friends Service Committee/Quakers) brought up their opposition to U.S. airstrikes and how they were circulating a petition against the U.S. air strikes in Syria and asked her if they wanted them. She said they did want the airstrikes against Daesh because they had little to counter the armor that Daesh had acquired from the Syrian and Iraqi armies. Sinam Mohammad is the closest thing Rojava has to an Ambassador-at-Large. The YPG has definitely been involved in acting as a spotter on the ground to U.S. airstrikes against Daesh. That developed out of the siege of Kobane, but has also been true at Ash Shaddadi, Tishrin and Manbij. The U.S. does not seem to provide much in the way of airstrikes to the Afrin YPG/SDF, and certainly doesn't provide airstrikes there to support them against Turkey's Euphrates Shield or nothern Aleppo rebels in general. There was a situation in February 2016 where it seemed that SDF in Afrin did advance on the Menagh airbase and Tell Rifaat in coordination with airstrikes from Russia--that seems to have been the only coordination between the SDF and Russia so far. During the recent fight in Hasakah between the Asayis(Security) and YPG vs. the NDF (Assad loyalist militia)--the Assad regime used artillery and airstrikes against the SDF. Russia did not intervene on either side. The U.S. did not intervene on either side.

The PYD and Rojava administration do beg the powers that be for arms and airstrikes. For some people, that is politically damning.

Ed

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Ed on October 25, 2016

Yo, Flint, thanks for the reply. I've not made up my mind yet on this stuff and I've got more questions but it's getting late here so I'm going to bed. I have to say that even if we do have differences of opinion on this (as I suspect we do), the information you've posted has been more valuable in helping create a nuanced picture of what's going on that anything else I've read.. cheers..

Blesk

7 years 7 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Blesk on October 31, 2016

Much better than national-liberationists from PKK-PYD to explain the deep essence of "Rojava Revolution"...
Much better even than militaristic YPG-YPJ-SDF to point out what "democratic confederalism" genuinely means...
Here is the TEV-DEM, last and very last guarantee for the revolutionary content of what is unfolding in Kurdistan...
Communities, communes, popular assemblies, cantonalism, municipalism... when I hear your names... I just wanna... puke...

TEV-DEM: ‘There Can Be No Democratic Syria Without Rojava’

https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/2015/10/27/tev-dem-there-can-be-no-democratic-syria-without-rojava/

The following interview was conducted with Ilham Ehmed, a member of the Executive Committee of the Movement For A Democratic Society (TEV-DEM), by Günay Aksoy Zana Kaya for Özgür Gündem. In the interview Ehmed talks about the current state of the civil war in Syria, recent attempts by the United States and Russia to develop alliances with the PYD and other parties in Rojava, and the efforts to create a democratic Syria. It has been translated into English below.

[...]

Q: As part of the Rojava government you are taking part in international diplomatic meetings. Have you had any communication with the United States? How have your visits with them gone?

A: I can say that our meetings have gone well. The United States is a point of changing its thoughts about the Kurds. In the past it had fears and concerns. Like who were the Kurds dealing with and from whom were they getting support. They had a series of questions such as how many forces do they have and how much will they be able to resist. When we compare it with the past it appears in our most recent meetings that even if there are still many question marks in this latest process there was an atmosphere in which we sensed they had received answers to the questions they asked. They received their answers from both a theoretical and a practical perspective. In this meeting they didn’t ask “what is the level of relations between the regime and the PYD.” They let us know that they reached the opinion that our two forces were the fighting on the same front in regards to the subject of Syria. We also saw them use words along the lines of “we recognize you both as the military power in Rojava and your political will and that there is such a force.” They made it clear that they would support us. They made promises that they would support this project materially and in every other aspect. We can say that a new door and a new path is now being considered in the United States. They said that they would support the Kurds and work together with them in a diplomatic relationship built on friendship. In this respect we can say that the United States has opened a new diplomatic door.

We discussed the democratization of Syria more than any other topic. They asked us which groups have joined in this project. We made it clear that we have endeavoured so that every ethnic group in Syria would take part in this project. They looked very positively upon this project and said that they would support it. For us it was a surprise. The United States and Russia have discussed things amongst themselves and have come up with their own formula. As Obama and Putin met to discuss dividing up the tasks of who would attack which targets and who would stay away from which areas Russia immediately went into action which everyone else taking part in the meetings was upset with these actions and this attitude. They no longer knew what the other parties were doing. We went there and took part in the meetings. They were still debating what needed to be done. While the democratization of Syria urgently requires is the formation of a force. They immediately said they would support the newly formed Democratic Forces of Syria. I can say that there has been positive support against both terrorism and the regime’s dictatorship. They came out with the understanding that they would completely support the Kurds. As all of the details were being put onto the table we thoroughly discussed it all amongst ourselves. Right now Rojava occupies Turkey’s entire agenda.

potrokin

7 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by potrokin on January 2, 2017

@baboon- you are aware that the Peshmerga is not the same as the PYD/YPG right? Also the US could have given the YPG alot more military support than they have (I'm referring here to arms and such like). The US has only lightly armed the YPG against the Islamic fascists and does not allow certain people in the PYD to travel to the US. The YPG could do with being better equipt against the forces of Islamic fascism and are the most effective force fighting them. Personally, I'd like to see the forces of theocratic fascism destroyed rather than the defeat of secularism and feminism in the region aswell as democratic confederalism/libertarian socialism.
In any case, we will see if the US is serious about defeating Islamic State when Trump steps into office. Perhaps he will, for a while, however he is the most right-wing president the US has had for a while and close to Putin and Erdogan and that presents potential problems for the PYD and the Kurds in Syria.

baboon

7 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on January 3, 2017

Hello potrokin. Yes, I am aware of the differences between various Kurdish elements including the Peshmerga and the PYD/YPG. I am aware of other differences, tensions including, between other Kurdish elements in the Middle East but readily admit to being somewhat ignorant of all the various differences, nuances and placements of the various Kurdish groups. What binds them all together though is their nationalism and the role that this inevitably and straight away takes on as a component of imperialism. The "lightness" of arms, or not, delivered from the US to the PYD/YPG is not an issue here. The issue is, in my opinion, the bourgeois class perspective of Kurdish nationalism in all it forms.

In different circumstances of course, the major western powers brought into being and continued to nourish Nazi Germany until it turned against them. Fascism was a pure product of capitalism. "Nazi" Isis has similarly been created and nourished by roughly the same western powers from the Cold War to the War on Terror and, in some cases, is still today being used in the imperialist slaughter in the Middle East - a slaughter that Kurdish nationalism is fully a part of. As it often shows, Kurdish nationalism is quite at home with its own ethnic cleansing and "resettlements" of Arab elements into "camps" following its imperialist victories. Its "feminism" is that of the bourgeoisie; equality in exploitation, equality as cannon-fodder.

Trump will continue the "war on terror" but I agree that there is a lot for these various Kurdish nationalist elements to fear, especially given their experience in the past as cannon-fodder in imperialist wars. From a relatively secure and expanding position just six months ago say, they are, as in the past facing a very uncertain future as pawns in this war.

klas batalo

7 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by klas batalo on January 3, 2017

i've been watching most of the documentaries on rojava that exist on the internet. there are quite a few and i do suggest people watch them.

i'm still in a position of critical support, and mostly for the council system and women's liberation elements within the society there. but while i do get surprised that anarchists somehow think it's "anarchy" there... i am more surprised at the Marxists who don't see how it is pretty much a semi-state type transitory situation... of course there are still some non ideal elements here or there... i worry about turns towards a more social democratic parliamentary path... and the economy is still mixed...

but revolutionaries should really engage and we should strive to get as much of our information into kurdish as possible IMHO. the only reason they started getting into Bookchin is because social ecologists in Turkey started translating his works and then sent them to political prisoners.

Spikymike

7 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Spikymike on January 4, 2017

Looks like the northern Syrian Kurdish regime may get shafted in the latest partnership between Turkey, Russia and Iran. I noticed that the Turkish states military response following the 'New Year' nightclub shooting there was to bomb the same area previously contested with the YPG in which their unit including a UK volunteer was bombed.

potrokin

7 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by potrokin on January 23, 2017

baboon

Hello potrokin. Yes, I am aware of the differences between various Kurdish elements including the Peshmerga and the PYD/YPG. I am aware of other differences, tensions including, between other Kurdish elements in the Middle East but readily admit to being somewhat ignorant of all the various differences, nuances and placements of the various Kurdish groups. What binds them all together though is their nationalism and the role that this inevitably and straight away takes on as a component of imperialism. The "lightness" of arms, or not, delivered from the US to the PYD/YPG is not an issue here. The issue is, in my opinion, the bourgeois class perspective of Kurdish nationalism in all it forms.

In different circumstances of course, the major western powers brought into being and continued to nourish Nazi Germany until it turned against them. Fascism was a pure product of capitalism. "Nazi" Isis has similarly been created and nourished by roughly the same western powers from the Cold War to the War on Terror and, in some cases, is still today being used in the imperialist slaughter in the Middle East - a slaughter that Kurdish nationalism is fully a part of. As it often shows, Kurdish nationalism is quite at home with its own ethnic cleansing and "resettlements" of Arab elements into "camps" following its imperialist victories. Its "feminism" is that of the bourgeoisie; equality in exploitation, equality as cannon-fodder.

Trump will continue the "war on terror" but I agree that there is a lot for these various Kurdish nationalist elements to fear, especially given their experience in the past as cannon-fodder in imperialist wars. From a relatively secure and expanding position just six months ago say, they are, as in the past facing a very uncertain future as pawns in this war.

The PYD and it's armed wing are socialists, not nationalists. They have given up on the nation state and nationalists are not at all fond of Bookchin. As for your views on what you take as their 'pseudo-feminism', what evidence can you provide for this? Just saying that it is the case doesn't make it a fact. As for your claims about how 'kurdish nationalists' treat arabs- what proof do you have for these claims? You are aware that many arabs have fled to Rojava for safety and been welcomed and that there are arabs on the PYD side, aswell as other ethnic groups, right? As for imperialism, I don't need a lecture about that, I am well aware of what it is, how it operates and how it was used in the past and continues to work today.

baboon

7 years 4 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on January 24, 2017

Potrokin,

For all its socialist verbiage the PYD and the various other Kurdish organisations, although they have differences, are all proto-state nationalists. Only anyone fooled by this phoney socialism could see the involvement of women on an imperialist battlefield as an advance for womanhood.

There are two links below, the first from Human Rights Watch (25.2.15), which calls the forced displacements of Arabs by Kurds a "war crime". The second is from Amensty International (20.1.16) which reports on ethnic cleansing and "resettlements" of Arabs carried out by the forces of the YPG and PKK.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/02/25/iraqi-kurdistan-arabs-displaced-cordoned-detained
http://www.dw.com/en/kurds-destroying-arab-homes-in-northern-iraq-amnesty-says/a-18990959

There are also a number of reports in the Guardian, the Independent and the BBC along similar lines backed up with eyewitness accounts. The government of these media outlets, Britain, hasn't spoken on this issue because it is financing, arming, "training" and using these same Kurdish forces as pawns for its own interests (as is the USA, for now).

Potrokin, you say that you are "well aware of what it (imperialism) is and how it operates". You will know then that any aspiring state structures, including and especially those based on a national identity, is immediately sucked into the maws of imperialism and would be expected to become involved in the wars of imperialism and the ethnic cleansing that comes with such territory.

Flint

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on February 8, 2017

baboon

There are two links below, the first from Human Rights Watch (25.2.15), which calls the forced displacements of Arabs by Kurds a "war crime". The second is from Amensty International (20.1.16) which reports on ethnic cleansing and "resettlements" of Arabs carried out by the forces of the YPG and PKK.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/02/25/iraqi-kurdistan-arabs-displaced-cordoned-detained
http://www.dw.com/en/kurds-destroying-arab-homes-in-northern-iraq-amnesty-says/a-18990959

Both of these links talk about the Peshmerga in Iraqi Kurdistan. Not the YPG in Rojava / Syrian Kurdistan.

The Amnesty Report on displacements and village/building destruction in Rojava is here: https://www.amnesty.org/en/press-releases/2015/10/syria-us-allys-razing-of-villages-amounts-to-war-crimes/

Amnesty claims that the actions are politically motivated and not ethnic cleansing.

I know you know all this and we've discussed it before on Libcom. Why do you persist in spreading misinformation of creating confusion between Rojava and the KRG?

baboon

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 8, 2017

We're talking about bodies of nationalist and ethnic division, i.e. capitalist state and semi-state structures whatever secondary differences they have between and among themselves. The units of the YPG, many thousands strong, and the Stalinist-type ideological scaffolding that keep them together, are components of imperialism. I have no confusion about the class nature of Rojava, the YPG and the KRG.

Flint

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on February 9, 2017

I get that you don't like the YPG, but you deliberately distort information. Why do you feel you have to lie to make a political point?

baboon

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 9, 2017

It's not a matter of liking or disliking but a rather more important understanding of the class nature of an organisation. The YPG is an imperialist army and will of course be involved in ethnic cleansing and atrocities. The "Rojava Revolution" is a bourgeois construct, it is capitalist.The confusion here is being deliberately sown by cheerleaders and supporters of imperialist war who are trying to give it some sort of proletarian veneer.

Flint

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on February 9, 2017

baboon

It's not a matter of liking or disliking but a rather more important understanding of the class nature of an organisation. The YPG is an imperialist army and will of course be involved in ethnic cleansing and atrocities. The "Rojava Revolution" is a bourgeois construct, it is capitalist.The confusion here is being deliberately sown by cheerleaders and supporters of imperialist war who are trying to give it some sort of proletarian veneer.

That doesn't explain why you distort information. I get that it doesn't match your utopian vision. But you clearly seem to think Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have some relevance to understanding what is going on. But then you deliberately choose to select reports from HRW and AI about KDP/KRG and conflate that with PYD/Rojava/YPG, when there is a different report from AI and HRW about that.

Why do you lie?

baboon

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by baboon on February 9, 2017

So "politically motivated" is different from ethnic cleansing? It's imperialist war Flint. The key words in the last post are baboon's "utopian vision". "Utopian vision" is a leftist and bourgeois shorthand for a proletarian position, a shorthand for the internationalism of the working class and its contemptuous dismissal underlines the defence of one or other gangs of capitalist factions involved in an overtly imperialist war. In this case it's the YPG and all the other Kurdish gangs and factions. The big lie here from the supporters of nationalism is that these gangs and factions have something to do with the working class.

Flint

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on February 9, 2017

You still don't explain why you references reports about the KDP/KRG from Amnesty and HRW and present them as they were reports about the PYG/Rojava/YPG.

Why do you feel it is important to mislead people?

Also do you always write about yourself in the third person, or did you mix up that you wanted to post as sock?

Red Marriott

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Red Marriott on February 9, 2017

Flint

Also do you always write about yourself in the third person, or did you mix up that you wanted to post as sock?

Here we go again; Flint is trying – for at least the 3rd time - his usual smear tactic against opponents. Baboon looks more to have made a factual error rather than deliberately “lying” – annoying as that might be to some, there is a difference; even if it’s convenient for smearers to pretend otherwise. But Flint has some history of trying to smear those who disagree with his interpretation of events – for his other two attempts, see;
https://libcom.org/forums/general/ak-press-says-michael-schmidt-fascist-25092015?page=27#comment-570246
RM on Schmidt thread

Flint has since deleted some of his accusations above, both here and on the Rojava thread - which, if anything, makes his behaviour even more devious as he wasn't even willing to either stand by his unfounded claims nor explicitly retract them.

When challenged to provide evidence for his attempted smears of opponents he failed to provide any and instead deleted his accusations on 2 threads. All of which might cast more doubt on how he deals with ‘facts’ and differences of opinion than those he tries to discredit with his unsubstantiated smears. Yet he accuses here others of trying to “mislead”. If you have the evidence of sock puppets, Flint, show it here. Otherwise stop stooping to such low devious tactics. Or are you just gonna not provide evidence and delete your attempted smears yet again?

Flint

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on February 9, 2017

baboon had ample opportunity to admit that he made a technical error. They haven't.

I'm just really curious why they think their attempts at misleading people is somehow a good argument.

I really don't care about who is using sock puppets. Its just funny.

But the deliberate misleading and distortion of information about a complex situation too people who actually know when someone is being misleading and distorting information sort of boggles my mind.

Red Marriott

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Red Marriott on February 9, 2017

I really don't care about who is using sock puppets. Its just funny.

Yeh, you keep saying that - and keep accusing people without any evidence. You clearly "don't care" that it's a dishonest unconvincing smear tactic. Suggesting - if you feel the need to resort to attempted smears - less than complete confidence in your own position and a worry that there may be some truth in what your opponents say.

Flint

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Flint on February 9, 2017

Red Marriott

if you feel the need to resort to attempted smears - less than complete confidence in your own position and a worry that there may be some truth in what your opponents say.

Is that more or less confidence than someone who attempts to smear by citing reports about a different political party with a different ideology in a different country?

Red Marriott

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Red Marriott on February 9, 2017

So you have no evidence for your "sock" claim - it's just another attempted smear. Now we know, thanks for clarifying.

Khawaga

7 years 3 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Khawaga on February 10, 2017