Kurdistan News

Submitted by Flint on August 20, 2015

Combining several forum threads into one new thread. The conflict has grown across Syria, Iraq and Turkey and is definitely interrelated.

Rojava News
Turkey News in regards to the conflict between AKP-state/Turkey and the PKK (as well as the YDG-H), the HDP, etc...
Iraq Protests in regards to the KRG presidential term limit, protests against corruption, the ongoing bombings by Turkey, ISIS in Mosul and Sinjar and the PKK in Sinjar, Kirkuk, Makhmour, Amelia, pipeline bombings

Some other relevant threads:
Black Rose on the massacre in Suruç
Rojava economy and class structure
Kurdistan? - Gilles Dauvé
Anarchist Federation statement on Rojava: December 2014
Anarchists join fight against IS to defend Kurdish autonomous areas
No. This is a Genuine Revolution - Interview with Graeber by Evrensel Newspaper
The experiment of West Kurdistan (Syrian Kurdistan) has proved that people can make changes - Zaher Baher
'Rojava revolution' reading guide
The Rojava resistance: rebirth of the anticapitalist struggle - Salvador Zana
Mr. Anarchist, we need to have a chat about colonialism
Dear Cheerleaders, we need to have a chat about imperialism
Dear Mr. Anarchist, You Aren’t Listening

Andrew Flood's "Resources on the Rojava revolution in West Kurdistan (Syria)" is also useful.

There are a number of good reddits:
r/syriancivilwar (19,347 subscribers, best aggregator of news about the conflict in Syria, but also in Iraq and Turkey)
r/Kurdishconflicts
r/Kurdistan
r/Rojava

Ekurd Daily: langauges: English
NRTV
Mutlu Civiroglu, journalist, Constitution of the Rojava Cantons
http://xendan.org : langauges: Kurdi, Arabic
http://kurdistantribune.com/
http://www.kurdpress.com/en/
http://natawapress.com/
http://milletpress.com: PUK, languages: Kurd (Sorani), Arabic, English
ANF News ( http://firatnews.com, http://anfkurdi.com, http://anfenglish.com, http://anfarabic.com, http://anfpersian.com). languages: Kurd, Turkish, Farsi, Arabic, English
ARA News ( http://aranews.org, http://aranews.net ): languages: Arabic, English
http://ezidipress.com: pro-HPS, pro-PUK, languages: Kurd (Kurmanji), Arabic, Deutsch, Russian, English
http://rojname.com: languages: Kurd(Kurmanji), Kurd (Sorani), English, Deutsch, Français, Español, Italiano, Russian, Türkçe, Arabic, Farsi
Kurdish Question: pro-KCK (PKK), languages: English
Rojava Report: pro-PYD (KCK), languages: English ( http://en.firatajans.com/features/be-your-own-media )
http://kritisches-netzwerk.de: pro-PKK, languages: Deutsch
http://roarmag.org: pro-PYD (KCK), languages: English
http://new-compass.net: social ecologist, pro-KCK, languages: English

Rudaw: KDP, multiple articles per day. languages Kurd (Sorani), Arabic, Türkçe, English
Rudaw was established and fully sponsored by Nechervan Barzani, KDP senior leader and KRG Prime Minister.

Kurdwatch: anti-PYD/anti-PKK, languages: Kurdi, English, Deutsch, Arabic
Kurdwatch the project of Siamend Hajo and Eva Savelsberg in Berlin. Siamend Hajo being the leader of an expelled faction (the Shaykhmus-wing) of the Kurdish Future Movement. Both factions of the Kurdish Future Movement joined the Kurdish National Council. And Hajo's faction being anti-PYD, while the other faction is willing to talk with PYD. The European Centre for Kurdish Studies in Berlin is also their outfit. Savelsberg is the chair of the board, and Hajo is the treasurer--convenient that. http://kurdologie.de/

And then there are non-Kurdistan specific websites that often have good analysis or news:
http://www.al-monitor.com/
http://www.jamestown.org/middleeast/
http://www.iraqoilreport.com/
https://www.foreignaffairs.com/
http://www.middleeasteye.net/
https://www.the-newshub.com/@pauliddon

Also there are a lot of good tweeters out there:
https://twitter.com/RedurXelil Spokesperson for the YPG
https://twitter.com/DefenseUnits YPG official Twitter
https://twitter.com/DefenseUnitsYPJ YPG official Twitter
https://twitter.com/pyd_rojava PYD official Twitter
https://twitter.com/serokepyd Saleh Moslem official Twitter, Co-President of PYD
https://twitter.com/mutludc Journalist
https://twitter.com/kovandire in Hasakah
https://twitter.com/ColdKurd
https://twitter.com/dilkocer
https://twitter.com/Della_09
https://twitter.com/MemoInfor
https://twitter.com/AmKurBret
https://twitter.com/esu_int
https://twitter.com/KurdishQuestion
https://twitter.com/shamsashahin
https://twitter.com/EndezyareKurd
https://twitter.com/ArjDnn
https://twitter.com/r3sho
https://twitter.com/pitpitok
https://twitter.com/PacalOmer
https://twitter.com/MarkMonmonier Anarchist Geographer
https://twitter.com/cizirecanton Cartographer
https://twitter.com/sylezjusz Cartographer
https://twitter.com/jackshahine Journalist
https://twitter.com/ver_scholl_en
https://twitter.com/Nikopol5
https://twitter.com/Avashin
https://twitter.com/infamousKlaus
https://twitter.com/Gorran_Change Gorran political party official Twitter
https://twitter.com/JinhaWomensNews
https://twitter.com/SlemaniTimes
https://twitter.com/SerioSito

Flint

7 years 1 month ago

In reply to by libcom.org


(click for an interactive map)

In Bakur, it seems like a number of areas have now declared self-governance and are treating AKP-state as illegitimate.

  • Province of Dersim
  • Province of Şırnak
  • Sur district in Amed/Diyarbakir
  • Varto district of Muş
  • Bulanik district of Muş
  • Yüksekova district of Hakkari
  • Yenimahalle district of Doğubayazıt
  • Cizre-Botan
  • Nusaybin
  • Lice
  • Silopi
  • Silvan
  • Şemdinli
  • Edremit
  • Hizan, Bitlis
  • Hacıbekir neighborhood of Van
  • Bağlar neighborhood of Batman
  • Dağlıoğlu neighborhood in Adana
  • Gazi neighborhood of Istanbul
  • [br]

    The arrests were criticised by Diyarbakir co-mayor Gultan Kisanak, who said in a press conference that self-governance was a Kurdish political demand and the Turkish authorities should respect their wishes.[br]
    "If the state detains my mayors, of course, I would declare self-rule," she told reporters outside the Sur municipality building.[br]
    Muhsin Kula, DBP co-chair for Dogubayazit, said that they could no longer trust the Turkish authorities.[br]
    "It should be known that we cannot be at peace with such a state,” she was quoted as saying by the pro-PKK ANF.[br]
    “In this regard, we announce hereby that we will not recognise the state institutions, without denying the state itself, and that we will be ruling ourselves from now on. It is not the governors and district head officials appointed by the state, but those to be elected by our side that will form a basis for our ruling henceforwards."

    Eight soldiers killed, Kurdish mayors arrested as southeast Turkey erupts

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement, or YDG-H, which the Turkish government says is the PKK’s youth unit. She and her comrades say they are self-organized PKK sympathizers.[br]
    “We knew that the state would drop the peace talks, so we grew and organized ourselves meanwhile,” she said."[br]
    “Now, we can talk about a mass youth uprising by the PKK,” said Cengiz Candar, author of a 2012 road map for peace talks and Kurdish disarmament. “There were uprisings in residential areas in the 1990s in Sirnak province, but they were not similar to today or at this scale.”[br]
    "Members of the PKK’s youth movement said they had expanded their networks in dozens of cities while the government was holding peace talks with the insurgents’ jailed leader, Abdullah Ocalan. Now, in this city of 120,000 alone, the militants claim to have 31 units, each with 20 members.

    Urban Warfare Escalates in Turkey’s Kurdish-Majority Southeast, Ayla Albayrak, Wall Street Journal, August, 19, 2015

    I think its worth noting that the YDG-H is not entirely or directly under control of the KCK/PKK. They are going do what they are going to do.

    Fnordie

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    WSJ tv spot on the YDG-H

    [youtube]04wK_cVGha0[/youtube]

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    YPG/Al-Sanadid closing in on Al-Hawl. Al-Hawl is between Hasakah and Sinjar and part of the supply route between Raqqa and Mosul. Taking Al-Hawl gives a defensive line from Mount Sinjar, through Hasakah to Mount Abdulaziz.

    Some of the offensive against Al-Hawl is coming from the YPG presence in the east in Sinjar.

    al-Sanadid may have already taken Khatuniyah with the help of YPG.

    Al-Sanadid forces affiliated to the Shammar tribe,one of the biggest ones in the region, have taken their place among the forces fighting together with the YPG/YPJ since the start of the revolutionary process in Rojava.[br]
    Shammar tribe is inhabiting in Til Koçer and Jazaa regions of the Cizîr Canton of Rojava as well as in Iraq. The tribe is not under control of any forces in Iraq and only defends its own lands while in Rojava the Sanadid forces of the tribe fight jointly with the YPG/YPJ forces. The Sanadid forces say that they will follow YPG/YPJ wherever they go, and that they can even liberate Baghdad jointly.[br]
    Sanadid forces say they make their plans and and preparations for operations jointly with the YPG forces. They emphasize that members of the Shammar tribe are people of plains while the Kurds are peoples of mountains and that the plains and mountains came together in the nature of things.

    Al-Sanadid forces: We go wherever the YPG goes, July, 5, 2015

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Bread prices in Syria by province

    per 1 KG:
    Al-Hasakah under partial YPG control is listed as sp 100 ($0.52 US).
    Compare to beseiged Deir e-Zor that gets supplied by airlift: sp 3500 ($18.64 US)
    Islamic State capitol of Raqqa: sp 200 ($1.04 US)
    Aleppo, largest city in Syria with a YPG controlled neighborhood: sp 175
    Baathist capitol of Damascus: sp 60
    Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria) capitol of Idlib: sp 50 ($0.26 US)

    Bread prices in Syria vary widely from province to province: In Damascus, a standard 1kg bag of bread costs between SP35-75 ($.20-.40). To the south, in Daraa province, the price doubles.

    Like the war itself, the problem producing bread is localized. In the suburbs east of Damascus, which regime forces have completely encircled for more than two years, a bag of bread costs on average 800% more than in the Syrian capital.

    Flour shortages, blocked supply routes and ongoing battles all also contribute to spikes in the price of this Syrian staple.

    What emerges from the data Syria Direct gathered is that citizens across Syria, regardless of who controls their village, town or city, struggle with finding quality bread at an affordable price. The notable exception is Damascus, where the government has made bread provision a priority, though even there, shortages are not uncommon. Still, one resident told us that despite strict price controls on the actual bread, privately owned bakeries are now charging for the bag in comes in.

    Syria: Bread prices by province, Syria Direct, August 19, 2015

    Fnordie

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Flint

    sp 200 ($104 US)

    I assume that should be "$1.04"?

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Yes. Fixed it. And the broken URL.

    kurekmurek

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    There was a Suruc massacre in Izmir in Turkey on 21th august. Organised by sgdf for benefit of the injured and killed and their families. It was totally legal however cops in riot gears showed up at the door of theatre building and demanded they entered to the building like 200 cops otherwise they will not ket the event proceed. After hours of negotiations. Sgdf decided to do it just in front of the building outside (where cops were standing) So it was more acustic than intended. Also there were heavy joking of cops who were watching the event (they eventually get offended and leave to their busses) the crowd was like 500 people (plus similar number of cops watching closely) Anyway it is once again proven at which side Turkish state stands: the killers and not the killed.

    kurekmurek

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    http://www.demokrathaber.net/m/?id=53364
    Some of the municipal co-chairs of hdp were arrested after the declaration of autonomy.

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    This came up in regarded to the Rojava Electricity Project being fully crowd funded. Why doesn't Rojava produce Solar Cells?

    They have plenty of silica, Syria has like 150 million tons.

    Solar Cell production

    They don't need clean rooms, but might in the future

    They would need titanium dioxide, which is usually gained from rutile which industrial production gets from here; which would mean imports. Right now, most imports are prohibited by economic boycott of Rojava by Turkey and Iraq (including Iraqi KRG); and by ISIS blocking access to the rest of Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Its probably more possible to get a few generators across the border than it is to setup an industrial production chain.

    For thin film production, they would need import tellurium from the U.S. or gallium from bauxite mining or zinc production from China (where they could also get indium imports from.

    Similarly, wind power requires neodymium magnets. Neodymium would also need to be imported most likely from China.)

    For hydroelectric, the rivers flow from Turkey and dams are rather massive infrastructure projects. Very soon, we will probably see the YPG/YPJ/Burkan al-Firat make an attempt to seize the Tishrin Dam. In addition to a capacity of 630 MW, it is the easiest way for the YPG/YPJ/Burkan al-Firat to cross Al-Firat (The Euphrates River); Islamic State destroyed all the bridges north of the Tishrin Dam to prevent passage of the YPG/YPJ/Burkan al-Firat.

    Other hydroelectric dams in Syria are the 824 MW Tabqa Dam and the 81 MW Baath Dam; both much deeper in Islamic State territory along the Euphrates. Before the war, Syria produced 7.6 gigawatts (GW) of electricity with 1.5 GW coming from hydroelectric (generated by those three dams). By comparison, the generators just crowd funded produce 1.32 MW. So, its imperative that the YPG/YPJ/Burkan al-Firat seize the Tishrin dam.

    Seizing the Tishrin dam will probably be easier than ending the economic embargo from Turkey. But there may be a possibility to end it from the KRG if Barzani gets ousted from the executive. Still, that may also mean that KRG will get boycotted by Turkey and the route from Basra to Rojava might be a long haul. Though the amounts of rare earth needed are small quantities (still probably more than you would want to transport by air and the fuel costs there may circumvent whatever carbon savings folks were looking to achieve by avoiding burning diesel).

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    PYD's Salih Muslim during his yesterday visit to Turkey: "We won't announce another canton in Tel Abyad. We'll let its people decide." Meanwhile 300 Asayish policemen arrived to town from Jazira canton to serve as temporary security until locals are recruited. Civil bodies being set up w/help of Kobane canton representatives and the town will be temporarily linked to Kobane until situation's stable. Tel Abyad ruling council decided the town will be part of Kobane canton and organised similarly to other municipalities across Rojava. Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa says it doesn't accept decision of inclusion to Kobane canton - town should remain in Raqqa province.

    Source: sylezjusz

    Fnordie

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Co-mayors of Amed’s Silvan and Sur district municipalities which are both DBP-run municipalities have been formally arrested by a court on August 22. They had been detained on August 19 in the scope of the political genocide operation launched after the declaration of self-governance in the districts.

    According to Bianet’s report between July 20(Suruç bombing) and August 20, in 18 cities, during Turkish State’s total warfare and continuous attacks against guerilla controlled areas 140 people had lost their lives including 55 civilians, 32 guerillas, 35 soldiers, 16 police offcials and 2 state sponsored village guards.

    Isyandan Weekly Report, Aug 17-24

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Fnordie

    I'm wondering what to make of this. Does it mean anything for Iran's relations with Kurds outside of Iran?

    Do you mean in Syria? There is almost no relationship. Quds Force and Shiite militias have been supporting Assad/Baathists in western Syria and aren't near Rojava.

    In Iraq, al-Hashd al-Shaabi and Peshmerga (PUK) barely tolerate each other as long as ISIS is a threat. There has been violence between them in the past, such as in Tuz Khurmatu. Some folks argue that Iran is friendlier to Kurdish ethnic identity in Iran, but it is still a very authoritarian state that is ruthless to political dissidents. Some argue that the PKK needs to appeal to Iran for support since it won't be supported by Turkey, Iraq, Syria, etc.... but there hasn't been much of anything of the sort.

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    KRG Peshmerga have started an offensive against Daesh in the Kirkuk area

    August 26, 2015 map:

    Background:


    KRG frontlines map, May 2015 from the Arming Iraq’s Kurds: Fighting IS, Inviting Conflict, International Crisis Group, Middle East Report N°158, 12 May 2015

    peshmerga forces--took over army positions in Khanaqin and Qara Tapa (Diyala governorate); Tuz Khurmatu and Kifri (Salaheddin); areas east (Ninewa plain) and west of Mosul (Sinjar and Zummar, including its Ain-Zaleh oil field); and Kirkuk city, its (military) airport and the Kirkuk oil fields (Baba Dome, Avana Dome and Bai Hassan). The KRG began sending oil from the Kirkuk fields northward to Khurmala Dome and onward through the Kurdish region’s strategic pipeline to the Turkish Mediterranean port of Ceyhan in January 2015. Kirkuk oil used to flow westward to Bayji and from there through Iraq’s strategic pipeline to Ceyhan, but this line was cut by IS’s arrival.

    The PUK has the front from the Iranian border to an area north west of Kirkuk city, comprising the Germian front (Khanaqin, Saadiya, Jalawla, Qara Tapa, Kifri, Suleiman Beg and Tuz Khurmatu), and the Kirkuk front (Daqouq, Kirkuk, Dibis and Tel Ward). The KDP directs the area from there west to the Syrian border: the Gweir front (Makhmour, Gweir and Mosul Dam) and Sinjar.

    Though PUK forces dominate in Kirkuk, the KDP and PUK agreed to appoint Mohammed Haji Mahmoud, a Suleimaniya-based figure critical of both as military commander there. Moreover, while PUK forces are firmly in control of areas to the east and south east of the city, KDP forces have been trying to assert themselves in the north west, especially around Dibis and Tel Ward districts.

    For instance, Kosrat Rasoul, a top PUK leader, has transformed his protection unit to a brigade of 2,000-3,000 men. The PUK’s Bavel Talabani, Jalal Talabani’s eldest son, commands a well-equipped counter-terrorism force (Dizha Tiror), mostly operating in key disputed territories such as Kirkuk and Khanaqin. In July 2014, Nechirvan Barzani, KRG prime minister and KDP member, sent his personal security force to seize the Bai Hassan and Avana Dome oil fields in Kirkuk. That month, his rival, Masrour Barzani, led an operation to seize Ain-Zaleh oil field in Zummar. Operational coordination can be difficult even within the same party. A low-ranking PUK member commented: “There is not a single office or strategy within the politburo. Each member has his own interests to protect and confronts situations accordingly. The problem is they mix their political interests with peshmerga ones”.

    Mahmoud Sengawi, a PUK politburo member and former peshmerga commander, leads on the front line in the Germian area, south east of Suleimaniya governorate, with the help of Abdul Abor, a younger PUK military commander in charge of the Tuz Khurmatu front line. Sheikh Serwan Barzani, a KDP politburo member, heads units on the Gweir front outside Makhmour, aided by Qader Qader, a KDP central command member.

    Makhmur Front Lines April 7-July 7, 2015

    Kirkuk Front Lines July 6, 2015

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Life came to a halt today in Diyarbakir as the local branch of the DBP called a one-day general strike in protest at repeated attacks launched by the Turkish military around the province, reports an article from DİHA carried by Özgür Gündem.

    The call was made in response to recent attacks against civilian areas in the districts of Farqîn (Silvan) and Licê by the Turkish military and police. It asked people to bring daily “life to a halt” throughout Diyarbakir province. In both the city center and the neighboring districts all businesses with the exception of bakeries and pharmacies closed their shutters; transportation workers also stayed home and streets and avenues across the city center were largely empty.

    General Strike In Diyarbakir To Protest Turkish Military Attacks, August 26, 2015

    Life in the southeastern city of Diyarbakır stood still on Aug. 26 after a call to protest recent security operations in two districts of Diyarbakır province.

    The call by the Democratic Regions Party (DBP), the sister organization of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), said the situation in the districts of Lice and Silvan, where security operations and a curfew were in place, was “unacceptable.”

    “We ask our people to bring life in Diyarbakır to a halt to raise our voice against attacks targeting civilians,” DBP provincial co-chair Hafize İpek said in a written statement on Aug. 25.

    The majority of shop owners in Diyarbakır followed the call and kept their shops closed. Public buses run by the municipality were also not working, while there were notably few minibuses and taxis on Diyarbakır’s uncharacteristically quiet streets.

    “This is the least I can do to show solidarity with the people in Silvan and Lice,” said one shop owner sitting in front of his closed grocery.

    A rally was planned in central Diyarbakır for later in the day.

    Life stands still in central Diyarbakır amid clashes in suburbs

    Several young people have been wounded as Turkish police attacked residents during a daylong walkout in the largely Kurdish city of Diyarbakır... The local political party Democratic Regions Party (DBP) called on people in the main Kurdish city of Diyarbakır to stop life for the day. The action was held in protest against the attacks on Silvan and Lice. Police responded by touring the city dispersing tear gas and using live ammunition at times. Clashes broke out on several main avenues in the Bağlar district.

    Police attack as Diyarbakır shuts down in protest, August 27, 2015

    Fnordie

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Some argue that the PKK needs to appeal to Iran for support since it won't be supported by Turkey, Iraq, Syria, etc.... but there hasn't been much of anything of the sort.

    Yeah, that's what I was getting at. There are quite a few posts on r/kurdistan that essentially say "we need to ask for Iran's help," but I have no sense of how rooted in reality that is.

    Flint

    DBP called a one-day general strike

    Just when I thought I'd learned all the acronyms...who are they?

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Fnordie

    Flint

    DBP called a one-day general strike

    Just when I thought I'd learned all the acronyms...who are they?

    The DBP is basically the local municipal version of the HDP. So, the DBP are the local mayors who keep getting arrested for being the face of "self-governance" resolutions, while the HDP are trying to get seated in parliament.

    Fnordie

    Yeah, that's what I was getting at. There are quite a few posts on r/kurdistan that essentially say "we need to ask for Iran's help," but I have no sense of how rooted in reality that is.

    The PUK most often gets accused of being influenced by Iran, while KDP gets accused of being influenced by Turkey. And the PKK gets accused of being secretly supported by whoever the accuser's enemies are. Iran may have shared some intelligence in regards to Daesh to the PUK Peshmerga; but some of it might be "don't shoot our militia over here, shoot Daesh over there" level of intelligence. When KDP wants arrest someone affiliated with the PUK, they claim they were getting armed by Iran without going through the KRG(KDP). That's what they pulled on Haider Shasho/HBS ( 2, 3. )

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Black Rose Anarchist Federation and Lib Com in Suruc:

    The organizing effort was extraordinarily successful; hundreds of people volunteered. Sercan (who asked to be identified by his first name to protect his safety), a 28-year-old sociology PhD student, saw the event on Facebook and felt he had to go. “When I learned about the situation of Kobani and the Rojava Revolution,” he says, “I saw it as a very positive development and I thought it should be supported on a humanitarian and political basis… I found it meaningful to go there.”

    Also traveling to Suruc were Christopher Wohlers and Claire Keating, the sole Americans who would be present at the bombing. They had been visiting from Los Angeles, where she teaches high school and he is a physics tutor and an incoming radiation oncology student at Loma Linda University. Neither of them is either Turkish or Kurdish. But Christopher says he was compelled by a “region where people are experimenting with direct democracy, experimenting with socialist economy, with feminism.” While studying abroad at Middle East Technical University in Ankara, he was introduced to the young left in Turkey, and it energized him. When he saw the experiments in Rojava, he wanted to go back. Christopher calls the region the “bright spot of the results of the Arab spring,” and the closest existing embodiment of his libertarian socialist politics.

    Christopher and Claire spent several weeks in Turkey before ending up in Suruc. Driving around the country in a rented sedan, they visited LGBT centers and a socialist bookstore. There was an atmosphere of tension among the young activists they met. “Everyone was waiting to see if the government would push the country to war,” says Christopher. But for leftists, fresh off the electoral victory, there was also a great deal of optimism and a sense of unified purpose. Claire describes meeting people from HDP, labor activists in Istanbul, LGBT activists in Ankara, social ecologists who were doing work around the reconstruction in Kobani. All of these groups finally felt as if they were part of the same enterprise, she says, making it “an incredibly hopeful political moment to be in Turkey. Political space was opening up that hadn’t existed before.” Traveling around, they saw a flurry of left-wing political activity, and in each city they visited, there were flyers promoting the trip to Kobani.

    Arriving at the Suruc cultural center on the night before the Kobani trip, the two found what Claire describes as a “massive street celebration.” Their fellow activists were celebrating the Rojava anniversary with singing and line-dancing. The attendees were diverse, from Istanbul anarchists to Syrian refugee workers. One man had traveled from France, and a family with young children drove all the way from Switzerland, a distance of over 2,000 miles. Christopher and Claire enjoyed the fireworks and excitement for a while, then finished the evening in a café, where they tried some lung and spleen kebabs, and the owner told them with pride that Suruc was a city of the PKK...

    Christopher, Claire, and Sercan escaped the blast through a fortunate inconvenience. Christopher and Claire had decided not to actually cross into Kobani, for fear the Turkish government might not let them back in once they had left. But Sercan was still going, and realized he ought to bring toilet paper, in case the war-torn city was in short supply. The three were leaving for the shop precisely at the moment of the explosion...

    The immediate aftermath of the bombing was predictably gruesome and tragic. But one especially shocking aspect of it was the bizarre response of government forces. Within a few moments of the explosion, heavily armed police and tanks surrounded the cultural center. Yet instead of aiding the victims, they immediately aimed their weapons at the devastated survivors.

    “They just pointed guns at people, but didn’t do anything at all,” says Sercan. As people tried to give first aid to the wounded, and carry them out of the cultural center, the police formed a blockade of armored vehicles at the exit, pointing machine guns at the crowd. The police, wearing full riot gear, closed rank and tried to keep anyone from leaving the area.

    Christopher, Claire, and Sercan escaped the blast through a fortunate inconvenience. Christopher and Claire had decided not to actually cross into Kobani, for fear the Turkish government might not let them back in once they had left. But Sercan was still going, and realized he ought to bring toilet paper, in case the war-torn city was in short supply. The three were leaving for the shop precisely at the moment of the explosion...

    The immediate aftermath of the bombing was predictably gruesome and tragic. But one especially shocking aspect of it was the bizarre response of government forces. Within a few moments of the explosion, heavily armed police and tanks surrounded the cultural center. Yet instead of aiding the victims, they immediately aimed their weapons at the devastated survivors.

    “They just pointed guns at people, but didn’t do anything at all,” says Sercan. As people tried to give first aid to the wounded, and carry them out of the cultural center, the police formed a blockade of armored vehicles at the exit, pointing machine guns at the crowd. The police, wearing full riot gear, closed rank and tried to keep anyone from leaving the area...

    The change was felt immediately. In the few days after the bombing, after Christopher and Claire left Suruc, they found that the Kurdish city of Diyarbakır had instantly been heavily fortified. Undercover officers were monitoring a small vigil there, and when Christopher attempted to take photographs of the gathering, police seized his phone. A peace march they attended in Istanbul was violently broken up by police. Claire found the experience bewildering. “It was very confusing to try to understand how this could possibly be the response of the government to an ISIS attack, to go in and treat the Kurdish community, which itself had been the target of this attack, as the criminals.”...

    For left-wing activists, this has meant an extraordinary new state of fear. Sercan says that “huge operations against leftists” have been occurring, and that while the government claims to have arrested hundreds of ISIS and PKK terror suspects, the vast majority of the arrested are pro-Kurdish leftists rather than Islamists. In the city where Sercan heads a local chapter of the HDP, 18 members of his party have been arrested. Oğuz says that numbers of home raids have sharply increased, targeting members of socialist groups, and that SGDF members have been rounded up and arrested. “Even the most legal and democratic actions can be deemed criminal activity,” Oğuz says, “and one can end up being detained or arrested.” Membership of SGDF or HDP can be deemed a terrorist activity.”

    They are radicals, to be sure, but radicals who detest all forms of oppression whether from ISIS, Turkey, or the United States. They praise revolution, but call fervently for peace. Sercan, though a self-described anarchist, is skeptical of the effectiveness of small armed attacks like those on the Turkish policemen, and believes the electoral victories are heartening...

    The survivors of Suruc are hopeful that these values will someday find a place in the world. “The general rule here,” Oğuz says slyly, “is that wherever the state attacks, that area or that group gets stronger,” and he boasts that SGDF membership has grown. Asked what outcome he ultimately wishes for, he replies that “in an ideal situation, different peoples in this region would live equally together in peace, where youths and women are free…and where capitalism doesn’t damage the environment.” Sercan says he believes “the Kurdish movement’s ideas will eventually go beyond the Kurdish population,” and notes the uniqueness of a national liberation movement that is also critical of the idea of the nation and the state.

    Turkey Is Using ISIS as Cover For Its War Against Kurdish Activists, Nathan Robinson, The Nation, August 26, 2015

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    3 neighborhoods in Istanbul declare self-government: Gazi, Gülsuyu and Kanarya.

    One of the neighborhoods that declared self-government is Gazi. In 1995, 17 people died in police repression of neighborhood actions. Since then, Gazi has been a key neighborhood for revolutionaries from Turkey and Kurdistan. Last week, the Gazi Neighborhood People's Initiative declared self-government in the neighborhood.

    "The working people of Gazi have been oppressed, colonized, and massacred. But they have lived side by side for years even with different languages, religions and cultures. The time has come for this people to say 'enough' to the cruelty, torture and massacres," said a speaker for the neighborhood initiative.

    Gülsuyu, like Gazi, is a neighborhood dominated by the working class, Alevi Muslims and revolutionaries. The People's Initiative for Gülsuyu's Maltepe district joined the declarations of self-government. In their statement, the group denounced the police targeting of Kurdish politicians. They also decried the isolation of jailed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan and the bombing of Kurdish guerrilla zones.

    The neighborhood of Kanarya is located in the city's Küçükçekmece district. Called "Istanbul's Kurdistan" for its large Kurdish population, Kanarya was a site of resistance. As a result, police raids were frequent. The people of Kanarya decided to join Gazi and Gülsuyu in declaring self-government. Neighborhood people now guard the streets against police attacks every night.

    Internet and telephone access was cut to six towns in Northern Kurdistan (in Turkey) yesterday.

    All six towns--Lice, Silvan, Cizre, Silopi, Şemdinli and Yüksekova--are towns where local people have declared self-government and defended themselves from police violence.

    Telephone and Internet cuts began early in the morning in Silvan and Lice, in Diyarbakır province. Serious police and military operations were ongoing in both towns.

    Six towns cut off from the world in Kurdistan

    Entdinglichung

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    this one is interesting (if true): http://en.firatajans.com/kurdistan/71-village-guards-resign-from-duty-in-beytussebap

    71 village guards in Beytüşşebap district of Silopi have resigned from duty in objection to the Turkish army's repression on them to participate in military operations.

    The 71 guards in Çeman (Başaran) village submitted their application for resignation to Beytüşşebap district governor's office yesterday evening, announcing that they will no more take part in the operations, get engaged in clashes and keep guard. Village guards also stated that soldiers have been using them for years.

    One among them told that; "We do not want to kill our brothers and sisters anymore. We trusted the process of solution and believed we would be granted some legal rights and not involved in the bloodshed after that. However, the war has started again and we will not be a party to it. The state can retire us from duty but shouldn't expect us to fight anymore."

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    It is no injustice to Öcalan to say that he is returning to pre-Marxist utopian socialism – the likes of Babeuf, Fourier, Saint-Simon, Owen and Lassalle, who saw socialism or a society free of a ruling elite as a moral necessity, not as the result of class struggles...

    Öcalan’s notion of socialism has a strong similarity to the agrarian socialist ideas of the Narodniks, the nineteenth century Russian populists, who regarded the Russian village community as the starting point for a just society. From quite early on in the book, Öcalan sounds like a Narodnik; later on he even mentions himself that the PKK is most comparable to this movement...

    It seems as though Öcalan wants to ignore at all cost the significance of classes and class struggles, because they do not fit into his concept of a “natural classless society”, which always existed as a counterweight to class rule and to the state, and which should reassert itself in a natural manner.

    While Öcalan argues against “vulgar materialism”, upon which Marxism allegedly bases itself, he himself has an extremely simplistic and vulgar image of it. His woodcut-like idea of Marxism is probably an expression of the Stalinist ideas that dominate in the Turkish and Kurdish left, which turned Marxism from a living method into a collection of simple articles of faith.

    For example, he speaks of an alleged “inevitable development towards communism” and accuses Marxism of being obsessed solely with questions of economy and inevitability...

    Moving away from the PKK’s original idea of a peasant based “people’s war”, Öcalan deals with the question of armed struggle in a different way. Instead of carrying out a war of conquest, he advocates self-defence, defining the tasks of armed units as “creating guarantees for democratic efforts” and foresees in quite a concrete fashion the political and military practice of the YPG/YPJ in the defence of Rojava. The establishment of self-defence units is something which he regards as necessary due to the “increasing uncertainty”.

    Öcalan does not maintain his militant anti-capitalist stance throughout the whole book. At times, his arguments somersault at breakneck speed. For example, he states that capitalism is “not to be rejected outright” and that the system can repair itself...

    Öcalan seems to counterpoise capitalism to an alternative inspired by humanism and socialism, but he does not define how capitalism can be overcome and how a socialist society would differ from it. In this respect he is not too far away from the classical social reformist interpretation, which sees socialism as a guiding idea and thinks that its realisation can be recognised in each reform within the confines of capitalism...

    In his opinion, the state is “probably the most dangerous instrument in history”. Revolutionaries who aim to create a different, better state – a workers’ state, do not, in his opinion, break with the logic of repression and exploitation; they merely add new aspects to it. Not using the analysis of the Trotskyist movement, Öcalan lumps together Marxism with Social Democracy, “Real Socialism” (his term for Stalinism,) and national liberation movements which, in his opinion, all went this way and in doing so actually prolonged the lifetime of the capitalist system.

    As he has no programme for workers’ democracy, this sounds as if Öcalan had become an anarchist, regarding the smashing of the state and the immediate introduction of the free association of production as central tasks of the revolution. But he clearly distances himself from this idea, saying that the capitalist state should not be smashed, instead it should die off slowly...

    What Öcalan describes as “democracy” is not a new form of society, nor even the seed of such a society within the old, nor a form of dual power. Rather it is a mixture of the formation of a political, social and civil society and the grassroots organisation of social services -which in Turkey are organised only in a very repressive form, if at all. With a view on the practice of Kurdish self-determination in south-eastern Turkey and in Rojava, it should be added that in these regions there is a democratisation of local administration, a comprehensive programme for the advancement of women and a strengthening of small cooperatives and small businesses, in what would probably be most accurately described as a locally based or solidarity wartime economy, while attempting to apply ecological criteria, within capitalism...

    The opening of the PKK which he has pushed forward has been an opening to the “right”, in the direction of a reformist accommodation of capitalism, but at the same time this opening has allowed room for manoeuvre for the unity of working people and the poor across ethnic and religious lines. The rejection of national oppression and the strengthening of democratic rights, particularly women’s rights, are central messages of the Kurdish movement.

    The heroic defenders of Rojava, the hundreds of thousands of supporters of the movement in Turkey, Iraq and Iran are important sources of potential for the building of a multi-ethnic, multi-faith movement of the oppressed and exploited. Marxists argue that such movements should adopt a strategy which bases itself on the mobilisation of the masses, democratic discussions and decision-making structures, the perspective of overthrowing capitalism and the creation of a voluntary socialist federation of states in the Middle East.

    In the end, capitalism in Kurdistan will not be brought down by a Narodnik-like organisation, but rather by a socialist workers’ movement, through a still-to-be-built working class based revolutionary organisation in the region.

    Democratic autonomy or socialism? A Marxist view of Abdullah Öcalan’s political theory, Claus Ludwig, Sozialistische Alternative, August, 25, 2015

    There is a democratisation of administrative structures and the formation of organs at local level – known as “councils”, which according to many reports involve not insignificant sections of the population in processes of discussion and decision-making. At the same time, there are without doubt strong efforts to involve the ethnic minorities in the three cantons of Cizîrê, Kobanî and Afrîn in the running of society and to end discrimination. Cooperatives are supported. And particularly women are playing a special role: there is a quota of 40% women in most administrative bodies and an active struggle is being waged against oppression and patriarchal structures. All of this seems like the only ray of hope in a region marred by ethnic and sectarian civil wars, the terror of ISIS, imperialist military interventions and war, dictatorial regimes, national oppression and discrimination of women.
    Of course all democratic and social progress in Rojava must be defended, just as the three cantons themselves must be defended against attacks by ISIS or, as is likely to occur, from Turkey. But the question is whether Rojava really is a model for the whole region in terms of overcoming oppression, war, terror and exploitation, as claimed by the PKK and PYD? Is “democratic autonomy” a means of overcoming capitalism and stopping sectarian civil wars? We dealt with this question in detail from a theoretical point of view in the article “Democratic autonomy or socialism? A Marxist view of Abdullah Öcalan’s political theory” and answered this question in the negative.(viii) The practical reality in Rojava seems to confirm our verdict...

    Rojava sees itself as a cross-class rather than classless project and claims to not overcome capitalist economic relations (specifically: private ownership of the means of production, profit-oriented production, competition and market relations), but rather to put these in the service of society as a whole.(ix) As such, the Social Contract of the three cantons, the “constitution” of Rojava, speaks of protection of private property and the toleration of “legitimate” competition. This is in tune with the economic ideas of Abdullah Öcalan, who does not advocate a publicly owned and planned economy, but rather replacing competition with contest.(x) This is an illusion, slightly more understandable in a mainly rural society like Rojava, but incapable of being a model for industrialised states like Turkey or Iraq, to say nothing of Europe or North America.

    A clear expression of the attempt to reconcile the interests of the rich, of businesspeople and land owners with those of the poor masses is the fact that Akram Kamal Hasu became Prime Minister of Cizîre canton. He is one of the wealthiest businessmen in Syria...

    In order to be able to defend against this pressure, at least for a time, a break with the structures of the market economy is necessary. This is only conceivable on the basis of a nationalised and democratically organised economy, economic planning and a state monopoly of foreign trade. The “democratic autonomy” in Rojava does not envisage the ending of market relations in the economy. Paradoxically, under the existing conditions of economic embargo, siege and danger of civil war (and actual ongoing civil war in the country to which the three cantons belong) this model has better chances of surviving for a certain period of time. Peace and economic trade with the capitalist states of the region would expose the cooperative-based economy of “democratic autonomy” to competition from cheap products and destroy it.
    Many on the left, including the PYD itself, describe the administrative structures of Rojava as a council system of direct democracy. Reading the Social Contract of the three cantons, it contains many progressive aims. Particularly, as already mentioned, the multi-ethnic character and the role assigned to women. The right to strike and to hold demonstrations are also enshrined, as is the right to political asylum and a blanket ban on deportation of asylum seekers. The creation on monopolies is banned – however, this is also the case on paper in Germany and the EU.
    However, the administrative system has more in common with a bourgeois parliamentary democracy with a high level of local self-government rather than a socialist, council-based workers’ democracy. Elections for positions at all levels take place every four years, and there is no right of immediate recall. In the book “Revolution in Rojava”, Ercan Ayboğa mentions a right of recall in local councils, but this is not explicitly included in the Social Contract. There is also no earnings limit on election representatives, which would be a decisive prerequisite to prevent bureaucratic structures and to achieve real social equality. Even if these structures are called “councils” and “commissions”, they give the impression of an effectively classical capitalist parliamentary electoral system rather than genuine direct democratic rule of the working masses and poor. Some eyewitnesses’ reports also refer to members and leaders of local councils being directly appointed or selected by PYD officials. The “councils” seem also to be less involved in making important political decisions, instead their task seems to be mainly of an administrative nature. All in all, the real decision-making authority seems to remain heavily in the hands of the PYD leadership, with few genuine checks and balances from below.
    In recognition of the fact that these structures only reach a section of the population, preparations for parliamentary elections are underway, which should lead to a dual structure of leadership in society and administration, but will probably reinforce the representative character of the administrative structures.

    At least one thing seems clear: If one looks at the state from a Marxist point of view, as a formation of armed people upholding certain power and property relations, then it is obvious that a still capitalist state dominated by the PYD and the YPG exists in Rojava – not a socialist project of self-government transcending the structures of a state. An army (YPG, YPJ), police (Asayîş), prisons and a separate legal apparatus – what is this if not a state? Perhaps it is a state which is more democratic than others. But local self-government and real self-rule for a whole society including the economy, the organs of the state, foreign policy etc. are two different things...

    The fate of Rojava will not solely nor even mostly be decided in Rojava itself. The course of the civil wars in Syria and Iraq, the military conflict between Turkey and the PKK and above all the class struggles in the region will be decisive for the small territory and its perspectives for survival. The building of independent forces of the working class and poor is the decisive prerequisite to stopping the advance of ISIS and overthrowing the regimes that hold power now, as well as driving out the forces of imperialism. Members and supporters of the PKK and the PYD should do everything to create unity of working people and the poor in the region, across all ethnic and religious boundaries. The multi-ethnic aspiration of Rojava can play an important role in this respect. But the fact that the PKK and PYD leaders have co-operated with US imperialism and with the pro-capitalist Kurdish parties of Barzani and Talabani since the battle for Kobanî and that there are many signs that the emphasis is being shifted from attempting to maintain a multi-ethnic Rojava towards a Kurdish national liberation struggle (which could be further reinforced by attacks by the Turkish military on the PKK), seems to threaten that this chance will be missed....

    The region needs a socialist perspective. Unity of the working people and the poor, a struggle against all reactionary forces, be they Islamist or Baathist, and opposition to imperialism must be the principles of this perspective. Rojava is a ray of sunshine in the “Arab” winter, but it must make the transition to a genuinely democratic council democracy and socialist policies, if it is to survive and show the region a way out.

    The Rojava model: Democratic autonomy or socialist revolution?, Sascha Stanicic, SAV (CWI Germany), August, 25, 2015

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    I actually don't think these articles from Sozialistische Alternative and SAV/CWI are very good. They seemed to have ignored the People's Economic Plan, the transfer of most capital into the commons and the establishment of workers-cooperatives.

    They are hinging a lot on Akram Kamal Hasu's business interests (without describing them). Probably because they lifted that line from Thomas Schmindger's "Rojava: Von der Revolution in den Bürgerkrieg", Emanzipation · Jg. 4 · Nr. 2 · 2014.

    Akram Kamal Hasu, der zu den reichsten Unternehmern Syriens gehört, wurde in der Folge als Unabhängiger Premierminister des Kantons Cizîrê.

    , page, 34.

    So, we don't know if Hasu is still one of the richest people and what happened to his enterprises. And you won't find much from googling because most of the time, his name is spelled Akram Hesso or Akrem Hisso. If someone could find a biography, find out what his economic positions are or find out what his business interests are and how they function in Cizire or Syria in general--that would be interesting to know! But that kind of research isn't what is being done for these opinion pieces.

    There is a lot of speculation in what Ocalan means in his writings, but very little detail of how the economy is organized in Rojava.

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    There may be a lot of information to be gathered from the kantonrojava.com website. The website is English, but its clear that its all translated into English and often badly.

    For instance, the following story sounds like the Supply Committee confiscated a lot of flour that had been intended to be rationed to the public, but that the private mill was selling instead.

    "Joint Committee from Supply body confiscated 5 tons of flour from one private mills in Tirpespiyê city.

    "Supply body assigned joint committee composed of committees subordinate to Supply body to supervise on (quality and pricing – the control and inspection – furnaces and mils) and do the task of inspection on mills in Al Jazeera Canton, where they found five tons of flour material of ration that intended for furnaces and prohibited to sale it within private mills in Tirpespiyê.

    "Azad Hiso a member of joint committee said: “Seller and buyer flour of ration material that devoted to making bread for citizen is being call to account and violating them according to ration laws because this material is red line trade by it is not allowed”. The joint committee confiscated and set financial violation against the owner of mill.

    Azad Hiso: The flour from ration is red line does not allow to trade by it, August 18, 2015.

    There was recently successful fund raising for the Rojava Electricity Project organized by theswedish autonomous socialist organisation Allt åt Alla. I can't imagine they got the fuel injectors purchased and smuggled to Amude yet. Here is an excerpt from an article on electricity in Amude:

    "Suliman also confirmed that the basic aim of this project is to serve the residents so the prices that will be paid by the citizens is the half price they were pay for small generators as well as getting of social problems caused by diesel generators in the districts such as inequity in distribution of quotas and also noise

    "In a related context one resident appointed that the city was in dire need to this project in order to alleviate the suffering of people from electric side and now the city become self-sufficient and don’t need power from Remelan station also called on all citizens to restrict about the allocated ampere for each house and not violating it"

    Amude electricity project starts obstetric and affordable prices, August 17, 2015

    Some other articles...

    the co-president of supply division in Qamishlo asserted that supply division not just depend on citizen complaints but they observe markets and oven periodically to detect traders who trading on flour that allocated for citizen

    Evin sekhmous: all selling corrupt materials is violating with the corrupt material price

    The body was held a lot of meeting with haseke electric institution administrators and swedia generating facility but the points that was agreed on did’not implemented so deeper problem by depriving some villages from electric and other enjoy it and leading to defect social justice

    Important decisions search for an expand meeting to resolve electric problems in Aljazeera canton

    Due to the increasing demand for diesel fuel and expensive costs incurred by the administration institutions in the production of this material and economic conditions , the unjust siege on this region and the difficulties faced by aljazeera company for fuels in securing raw materials for this one , so after discussion the self-administration in Aljazeera canton by executive council representative decided to raise the price of diesel fuel from 30 to 45 SP for the consumer , so It should be generalized to all institutions and public and private companies so concerned as of Saturday in 8/8/2015 and it need to be implemented by assets

    Al Jazeera canton raise the price of diesel to 45 S.p

    On revoking Rudaw's license
    A statement of facts for media directorate about distrust anymore in some of channel’s accredited in al Jazeera canton

    She stressed that the relief materials is red line should not be traded because of these materials are right of citizens should be distributed to them and stressed that the relief materials will be distributed to refugee camps. Expired material will be damaged in allocated places.

    Confiscation of relief materials and destruction of the corrupt materials, July 7, 2015

    the body of bread and food ration materials and the people in all the cities of the canton are ready to meet all the needs of displaced people

    Alkaaet said that there is no fear for bread because the body increased the amount of flour in all canton’s cities to meet the needs of citizens and not to create a state of crisis on the bread in the cities of the canton The food materials are available in all markets in canton, according to needs are the provision of services to displaced people by the ration of the people

    Head of Supply body Fenner Alkaaet : We are ready to provide services to the Hasaka’s displaced

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    There is a long interview from Social Ecology with Sherhad Naaima, a young revolutionary from Kobane and a student of Ocalan’s thinking:

    First of all, people built local assemblies in all fields — such as economic, educational, cultural, social, security, and public services. These assemblies were established by direct elections and face to face democracy as politics became a part of everybody’s lives. I participated in the assemblies translating articles and reports from English to Arabic when I was in Kobane.

    It’s also important to note that societies without any mechanism of self-defense lose their identities, their capacity for democratic decision-making, and their political nature. Therefore, in order to protect these assemblies, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) were founded. This peoples’ army functions like a rose which protects itself with thorns; it is composed of local men and women and is under control of the democratic assemblies. The difference between this and an army is that it is composed not by one party, but by all members of society. Because if only one party controls the army, it is like putting a liver in front of a hungry cat...

    After Ocalan was abducted and held in solitary confinement on Imrali Island, he started spending much of his time reading political and philosophical books in order to find a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. There in prison he was influenced by great thinkers and philosophers such as Murray Bookchin, Immanuel Wallerstein, V. Gordon Childe, Fernand Braudel, Friedrich Nietzsche, Michel Foucault, and the Frankfurt School. When I read Ocalan’s books that were written in prison, I became familiar with the ideas of these thinkers that had influenced Ocalan — especially Bookchin because he offered the solution and alternative that Ocalan was seeking. In this way, Bookchin’s ideas are gaining popularity in the Middle East via the PPK in Turkey and PYD in Syria. However he is not very famous as an individual because his books are not translated into Arabic...

    In the past, the Kurdish Movement was seeking a separate Kurdish nation-state, however, after reading Bookchin’s ideas this ideology has changed. Kurds have become aware that the nation-state does not make sense, for they do not want to replace old chains by new ones and even possibly increase repression. Social ecology advances Communalism [the political aspect of Bookchin’s philosophy] as an alternative to the nation-state. Now, Kurds in Western Kurdistan are putting Communalism into practice. The more Communalism gets stronger, the more nation-state will shrink, and unless the Middle East overcomes the nation-state, it can never be a peaceful region...

    Internal differences within the Kurds can be understood in two parts. One part – the PKK and the PYD – are working against capitalism and to trying to achieve a democratic model by dismantling the statehood mentality. This new model is fueled by the heritage of free thinkers and philosophies throughout history. And the other part, represented by Barzani, is accepting of the state and asking for the answer within the boundaries of capitalism. So the difference is ideological. However, it is also worth mentioning that the PKK and the PYD still have authoritarian threads, which must be overcome by the careful reading of Ocalan’s work and other anarchist thinkers.

    Epistemologies of Freedom: Interview with a young Kurdish revolutionary, August 27th, 2015

    In other militia news MFS now has women's only military wing--Bethnahrin Women Defense Forces

    2000 fighters from Arabic tribe al-Baggara are ready to join YPG. They are from the Mount Kazawan/Abdul Aziz area southwest of Hasakah.

    A conflict between the YPG in Afrin and Jabhat al-Nusra (Al Qaeda in Syria) seems t be heating up. YPG has dug a lot of tunnels for a potential seige and killed an al-Nusra leader. The fighting seems to be around the south of Afrin canton, between Atimah and Dewe Jorin.

    Conflict with between YPG in Afrin and the Islamic State is becoming more likely as well, as IS seems close to taking Mare and started attacking Tall Rifat with VBIEDs. After Mare, the next major city and important border crossing is A'zaz. Just to the southwest of A'zaz in Maryamayn area is mainly dominated by Jaysh al-Thuwar, which is a rebels coalition incorporating former FSA and Jabhat al-Akrad (Kurdish) factions. Although theorically part of rebel coalition, it has been allied recently with YPG in sporadic fighting versus al-Nusra and other islamic factions. Jaysh al-Thuwar is down to about 3,000 fighters.

    The Lions of Rojava website has gotten very slick and includes this interesting personal account of Rojava and is focused in the Cizîre canton.

    the council system that gives all social groups a high degree of autonomy, public recognition and a platform to interact as equals with each other. Nonetheless: while open hatred has considerably dropped behind the frontlines, traditionalized animosity, tribal allegiances and strong propaganda have driven lots of people into the arms of Bashar and Daesh respectively, both of whom (especially Daesh) use the new political freedom to more and more openly rally for their causes.

    There remains the considerable amount of people who are indifferent to any sort of change that doesn’t have direct impact on their material living conditions. Many look longingly to Turkey, or to Başûr (Iraqi Kurdistan) where the KRG has created a capitalist, pseudo-liberal oasis with shining lights, flashy SUVs and a flood of America’s finest cultural output that distract many people (especially those who only see it from far) from the social disparity, rampaging corruption and disappearances of government critics. The benefits of the revolution beyond the prospect of a raised standard of living are still beyond many people.

    Also it is understood by many non-Kurds to be “their revolution” instead of “the revolution of all of us” – a claim that is vehemently denied by revolutionary Kurds. Still many Arabs, Assyrians and other minorities remain unconvinced as the imagery, art and music, as well as the characters driving the revolution, are almost exclusively Kurdish. While ties between the Kurdish and Assyrian political movement going back more than twenty years have led to a strong cooperation today, the alliances between YPG and some Arab tribes are more strategical than ideological and there is still lack of any effort able to fully incorporate society into the communal councils of the Democratic Autonomy system. This goes especially for Cizîre, the canton with the most diverse society... Politically Rojava is social anarchist, and economically it is market anarchist. Though these are not rigid definitions.

    Regions are given local autonomy- think multiple dozens within each canton. They have their own local council, maintain their own internal checkpoints and controls, and make decisions on who they buy and sell from.

    Right now a lot of economic philosophy is centered around developing an economy based around unions of local businesses under a cooperative umbrella to serve their needs. Inside people buy and sell from one another and use the umbrella to interact with other groups. This then provides a mechanism whereby by local governments are able to offer their resources (such as industrial equipment) and investment to the umbrella organisation. People inside the organisations make decisions amongst themselves.

    I’ve spoken with various people and there is no tax. People tell me there is no interference or tax on their work. Every locality has its own economic centre. Common resources have some kind of democratic mechanism regulating some parts of how they’re distributed (rather than flowing to central government). Although I’m still unsure how exactly they’re distributed, and a large portion of money is going to maintaining the YPG. The primary source of income for the government is oil and the border crossing.

    Also there’s the TEV DEM which is a big political support network that assists civil society. Land is allocated or put to use through local councils (part of TEV DEM). They are also encouraging cooperatives and providing resources to small independent groups. Industrial machinery and vehicles are centralised in big depos that are then lent out to groups on a need to use basis.

    For instance as a farmer, you can choose to remain independent, or you can join the government’s agricultural cooperative and get access to investment (which you must pay dividends back), access to machines/industrial equipment, and education/access to knowledge. Using the resources, they are able to create a voluntary support network which members want to participate in thereby improving its utility. There are several cooperatives (sometimes competing) and they’re run as social enterprises.

    I have not seen or heard of any forced collectivisations ala 1936 Spain or 1920 Ukraine. The constitution protects private property and has been accused by left anarchists of being bourgeois. The converse is that people very much identify themselves as socialists with equality being a core value (freedom, humanity, equality). The main goals are self-sufficiency and a localised economy.

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Earlier, "Anti-War" quoted from an article by Afrin economic minister Ahmad Yousef: "all workers must work in the communal projects", private property is "sacred" and that "the market is a main part of social economy.’"

    The article is worth reading in full:

    f we are exerting some effort and diving into the study of the history of social and economic relations since the beginning of human societies in Mesopotamia, in the Middle East or in any other area on the globe, we will notice that the nature of social relations and the degree of influence of a class on the other categories determine the economic relations in those communities.

    Accordingly, there are many definitions of the economic and those definitions differ depending on economic schools. There are a multiplicity of definitions such as political economy, capitalist economy, socialist economy and the international economy.

    These expressions indicate a certain economic, social, and political situation and the nature of the relations between groups in one community or between diverse communities, but they do not reflect the reality of economic science.

    Historical facts assure us that the economy becomes a science to meet the needs of communities, it isn't a science to maximise wealth for specific groups

    From this definition we must know that the economy would not be economical if it is not social, in other words, any economy that is not aimed at achieving the social welfare of all members of society cannot be defined as economy, but is a sophisticated mechanism for financial, intellectual and cultural looting

    This definition of economics is the theoretical basis for the development of economic and social policies in Rojava.

    Rojava: geography, population and wealth

    Geographically Rojava stretches from the far east to the far west of Northern Syria, an area that is a natural extension of the Kurdish regions of Iraq and Turkey. It is named Rojava (West) because it is located in the western part of Kurdistan, which is divided between four Middle Eastern states: Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria, since the First World War.

    Rojava covers a 18300 km2 area distributed between three cantons: Jazira (Cizire), Kobane (Kobani) and Afrin. Jazira canton is the largest Kurdish provinces in Rojava, and it is rich in esoteric wealth, especially oil and natural gas, while Kobanî canton is rich in the production of grain, cotton, and Afrin canton is famous throughout Syria for its production of olive oil.

    The GNP ratio in Rojava ranges between 50-55% of the gross national product (GNP) in Syria, while the proportion of the population in Rojava is between 18-20% of the total population of Syria, its total population being 20 million.

    The concept and the characteristics of the social economy

    Social economy is similar on external merit with the social market economy, these concepts can be mixed up and seem the same on the surface.

    However we will fall into a fatal error if we assume that this similarity means they are the same, because it will lead us to believe that social economy is a natural reaction that has appeared as a result of particular economic conditions in the capitalist system.

    However social economy is quite different, to understand it Mr. Abdullah Öcalan goes back to the beginning of the emergence of economics as a science, and explains that its job is limited to meeting the basic needs of human beings within the limited resources available.

    Mr. Öcalan says that in a social economy the use value must be greater than the exchange value.

    Based on the above we can define social economy as a science, which seeks to secure the needs of the community outside and away from the monopoly of the means of production.

    The characteristics of the social economy

    1 – social economy is anti-liberal economy, which is not a centrally planned economy.

    2 – achieves industrial and ecological integration.

    3 – economy is open to all ecological activities (agricultural, industrial and commercial).

    4 – economy based on ethical values.

    The principles of the social economy system in Rojava

    Basic principles

    Ownership is sacred

    Ecology

    Use value is greater than exchange value
    Organisational principles

    Communal

    Operation policies

    Social security through the commons

    Non - monopoly market

    Income distribution policies

    The foundations of the social economy in Rojava

    A- Core protection means adopting the economic values ​that protect the nation’s democracy, as well as social economic institutions such as the environmental institutions.

    B- Mentality of the social economy means the mind of Social Economy and identifying the basic points that represent scientifically and historically the examples and justification for the adoption of this methodology. The most important of these points are as follows:

    i - Communes

    The common organisation of life in all social and economic spheres. In Rojava we began to establish the social and economic communes in three cantons, in all villages and towns. Today we have about (400) communes only in Jazira Canton, which is developing daily. The number of members in each commune is about 20-35 persons.

    ii - The social economy and the importance of choice

    Social economy is all the practices in the context of the communes, which means taking economy out of its narrow concept of only profit.

    - It is worth mentioning that the social economy does not acquire legitimacy from laws, but acquires its legitimacy from the nature of society and ethics.

    iii. Social Economy Options in Rojava

    1) Democratisation option: social economy loses its meaning if it is not viewed as a democracy itself.

    We believe that any economic activity without social goals will inevitably lead to encourage the emergence of individualism, and thus will result in the reduction of democratic practices.

    2) The ecological shift option: This is very important for democratic transformation, because the economic practices are applied ecological practices.

    3) The social economy is teamwork: Participating in communes through the following activities:

    Distribution: the distribution of the outputs of economic activities is for everyone across the communes.

    Support and assistance: There are a lot practices under this item in the capitalist system, such as charities, small loans etc. However, in the social economy, we see that all economic activities revolve in a circle of support and assistance that may occur between the communes in the villages or in the cities, because the nature of this economy is based on cooperatives. Nowadays we are starting to establish cooperatives in Afrin Canton (health, agriculture, industrial) cooperatives.

    Demanding justice:
    Freedom: means democracy, which is an important pillar of the democratic nation theory.

    iii. How the social economy considers the core economic activities

    1. Production: there is a private sector for production, but the most important form of production is the production through the communes and cooperatives.

    2. Working: all workers must work in the communal projects.

    3. Ownership: ownership is sacred.

    4. Market: the market is a main part of social economy, but the use-value must be greater than the exchange-value, and there is no stock market.

    5. Technology: is very important and depends on ecological activities and balance.

    6. Industry: there is no industry if it not ecological. This is very important in our economic and social system.

    7. Economic progress: we depend on balanced development theory between three cantons.

    8. Trade: the main form of trade is the trade between commons. This form foregrounds and develops the importance of use-value.

    9. Finance and funding: the banking system is not like capitalist system; it is only to save money and help the communes. The resource of financing is the output of the projects; there is non-centralism in the financing system, because this system depends on communes.

    Elements of the success of the social economy in Rojava

    Applying the principle of democratic nation, which calls for equality among all components of Rojava, i.e. Kurds, Arabs and all others depending on Canton.
    Rojava’s possession of natural resources and the diversity of those riches.
    Existence as a great human wealth in Rojava.
    Weakness of a controlling system of exploitation in economic activity.
    Availability of the morality, which is necessary for adopting the social economy.
    The difficulty arising from the experience of being the first in the Middle East.
    Migration of scientific talent as a result of the poor conditions that prevailed in Syria in the past three years.
    The weakness of the fiscal potential to achieve the first breakthrough in more power.
    Obstacles of success of the social economy in Rojava

    The institutional structure of the social economy in Rojava

    A – Economic Academies: For graduating economists

    B – Communes: Targeting

    1- Social education

    2- Division of work

    3- Good health

    4- Securing basic needs

    C – Cooperatives: Targeting

    1- Securing basic needs

    2- Teamwork

    D – Small and medium private sector

    The Social Economy in Rojava, 26 May 2015

    Entdinglichung

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    http://ww4report.com/node/14277

    The Kurdish news agency Rudaw reports Aug. 28 that the First Kakai Battalion of the Peshmerga, a 630-strong force made up entirely of members of the Kakai religious minority, is preparing to go into battle against ISIS along the frontline near Daquq—and protests that they are being denied the weaponry they need. When ISIS swept into northern Iraq last year, commander Farhad Nezar Kakai urged the Kurdistan Regional Government to establish the Kakai force to defend the minority's nine villages near the frontline in Kirkuk governorate. "After the catastrophe of Shingal, we felt that same thing could happen to Kakais," Nezar told Rudaw, referring to the massacre of thousands of Yazidis at Mount Sinjar (as it is more commonly rendered). The Kakai, like the Yazidis, are followers of a pre-Islamic faith, and targeted for extremination by ISIS.

    Before ISIS forces surged toward Kirkuk last August, an estimated 360 Kakai families lived in the villages around the town of Daquq. The number of Kakai still living in the area is uncertain. In the village of Zangar, however, of the 75 families who resided there before the attack, only four remain.

    The Peshmerga base Nezar commands in the area has seen some of the toughest fighting along the 700-kilometer frontline. The Kakai fighters say they need more support to continue to resist the near-nightly attacks. "We are fighting with the oldest and worst Kalashnikovs," said Kaka. "Some of them have been repaired [a] few times. Some have been made using parts of other guns, so they suddenly seize up while you are shooting." He says the Kakai battalion needs at least 200 modern guns to strengthen its forces against the ISIS positions in villages across the line of control.

    "I have no doubt that all other Peshmerga battalions more or less have received a number of advanced guns, but we haven’t even received a single one," Nezar said. He added his battalion only received two tank-mounted anti-aircraft guns, and one of them is not functioning. A Peshmerga commander is quoted denying that weapons have been withheld from Kakai battalion, and stressing a general shortage of rifles.

    The Kurdish Academy of Language states that the Kakai are related to the Alevi, and have their roots in the Ahl-i Haqq ("People of the Truth"), an unorthodox Shi'ite sufi order, which incorporates pre-Islamic beliefs and traditions. Estirnates as to their numbers vary from several tens of thousands to over two million; the majority live in Iran, where they are called the Yaresan (or Yarsans). Like the related Shabak, they are a "heterodox group" that identifies as a distinct nationality on the basis of their shared spiritual tradition, regardless of whether they speak Kurdish, Turkish or Arabic.

    Flint

    7 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Turkey's parliament authorizes military action in Syria and Iraq. Only the HDP opposed it.

    klas batalo

    7 years ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Flint

    Turkey's parliament authorizes military action in Syria and Iraq. Only the HDP opposed it.

    fuck...

    kurekmurek

    7 years ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    This news and interview is quite good in my opinion and gives a good picture of kurdish activits and what they face and how they are dealing with it (Especially in civilian side).

    https://corporatewatch.org/news/2015/aug/27/imprisoned-singing-kurdish-support-n%C3%BBdem-durak

    Flint

    7 years ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Flint

    "The survivors of Suruc are hopeful that these values will someday find a place in the world. “The general rule here,” Oğuz says slyly, “is that wherever the state attacks, that area or that group gets stronger,” and he boasts that SGDF membership has grown. Asked what outcome he ultimately wishes for, he replies that “in an ideal situation, different peoples in this region would live equally together in peace, where youths and women are free…and where capitalism doesn’t damage the environment.” Sercan says he believes “the Kurdish movement’s ideas will eventually go beyond the Kurdish population,” and notes the uniqueness of a national liberation movement that is also critical of the idea of the nation and the state.
    Turkey Is Using ISIS as Cover For Its War Against Kurdish Activists, Nathan Robinson, The Nation, August 26, 2015

    One of the people interviewed in this article, Oğuz Yüzgeç, has been arrested for a demonstration he participated in 2013. He is accused of “opposing the law on meetings and demonstrations”.

    Flint

    7 years ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Amnesty International visited two central prisons in Qamishli and Malikiya under the control of the PYD-led administration’s police force, the Asayish in August 2015. At both facilities researchers were able to speak to detainees of their choice and interview them separately without any prison officials present.

    There are around 125 prisoners detained in three central prisons in the Jazira canton: Qamishli, Derbasiyah and Malikiya, according to Abeer Mohamad Khaled, the Director of Prisons for the Asayish. Ciwan Ibrahim, Director of the Asayish, told Amnesty International that there up to 400 detainees held by the Asayish across all three cantons under PYD control.

    “The PYD-led autonomous administration cannot use their fight against terrorism as an excuse to violate the rights of individuals in areas under their control,” said Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.

    “Resorting to such heavy-handed tactics in the name of security such as locking up suspects based on their views or tenuous affiliations without evidence is only likely to backfire and does nothing to improve security. Regardless of the alleged crime, detainees’ basic rights to a fair trial and freedom from arbitrary arrest should be upheld.”

    Asayish forces have also used the counter-terrorism law to detain and prosecute Kurdish opposition groups critical of the PYD. The Syrian Democratic Kurdish Party (PDK-S), a Kurdish opposition party, told Amnesty International that 12 members of their party in Afrin, also under the control of the PYD-led administration, have been arbitrarily detained in 2014 and sentenced for committing terrorist acts without any substantiated evidence.

    Amnesty International calls on the PYD-led autonomous administration to end arbitrary arrests and release all detainees who are held unlawfully. Arrests should not be conducted without a warrant or to stop crimes in progress. Arbitrary arrests contravene the administration’s own Social Contract, a constitutional document adopted in January 2015, guaranteeing the right to not be arbitrarily detained.

    All detainees accused of terrorism interviewed by Amnesty International said that their conditions of confinement in the central prisons were adequate. Researchers observed that prison cells were not overcrowded and were well equipped with beds, adequate lighting, and bathroom facilities. Detainees did not allege that they were ill-treated or tortured in the central prisons visited. They said that they received three meals per day, were allowed to spend at least an hour per day in the prison courtyards, were provided access to medical treatment when needed, and entitled to one family visit per week and one phone call per week.

    Despite claims by Ciwan Ibrahim, Director of the Asayish, that detainees are granted access to a lawyer and that their families are notified of their whereabouts after arrest and allowed to visit them once investigations are complete (usually in about a month), many detainees said their request for a lawyer had been ignored and they were deprived from communicating with their families for months. Only one detainee interviewed said that he had a lawyer.

    “It is clear that many detainees have faced grossly unjust trials in a serious violation of their rights. Everyone should have the right to defend themselves before fair courts. Instead of trampling all over people’s rights in the name of security and counterterrorism the PYD-led administration should ensure that the rights of detainees are respected,” said Lama Fakih.

    Syria: Arbitrary detentions and blatantly unfair trials mar PYD fight against terrorism, Amnesty International, 7 September 2015

    The 2014 population estimate of Rojava is 4.6 million. That gives Rojava an incarceration rate of 9 per 100,000. That would make it the lowest of any country in the world. If Rojava's population is only 2 million (due to refugees, lack of territorial control, etc...) then the incarceration rate would be 20 per 100,000.

    Other rates for comparison:
    Turkey: 198 per 100K
    Syria: 60 per 100K
    Iraq: 139 per 100K
    Lebanon: 108 per 100K
    Saudi Arabia: 162 per 100K
    Jordan: 95 per 100K
    Israel: 249 per 100K
    Iran: 284 per 100K
    Greece: 120 per 100K
    Georgia: 219 per 100K
    Armenia: 160 per 100K
    Azerbaijan: 210 per 100K
    England and Wales: 148 per 100K
    United States: 707 per 100K

    Flint

    7 years ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Turkish nationalist attacks on HDP and Kurds:click for google map

    Attacks on HDP:
    Demirtaş: "More than 400 attacks took place in 2 days.These attacks were initiated & carried out by the hand of State", HDP, September 9, 2015

    305 racist attacks targeted HDP across Turkey in two days, ANF, September 9, 2015

    Racists on the hunt for Kurds in Turkey. JINHA, September 9, 2015

    Turkey's Demirtas warns leaders heading towards civil war, BBC News, September 9, 2015

    Out of the 93 ppl arrested during the anti-Kurdish pogroms in #Turkey yday, 75 are HDP members who were in the attacked HQ's

    Reşo Teyrebaz

    CHP office in Ankara attacked

    MHP attack pro-AKP Daily Sabah newspaper office in Istanbul

    Turkish nationalists beat compatriot after presuming him to be Kurdish, Hurriyet Daily News, September 9, 2015

    Turkey sends forces into northern Iraq to battle Kurdish rebels, Suzan Fraser, Reuters, September 8, 2015

    Turkish ground forces entering Kurdish autonomous region, AFP, September, 2015

    The PKK spokesman Zagros Hiwa claims these factors have contributed to a “big increase” in the group’s recruitment of young Kurds from northern Iraq.

    Serkeft, a 21-year-old PKK fighter from Kirkuk, was nursing shrapnel wounds to his arms and legs from an Isis attack as he spoke to The Independent at a base south west of Irbil. He said that the new war against Turkey was not a distraction from the fight with Isis; in fact, he said, they are one and the same. “We have enough guerrillas” for both fronts, he said, adding, “the Turkish government is the tree and we are fighting the branches.”

    Mr Hiwa of the PKK says that around 100 young Kurds from Iraqi Kurdistan come to its bases in Qandil every month to join the group. The Independent could not verify his claims, but discussion with potential recruits, families of fighters and political organisations linked to the PKK pointed to its growing allure compared with Kurdish political parties...

    Security officials in Kirkuk and the town of Halabja said they had no figures on how many residents had joined the PKK. Dr Saed Kakei, senior adviser to the Minister of Peshmerga, said that his ministry had “concerns” about people taking up arms with the PKK, but that “people are free to join any organisation”.

    As a member of a PKK-linked youth organisation in Kirkuk she is learning about the ideology of Mr Ocalan. Every day she sees young people arriving to join up. “Most are angry and want to go to Europe but they see they can do something for their country here,” she said. “They’re angry because of politicians [...] I am angry because the parties here have lots of money and a monopoly on power. They don’t provide for the people. When people see PKK fighters without salaries they see that they are good.”

    Iraq/KRG: Young Kurds flock to PKK to take up arms against militants after becoming disillusioned with their government, The Independent, September 9, 2015

    Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) official from Halabja, Farouq AbdulKarim told BasNews that the PUK are in charge in Halabja, and they help the PKK organise their activities in the province. “There are officials from the PUK who openly cooperate with senior PKK officials and facilitate their movements in the area,” Abdulkarim said.

    PKK to Establish Military Units in Halabja Province, Hemin Salih, Bas News, September 9, 2015 (Bas News is KDP media)

    Overview on the situation in southeast Turkey: Hakkari, Mardin and Sirnak provinces in Turkey's campaign against the PKK, September 7, 2015, ARCHICIVILIANS

    Kurdish Gerdi clan declares war on PKK and HDP
    Gerdi tribe of 65,000 pledge to stand up against PKK

    Flint

    6 years 12 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Bashur(Iraq)

    Demonstrators close Koya-Taq Taq road to oil tankers, as KRG MNR fails to secure salaries, 6 Oct 2015

    Demonstrations across Kurdistan Region against Gov failure to pay wages, 6 Oct 2015

    Peshmerga launched the offensive from 3 fronts west of Kirkuk, included about 3500 Peshmerga. Peshmerga have regained control of 12 villages with 140 square km cleared., September 30, 2015

    Barzani still acts as president of KRG past his 2 year extension in spite of opposition by the majority of parliament (particularly the Gorran-PUK bloc).

    Forget the UN! Meet the Self-Determining Refugees in Kurdistan, Dilar Dirik, October 5, 2015

    Rojava(Syria)

    September 20th, al-Nusra and its allies began attacking the YPG defended neighborhood of Şêxmeqsûd in Aleppo.

    26 September 2015, Sheikh Maqsoud | Ongoing clashes between #YPG/J and al-Nusra.

    Kurds, Arabs, Syriacs & Turkmen march against IS and Al Nusra in neighbourhood Şêxmeqsûd, Aleppo, 24 Sep 2015


    YPG/YPJ counter-attacked al-Nusra. Aleppo situation at Sheikh Maqsood after YPG seized part of Castello Rd, 27 Sep 2015

    YPG Commander: Turkey behind the attacks on Sheikh Maqsoud, September 27, 2015

    Aleppo: Residents in Sheikh Maqsoud protest against recent attacks by Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham on the district, 29 Sep 2015

    Demonstration in Al-Sukkari Aleppo "We call on rebel groups to suppress PKK (YPG), 30 Sep 2015

    YPG take control of a transition route used by Al-Nusra in Aleppo, October 5, 2015

    YPG Commander: Turkish officers conduct the attacks on Şêxmeqsûd, October 5, 2015

    Teachers in the district Sheikh Maqsoud call on international organisations to break the siege, October 6, 2015

    Video: Demonstrations against PKK/YPG in Aleppo denouncing them as against the people, October 6, 2015

    U.S. Says YPG is not a terrorist organization, September 22, 2015

    Plans for direct U.S. weapons shipments, overland from Iraq, to Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters, October 2, 2015, Washington Post

    Turkey's Erdogan Says Kurdish PYD Fighting Islamic State Is Terror Group, October 5, 2015

    Salih Muslim: "No Peshmerga in Rojava", October 6, 2015

    YPG fighting ISIS in Hasakah, October 5, 2015

    YPG fighting ISIS south of Kobane, September 11, 2015

    YPG fighting ISIS in Sarrin, September 20, 2015

    ISIS destroys Yezidi temple in Sinjar, October 5, 2015

    Arabic tribe Bagara is ready to join YPG with 2000 fighters, August 30, 2015

    An indepth description of the organization of the Rojava communes:

    In order to discover the nature and function of communes and other institutions in Rojava, I attended sessions of the communes, Mala Gels (People’s Houses), courts, Assayish (local security/police) and 22 ministries of the three cantons.

    Communes are the smallest and the most active units of the communal society. They are the places where people gather to discuss and resolve routine problems concerning all aspects of life...

    Each commune has six committees dealing with specific issues. These are the social, youth, womens’, peace, self-defense and economic committees. The Mala Zhen (Women’s House) deals with women’s education and investigating women’s status in the areas covered by each commune.

    Communes are managed in a co-leadership manner (with a male and female leader) and commune members must be at least 16 years of age. The communes hold weekly sessions and discuss and record monthly reports...

    Individuals usually join the commune that covers the area in which they live. The co-leaders and committees are selected by direct elections involving all the commune members. The timing of these election is not set in law but depends on the needs of the situation. The communes rent houses to work from, which are called ‘Komungah’.

    Several communes in a given region gather together in another place called the People’s House (Mala Gel). The bigger decisions are made in the People’s Houses, which are also responsible for supervising the communes.

    In Qamishli City, there are 7 People’s Houses and 97 communes. Each commune covers about 350 families. The aim is to create more communes because sub-dividing the society into smaller units can enhance the quality and efficiency of the communes’ performance...

    AA talks about why there is no political committee in the communes, saying this is part of an effort to avoid any tensions between the parties in the communes because, in his opinion, all the parties can take part in the communes.

    However, Omar Amr, the chief of staff of the Democratic Party of Syrian Kurdistan (KDP-S) in Darbasi city, meets me briefly and argues that there is systematic marginalisation and exclusion of members of his party and other opposition parties within the communal structure, to the benefit of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the majority party in Rojava.

    I attended commune sessions in Serikani city, where the young and old gathered, and I witnessed their elections. The sessions started with reports on previous sessions and then they asked for the people’s ideas on some local issues. At one meeting there was a discussion about how the Kobane refugees were being accommodated in Serikani and, after two hours, the attendees reached some agreements. It was also decided to determine some things later on, such as the location for temporary accommodation, and how to provide food and other essentials.

    AA says: "The value of the commune’s signature is greater than that the ministry’s signature, because the minister cannot do anything if the communes do not approve it”. This chief official, an Iranian Kurd, adds: “Formerly, they said ‘What clan are you from?’ Now everyone should ask, ‘Which commune do you belong to?’”

    He speaks of a more fundamental issue: “We are against the system which is from top to base. We want to have a system that acts from base to top.” I ask him if this means that no one from the top can pressurize the base and impose his ideas, and he answers: “The chiefs of the commune can apply pressure by providing the correct education and this does not mean a negative pressure or imposition; that degree of authority is an inevitable part of having the leading role and does not lead to domination”. I ask him what prevents domination, and he replies: “Ethics, not law."...

    In the talks I had with local people, I sensed a kind of general misunderstanding about the role of the communes. For instance, when I asked a rather rich shopkeeper about them, he says, “Thank God, I don’t need the commune, let it be for the poor.” Since at the moment, in the current hard economic situation, one of the main roles carried out by the communes has been collecting, exchanging and delivering food, some people think of them as a type of charity.

    Delsouz the journalist, who lives in Tel Tamer, 100 kilometers south of Qamishli, recalls the early days of administering the communes and the persistent impact of the thinking and practices of officials from the old regime: “In Tel Tamer, 110 communes were founded. At first, people were not familiar with communes. I remember that there were briberies in the communes.”

    AA does not deny this and, while accepting the impact of the suppositions of the past, talks about the necessity of constant reformations: “It was just some weeks ago, that we changed the commune chiefs of 9 communes, as they lacked the necessary capacities. The clan chiefs do not tolerate lack of authority and so they can hardly bear to be in communes, equal to other people.”

    This administrator of the TEV-DEM regards the “long-lasting presuppositions of the former regimes” as the main obstacle to the process of institutionalizing the communes in Rojava, and thinks the social revolution is more intellectual than material; he believes the process of revolution is a constant, rising one which will take time.

    To undertand the intellectual basis of the communes we must understand the differerence between individualism and collectivism. AA points to the negative consequences of individualism: “That form of individualism that capitalism is developing, is the main cause of the many spiritual and psychological diseases of a society and we want to put an end to this by creating communes!”

    I ask him, “If anyone, for any reason, does not intend to participate in the communes, what is your reaction?” He replies: “That person will continue his normal life. However, the communes will not help him anymore, as he is not a part of the commune.” He added with certainty that such cases are rare...

    Here, AA’s tone becomes sharp and serious: “We are openly against the individualist concept. Individualism is like a mischievous rat who chews on the society. If am full and needless, then it is a must that my neighbor should be full and not hungry. If I am hungry, then my neighbor should care for me”.

    He cites the primitive village communes to confirm his argument, and says they want to apply and institutionalize that primitive society model in modern form. In a simple example, he emphasises equal and just distribution: “The lands belong to the Democratic Autonomous System. We want to give the lands to the villagers, and anyone who wants to can register. The effort and strain will be the villagers’ and the autonomous system will provide the tools and needs of the farms. Ultimately, a small percentage of the earnings will go the autonomous system’s pocket while most will belong to those who have done the work“.

    In his belief, creating cooperatives prevents the situation where one person gets most of the workers’ wages.

    In this regard, AA thinks that, although the creation of cities had positive results, they also made profit and capital paramount and, by enshrining individualism as the main principle, the spiritual and psychological health of humankind was disturbed...

    “The individual-citizen of the democratic nation, besides being free, must inevitably be communal as well. The counterfeit and fake ‘free individual’ of the capitalist individualism which is infused against the society, essentially suffers from a sort of bondage. However, according to the picture or image that the liberal ideology presents, it seems as if the individual has infinite freedom. On the contrary, the reality proves to be the opposite …”

    Introduction to the Political and Social Structures of Democratic Autonomy in Rojava, Zanyar Omrani, Paswean, September 30, 2015
    Zanyar Omrani is a documentary filmmaker and freelance journalist, born in Iranian Kurdistan/Rojhelat, and currently working on a new film project about Syrian Kurdistan/Rojava. Given the level of detail of this article on the communes, Omrani's documentary will definitely be something to watch.

    Most of Syria has broken up along ethnic lines. But in Rojava, members of the Arab and Assyrian minorities are deliberately included.

    This struck me when I met the leadership of one canton. Unthinkingly, I addressed the oldest, most senior-looking sheikh, a leader of a local Arab tribe. Without speaking, he turned to the young Kurdish woman beside him, and she spoke to him in Arabic — as a courtesy to him and other Arab participants.

    Self-government in Rojava means that, as much as possible, decisions are made at the local, communal level. In one village, women and men sat separately, reflecting local tradition. Like most political meetings, it was lengthy and sometimes boring, with the usual long-winded speeches (but not all from men). But anyone could speak, without distinction, and young and old alike stood up to debate jobs, medical services, even the menace of kids riding their bikes too fast around the village.

    For a former diplomat like me, I found it confusing: I kept looking for a hierarchy, the singular leader, or signs of a government line, when, in fact, there was none; there were just groups. There was none of that stifling obedience to the party, or the obsequious deference to the “big man” — a form of government all too evident just across the borders, in Turkey to the north, and the Kurdish regional government of Iraq to the south. The confident assertiveness of young people was striking...

    heir democratic system is a work in progress and not without flaws. Some human rights organizations have alleged political intimidation and, in a few cases, the expulsion of Arabs suspected of collaboration with the Islamic State. A few young people I met complained about being conscripted into the Y.P.G.

    The Kurds’ Democratic Experiment, CARNE ROSS, SEPT. 30, 2015. Carne Ross, a former British diplomat and the author of “The Leaderless Revolution: How Ordinary People Will Take Power and Change Politics in the 21st Century,” is working on a forthcoming documentary film, “The Accidental Anarchist.”

    Video: Nissy Koye & Hanna Bohman in "Women Warriors of Kurdistan" seminar organized by Kurdish House of Vancouver and sponsored by Simon Fraser University filmed and edited by Aras Ali. Hanna Bohman was a Canadian volunteer to the YPJ.

    I organized a speaking event at Red Emmas, Video: The Revolution in Rojava with Ruken Işık (Gender and Women’s Studie, UMBC), Omer Pacal, (HDP, People's Democratic Party member) and Golala Arya (Washington, DC area Kurdish activist). I also speak a bit in introducting the talk to the audience.

    CJ Swann, Irish volunteer that spent some time in a PKK transit camp, he didn't manage to make it across to Rojava

    Aid not reaching Kobane, despite outrage over Alan Kurdi’s death 138468257#sthash.iiwagQft.dpuf]Aid not reaching Kobane, despite outrage over Alan Kurdi’s death, 22 September, 2015

    A Global Day of Action to open a humanitarian cooridor for Kobane has been called for November 1st (This call was previously posted to libcom.org but been removed, whats up mods?)

    Map of Syria with location of Russian Air Strikes and Russian Ground Troops, October 4, 2015

    Sputnik News: YPG chief Sipan Hemo told Sputnik Türkiye that his fighting force wants Russian assistance., October 1st, 2015

    YPG: Words of our commander, Sipan Hamo have been manipulated, we never made such statement on this matter (as decribed by Sputnik), 2 Oct 2015

    Salih Muslim: "Russia sided with the regime from the very start. This is a separate matter. But as far as Assad remaining in power, we think differently. Assad cannot remain in power as before. He may stay on during a transition period, during a period of dialogue between the conflicting parties, but in the long term it seems inconceivable that the majority of the Syrian people would accept his leadership anymore."

    PYD leader: Russia will stop Turkey from intervening in Syria, October 1

    Bakur(Turkey)

    Cizre is mourning their martyrs: body of 35-days-old Muhammed Yaramis, 13 Sep 2015, "21 civilians killed during the one week siege on Kurdish city of Cizre"

    Kurds demand answers after battles in Cizre, September 18, 2015

    discussion of self-governance from various aspects in the provinces of Siirt, Batman, Mardin, Amed, Urfa, Dersim, Şırnak, Hakkari, Van, Bitlis, Ağrı, Iğdır, Kars, Muş and Erzurum.

    According to the information released by DBP Headquarters, the meetings will discuss self-rule, democratic autonomy in all their dimensions to be realized in conformity with the social dynamics of the settlements, embracing various communities, faith groups, civil society organisations, local administrations and people’s assemblies; the future of the cities and the roles to be played by social dynamics during the building process of self-rule.

    DBP to discuss self-rule and autonomy in 15 cities, September 30, 2015

    Pointing to people's commitment and dedication to the self-rule model, Tunç added the followings; “We will start to build cooperatives soon after we've finished forming our communes properly. In this way, we will be an answer to the system's hunger for profit in economy and the state's policy to discipline the Kurdish people with hunger. In the construction works, we give priority to education in the first place. We are currently preparing an instructional programme on communes, assemblies and self-rule for the inhabitants of our neighborhoods. We see now that we will be able to overcome all the problems through the works of our communes and neighborhood assemblies without a need for any institution of the state. Our neighborhoods do no more face problems such as theft, while arguments are being eliminated through the law commissions formed by the people themselves.”

    140 communes formed in Cizre as part of building of self-rule, September 24, 2015
    Women lead the building of self-rule in Cizre, September 26, 2015

    Call for a school boycott, September 23, 2015
    School boycott joined by over 80 percent in Van, September 28, 2015

    Silvan: Tanks, Detentions, many wounded in attacks, Turkish troops deploy to Ezidi refugee camp
    Nusaybin: under seige, Attacks, Artillery fire, Massacre warning, After 5 days, curfew lifted
    Lice: Entry & Exit Banned
    Bismil: third curfew. The curfew for Ulutürk, Dumlupınar, Fırat and Tekel neighborhoods will last until a further notice. October 6, 2015

    According to HDP: Killed civilians in last 70 days in province Sirnak: Cizre 27, Silopi 6, Elke 4, Hezex 1, Şirnak city 5. October 5, 2015

    Ahead of elections, Turkey clamps down on press freedom, October 6, 2015

    "HacI Lokman Birlik, the brother-in-law of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Sirnak deputy Leyla Birlik, was shot dead by the Turkish special forces on Friday night (2 October)" His body was dragged through the streets of Sirnak behind a police vehicle. Warning: Graphic Video

    Turkey Is in Serious Trouble, SONER CAGAPTAY, The Atlantic, 10/2015

    David Graeber: We have a Lot to Learn, New Compass, 17.09.2015

    Crimethinc: Understanding the Kurdish Resistance, Sep 23rd, 2015

    bob mcglynn

    6 years 12 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    WHAT DOES ANYONE KNOW ABOUT FORCED CONSCRIPTION BY PYD??? i've gotten a serious report, and it's not the 1st about rojava, but blaimed on some other force...

    today in nyt its announced russian troops will have fun and enter the ground war to protect their imperial navel base in syria etc. In their former contigues empire they're busy building military alliances with some of their former colonies, the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, and establishing bases--

    flint we see none of yer promised hadiwork in getting signers for the petition for kobane, rojava, for turkey to open a safe corridor for med. aid etc. and world day of action nov. 1--extremly sorry for trying to contact u this way- 'messages' went nowhere- no doubt you have too much to do already and maybe i'm hassling you SO SORRY as everyday i see more and more of how important you are but "if you have it, flaunt it" (as a 60's saying went), but things are in a rush, Neither East Nor West-NYC was picked to help with petition as i think we're seen as do-ers and kinda, part of, the prole/rank & file end of rojava aid, to even out the oh-so-famed/baroness's/nobel prizers/professors...

    can ya add to this 'kurdish weekly news briefing'-- contact [email protected]

    the worlds worst speller signs out (do u know how long it takes me to correct and make things half-way readable? painkillerz pleeeeez...)

    Flint

    6 years 12 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    bob mcglynn

    WHAT DOES ANYONE KNOW ABOUT FORCED CONSCRIPTION BY PYD???

    Conscription by the YPG has been discussed several times on Libcom. Most conscripts go into the HXP (Hêzên Xwe Parastinê). They get trained for 6 weeks and have a 6 month conscription. They are largely used as static infantry in their home communities. The best document I've seen is this document from the Danish Immigration Service: Syria: Military Service, Mandatory Self-Defence Duty and Recruitment to the YPG

    Bob, don't worry about me. I'm doing my part. Not sure what's going to happen locally for November 1st, but I'm going to follow the lead of the local Kurdish community in Washington DC that I've developed a relationship with. They've organized a number of demonstrations in the past at the White House, the Turkish embassy, the national mall near Congress, etc...

    I've asked Black Rose Anarchist Federation to sign on and participate. The organizational secretary should do that soon.

    kurekmurek

    6 years 12 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Flint:

    "HacI Lokman Birlik, the brother-in-law of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Sirnak deputy Leyla Birlik, was shot dead by the Turkish special forces on Friday night (2 October)" His body was dragged through the streets of Sirnak behind a police vehicle. Warning: Graphic Video

    Apparently cops also did not forget to take a picture with his tortured body and themselves together:
    http://www.cumhuriyet.com.tr/haber/turkiye/382477/Haci_Lokman_Birlik_in_cenazesinin_basinda_toplu_poz_vermisler.html

    MORE IMPORTANTLY: Birlik is told to be a great guy and very selfless in helping the others. He was also into movies. This short movie is his labor (with English and Turkish subtitles):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=124&v=6-iOcHSoGtg

    Flint

    6 years 12 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    "Kurds protested and went on strike in northern Iraq on Wednesday in a show of growing discontent that threatens to further undermine stability at a time when their region is at war with Islamic State.

    "Teachers, hospital workers and other public sector employees have taken to the streets for nearly a week demanding their wages from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is three months in arrears."

    Kurds protest in north Iraq as discontent grows with government, Isabel Coles, Reuters, Oct 7, 2015

    “In the 1990s, teachers worked for a year without getting paid because we felt it was our duty, but now it’s really different,” another teacher told Rudaw. “We were more equal then, but now there are humiliating inequalities"

    KRG finance chief vows to end teachers' strike, Rudaw, Oct 7, 2015

    Public-sector workers have gone on strike across Sulaimaniya province in the last three days, protesting long delays in salary payments that have resulted from the Kurdistan region's financial crisis.Many hundreds of government employees have left their posts and taken to the streets to picket in Sulaimaniya city and surrounding areas, including Halabja, Said Sadq, Darbandikhan, Penjwin, Ranya, Chamchamal, and Kalar.Strikes also spilled over into neighboring Erbil province on Monday

    Strikes spreading over KRG salary delays, MOHAMMED HUSSEIN, PATRICK OSGOOD AND RAWAZ TAHIR, Iraq Oil Report, Oct 6, 2015

    KRG teachers launch mass strike over wage delay, Rudaw, Oct 6, 2015

    Flint

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Wage protests in Bashur/Kurdistan Regional Government are escalating.

    Government employees and public school teachers demonstrated in the eastern Kurdish city of Halabja on Friday, calling on the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to pay salaries, which have been delayed some three months. Halabja’s civil servants and teachers went on strike a week ago and criticized the KRG for not paying wages for months.

    Government employees, teachers demonstrate in Halabja, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

    Video: Footage of today's anti-government protests in Silemani's Qeladize, South Kurdistan, Shar press, October 9, 2015

    Mihemed Resul (21) killed & 6 others wounded in protests in district Qeladiz of the province Silemani, Rojnews, October 9, 2015

    PUK officials ask for calm as extra security forces are en route to Qaladze, after KDP gunmen killed 3 civilians, as well wounding 17 more, Slemani Times, October 9, 2015

    KDP guards have wounded the police chief of Qaladze who was trying to lead demonstrators away from KDP HQ., Slemani Times, October 9, 2015

    Video: Sulaimani protesters clash with police, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

    Photos; Protesters clash with police in Sulaimani, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

    At least 17 people were wounded during anti-government protests in Sulaimani on Thursday, medical sources said.

    A spokesperson for the Sulaimani Emergency Hospital told NRT that two police officers were among those injured as protesters clashed with security forces outside the Grand Millennium Hotel, where the region’s main political parties were holding talks on the presidency crisis.

    “Most of the people transferred to hospital were injured due to tear gas,” the hospital spokesperson said.

    The demonstration outside the meetings grew on Thursday as protesters attempted to break through a riot police barricade.

    Later in the afternoon, police fired warning shots as well as tear gas and deployed a water cannon truck to disperse the crowd.

    At least seventeen injured in Sulaimani protests, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

    Kurdistan Parliament Issues Statement Supporting Protesters, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

    Video: Sulaimani protests turn violent, NRT TV, October 8, 2015

    Video: Protesters clas with riot police in Sulaimani, NRT TV, October 8, 2015

    Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in cities across the Kurdistan region to protest delayed salaries and the stalemate between Kurdish political parties that has left the regional government without an official president for since July.

    At the biggest protest site in Suliamani, Rudaw's Saman Basharty witnessed clashes between the police and protesters who had gathered in front of of the Shary Juan Hotel where the five major Kurdish political parties were holding a meeting....

    Dozens of protesters held demonstrations in Erbil and Halabja. In Erbil, a medical official for Rizgari hospital said doctors who have not been paid would continue to help patients, but stressed that the government needs to know the doctors and other workers need their salaries.

    On Tuesday, hundreds of teachers took to the streets in Sulaimani and Erbil after declaring a week-long strike earlier this month over delayed salaries. Representatives of the protesting teachers told Rudaw they refused to go back to work before receiving their full salaries, which have been withheld since July.

    In response, the Kurdistan Regional Government's finance minister said the teachers would be paid on Monday.

    Protests continue across Kurdistan region, Rudaw, October 8, 2015

    Video: Protests in Suliamani, Rudaw, October 8, 2015

    Protests in Halabja, Xendan, October 8, 2015
    Aftermath of riot police use of tear gas in Slemani Iraqi Kurdistan against protesters asking for their salaries, Kurdishblogger, October 8, 2015

    2 people allegedly killed by police. And demonstrations are continuing in the town of Qeladize. My relatives there are saying the situation is getting real bad.
    The families of the killed have armed themselves apparently, so shit is about to go down.

    source, October 9, 2015

    Officials fail to reach decision on Kurdistan presidency, NRT TV, October 9, 2015

    Teachers, hospital workers and other public sector employees have taken to the streets for nearly a week demanding their wages from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), which is three months in arrears...

    "The Kurdistan regional government and officials are to blame," said Ari Ahmed, a 50-year old secondary school headmaster in the city of Sulaimaniyah. "If this is not resolved, we will continue our protest"...

    The KRG needs roughly $1 billion per month to break even, of which $700 million is poured into a bloated public sector that employs 1.3 million people in the region of around 5 million.

    The Kurds have sought to cover those costs by ramping up independent oil sales since early June, effectively annulling a deal with Baghdad whereby the region agreed to contribute 550,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) to Iraqi exports in 2015 in exchange for the reinstatement of budget payments.

    A record 620,478 bpd were exported independently from the region in September, but many Kurds question how revenues are spent: "Oil money should be for the people, not for the mafias," read a banner carried by protesters.

    "They (officials) talked about the economic independence of Kurdistan, but now we realize we were better off before," said teacher Nawshirwan Hama Gharib, who joined the protests in Sulaimaniyah.

    Poor services and political deadlock have also triggered an exodus of Kurds to Europe. Rival factions have yet to agree on the terms of an extension of President Massoud Barzani's mandate, which expired on Aug. 20.

    The last serious civil unrest in the region was in 2011, when Kurds protested against corruption and nepotism.

    "If we don't get any result from these protests we will resort to other means," Gharib said.

    Kurds protest in north Iraq as discontent grows with government, Isabel Coles, Reuters, October 7, 2015

    Flint

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Bakur (South Eastern Turkey)

    kurremkarmerruk has already done a good job giving us information about the Ankara bombing and the general strike after it in Turkey News. The statement of the DAF is on libcom's homepage: Massacre at the 'Labor, Democracy and Peace Meeting' in Ankara.

    It should noted that after the PKK declared a unilateral ceasefire making way for the elections November 1st, there was the bombing and Ankara and then airstrikes by the Turkey's airforce on PKK camps Zap and Metina in Bashur (northern Iraq).

    Bashur (Northern Iraq)

    Protests continued to escalate in the Kurdistan Regional Government area of Iraq. KDP offices have been burned. KDP has responded by removing Gorran (the second largest political party and leader of the majority Gorran-PUK bloc in parliament) from Parliament and the city of Erbil, including the speaker of the house. Prime Minister Barzani fired the four Gorran Ministers: Peshmerga Affairs, Finance and Economic Affairs, Trade and Industry, as well as Endowment and Religious Affairs – in addition to chairmanship of the Kurdistan Board of Investment and head of Parliament. Gorran is calling KDP's actions a coup d'etat.

    KDP also shutdown the offices of NRT TV. Facebook access was blocked in Erbil and Duhok. Nalia media shutdown in Erbil and Duhok.

    [*]A curfew went into effectin in Qaladze.
    [*]More than 180 Protesters Arrested in Sulaimani.
    [*]Iraqi Kurdish protests urge regional president to quit, France 24, October 10, 2015
    [*]KRG 'On Brink of Collapse' says Parliament Speaker, NRT TV, October 12, 2015
    [*]Understanding Recent Events Inside the Kurdistan Region, NRT TV, October 12, 2015
    [*]Political Crisis in Iraqi Kurdistan Escalates into Violence, Patrick Martin, Institute for the Study of War, October 12, 2015
    [*]Political crisis escalates in Iraq's Kurdistan region, PUK Media, October 12, 2015

    Sinjar (Western Iraq)

    Between October 8th and October 10th, 2015: YBŞ & HPG(PKK) forces liberated the four villages of Sikeniyê, Jiddale, Heyalê and Wardiya in SW of Shingal (Sinjar). Earlier, it seized a check point sout of the Shilo gate and the Alneban village, which severed the Mosul-Raqqa road (47). Seizure of Wardiya solidfied severing that road.

    Dilar Dirik has a new article on the self-determined refugees: Forget the UN! Meet the Self-Determining Refugees in Kurdistan

    Dilar Dirik

    During my first visit to the camp in December 2014, the full embargo on Rojava imposed by Turkey and the KDP, the latter controlling the border-crossing on the Iraqi side, prevented any humanitarian aid, including food and blankets, and even books from crossing. Due to political pressure, especially after the resistance of Kobane, some international organizations provide limited aid now, but the embargo continues. The UNHCR, the United Nations refugee agency, attempted to recreate the camp according to its universal concept, neglecting the fact that there was already a self-determining system in practice. Encountering the camp assembly’s resistance, the UNHCR was forced to respect their demands and now provides material needs, which the people coordinate themselves.

    International institutions supposedly in charge have often left these people to die, starve, and suffer, by giving in to state policies. Meanwhile, the refugees, who have had everything taken away from them, create a life in dignity and power.

    In September, the photo of the small child Alan Kurdî from Kobane stranded on a beach after drowning in the sea, managed to touch the silent conscience of humanity. My friend and Kurdish activist Mehmet Aksoy wrote: “Sometimes the fate of a child is written a 100 years before they are born. We are not talking of a divine fate, we are talking of historical forces, politics, power, hegemony, economic exploitation and colonialism.”

    What makes bodies like Alan Kurdî’s so cruelly disposable is this order which values state-borders more than human beings.

    In a world dictated by nation-states, what can we expect from a system like the U.N. that only respects the agency of states, which cause today’s massacres, genocides, ethnic cleansings, mass displacements, poverty, war and destruction to begin with, because it necessitates them by definition, especially considering that the core of it is made up of the top arms-selling states?

    Rendering displaced people as dependent, apolitical non-agents, while leading a chauvinism discourse in host countries which established themselves through imperialism, racism, colonization, theft, exploitation, war, murder, and rape, is a strategy of the international order to maintain the racist status quo. Makhmour, Dêrîk, and Shengal, however, having been empowered by the PKK ideology, which rejects the nation-state system, tell another story.

    Sabriye, a mother from Makhmour explains: “They fear us, because we stand on our feet. We did not trust anyone to save us, we took our fate into our own hands and created our own self-defense and social system. We made life sweeter by organizing ourselves.”

    More than charity, refugees need comrades that help fight displacement causes (like foreign invasions and arms trade) and support the concerned people’s autonomy. Last month, Abdallah Kurdî, Alan’s father, called for the political recognition of the Rojava administration: “I am grateful for your sympathy for my fate. This has given me the feeling that I am not alone. But an essential step in ending this tragedy and avoiding its recurrence, is support for our self-organization.”

    The world cried for Alan’s father, will it support his politics as well?

    Rojava (Northern Syria)

    Announcement of formation of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to be armed by the U.S. and seige Raqqa.

    This list is the YPG/YPJ and there already existing allies. It does show Jaish al-Thuwar working more closely with the YPG in the future.

    This announcement came at the same time the U.S. declared it would begin to airdrop tons of weapons to the YPG and its allies immediately. Speculation is that this was in the works after the failure of Division 30 and the U.S. Train and Equip Program, but the announcement may have also been in response to more involvement in Syria by Russia including a large number of airstrikes against al-Nusra, Islamic Front and some elements of the Free Syrian Army north of Homs. Ilham Ehmed (PYD, TEV-DEM, Yekitya Star) who I was able to meet last week, also told the media that Russia had offered to collaborate with the PYD.

    Amnesty International has put out a report documenting allegations of forced displacement, village / home destruction, and targeted destruction of homes by the YPG.

    "We had nowhere else to go": Forced displacement and demolitions in northern Syria (full report)

    Syria: US ally’s razing of villages amounts to war crimes (summary article), 13 October 2015

    Youtube Video: "We had nowhere else to go": Forced displacement and demolitions in northern Syria. Video includes statements by witnesses as well as reponses from the YPG and Asayiş (Rojava police).

    Its important to note that Amnesty International does not level the charge of ethnic cleansing.
    Amnesty International

    "While the majority of residents affected by these unlawful practices are Arabs and Turkmen, in some cases, for example in the mixed town of Suluk, Kurdish residents have also been barred by the YPG and Asayish from returning to their homes. Elsewhere, for example in Abdi Koy village, a small number of Kurdish residents have also been forcibly displaced by the YPG. Amnesty International researchers also observed that Arab and Turkmen residents continued to reside unmolested in other areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration, including, for example, in the city of Ras al-Ayn, which is predominantly Arab."

    In Hammam al-Turkman
    The largest documented displacement in the full report:

    Amnesty Internationa

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

    Skirmishes and 2 VBIEDs after the YPG took the village.

    Amnesty International

    "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. “They said that we could return if we told them who supported IS,” he said.

    Summary of allegations in the Amnesty International report

    Husseinya village taken in June 2015

    alleged village / home destruction:

    [*] Husseinya (west of Tel Hamees): demolition of 90 homes/225 buildings.
    [*] Asaylem (35km south of Suluk): demolition of 100 of 103 homes
    [*] Mushayrfa (south of Suluk)
    [*] Akrasha (Tel Hamees countryside)
    [*] Safana (Tel Hamees country side)

    alleged forced displacement:

    [*] Forbidding Suluk residents from returning to their town after the YPG took control of the area in June 2015;
    [*] Forcing approximately 1400 families in the Turkman village of Hammam al-Turkman and approximately 50 families from the Arab village of Raneen, south of Suluk, to leave their villages in June and July 2015, respectively;
    [*] Forcing residents of Maaghat village, south of the town of Suluk, to leave their village in June 2015;
    [*] Regularly ordering residents in the Arab village of al-Ghbein, south of the town of Suluk, to leave the area in June-August 2015;
    [*] Forcibly displacing approximately 500 families in the predominately Arab village of Abdi Koy, in the Tel Tamr countryside, in June 2015;
    [*] Telling residents of the Arab village of Tel Fweida, in the Tel Tamr countryside, to join the YPG or leave Syrian Kurdistan, in January 2015, which led 100 families to leave the village;
    [*] Forcibly displacing approximately 800 Turkmen villagers from Mela Berho in July 2015.

    alleged targeted destruction of homes:

    [*] Members of a displaced family from Tel Diyab village, near Ras al-Ayn. Two homes destroyed.
    [*] Members of a displaced family from Ras al-Ayn city, confiscated homes and shops.

    I updated this map to include villages mentioned in the recent Amnesty International report on village/home destruction and displacements.

    I couldn't find the following:

    [list]
    [*]al-Ghbein (Suluk)
    [*] Mela Berho (Suluk)
    [*] Akrasha (Tel Hamees)
    [*] Safana (Tel Hamees)

    But then, neither could the Washington Post map.

    I'm not sure of the exact location of al-Maghat, but the one marked fits the approximate distance from Hammam Turkman in the Amnesty International Report.

    Finally, a photogallery of daily life in Kobane recently

    hood108

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Only the HDP opposed it??? :<

    bob mcglynn

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    DOES ANYONE KNOW OF FORCED CONSCRIPTION IN ROJAVA?- i lost it but i believe it was an x-brit diplomat in nyt who was wowed by rojava, but said some young guys complained of conscription by pyd. we had heard of forced concrip. by OTHERS in rojava, not pyd, that's why we put in our 'statement for rojava'* a note against conscription. 'lions of rojava' i hope are off when they said collectivisation was forced in spain ala civil war - i'd read @'s in catalonia gave a choice of course-- flint i sent the 'kurdish news weekly breifing' (not @ but dig us) yer 'kurdish news' addr which they really dig and will distribute- call 'em at [email protected] and please list their 'breifing' as resource. pleeeeeeez get in touch with me and network with 'breifing' so i dont have to be endless middleperson- if this is offed this thread i'll send it as message too---

    over + out, "b"oB mcglynn-o-mat-ic

    *by Neither East Nor West-NYC

    Flint

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Bob, Rojava/PYD/TEV-DEM has conscription. Here is a study on it:

    https://www.nyidanmark.dk/NR/rdonlyres/991BA1A7-84C6-42A2-BC16-23CE6B5D862C/0/Syriennotat26feb2015.pdf

    Battlescarred

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    http://www.voanews.com/content/syrian-kurds-accused-of-human-rights-abuses-against-arabs/3003693.html

    kurekmurek

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Flint shared the full report above. Amnesty says YPG does human rights violations against all available ethnicities (including kurds), however YPG says this is because of war and security. And apparently what they do is to force people whom they suspect to have connections with IS, sometimes even as a whole village. And just to note: needless to say this is horrible if it is unjustified (which seems to be so to a certain degree).

    Flint

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    We also already knew that atleast one village was totally destroyed

    pkk1978"

    "The only I have seen a village burn was when our unit, some of the fighters I was responsible for, they blew up a house that had IEDs in the doorway. So we blew it up. Then it burned. Then it burned down the house next to it. Then it spread to half the village. When night came half the village was gone! Not only did I get castigated... I got arrested, thrown (unjustly) into a cell in Kobane for it, and had to wait until an investigation was finished into what had happened. To this day I have a black mark for that happening. I suppose we could have not blow up the house? (maybe, but I think if a house is rigged to blow you just blow up the house because you don't know if there are other trip wires connected it). We had to use that village for a nighttime defense operation and there was no way I was going to let that house stay there... all the while it was mined.

    Ask Me Anything with a PKK fighter who was in the Battle of Kobane

    kurekmurek

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    YPG's response:
    YPG General Commander Hemo on Syrian Democratic Force, US Weapons & Amnesty Report
    http://civiroglu.net/2015/10/15/ypg-general-commander-hemo-on-syrian-democratic-force-us-weapons-amnesty-report/

    I find one part of the interview curious though: he says "One more point, 30% of YPG made up of Arabs." Is there anything that confirms this? Flint? This is rather high in my opinion (and does not directly mean that YPG does not harm arabs. But to certain sense shows how PKK, YPG etc is evolving increasingly towards an ethnically mixed force parallel to their ideological changes -if it is true of course :D - )

    kurekmurek

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Another answer from a voluntary from UK: He says he have been in the places mentioned in the report. There is only temporary moving of people and not real forced migraine policy. Ypg has good relations with arabs. He criticizes that report is just based on "witness accounts" and not actual first hand accounts and invites (head of) Amnesty to come to Rojava.
    http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/kurdistan/west-kurdistan/open-letter-to-amnesty-from-uk-ypg-volunteer.html

    Flint

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    kurremkarmerruk

    I find one part of the interview curious though: he says "One more point, 30% of YPG made up of Arabs." Is there anything that confirms this? Flint? This is rather high in my opinion (and does not directly mean that YPG does not harm arabs. But to certain sense shows how PKK, YPG etc is evolving increasingly towards an ethnically mixed force parallel to their ideological changes -if it is true of course :D - )

    When Hannah Lucinda Smith made her allegations about ethnic cleansing, there was a radio interview with a PYD member about it. They gave a % of Arab composition of the YPG. Though it was hard to hear. It might have been 30%.

    30% is likely. The YPG/YPJ (and Sendadid, MFS, HXP, HPC) is estimated at 50,000. 30% of that would be 15,000.

    First, there is Quwat al-Senadid (Forces of the Brave) the Jarba Shammar unit. Its been growing. They have their own logo, but they are part of the YPG. The Humaydi Dahmam al-Assi al-Jarba, a cousin of Ahmet Jarba, former head of the Syrian opposition is local tribal chief of the Jarba Shammar, is co-governor of the Jazeera/Cizire canton (goveronate of Hasakah).

    The YPG has had other Arab battalions in it.

    The conscription program began in Hasakah/Jazeera canton; which has the largest % of Arabs in of any Rojava canton. Arabs are included in the conscription program. Its primary website is in arabic and there is a lot of arabic in its videos. This may well be where the YPG get's the majority of its 30% Arabs.

    2000 fighters from Arabic tribe al-Baggara joined the YPG. They are from the Mount Kazawan/Abdul Aziz area southwest of Hasakah. Other Arab tribes that work with the YPG: Zubayd, Jawala, Sharabi, Benitaba and Rashid

    Also, I don't know if they are included in the 30%--there are the Arab groups in Burkan al-Furat and Jaysh al-Thuwar which have combined with the YPG to form the Syrian Democratic Forces (Hêzên Sûriyeya Demokratîk / Alddimuqratiat Quwwat Suria ). The groups that make up Jaysh al-Thuwar: Liwa 99 Infantry (Arabs), Liwa al-Sultan Selim (Turkmen), Special Operations Brigade (Arabs), Kataeb Shams al-Shamal (Arabs & Kurds), Jabhat al-Akrad (Arabs & Kurds), al-Fawj 777 (Arabs), Tajamuu Thuwar Homs (Arabs) and Liwa Saljuqiyah (Turkmen). Some other groups involved: Ahrar Al-Zawiya (Arabs), Atarib martyrs battalion (Arabs), Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa (Arabs), Al-Tahrir Brigade (Arabs) and Saraya Jarabulus (Arabs). The Arabs in the Syrian Democratic Forces are also grouped together as the Syrian Arab Coalition. We may see several other previously FSA affiliated groups of majority Arabs joining the Syrian Democratic Forces because doing so will probably stop Russia from bombing them. Also, the U.S. has shutdown its previous "Train & Equip" program and is instead going to arm the Syrian Democratic Forces. Whatever is left of the U.S. proxy force--Division 30 may be involved; when they were attacked by al-Nusra they fled to the YPG safety of the Afrin canton.

    Also worth mentioning is the 2,000 members of the Syriac Military Council that have a strong relationship with the YPG.

    The Amnesty International report mentioned that Arabs in the YPG were among the folks issuing demands that people relocate in certain villages.

    Flint

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes in Cizîr Canton has condemned the Amnesty International over its report on alleged “forced displacement and home demolitions suffered by civilians under the de facto control of the Autonomous Administration led by the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party, PYD)".

    The Assembly said the Amnesty International report was partial and based on a lie distorting the truths.

    Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes – which include El-Cihêş, El-Begara, El-Niêm, El-Şerabî ve El-Şemer- and Îshaq Ezîz and Tony Kîso on behalf of the Syriac people held a joint press conference in Himo village of Qamishlo and strongly condemned the report involving heavy insults against the YPG...

    Describing the mentioned allegations on the forced displacement of Arab people by YPG-YPJ forces as a lie far from reality, the Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes in Cizîr Canton strongly condemned the report, and underlined that; “The Arab, Kurdish, Christian and Êzidî peoples in our region have been living together in peace and mutual trust for centuries. They share each other's sorrow and joy, and everyone has their rights.”

    The statement stressed that Amnesty International should have rather talked to the people in the region about the incidents if they really aimed to learn about the reality there. It also noted that the Assembly of Arab Tribes have talked to the region's people about the allegations, who also refuted the claims mentioned in the report.

    Recalling previous reports by some media organisations that voiced similar accusations against YPG-YPJ forces, the Assembly said the local people had once again refuted those allegations and described them as a lie when they were asked about their trueness.

    "For instance, we had previously received reports that YPG-YPJ and asayish (publis security) forces had expelled our Arab brothers and sisters from Mount Kizwan. As the Begara tribe and Ruspîs, we formed a delegation and visited the YPG-YPJ forces. During a meeting that lasted for four hours, we discussed about the allegations. We later talked to the people as well. After our talks, we decided to ensure the discharge of our people from the area of Mount Kizwan because it was witnessing heavy clashes with ISIS gangs and the people there had no security of life as the enemies were not discriminating between civilians and combatants while they launched attacks. This is a reality. Amnesty International should obtain information from the source itself and have it confirmed. YPG-YPJ forces faced similar baseless allegations also when our Assyrian brothers and sisters migrated from villages in Xabur region. However, the truth revealed itself when we talked to the local people who told that ISIS gangs had forced them to migrate and demolished their houses.”

    Confirming the presence of a demolition suffered during the war and conflict in the region, the Assembly said this was however caused by not YPG-YPJ forces as is claimed by Amnesty International, but by ISIS gangs. "It is known by everyone that ISIS gangs blow up houses and lands and lay mines while fleeing an area. This is a reality that has been witnessed in many regions of Syria and Iraq. Amnesty International has grounded its report on sources that want to eliminate the love and co-existence among all social circles and replace it with enmity."

    Arab tribes in Rojava say Amnesty International distorts the truths, ANF, October 16, 2015

    Flint

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes in Cizîr Canton has condemned the Amnesty International over its report on alleged “forced displacement and home demolitions suffered by civilians under the de facto control of the Autonomous Administration led by the Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat (Democratic Union Party, PYD)".

    The Assembly said the Amnesty International report was partial and based on a lie distorting the truths.

    Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes – which include El-Cihêş, El-Begara, El-Niêm, El-Şerabî ve El-Şemer- and Îshaq Ezîz and Tony Kîso on behalf of the Syriac people held a joint press conference in Himo village of Qamishlo and strongly condemned the report involving heavy insults against the YPG...

    Describing the mentioned allegations on the forced displacement of Arab people by YPG-YPJ forces as a lie far from reality, the Ruspîs Assembly of Arab Tribes in Cizîr Canton strongly condemned the report, and underlined that; “The Arab, Kurdish, Christian and Êzidî peoples in our region have been living together in peace and mutual trust for centuries. They share each other's sorrow and joy, and everyone has their rights.”

    The statement stressed that Amnesty International should have rather talked to the people in the region about the incidents if they really aimed to learn about the reality there. It also noted that the Assembly of Arab Tribes have talked to the region's people about the allegations, who also refuted the claims mentioned in the report.

    Recalling previous reports by some media organisations that voiced similar accusations against YPG-YPJ forces, the Assembly said the local people had once again refuted those allegations and described them as a lie when they were asked about their trueness.

    "For instance, we had previously received reports that YPG-YPJ and asayish (publis security) forces had expelled our Arab brothers and sisters from Mount Kizwan. As the Begara tribe and Ruspîs, we formed a delegation and visited the YPG-YPJ forces. During a meeting that lasted for four hours, we discussed about the allegations. We later talked to the people as well. After our talks, we decided to ensure the discharge of our people from the area of Mount Kizwan because it was witnessing heavy clashes with ISIS gangs and the people there had no security of life as the enemies were not discriminating between civilians and combatants while they launched attacks. This is a reality. Amnesty International should obtain information from the source itself and have it confirmed. YPG-YPJ forces faced similar baseless allegations also when our Assyrian brothers and sisters migrated from villages in Xabur region. However, the truth revealed itself when we talked to the local people who told that ISIS gangs had forced them to migrate and demolished their houses.”

    Confirming the presence of a demolition suffered during the war and conflict in the region, the Assembly said this was however caused by not YPG-YPJ forces as is claimed by Amnesty International, but by ISIS gangs. "It is known by everyone that ISIS gangs blow up houses and lands and lay mines while fleeing an area. This is a reality that has been witnessed in many regions of Syria and Iraq. Amnesty International has grounded its report on sources that want to eliminate the love and co-existence among all social circles and replace it with enmity."

    Arab tribes in Rojava say Amnesty International distorts the truths, ANF, October 16, 2015[/quote]

    Who are these Arab tribes?

    El-Cihêş, El-Begara, El-Niêm, El-Şerabî ve El-Şemer
    The version of the article in Arabic with latin letters:
    eashirat albikarati, alshshirabiiyna, alshshamri, aljbura, alnnaeymu

    El-Şemer/al-Shamri/Shammar
    El-Begara/al-Bikarati/Baqqara/al-Baggara
    Arabic tribe Bagara is ready to join YPG with 2000 fighters

    El-Niêm/al-Naeymu/Na’im
    El-Şerabî/al-Shirabiiyna/Sharabiya/Sharabi
    El-Cihêş
    al-Jbura/Jubur

    The largest qabila in Syria, particularly the Ougaidat, Baggaraand Shammar, are transnational tribal confederations that have constituent clans throughout the country. These qabila are, however, present in the greatest numbers in the Jazirah region. Some qabila in Syria, such as the ‘Anaza of Homs governorate, the Ta’ie of al-Hasakah governorate, and the Na’im are present in Syria in smaller numbers than in neighboring states. Of these smaller qabila, al-Na’im is the largest and some al-Na’im tribesmen have raised an opposition brigade in the Damascus countryside.

    Baggara tribesmen are also religiously divided by the conversion to Shi’ism of a reported quarter of the Baggara confederation in villages south of Aleppo as a result of Iranian-funded proselytization (see Terrorism Monitor, June 1, 2012; September 15, 2011). Tribal leaders from the Shammar and Ougaidat confederations offered a cultural explanation for the Baggara’s lack of internal tribal coherence and Sunni to Shiite conversions by suggesting they were the result of the Baggara’s roots as a sheep or goat-herding tribe and not a “noble” camel-herding tribe. (11) In Aleppo, Baggara fighters are reported to work with the Syrian military to attack opposition controlled neighborhoods in the city, and Syrian opposition fighters also claim to have fought Baggara tribesmen supporting the Syrian military during a battle fought to free prisoners held at the Aleppo Central Prison. (12)

    Overall leadership of the Baggara was at one point claimed by Shaykh Nawaf Raghib al-Bashir, the son of the now deceased former paramount Shaykh of the Baggara. Shaykh al-Bashir, who was one of the prominent opposition figures who signed the 2005 reformist Damascus Declaration, was jailed by the Syrian government in 2011 and reportedly forced to issue a statement in support of President Bashar al-Assad (al-Sharq al-Awsat, January 18, 2012). Following his defection to Turkey, Shaykh al-Bashir became a prominent leader within the Council of the Arab Tribes in Syria and the leader of the Jazirah and Euphrates Front to Liberate Syria (al-Safir (Beirut), February 21)...

    Shaykh al-Bashir has organized several armed groups that have actively sought to attack Kurds in and around the ethnically mixed city of Ras al-‘Ayn in the northeastern area of al-Hasakah governorate along the Turkish border (National (Dubai), January 30). Pro-government Baggara fighters, without links to Shaykh al-Bashir, are also stated to have participated in attacks against the Kurdish Partiya Yekitiya Demokrat (PYD - Democratic Union Party) in the ethnically mixed northern Aleppo neighborhood of Shaykh Maqsud (Welati.info, May 11, 2012). The participation of Baggara tribal fighters in attacks against Kurds demonstrates the continuingly fragile state of Kurdish and Arab tribal relations in ethnically mixed regions such as Aleppo and al-Jazirah (see Terrorism Monitor, June 1, 2012).

    The cities of al-Hasakah and Qamishli in the northeastern area of the governorate of al-Hasakah near the borders with Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan have emerged as a site of conflict between Arab tribes and Kurds. In Qamishli, members of the Ta’ie tribe have been organized into pro-Assad “Popular Committees” under the command of the Syrian MP and Ta’ie Shaykh Muhammad Fares and are reported to have engaged in several clashes with Kurdish fighters from the PYD (All4Syria, November 30, 2012). However, local Arab tribal leaders and Kurdish notables who grew up together have formed a joint council in Qamishli to avoid such conflict. The conflict on the Kurdish side is generated by individuals and groups linked to the PYD.

    The Tribal Factor in Syria’s Rebellion: A Survey of Armed Tribal Groups in Syria, Nicholas A. Heras, Carole A. O'Leary, Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 11 Issue: 13June 27, 2013

    The predominate form of social identity and mobilization among Sunni Arabs in al-Hasakah Province is through Sunni Arab tribalism.(8) Sunni Arab tribes in the region include branches of multinational tribal confederations such as the Shammar, the Ougaidat, the Baggara, the Taie, and the Jabbour, and smaller tribal groups such as the al-Sharabiyya and the Zubayd.(9) Ougaidat, Shammar, and the Albu Hassan branch of the Baggara that predominate in the province’s southern sub-districts of al-Arisha, al-Shaddadeh, and Markadah maintain close ties to their kinsmen in neighboring Deir al-Zour Province.(10) Several of the region’s Sunni Arab tribes, including the Shammar, Jabbour, and the Baggara, also have cross-border ties with fellow tribesmen in Iraq which they have drawn upon for social and armed support during the course of the Syrian civil war.[11]

    In the northern, Kurdish-majority areas of al-Hasakah Province, many of these Sunni Arab tribal groups were settled in the area from 1965-1976 as part of the “Arab Belt” policy of the Ba`ath government, which established government-built Arab communities on land taken from resident Kurds that were situated amidst Kurdish villages.(12) It is estimated that approximately 60,000 Kurds were displaced from their land by this policy.(13) Ougaidat, Shammar and Baggara, who predominate in the province’s southern sub-districts of al-Arisha, al-Shaddadeh, and Markadah, also maintain close ties to their kinsmen in neighboring Deir al-Zour Province.[14] Some Sunni Arab tribesmen participate in armed opposition groups that fight against both the al-Assad government and the Kurdish militias in the region, including the al-Qa`ida-affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra.(15) One particular tribally organized armed group that has cooperated with Jabhat al-Nusra in the region is the “Free Jazira Brigade,” which is organized by Shammar tribesmen and is an affiliate of the Free Syrian Army that has a presence near the Syrian-Iraqi border in the northeastern Yarubiyya sub-district

    THE BATTLE FOR SYRIA’S AL-HASAKAH PROVINCE, Nicholas A. Heras, Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point, October 24, 2013

    kurekmurek

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    http://www.ypgrojava.com/en/index.php/statements/809-statement-by-the-gen-comm-of-the-people-s-defense-units-in-response-to-amnesty-international-s-october-8th-report

    This is a point based refutation of Amnesty's report. It is very throughout. However there are some problems related to some arguments which appear to me as problems of language (for example about shooting towards the direction of boys issue), if not deliberate attempts to misdirect. However these problems I mention are minor parts of the text. Other parts, -if it is as far as I know of the situation- really accurate and makes a convincing case about the argument that what is happening is not practice of a policy of "displacement" (secret or public) but maybe a "war crime" (at least in some aspects). However YPG says mostly this is not the case either. They also show some of the suspicious references behind the report. Plus again emphasise how the numbers of Arabic fighters are increasing in YPG side (now like %25) which I find really important.

    Flint

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Entdinglichung

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    and then came Zizek: http://kurdishquestion.com/index.php/insight-research/slavoj-zizek-kurds-are-the-most-progressive-democratic-nation-in-the-middle-east.html

    Flint

    6 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Teaching Kurdish curriculum in 507 school in Aljazeera canton

    head of education body Mouhamed Abdo confirmed that 86,606 students in 705 primary schools in all cities of the canton take lessons in Kurdish curriculum which was prepared by education body for 2015.

    He pointed that all the schools in the region of self-administration belong to them and they take the full responsibilities towards these schools and they implement their plans and programs according to the charter of social contract ,so this year the education body has introduced the Kurdish curriculum into schools for the first, second and third grades just for the Kurds students .

    About the number of teachers who teach this curriculum he said:

    The number of the teachers are 2500 and the education body have assigned 3000 teachers instead of who were expelled by the regime ,and the body give the salaries of all these teachers

    Regarding the current and future plans for the education body he added :

    We are trying to repair all the schools in the canton in addition provide it with heaters and diesel material ,also they prepare a workshop to produce and repair the chairs of the schools . on the other hand the commission to prepare curriculum started to prepare Arabic and Syriac curriculum on the approach of democratic nation, this curriculum supposed to enter the schools in the next year.

    Teaching Kurdish curriculum in 507 school in Aljazeera canton, Kanonrojava.com, November 4, 2015

    Some links on mother tongue education:

    "Kurdish Language and Education Institution and Democratic Society Education Committee in the canton have trained 1625 teachers for 306 schools. 100 of these teachers have been prepared to give lessons in Arabic.

    306 schools provide mother-tongue education in Efrîn Canton, ANF, October 20, 2015

    If Efrin has a similar teacher-student ratio as Jazeera canton, then Efrin has 55,250 students; of which 3400 are being educated in Arabic.

    Mother tongue class opened in Dersim, ANF, February 21, 2015

    The KCK said no language was superior to another.

    “Every language is precious. Language is the spirit of the body. Language and spirit, language and brain, language and life. Nothing has any meaning without this dialectic. Peoples who cannot freely use their language are enslaved. Therefore, hostility to language is one of the cruellest crimes committed against humanity.”

    KCK: Let us step up the struggle for mother tongue education, ANF, February 21, 2015

    HDP MP: Mother-tongue education is a must of contemporary democracy, ANF, September 17, 2015
    DTK calls for a boycott against schools for the right to mother tongue, ANF, September 21, 2015
    So across the board of the Kurdish freedom movement, the KCK, TEV-DEM, HDP and DTK are all united in making mother tongue instruction available. Its not surprising that TEV-DEM and the Rojava Cantons are the most advance in this struggle.

    I wrote a line by line criticism of two articles critical of the new curriculum.

    After 52-year ban, Syrian Kurds now taught Kurdish in schools, Al Monitor, Massoud Hamed, November 6, 2015

    Video of a protest against the new curricula, you can clearly see PDK(KDP) flags and the ENKS signs at the end.

    The always anti-PYD "Kurdwatch" site says:

    "Thirteen Kurdish organizations from Syria as well as numerous writers and activists—including quite a few people in exile—issued a statement criticizing the education policy of the transitional administration for the canton of Jazirah, which was appointed by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). By October 5, the statement had nearly one hundred ninety signatures."

    Amudah: Nearly two hundred activists criticize PYD’s education policy, KurdWatch, October 10, 2015

    190 signatures INCLUDING "quite a few people in exile". For a school system of 86,606 students.

    "On September 28, the first day of school after vacation, many elementary schools were reportedly almost empty. One reason why parents are not sending their children to school is that they reject the PYD’s political indoctrination. Another problem is that there are no teachers in Syria who are trained to teach in the Kurdish language.

    Schools in the predominantly Arab districts and regions of al‑Hasakah province are not affected by the decree.


    Al-Hasakah: PYD seeks to make the glorification of Öcalan a key element of school instruction
    , KurdWatch, October 1, 2015

    I'm skeptical of KurdWatch's claim that many schools were almost empty.

    your_dog

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    @kurremkarmerruk

    The individual behind the Amnesty International report apparently has anti-Kurd sentiments.

    https://twitter.com/re2baz/status/663112261020454912

    kurekmurek

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Yeah ok. I tried to follow twitter discussions but could not get anything conclusive. Though that kristian benedict guy looks very biased against Kurds given his history (preventing Kurdish organisations from speaking in a Arab Spring Solidarity rally).

    Anyway here is this news:
    http://m.radikal.com.tr/turkiye/suriyeli-kurtler-ypgnin-cagrisi-uzerine-geri-donmeye-basladi-1468446
    According to this PYD called back the refugees of Cezire in Turkey. Each day about 500 people cross the border and go back to the canton from Turkey.

    Flint

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    “Those behind the message published by AINA want to give that school back to the regime after the regime abandoned it and it was taken by ISIS. After that it was captured from ISIS by Syriac Military Council and YPG. The person responsible for the building has been told that he is free to continue the education but that the building cannot be handed back to Assad control. Assad aims to put his military in that building as it is strategically located and can be used tactically as fortification. It is obvious that the regime cannot be trusted with this as they were unable to defend this location against ISIS”

    The Foundation stated that there is no confiscation law, adding; “There was a proposal adopted in parliament in Amuda to deal with the abandoned properties due to emigration. In this proposal property under management by first and second degree family members was excluded. However this proposal was NOT adopted by the government.”

    "The Foundation said those who killed David Jendo got between 12 and 20 years sentences."

    . Note: Constitutionally, Rojava has no death penalty.

    The Foundation said it is incomprehensible that some Syriac Christians are against education legislation that allows Aramaic to be educated in public schools for the first time in history.

    Regarding the claim that YPG enforced special taxes, the CPFE continued by highlighting the followings; “The fact that those behind the AINA story call the taxation and subscription by the Assad regime 'legitimate' shows that they in fact are backing the Assad regime and are simply against opposition to the regime. They expose the political nature of their message and demonstrate that they are in fact propagating the regime.”

    The Foundation voiced doubts that the alleged joint statement published by AINA might have been made 'on behalf of all these groups' whose names were listed in the report.

    “If Syriac Christians were indeed oppressed by their Kurdish neighbours, why are they fighting side by side against ISIS? If this allegation would be true, why would they co-operate in governing this area as the Syriac Union party does? So, the AINA message only represents those who are simply pro-Assad.”

    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.

    This statement was put out based on an article published by AINA that we previously discussed here. It did have a report on the Conference on security of Minorities in Iraq, European Parliament:

    This unique declaration calls for political support from the EU, for a realistic approach to realise self-administration and self-defence in those districts where each of these peoples form the majority. In this regard they focus in particular on Sinjar (Ezidi’s), Nineveh Plain (CSA), Tel Afar and Tuzhurmatu (Turkmens).... In light of the recent atrocities committed by ISIS against each of these peoples, their self-administration and self-defence has become paramount for their existence in Iraq. These atrocities have been preceded by a long history of disempowerment and discrimination against these peoples. In order to change victims into citizens, a real sense of self-determination and the possibility of defence is necessary. There is a clear need for a viable political vision that restores the broken trust of many refugees and gives them a perspective for their future in Iraq.

    Moreover, the declaration speaks against independence or isolation from other peoples in Iraq. It calls on the EU to support them in negotiations with the Kurdistan Regional Government and the government of Iraq, to reach the needed self-administration and defence.

    kurekmurek

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    YPG says
    Turkey attacked Kobane
    http://www.imctv.com.tr/ypg-turk-ordusu-kobaniye-saldirdi/

    kurekmurek

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    details of the above here:
    http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkish-military-allegedly-shell-kobane-ypg-and-arabs-advances-strategic-town-1894959234

    wojtek

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Long journalism piece in the Nyt:
    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/magazine/a-dream-of-utopia-in-hell.html?_r=1&referer=

    wojtek

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Do they need anyone to do safe but crappy jobs like the ironing or the washing up? Lol. I make a mean brew...

    Would the Uk Foreign Office consider you a terrorist if you hypothetically went over to be a tea lady for the YPG? Hehe

    Sike

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    wojtek

    Would the Uk Foreign Office consider you a terrorist if you hypothetically went over to be a tea lady for the YPG? Hehe

    For serving tea to the YPG, probably not. On the other hand I do think that being a tea lady for the PKK would indeed be whole different ballgame as far as the UK Foreign Office is concerned.

    :)

    Ed

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    So I've been thinking about this in light of the Don't Bomb Syria protests today; is it possible to get a consistent position between supporting Rojava and the anti-war movement? I mean, it was my understanding (though I could be wrong) that the YPG/J want more bombing in Syria as airstrikes restrict the movement of ISIS forces.. so how does this fit with the Stop the War types? Is it possible to be anti-war and pro-Rojava at the same time?

    Spikymike

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Ed - don't expect consistency from the 'Stop the War' bunch leading many of these protests here and the language of both pro and anti camps is anyway designed to tie everyone up in a nationalist discourse and state led military campaigns the practical results of which we have little influence over either way.

    jolasmo

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Ed

    So I've been thinking about this in light of the Don't Bomb Syria protests today; is it possible to get a consistent position between supporting Rojava and the anti-war movement? I mean, it was my understanding (though I could be wrong) that the YPG/J want more bombing in Syria as airstrikes restrict the movement of ISIS forces.. so how does this fit with the Stop the War types? Is it possible to be anti-war and pro-Rojava at the same time?

    I'm quite interested in this as well, speaking as someone who's still fairly skeptical of a lot of the claims coming out of the pro-Rojava left I'd like to know how (or indeed if) you square the circle of opposing western military intervention when said intervention is a key part of the Kurdish forces military success in the region.

    ~J.

    Spikymike

    6 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    jolasmo and Ed,
    You might find it useful to scan the critical views expressed in this text and some of the replies it received in getting a handle on the different leftist responses to the recent UK Parliamentary vote on Syrian bombing:
    https://attheinlandsea.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/we-like-our-syrians-dead-the-british-left-and-david-cameron/
    I picked this up on a recent Plan C link elsewhere on this site which you could also look up if you wish. I'm not recommending the analysis of either but it helps to know where others are coming from on this issue.

    Flint

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    *Democratic Syria Assembly to be comprised of 42 people*

    Democratic Syria Congress seeking a resolution to the crisis in Syria continues in Dêrîk city in its second day. The congress is being held under the slogan “Towards building of a free and democratic Syria”, and participated by 103 delegates representing Syrian political, military and societal opposition organisations.
    Following the decision to establish Democratic Syrian Assembly to serve as the political representative in Syria of Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD), participants have determined that the Assembly will be comprised of 42 people to operate in the coming period.
    According to the initial reports received from the congress which continues closed to the press, the Assembly will involve;

    - 13 members from Democratic Autonomous Administration (Rojava/Tev-Dem),
    - 1 member from Arab tribes,
    - 1 member from Kurdish tribes,
    - 3 members from the Political Consultation Board of Political Parties,
    - 2 members from the Wheat Wave Movement (Teyar El-Qemih)
    - 1 member from the Honor and Rights Agreement Community,
    - 1 member from the Syrian National Democratic Consensus Committee,
    - 1 member from the Shehba Regional Assembly,
    - 1 member from each one of Turkmen, Assyrian, Arab, Syriac and Êzîdî peoples,
    - 1 member from the youth,
    - 1 member from the Syrian Democratic Modernity Party,
    - 1 member from the Socialist Democratic Baath Party,
    - 1 member from Jabal Arab,
    - 1 member from Syrian National Mass,
    - 5 members from the independent (to be elected by themselves).

    source

    More on the Democratic Syria Conference Convenes As An Alternative To Riyadh:

    Democratic Autonomy Administration (TEV-DEM), Rojava Political Consultation Party Group, Syrian Democratic Community, Honor and Rights Agreement Community, Wheat Wave Movement (Teyar El-Qemih), Syrian National Democratic Consensus Committee.

    The participants also include Cairo Congress Dialogue Committee, Arab National Council, Yekîtiya Star organisation, Initiative of Syrian Women, Syriac Women's Union, Progressive Democratic Party of Syrian Kurds, Democratic Modernity Party, Kurdistan Freedom Party, Democratic Assyrian Party, Tal Abyad Turkmen Community as well as many independent individuals, prominent figures from Kurdish and Arab tribes, writers and journalists.

    Notes:

    Jabal al-Arab is Jabal al-Druze.

    This seems to be the political organization of civil society that the Syrian Democratic Forces are intended to be accountable.

    Shehba Regional Assembly may represent this area--or north Aleppo Kurdish communities. This area was once a stronghold for Jabhat al-Krad.

    Haytham Manna is involved with the Wheat Wave Movement (Teyar El-Qemih). Manna was also part of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change. The NCCDC also included the PYD, the SUP and the Socialist Democratic Baath Party.

    Interview with Honor & Rights Agreement Community about Syrian Democratic Assembly

    Flint

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    THE RUMEILAN CONGRESS

    The second congress, organized in response to the one in Riyadh, is being held in Syrian Kurdistan. It has been set up by the dominant Kurdish group in that area, a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party best known as the PKK; although in Syria it hides behind a variety of other acronyms: PYD, YPG, YPJ, TEV-DEM, and so on.

    The most recent addition to that long and growing list of letters is the SDF, which stands for the Syrian Democratic Forces. It is currently the Pentagon’s favored client in Syria, receiving American ammunition deliveries in order to attack the self-proclaimed Islamic State along a lengthy frontline in the northeast. But in political terms, the PKK—which forms the core of the SDF—is much closer to Moscow than it is to Washington. The Kurds are at war with most of the Arab mainstream opposition, as well as the hardline jihadists, all of whom view the PKK and its Syrian affiliates as an ally of Russia and Assad.

    While the Americans thus far have significant differences with the Kurds, just as they do with Ahrar al-Sham and other Arab rebel factions, they recognize the importance of including the Kurds in any peace talks. But, the Turks do not. The Turkish government has been at war with the PKK since the late 1970s and it absolutely refuses to allow any political role for the group. By mobilizing their allies in the National Coalition, who said they would boycott if any PKK-affiliated faction was invited, the Turks were threatening to scuttle the whole Riyadh meeting. They had their way. Kurdish members of the National Coalition will be present, but the PKK-affiliated groups will not, even though they rule around two million people inside Syria—more than the National Coalition could dream of.

    Angered at their exclusion and eager to remain in the headlines, the Kurds have set up their own conference in the city of Rumeilan, in northeast Syria. The invitees are a who’s who of local PKK allies and front groups, but there are also a number of Arab and Syriac delegates flown in from elsewhere, including a splinter faction from the National Coordination Body and other allies of the leftist exile dissident Heitham Mannaa. Mannaa, who defected from the National Coordination Body this spring, was invited to the Riyadh meeting but boycotted it, partly because of the exclusion of his Kurdish allies.

    The purpose of the Rumeilan conference is to create a political wing for the SDF, called the Syrian Democratic Front (and thus also abbreviated SDF, which doesn’t help). It will promote a secular, feminist, and religiously inclusive political agenda, in tune with the PKK-backed autonomy project in Syria. It will also be flexible on all things except Kurdish autonomy, presenting itself as a moderate third force that could help bridge the gap between Assad and the Sunni Arab opposition. It’s a smart move and will be hard to handle for the Americans, who are already backing the Kurds against the Islamic State. How could they explain that they are sending arms to this group, but simultaneously have it excluded from the peace talks?

    Riyadh, Rumeilan, and Damascus: All You Need to Know About Syria’s Opposition Conferences, Aron Lund, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, December 9th,2015

    Flint

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Democratic Syria Assembly (MSD), which was formed during the Democratic Syria Congress held in Derîk on 8-9 December, held its first meeting in Rimêlan town of Girkê Legê city yesterday.

    During the meeting, 43 names to serve in the executive board of the Assembly have been determined. All the political parties, organisations and individuals that participated in the congress have been granted representation in the Assembly.

    Accordingly, the Political Board of Democratic Syria Assembly (MSD) involves;

    1- Salih El-Nebwanî – Law–Citizenship–Rights Movement/QMH

    2- Heysem Menaa – Law–Citizenship–Rights Movement/QMH

    3- Macid Hebo – Law–Citizenship–Rights Movement/QMH

    4- Betar El-Şerih – Society for Honor and Rights Convention

    5- Meram Dawûd – Society for Honor and Rights Convention

    6- Ziyad El-Asî – Syrian Democratic Society (affiliated to Ahmed Al-Jarba)

    7- Kerîm El-Dîn Fadil Fetûm – Al-Arabi Socialist Democratic Baath Party

    8- Ebilqadir El-Miwehed – Syrian Democratic Modernity Party led by Fîras Qesas

    9- Parêzer Elaaddin El-Xalid – Syrian National Democratic Coalition

    10- Ehmed Ehrec – Syrian National Democratic Coalition

    11- Fîdan Berîm – (Rewan Mihemed) Syrian National Democratic Coalition

    12- Al-Shahba Regional Assembly representative (Aleppo countryside)

    13- Îşûh Gewriyê – Syriac Union Party

    14- Şemîran Şemûn – Syriac Union Party

    15- Lawyer Macid Behî – Syriac Union Party

    16- Mihmedê Mûsê Left Party of Syrian Kurds

    17- Rojîn Remo – Women's Representative

    18- Alî Hoco – (from Jarablus region)

    19- Sîhanok Dîbo – PYD

    20- Hikmet Hebîb – Arab National Coalition

    21- Mistefa Meşayix – Syrian Kurds' Progressive Democratic Party/Yekîtî

    22- Wail Mîrza – Assyrian Democratic Party

    23- Telal Mihemed – Syrian Kurds' Democratic Peace Party

    24- Mizgîn Zêdan – Democratic Transformation Party

    25- Ferhad Têlo – Kurdistan Liberal Unity Party

    26- Xensa Hemûd – Bureau of Arab Women

    27- Newal El-Mezîd (Independent)

    28- Ebdilrezaq Mihemed El-Taî – Democratic Council of Arab Tribes in Cizîr region

    29- Îlham Ehmed – TEV-DEM

    30- Cîhad Mihemed Omer – TEV-DEM

    31- Emar Helûş El-Salêm (Independent)

    32- Fewzî Şengalî – Partiya Wîfaqa Demokratîk a Kurdî li Sûriyeyê

    33- Emced Osman – Syrian Reform Movement/Al-Îslah

    34- Îbrahîm El-Hesen – Girê Spî Turkmen Representative

    35- Bêrîvan Ehmed – Youth's Representative

    36- Faris Eto Şemo – Mala Êzîdiyan/Êzîdî House

    37- Fehed Daqûrî – Council of Kurdish Tribes

    38- Cîhan Xedro – Al-Shahba Region

    39- Cemal Şêx Baqî – Democratic Party of Syrian Kurds/P.D.K.S.

    40- Nasir El-Nasir (Independent)

    41- Besam Seîd Îshaq – Syriac National Council/Europe

    42- Hisnî Xemîs (Independent)

    43- Cebel El-Ereb – Patriotic Initiative Representative

    CO-CHAIR SYSTEM TO BE IMPLEMENTED

    Out of the 43 members of MSD Executive Board, the following 9 people have been elected for the Joint Coordination Board; Îşûh Gewriyê, Meram Dawûd, Ibrahîm El-Hesen, Rojîn Remo, Ehmed El-Hebîb, Bêrîvan Ehmed, Cemal Şêx Baqî, Alaaddin Xalid and Salih El-Nebwanî.

    In another development during yesterday's meeting, Heysem Menaa of the Law – Citizenship – Rights Movement (QMH) and TEV-DEM Executive Board member Îlham Ehmed have been elected co-chairs of the Democratic Syria Assembly (MSD).

    ANF News, December 13th, 2015

    Spikymike

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Following recent Turkish state attacks on PKK supported areas of Iraq, Syria and now in Turkey itself alongside shooting down of Russian jet and Russian bombing campaign against all anti-Assad militias including those supported by Turkey we now see Sergei Lavrov Russia's foreign minister hosting the Turkish/Kurdish sympathising HDP Selahattin Demirtas in Moscow. The Syria/Iraq Imperialist fueled war gets still deeper into Turkey.

    Flint

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    The Syrian Democratic Forces(SDF)/YPG has taken Tishrin Dam and crossed to the western bank of the Euphrates. They then secured the town of Tishrin and Sakaniya. YPG special forces have already engaged at Abu Qelqel. The presumed next significant target is Manbij.

    The Tishrin Dam is capable of producing 630 MW. By comparison, Hoover Dam has a capacity of 2,080 MW. In October 2015, I asked Îlham Ehmed if the YPG took Tishrin Dam if they would run it as a worker coooperative or return it to the Assad regime. Ehmed replied "If we take it, we keep it.". Ehmed is now the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Assembly(MSD).

    Video inside Tishrin dam after it was taken by the SDF/YPG. Including the surrender of the dam workers. They've been there since before the civil war started. The dam is intact and functional. Before the Islamic State captured it, the Tishrin Dam supplied electricity to Kobane.

    Manbij is the second largest city (after al-Raqqa) under Islamic State control in Syria.

    Kheder Khaddour, Kevin Mazur

    Given their similar orientations to both the Syrian regime and radical opposition groups and their shared Sunni identity, it is curious that these two cities are not coordinating their activities and are not ruled by a unified government. When one scratches the surface of the Aleppo countryside’s Sunni, anti-regime veneer, however, the political separation of Manbij and al-Bab is far less surprising. The residents of Manbij are ethnically diverse, including Kurds, Arabs and Circassians, and many practice Naqshbandi Sufism. Historically, political and social life in Manbij was organized along tribal lines. Sheikhs of the largest Manbij tribes served, until the past decade, as intermediaries between average citizens and the state. Security forces were nearly absent from the street and, though police would deal with petty crime, serious grievances were left for tribal leaders to resolve. Owing to the tribal and ethnically mixed population and social structure, the milieu in which Manbijis grow up is substantially more diverse and open than one might expect in a peripheral Sunni city. In al-Bab, by contrast, a more homogeneous Arab population practices mainline Sunni Islam, with Sufi groups far less prominent. Social life was historically organized around several important extended families, but central state police handled both petty and major crime and state security maintained a much stronger presence in the town. Cultural homogeneity contributed to a closed, overtly religious milieu in al-Bab.

    These historical patterns have contemporary manifestations; interviews with residents of Manbij and al-Bab confirmed that while women in Manbij can regularly be observed walking with their hair uncovered, wearing pants is considered a transgression in al-Bab, and leaving one’s hair uncovered is out of the question. Residents of al-Bab have started calling their city “Little Azhar,” referring to Egypt’s al-Azhar University. The connotation of the nickname is that both places are distinctively Sunni Muslim sites (with the fact that the Egyptian Azhar was founded by the Isma‘ili Shi‘i Fatimid dynasty apparently lost on proponents of the appellation).

    The Struggle for Syria's Regions, by Kheder Khaddour, Kevin Mazur. MERIP, MER 269 - STRUGGLING FOR SYRIA, Volume: 43, Winter 2013

    Meanwhile in the west on the Afrin front. The SDF/Jaysh al-Thuwar/YPG have retaken Malikia and Malikia. Salafi jihadists from al-Nusra to Ahrar ash-Sham continue to attack the eastern and southern borders of Afrin as well as shelling the neighborhood of Sheik Meqsood in Aleppo. They have even shelled the city of Afrin.

    Afrin under shelling

    There is a collection of media on the Tishrin Offensive on reddit.

    Flint

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    This is not Afrin. It isn't in Syria. It isn't Iraq. This is Şırnak in Bakur/Turkey.

    "The police attacked Yeni and Dicle neighborhoods of Şırnak last night. The people in Şırnak have being protested the ongoing curfew in Cizre and Silopi for days. The special forces and soldiers opened fire from armoured vehicles to Yeni and Dicle. They attacked Dicle with grenade launchers, the people went out to streets against the attacks."

    The attack to the neighborhoods of Şırnak, Jinha News Agency, December 28, 2015.

    This is just one of hundreds (thousands?) of incidents. Here is a comprehensive list of Bakur Curfew articles from March 6, 2015 through December 24, 2015

    Here is a video of thousands of people march fromİdil to support the resistance of the people in Cizre district who have been under continuous siege and attack by the Turkish state for 11 days., dokuz8HABER, December 24, 2015.

    Cizre, Bakur/Turkey

    Not Syria, The Sur district of Diyarbakir, Bakur/Turkey under police curfew

    Black Rose Anarchist Federation published a statement from an anonymous anarchist comrade in Turkey about the situation there: Kurdish Resistance Against the Curfews in Bakur: an Overview an an Anarchist Message. That was also picked up by Kurdish Question, December 15, 2015

    On paper these curfews are just harmless bans on leaving the house and going out into street, just as it was on national census days in the past. The the official fee for breaking curfew is a couple of hundred Turkish Liras ($60 US), but every day Kurdish youths are paying the price with their lives. People protesting or defending their streets (nearly all of whom are not militants and definitely do not have guns) are met with lethal force by police armed with tanks and artillery fire. Yesterday (December 14, 2015) two Kurdish youths were killed in Diyarbakır again while protesting against the curfew in the Sur district of Diyarbakır byl bullets from cops. Their names were Şiyar Salman and Şerdıl Cengiz. The latter was a university student at Tunceli University (another Kurdish city whose name was changed, the original name was Dersim). He came to Diyarbakır for the DEM-GENC congress. (DEM-GENC is a congress of student and young societies connected to Kurdish Freedom Movement.) His last Facebook post was:

    “Politically, I am an anarchist. I hate states, laws and confinement. I can’t stand seeing animals in cages. People must be free, just as love must.”

    In Turkey today, the founding of an anti-war movement is an urgent task to put an end to the savagery of war. The labor unions DİSK, KESK, TMMOB, and TTB are planning a countrywide strike in December 29, 2015. Their slogan is: “We will defend peace against war”. The sporadic one-day strikes that have taken place so far have been ineffective at putting Erdogan under pressure. In light of the racist atmosphere fueled by the Turkish bourgeoisie, rallying cries for peace will ricochet from the shields of the police and be drowned in tear gas and bombs. Against this, the labor unions have to organize an indefinite general strike with social demands, which paralyzes the daily routine of a capitalist country. Those who want to prevent Turkey from going to war today have to take an anti-capitalist path and begin immediately to take steps towards anti-capitalist measures in the Kurdish strongholds.

    There are millions of people in Turkey who constantly worry about food and rent. These people can only be convinced when bodies of self-government overcome these worries. The military defense against the Turkish state is necessary, but not enough in this respect. The slogan towards the masses can only be:

    “Where there is self-government, there is bread, work, and housing for all. To achieve this in Turkey, too, let us fight together. This is the sole basis for peace.”

    Our solidarity is with the Kurdish resistance against the oppression by the Turkish state.

    Kurdish Resistance Against the Occupation, Baran Serhad, Suphi Tuprak, Left Voice, December 28, 2015

    Paul White has published a new book called The PKK – Coming Down from the Mountains

    White, an academic, although sympathetic to the cause, has little sympathy for the PKK. His previous work “Primitive Rebels or Revolutionary Modernizers? The Kurdish Nationalist Movement in Turkey” (Zed Books, 2000) provided a stinging critique of the PKK, particularly what the author saw as counterproductive Marxist-Leninist inspired armed struggle. White, however, is enthused by the PKKs turnabout and sees it as a breakthrough toward real conflict resolution. Although the nascent peace process is “contradictory and perilous,” White believes that Turkish President Erdoğan has the will to back it, and "appears to sincerely desire peace," although such a claim is severely undermined by Turkey's recent offensive against Kurdish targets, with air attacks against PKK bases in northern Iraq and 1,200 arrests within Turkey.

    From National Liberation to Autonomy: The Trajectory of the PKK, review by Raymor Ryan, December 2, 2015, Telesurv TV

    My opinion on why Turkey shotdown that Russian plane

    Flint

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Leading labor unions and professional chambers in Turkey have called for a one-day strike to demand peace as they protest government-led military operations in southeastern Anatolia.

    With the slogan “We will defense peace against war,” a group of unions and professional chambers led by the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK), the Confederation of Public Sector Trade Unions (KESK), the Turkish Doctors’ Union (TTB) and the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects (TMMOB) will conduct their strike action on Dec. 29, the group announced.

    Turkish unions, professional chambers to stage one-day strike for peace, Hurriyet Daily News, December 27, 2015

    The two-day meeting of the Democratic Society Congress (DTK) General Assembly in the Kurdish capital of North Kurdistan Amed (Diyarbakir) has ended.

    A thousand delegates attended the extraordinary meeting to discuss “self-governance” amidst ongoing curfews and sieges of Kurdish towns and cities.

    The final resolution entitled “Declaration Of A Political Resolution Regarding Self-Rule”

    the DTK listed the following 14 points as steps to be realised in order for the resolution of political, social and administrative problems with regards to the subjects of democratic autonomy, self-rule and local democracy;

    1- The formation of autonomous regions which involves the bringing together of several neighboring provinces with consideration for cultural, economic and geographic similarities,

    2- The governance of all these autonomous regions and cities by self-governance bodies elected from assemblies formed with a democratic essence, informed with the basic principles of Turkey's new democratic Constitution;

    The representation of autonomous regions at the TBMM (Grand National Assembly of Turkey) and within the centralised administration on the basis of democratic principles.

    3- An end to any kind of say/decision by the centralised administration on democratic autonomous regions, other administrative units and the elected, excluding only inspections according to the new democratic constitution;

    The elimination of the authority to dismiss the elected from their positions.

    4- Securing the participation of town, neighborhood, village, youths, women's and faith groups' assemblies in autonomous regions in the processes of decision-making and supervision.

    5- Advancement and expansion of democracy, equal representation of women in assemblies, all decision-making mechanisms and stages of self-governance in order for the attainment of a free and democratic life;

    Recognition of authority for women to form assemblies, communes and social structures wherever needed;

    The approval of women's assemblies on all decisions concerning women; recognition of women's right to free and autonomous organisation in all areas.

    6- Participation of youths in decision-making and self-rule mechanisms.

    7- Arrangement, decision making of education by self-administrations;

    Provision of education in all mother tongues alongside Turkish;

    Amendment of the curriculum in line with the new democratic constitution, universal values, human rights, local history and cultural and social distinctions;

    Recognition of languages other than Turkish as official.

    8-Provision of opportunities for work and studies in the fields of language, history and culture;

    Re-organisation of places of worship as autonomous institutions,

    9- Provision of healthcare and medical services by autonomous administrations.

    10-Re-arrangement of the judicial system and legal services in accordance with the Autonomous Region Model.

    11-Authority of working and supervising of land, water and energy sources, and sharing of produce around ecological principles to be given to autonomous region administration,

    Formation and development of production and operation units in all areas such as agriculture, husbandry, industry and trade in accordance with general democratic constitution principles;

    Backing, promotion and donation of all individual and collective initiatives in this regard.

    12- Provision and supervision of land, air and sea transport by autonomous administrations;

    Arrangement of traffic services by local authorities in accordance with the related central institutions.

    13- Assignment of the local budget to autonomous regional administrations for the provision of cited services;

    Woman-oriented budgeting;

    Collection of some taxes by self-governance units based on agreements and principles of equity decided with the central administration (state) and other local administrations;

    Central administration to give a share from the total tax revenue to local administrations,

    Realisation of necessary precautions by the central administration to eliminate the difference in the level of development in local regions.

    14- Establishment of official local security units under the governance of autonomous regional administrations, arrangement of coordinated work between local and central units of security and defence.

    Kurds Decide On Self-Rule In North Kurdistan (Turkey). Kurdish Question, 28th December 2015

    In Bakur/Turkey, YP--Civil Defense Units have started to form. First the Botan Civil Defense Units, then the YPS Nusaybin. These are militia different from the YDG-H or the HPG.

    Establishment of YPS Nusaybin was announced through a statement which stressed that self-governance is a step declared against the occupant Turkish state's policies of assimilation and genocide implemented across the cities of North Kurdistan during the year of 2015.

    Describing self-rule as protection of existence and will, the statement by YPS Nusaybin said the followings; "The occupant state has wanted for years to annihilate the Kurdish people within the scope of a displacement, physical and cultural genocide policy which continues today with a fascist aggression on the will of the Kurdish people. In response to these attacks, our people are improving their self-defense under the leadership of women and youths. The occupant Turkish state has been making efforts for years now to break the Kurdish people's will and eliminate them through an evacuation of villages, unidentified murders, arrests and torture. Innocent people have been murdered on these streets up to date. Thousands of people were put in prison for reclaiming their language and culture. Civilians were targeted by aerial strikes. If this is not terrorism, then what is it? And today, children, women and elderly are being murdered in the streets of Kurdistan. Kurdish people's self-defense, which is a most legitimate right, is being alleged as terrorism. Despite belonging to the Kurdish people, this struggle is also for the people of Turkey and humanity. Turkey's public opinion and the world shouldn't remain silent on these barbaric attacks."

    Saluting the popular resistance in Farqin, Cizre, Silopi, Dargeçit, Sur and Derik, YPS-Nusaybin greeted and establishment of YPS-Botan.

    YPS-Nusaybin vowed to enhance the struggle under the roof of YPS-Botan on the basis of communal and democratic values and for the freedom of Kurdish leader Abdullah Öcalan, and defend the people against the attacks of the occupant state.

    The statement ended with a call to all the Kurdish people, especially women and youths, to join the ranks of Civil Defense Units and protect the will of the people.

    Kurdish group TAK claims responsibility for Istanbul airport attack, Reuters, Dec 26, 2015

    Facebook censored the YPG page with its 400K+ likes:

    kurekmurek

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    I dont know why it is wrongly represented in english but, the strike against the curfews is just a one hour "not working time" and it is really not very much advertised or organised even by its initiator unions. Among these unions teachers union (egitimsen) appears to be the only one to obey the action. ( but even it will not in my locality). The current state of war and state terror appears to put off unions.

    Flint

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    kurremkarmerruk

    I dont know why it is wrongly represented in english but, the strike against the curfews is just a one hour "not working time" and it is really not very much advertised or organised even by its initiator unions. Among these unions teachers union (egitimsen) appears to be the only one to obey the action. ( but even it will not in my locality). The current state of war and state terror appears to put off unions.

    That's unfortunate.

    I wonder why Hurriyet Daily News is playing it up. They aren't a pro-HDP news source.

    kurekmurek

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Sorry, sorry, my bad. This is really a one day strike. Though it is very weak and unorganized as other strikes in Turkey. The one hour "no work" day was last week. I mixed it up sorry. (it is that unorganised. I only get an sms about it.)

    Flint

    6 years 9 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Arab recruits to the QSD (Syrian Democratic Forces) receive ideological training.

    google translation

    Fighters from the Arab component Syria joined the democratic forces and are now receiving military and ideological training, the joining of these forces is to defend the people and building a democratic Syria...

    Participants receive in the course lessons of thought about the importance of training, history of the Middle East, the history of peoples and their relationships, religions, democratic civilization and philosophy of the Kurdish people's leader Abdullah Ocalan, democratic self-management, democratic nation, morality and revolutionary spirit of comradeship, women's history and civilization, the rules of procedure for the units to protect the people democracy and the forces of Syria.

    Arab fighters: Our goal is to defend the Syrian territory, ANF, December 29, 2015

    Entdinglichung

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    any verification from another source?

    http://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/23-soldiers-resign-from-turkish-army-in-sirnak

    As part of this objection, 23 specialist sergeants and high-ranking officers are reported to have resigned from the Turkish military recently. These were affiliated to Çakırsöğüt Gendarme Regimental Command in Şırnak where dozens of temporarily serving village guards have also quitted the job recently, refusing to take part in the aggression on Kurdish civilians.

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Entdinglichung

    any verification from another source?

    I don't have another source, but it seems very believable. They even list the 12 specialists by name. Lets hope we see more resignations and desertions.

    Soapy

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Seems like Kurdish forces backed by US airstrikes will gain a lot of ground on ISIS in the coming months as ISIS is now reverting back to a strategy of guerrilla warfare with the understanding that it is too vulnerable otherwise. Also my impression that the Kurds will have some leeway in society building as the regional forces (with the exception of Iran and Russia) are all severely weakened at this point.

    Main issue will be the guerrilla war that will be waged by ISIS as the year progresses, they will be wreaking havoc rest assured. best strategy to counter this afaics is to make efforts to incorporate sunnis to a future Kurdish society rather than discriminating against them. This was the successful tactic us by the USG when defeating Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2005/2006 when the USG started to make alliances withe Sunni tribes thereby isolating AQI which many Iraqi sunnis felt was too violent

    Soapy

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Btw, I'm curious as to what the relationship is between the YPG, PKK, and the KRG

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Soapy

    Btw, I'm curious as to what the relationship is between the YPG, PKK, and the KRG

    Terrible.

    YPG and HPG have a close relationship. There are HPG embedded with YPG in Rojava. YPG and HPG work together with the YBS in the Sinjar area in Iraq. Many YPG were trained by HPG.

    PYD and PKK have a close relationship. Same ideology.

    In Turkey/Bakur, there are new Civil Defense Units forming up with the initials YPS and YPS-Jin; a name obviously meant to invoke similarity with the YPG/YPJ. Nusaybin district of Mardin (which is just across the border from the Rojava defacto capitol of Qamislo) and the Cizre district of Şırnak (less than 12 miles from Al-Malikiyah / Derik. which is home of the New World Summit Parliament, the Sohdo Abgar (Martyr Abgar military academy) and the Şîlan Kobanî Academy that trains young women to form special forces).

    The KRG is officially now a dictatorship with President Masoud Barzani having stayed in office past his extended 2 year term which expired in August 2015. In response to protests, the KDP blocked the second largest party in parliament--Gorran--from parliament. This included the Speaker of Parliament who should have taken over the presidency until there was a new election. KDP also removed all Gorran party members from government ministries. Gorran parliamentary representatives have even been banned from the capitol of Erbil. Several Gorran related media offices were shutdown by KDP and journalists were arrested. The protests were violent suppressed.

    Gorran isn't gone, though. They still control the civil administration in Sulaymaniyah, which is defended by PUK Peshmerga who have stated their willingness to act on the orders of Gorran. Gorran was a split from the PUK in protest of PUK collusion with KDP. Relationships between PUK and Gorran have since improved. PUK controls the civil administration of Kirkuk as well. Gorran and PUK have a positive relationship with the HPG/PKK. HPG is deployed in the Kirkuk area and coordinates with PUK Peshmerga.

    HPG in SInjar revealed high tensions between themselves, their allies (YBS/YJE, YPG and the HPŞ) against the KDP Peshmerga. KDP is pushing for HPG/PKK to leave. KDP is also outraged that YBS may be getting arms and salaries from Baghdad as part of the PMU (popular moblization units). The Shammar militia in the area also has PMU support (while across the border the Shammar militia--Quwat al-Senadid is an important part of the YPG and the QSD).

    Barzani's attempts to consolidate power may result in the autonomy of Sulaymaniyah and Sinjar as cantons separate from KRG (KDP) influence.

    KRG(KDP) may still be maintaining an embargo of Rojava (though it may be weaker in some aspects).

    Meanwhile in Rojava, the KDPS (KDP affiliate in Syria) organizes protests against conscription and against mother tongue education in primary school for Kurds. KDPS was offered a fig leaf of having a representative (one out of 43) in the Syrian Democratic Congress (MSD). This includes a KDPS representative on the 9 member Joint Coordination Committee. Other parties to the right of the PYD also have representatives in the MSD.

    The KRG dictatorship is very fragile and autonomy by Sulaymaniyah is very likely. Autonomy of Sinjar is also likely, particularly if Baghdad supports it to weaken Barzani. Barzani has probably never been less popular in KRG. The PKK has probably never been more popular in the KRG than it is right now.

    Soapy

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Follow up questions:

    1. So the YPG and the PKK have close links?
    2. What is the HPG?
    3. What are the areas in which the supposedly bakunin inspired experiments are taking place?

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Soapy

    Also my impression that the Kurds will have some leeway in society building as the regional forces (with the exception of Iran and Russia) are all severely weakened at this point.
    ...to make efforts to incorporate sunnis to a future Kurdish society rather than discriminating against them. This was the successful tactic us by the USG when defeating Al-Qaeda in Iraq in 2005/2006 when the USG started to make alliances withe Sunni tribes thereby isolating AQI which many Iraqi sunnis felt was too violent

    PYD/TEV-DEM/YPG has been trying to gain the support of Arabs since the beginning of the civil war. First it was the Shammar, but many other tribes are now pledging alliance. The Syrian Democratic Congress(MSD) brought a lot of Arabs into the TEV-DEM'S "Project for a Democratic Syria". Arabs and Kurds are balanced in MSD representation, with also several seats for Syriacs/Assyrians, one for Druze, one for Turkemen, etc... the MSD has an Arab co-Chair. Many of the Arab parties recruited into MSD are left-wing, while some of the Kurdish parties in the MSD are so far to the right to KDP in Syria.

    Supposedly, about 30% of the Syrian Democratic Forces are Arab. Arabs are also a large component of the HXP (static infantry, conscripts), A woman Arab fighter with the YPG was martyred during the Tishrin Dam capture.

    The Arab Al-Shaitat tribe recently declared they were joining the Syrian Democratic Forces. Al-Shaitat suffered a large massacre in their homeland in Deir ez-Zor Governorate, were living in YPG controlled areas as internally displaced people and now have moved to Tel Abyad.

    There as a conflict west of Tel Abyad with a newly formed Army of Clans made up of Arabs and Turkemen. The Army of Clans nominally was tribal fighters who were going to join with Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa; which then upgraded itself to Jabhat(Army) Thuwarr al-Raqqa. There was skirmish between the Army of Clans and YPG, with Army of Clans demanding control of Tel Abyad be transferred to them. Tel Abyad had a council government setup with representation by Arabs, Kurds and Turkmen who had voted for Tel Abyad to join the Kobane canton. After the skirmish, it seems that the Army of Clans dissolved. Jabhat Thuwarr al-Raaqa claimed that some of the tribal leaders were dismissed but with many of the members joining Jaibhat Thuwarr al-Raqqa. JabhatThuwarr al-Raqqa also restarted their membership in the Syrian Democratic Forces and their desire to campaign to liberate al-Raqqa.

    The al-Bagara tribe also pledged to join the YPG

    Arab loyalties in Northern Syria seem divided between the Assad Regime, ISIS and the SDF. Which is an improvement over their divided loyal between the Assad regime and ISIS.

    Soapy

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    This is the first I've heard of the SDF, where do they operate?

    I was under the impression that the three main groups in Syria is the Assad regime, ISIS, and a combination of Jabhat-al Nusra Ahrar al Sham and other Islamist groups (supported by Turkey, US, and Saudis) styling themselves as the Awakening.

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    1. Yes. They always have.

    2. the HPG is the armed wing of the PKK. What do all these acronyms mean?

    3. Supposedly Bookchin, not Bakunin. Though I wouldn't be surprised if there was some Bakunin in their PKK/HPG cadre trainings. The largest expression of democratic confederalism in civil society and economics is in Rojava, but there are also efforts towards it Bakur--Turkey. Democratic Autonomy in Northern Kurdistan describes some of the efforts in Bakur; but the movement there is under a lot of repression from the state of Turkey. In Rojava, there is a dual power situation with the decaying elements of the Assad regime. The balance seems to have tipped with TEV-DEM/YPG having the greater share of control of the area and handling most of the aspects of civil society (such as education). See Introduction To The Political And Social Structures Of Democratic Autonomy In Rojava, Zanyar Omrani for a description of the councils in practice.

    There is a lot of vague and contradictory information about how the economy is being organized.

    Good news is that electricity from the Tishrin Dam is now available in Kobane.

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Soapy

    This is the first I've heard of the SDF, where do they operate?

    Soapy, with all due respect, could you read some of my earlier posts in this very thread. I describe the formation of the SDF/HSD/QSD (and the YPG's role in it), as well as the formation of the Syrian Democratic Congress (MSD) and TEV-DEM/PYD's role in it.

    SDF is basically YPG + Arab allies.

    Soapy

    where do they operate?

    Everywhere the YPG and its allies operate. There have been two major offensives under the SDF banners--the first was the expansion southward Hasakah to capturing Al-Howl and pushing on towards Ash-Shaddadi. The second was pushing south from Afrin, crossing the Euphrates, taking the Tishrin dam and now pushing towards Manbij. Also, it is under the banner of the SDF that Jaysh al-Thuwar/Jabhat al-Akrad have been fighting against Jabhat al-Nusra and their allies over a string of villages east of Afrin and southwest of A'zaz.

    I maintain this pretty detailed map.

    I was under the impression that the three main groups in Syria is the Assad regime, ISIS, and a combination of Jabhat-al Nusra Ahrar al Sham and other Islamist groups (supported by Turkey, US, and Saudis) styling themselves as the Awakening.

    For armed factions, there have always been five: Assad Regime, ISIS, other Salafi Jihadists (Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar ash-Sham, and others), Free Syrian Army (secularists and not Salafi enough Islamists) and the Democratic Confederalists (YPG and its allies). TEV-DEM has been pushing its courtship of Arabs and Assyrians pretty hard and it has seemed to have gained momentum.

    One problem is that their sensitivity to ethnic charges means delay in some of their socialist program, such as land reform. For example, there was a law proposed for TEV-DEM to take control/ownership of property abandoned by refugees--but some Assyrians opposed it on grounds that doing so would amount to ethnic cleansing. So the law was not passed.

    The FSA is in decay. It seems like the FSA elements are now being split between the Salafi Jihadists and the Democratic Confederalists. In that area east of Afrin, different FSA groups are fighting each other along that split.

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Groups in SDF/HSD/QSD:

    • YPG
    • YPJ
    • MFS
    • Jabhat Thuwwar al-Raqqa
    • Al-Sanadid Tribal Forces
    • Al-Shaitat Tribal Forces
    • Furat Jarabulus
    • Liwaa Siqur El-Badiye
    • Al-Tahrir Brigade
    • Euphrates Martyrs Battalion
    • Brigade Groups of Al-Jazira
    • Idlib Countryside Martyrs Brigade
    • Ayn Jalout Brigade
    • al-Hamzah Brigade
    • al-Qaqa Brigade
    • Ahrar al-Shamal Brigade
    • New Syrian Forces
    • Seljuk Brigade
    • Jaysh al-Thuwar

    Jaysh al-Thuwar includes:

    • Northern Sun Battalion
    • Jabhat al-Akrad
    • 99th Infantry Brigade
    • Liwa al-Sultan Selim
    • Tajammu Thuwar Homs
    • Liwa Ahfad al-Othman
    • Harakat al-Fedayeen al-Thawriya
    • Liwa 313
    • Liwa Shuhadah al-Atareb
    • Liwa al-Salajiqah al-Turkmani
    • Martyr Yusuf al-Quzhul Brigade
    • Southern Storm Brigade
    • Eagles of the Sunnah Brigade
    • Truthful Promise Brigade
    • Fighters for Justice Brigade

    Soapy

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Turkey: Car bomb by Kurdish rebels' at police station kills five

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-car-bomb-by-kurdish-rebels-at-police-station-kills-five-a6811276.html

    Neither condemning or supporting, just thought it's relevant. Also why is there an apostrophe at the end of "rebels'"?

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Soapy

    Turkey: Car bomb by Kurdish rebels' at police station kills five

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/turkey-car-bomb-by-kurdish-rebels-at-police-station-kills-five-a6811276.html

    Neither condemning or supporting, just thought it's relevant. "

    Its actually a bigger deal than that.

    Concurrent Attacks In 11 Points Across Turkey And Kurdistan

    • A suicide attack was carried out on the Çinar Police Headquarters in Amed (Diyarbakir).
    • A rocket attack on the Police Living Quarters in Çinar.
    • An attack on the Mardin Botas Police Staion.
    • A rocket attack on the Police Living Quarters in Silopi.
    • News of clashes and explosions in Van.
    • News of clashes in Amed's Sur district and missing special operations team members.
    • A raid on the Izmir Menemem Asirlik Police Station.
    • A bomb attack on the Haci Ahmet police point in Istanbul.
    • A bomb attack on an armoured vehicle on the Batman-Bismil road.
    • The attacks come following a call by People's Defence Forces (HPG) Central Command leader Murat Karayilan to PKK guerrillas to "not wait for the spring" in retaliating against Turkish state attacks on Kurdish civilian areas.

      This is a significant escalation in Turkey.

    Soapy

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Must say that it plays right into Erdogan's hands. He ran on a platform of cracking down on the Kurds and now assuredly Turkey has a pretext to attack Kurdish groups with the extreme violence it is used to using. KRG probably encouraging attacks so that they can show themselves as the only protection against Turkish state violence.

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Bakur

    the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan is engaged in a full-scale military campaign against ethnic Kurdish militants that has killed thousands, displaced hundreds of thousands and left parts of several large towns in ruins...

    The Kurdish population under siege is not to be confused with that of northern Iraq or northern Syria, where Kurdish forces backed by the United States and other Western governments are fighting the Islamic State and carving out their own autonomous areas. The target of Mr. Erdogan’s offensive are Turkish citizens who live in the southeastern part of the country, where Kurds often are the majority ethnic group."

    Mr. Erdogan's Offensive, Washington Post, January 10, 2016

    23 soldiers resign from Turkish army in Şırnak, ANF News, January 13, 2016

    More Than 1000 Academics Call For Peace Talks To Resume Between Turkey And PKK, Kurdish Question, January 11, 2016

    Erdoğan To Academics Calling For Peace: You Are Traitors, Kurdish Question, January 12, 2016

    Chomsky: Erdoğan Has Supported ISIS, Is Saying Anything Else Necessary?, Kurdish Question, January 13, 2016

    Chomsky hits back at Erdoğan, accusing him of double standards on terrorism, The Guardian, January 14, 2016

    Internationalist fighters in Rojava call on youth to join Bakur's resistance, ANF News, January 14, 2016

    Rojava

    Thoughts on Rojava: an interview with Janet Biehl, Zanyar Omrani, Roar Magazine, January 13, 2016

    Euphrates Martyrs Battalion Officially Declares joining QSD (SDF), January 13, 2016.

    Unit history of the Euphrates Martyrs Battalion that joined the SDF yesterday. They originated as a rebel group in and around the village of Qubbah., Hawar News, January 14, 2016

    YPG opens military academy for Arabs in Tel Brak, Hawar News, January 13, 2016

    When I gave some lectures about Kurdish history at the Mesopotamia Academy (Qamishlo, district Jazira) in October 2015, several students afterwards put questions like "Why don't the democratic American and European governments help us more than they do now?", "Why are we with our democratic society not welcome in the West?" and "Is Russia aware of what is going on in the revolution of Rojava?".

    Difficult questions to answer within half an hour. So I first had to explain that Syria as a state is an artificial construction, a former mandate made by the French in 1919 directly after World War I with no interests in the living conditions and political aspirations of the peoples within Syria's borders, but only in oil. And then that the Americans only guarantee a no fly zone above Bashur (Iraqi Kurdistan), because of their safeguarding the oil fields in the region and the offices of their twelve oil companies in Erbil, but not above Rojava, because their NATO ally Turkey wouldn't agree with such a policy, because in that case fewer Kurds could be killed in Rojava. In other words, that support from the West is not to be expected and that the population of Rojava should just rely upon the brave members of the YPG and YPJ in this situation. As for Russia, I explained that since the Tsarist Empire a totalitarian government has proven to be the only solution for keeping the huge land masses of Russia and Siberia together, so that any future help from this side would be just a temporary one in order to keep the Americans and Mr. Erdogan irritated. The fifty students in front of me were, to put it mildly, a bit shocked, but at least back to reality

    Rojava, Solidarianism, Dr. Jan Best de Vries, Pasewan, January 3, 2016

    Basur/KRG

    Can Democracy Exist with Barzani in Charge, Rauf Naqishbendi, Kurdistan Tribune, January 5, 2016

    Army of the Gorran Movement: Will the KDP Change the Strategy of Gorran?, Mohammed Rauf, Pasewan, December 20, 2016

    the KRG is founded upon the principle of preservation and institutionalization of factions rather than their restraint. Corporative power sharing without the moderating influence of additional federal institutions (e.g. bicameral legislature or an independent court) has effectively preserved the civil war era system of the 1990s in which the Politburos separately, within their mutually recognized territorial zones of influence (i.e. the Yellow zone comprised of Duhok and Erbil under the KDP and the Green zone comprised of Sulaimaniya under the PUK), act as legislature, judiciary and executive. Thus, pursuant to the fulfillment of the said power sharing arrangement (or more precisely, "balance of power"), the KDP and PUK have overridden election results, nullified legislation and issued decrees; actions which have made the Kurdistan Regional Assembly practically irrelevant. As we have seen with the disruption to KDP/PUK power-sharing caused by Gorran's rise to power and the crisis of its subsequent exile from Erbil, the legal basis of the KRG not only makes it difficult for opposition parties to participate in the Region's political institutions, it precludes their participation and their legitimacy.

    While the Kurdish parties' de jure authority is based in the aforementioned Unification Agreement, their de facto legitimacy to govern is based in their territorially separate but theoretically equal control over economic activity and security forces in their respective zones of influence...

    neither party has committed itself to integration of their commands. Brigades commanded independently of the Ministry of Peshmerga by the PUK and PDK (the groups of 70 and 80, respectively) comprise nearly 75% of the total Peshmerga forces...

    In Kurdistan, however, nearly 20 years after the end of the sherr-i bra kuzhi, the security forces of the PUK and KDP exercise exclusive jurisdiction over their territorial spheres of influence. Crossing into Kurdistan from Ibrahim Khalil (the Yellow zone), for example, travellers are processed by Zerivani, the KDP's private gendarme. When crossing into the Green Zone from Erbil, however, one is processed by PUK ‘Asayish. Partisan persuasion of security forces in a given area, is of course, easily identifiable by party banners and is even indicated on ID cards, and so there is never any mistake about which party controls any given area.

    Intelligence services (Parastin and Dezgay Zanyari) and ‘Asayish are also divided along party lines although they are legally integrated into the Regional ‘Asayish Council. In a conversation with a high-ranking ‘Asayish official and PUK bureau member in Sulaimaniyah (1)last year, I was informed, power-sharing commitments notwithstanding, inter-party Regional ‘Asayish Council relations were extremely poor:...

    what is occurring in the Kurdistan Region is not political competition or even power sharing: it is a fragile balance of power in which the participants have divided the Region into their own political spheres and nervously watch the other if, by chance, one party should gain more than its fair share in the arrangement.

    Comparing the Dual Party Systems in the KRG and United States: A False Analogy, Megan Connelly-Amin, Pasewan, January 2, 2016

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Soapy

    Must say that it plays right into Erdogan's hands. He ran on a platform of cracking down on the Kurds and now assuredly Turkey has a pretext to attack Kurdish groups with the extreme violence it is used to using. KRG probably encouraging attacks so that they can show themselves as the only protection against Turkish state violence.

    There is a line of thought that certain actions give the state carte blanche to engage in violent repression. I don't subscribe to that because almost any action (non-violent or otherwise) a state supporter can argue gives the state the pretext for repression. I don't think you think that. The question on violence is "was it justified?" Its a high bar to meet. Status quo media opinion almost always favors the state in that calculation and usually argues that non-state actors violent actions are not justified. I'm not so quick to make that evaluation.

    Alternatively, Erdogan's violent oppression of the YDG-H, the HDP and Kurds in general plays right into the hands of the PKK. Erdogan bombed the PKK in Qandil repeatedly before the eleciton. He had the YPG shelled in Rojava before the election. He had attacks orchestrated by mobs against the HDP before the election. After the election, he escalated against Kurdish communities throughout the south east with the curfrews; increasing repression. He had the mayors and others calling for self-rule imprisoned. He refused to acknowledge every offer of a cease fire the PKK made before the election.

    If Erdogan makes it impossible for the HDP to even propose some reforms while he continues to impose violence on whole cities--then he leaves little options for the movement except violence--either defensive such as the trenches and YPS; or offensive such as attacks on police buildings.

    He may have regarded the restraint the PKK showed as weakness on the part of the PKK. That seems to have been a miscalculation on his part.

    I don't think the KRG (or the KDP) has anything to do with either when Erdogan decides to attack the PKK, or when the PKK decides to attack Erdogan.

    Soapy

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Your are correct that I am not making any comment on the morality of the PKK's actions in this particular situation as that is a complicated question that I am not able to address.

    I am simply saying that Erdogan has sold himself as the strongman politician that can crackdown on the Kurds and these actions today will only solidify this role.

    I think it is of some relevance to look at which side the US will support. In the 1990s the Clinton administration strongly supported the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds, selling massive amounts of arms to the Turkish state so they could kill and displace thousands. All this while they wrung their hands about Milosevic's crimes claiming "how can we let this happen on the border of NATO" while right within the borders of NATO in Turkey they were helping in the ethnic cleansing of the Kurds.

    Now it is a little different as the US needs allies against the ISIS threat. The US has thrown the Kurds under the bus so many times that I wouldn't be surprised if they did so again the moment they no longer prove their usefulness.

    Sorry if I'm going on off on a tangent here, but I think people seem to have forgotten that it was the US who sold Saddam the chemical weapons that he used on the Kurds in Halabja. Whole villages wiped out, thousands killed, barely a word of protest in the West. It was the US who then invaded in 1991, encouraged a Kurdish rebellion, and then allowed Saddam to stamp it out all while the US was still occupying the country.

    Now, just like in 1991 the Kurds and the US are on the same side again, we will see how long this alliance lasts.

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Soapy

    Sorry if I'm going on off on a tangent here, but I think people seem to have forgotten that it was the US who sold Saddam the chemical weapons that he used on the Kurds in Halabja. Whole villages wiped out, thousands killed, barely a word of protest in the West. It was the US who then invaded in 1991, encouraged a Kurdish rebellion, and then allowed Saddam to stamp it out all while the US was still occupying the country.

    Now, just like in 1991 the Kurds and the US are on the same side again, we will see how long this alliance lasts.

    I don't think anyone (who is informed about the current situation) has forgotten that. Nor have they forgotten that Barzani/KDP allied with Saddam against the PUK in the "Kurdish Civil War", before then turning to Turkey for help against the PKK when they supported the PUK.

    The U.S. is an unreliable ally (to anyone, but especially the Kurds).

    I think the question, "how is this different than the 1990s?" is a good one. There are some different policy issues the U.S. has (defeating ISIS, where in the past the U.S. would have armed ISIS and al-Nusra to killed the socialist PYD). I think the main differences are:

  • the changed ideology, strategy and tactics of the KCK/PKK
  • which in turn has made the KCK and its affiliates far more popular than in the past
  • the electoral success of the HDP which also shows the growing popularity of the KCK's politics
  • the degree of organization on the ground in Bakur and in the dual power situation and defacto autonomy of the PYD/TEV-DEM in Rojava
  • the growing weakness of Barzani's hold on power in KRG and his declining popularity that has forced him into a dictatorship to remain in power
  • the growing popularity of the PUK-split Gorran in KRG
  • The AKP granting some rights to Kurds and moving towards a peace process but then retracting them and doubling down on repression as an electoral gambit appeal to Turkish nationalism
  • I think the last point is very important. When things were improving, people gained a sense of hope and efficacy. Those are feelings that remain even after the AKP-state shifted to a policy of repression. Its feelings like hope and efficacy that drive revolutions forward, not feelings of desperation.

    The KCK/PKK has probably never been more popular than it is right at this very moment. The U.S. is confused about its foreign policy objectives.

    Flint

    6 years 8 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    A comrade from Turkey asked that I share this with Libcom:

    ----

    Dear Professors and Colleagues,

    In the Kurdish region of Turkey, since 16 August 2015, there have been 58 officially confirmed, open-ended curfews in 19 districts of 7 cities. Human causalities increase day by day, hundreds of civilians lost their lives. You can find more information about the situation in the following links.

    1. Fact sheet by Human Rights Foundation of Turkey http://en.tihv.org.tr/fact-sheet-on-declared-curfews-in-turkey-between-11-december-2015-8-january-2016/

    2. Call by Amnesty International http://www.amnestyusa.org/get-involved/take-action-now/turkey-stop-imposing-arbitrary-restrictions-on-freedom-of-movement-ua-616

    A group of academics launched a petition in Turkey, signed by 1128 academics in Turkey and supported by 356 international ones by January 10th. The international supporters include David Harvey, Noam Chomsky, Etienne Balibar, Erik Swyngedouw, Judith Butler and many others.

    Hereby is the text for international support: http://barisicinakademisyenler.net/node/63
    International supporters: http://barisicinakademisyenler.net/node/64
    Signatures from Turkey: http://barisicinakademisyenler.net/node/62

    And today, after a very brutal attack on tourists in İstanbul by the ISIS; Turkish President Erdoğan made a defiant speech, mostly attacking on this petition and those who signed it.

    Hereby is the info by Guardian on this issue:
    'In a typically defiant speech Erdoğan attacked foreign academics and writers, including Noam Chomsky for criticism of his government.
    He said: “Pick a side. You are either on the side of the Turkish government, or you’re on the side of the terrorists'. (http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/jan/12/istanbul-explosion-several-reported-killed-in-tourist-area-live-updates)

    Just 2 hours after this speech, Turkish Higher Education Council announced that it would launch an investigation against those who signed in Turkey. In this situation supporting the academics in Turkey is much more crucial.

    I would like to ask you to sign this petition in order to show solidarity and if it is possible to convey this message to your colleagues.

    You can sign the petition by sending a mail (stating your name, position and university) to [email protected]

    Thank you very much for your interest.

    Best regards

    Academics for Peace
    10.01.2016

    As academics and researchers of this country, we will not be a party to this crime!
    The Turkish state has effectively condemned its citizens in Sur, Silvan, Nusaybin, Cizre, Silopi, and many other towns and neighborhoods in the Kurdish provinces to hunger through its use of curfews that have been ongoing for weeks. It has attacked these settlements with heavy weapons and equipment that would only be mobilized in wartime. As a result, the right to life, liberty, and security, and in particular the prohibition of torture and ill-treatment protected by the constitution and international conventions have been violated.

    This deliberate and planned massacre is in serious violation of Turkey’s own laws and international treaties to which Turkey is a party. These actions are in serious violation of international law.

    We demand the state to abandon its deliberate massacre and deportation of Kurdish and other peoples in the region. We also demand the state to lift the curfew, punish those who are responsible for human rights violations, and compensate those citizens who have experienced material and psychological damage. For this purpose we demand that independent national and international observers to be given access to the region and that they be allowed to monitor and report on the incidents.

    We demand the government to prepare the conditions for negotiations and create a road map that would lead to a lasting peace which includes the demands of the Kurdish political movement. We demand inclusion of independent observers from broad sections of society in these negotiations. We also declare our willingness to volunteer as observers. We oppose suppression of any kind of the opposition.

    We, as academics and researchers working on and/or in Turkey, declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state. We will continue advocacy with political parties, the parliament, and international public opinion until our demands are met.

    For international support, please send your signature, name of your university and your title to [email protected]

    ----

    It is available in multiple languages here.

    Flint

    6 years 6 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Rojava

    Interesting video for Kurdish audience about what Kurdish Political Parties are in Rojava:

    Partiyên siyasî 11 3 2015, ANHA, March 11, 2015

    I've typed out the four major blocs and their parties.

    TEV-DEM, Tevgera Civaka Demokratîk (Democratic Society Movement)

    which includes:

    • Partiya Aştiya Demokratîk Kurdi li Sûriyeyê (Peace and Democracy Party of Kurdish Syria) PADKS, Peace and Democracy Party
    • Partiya Kumonîst a Kurdistanê (Communist Party of Kurdistan) (also spelled Komînist and google wants to translate it as "Toilers")
    • Kombuna Niştimanî Kurdistanî (National Assembly of Kurdistan) KNK
    • Partiya Yekîtiya Lîbralî ya Kurdistanî (Liberal Union Party of Kurdistan) PYLK, Liberal Party
    • Partiya Demokratîk Kurdistantî li Sûriyeyê (Kurdistan Democrati Party in Syria) PDKS
    • Partiya Yeketiya Demokratîk (PYD), Demoncratuc Union Party

    TEV-DEM uses the yellow, red, green flag.
    Wikipedia: TEV-DEM

    The folks with the blue banner:

    Kombûna Demokrasî û Çepgirên Kurd li Sûriyeyê’ (Assembly for Demmocracy and the Left in Syria) KDCK
    which includes:

    • Partiya Kesk a Kurdistanê (Green Party of Kurdistan), Green Party
    • Partiya Guhertina Demokratîk (Democratic Change Party) PGD, Change Party
    • Partiya Kedkarên Kurdistanê (Kurdistan Workers Party)
    • Partiya Çep a Kurd li Sûriyeyê (Kurdish Left Party in Syria) PCKS
    • Tevgera Nûkirin a Kurdistanê (Booster Movement of Kurdistan) TNK

    Here is an article about their formation:

    Kombûna Demokras û Çepgirên Kurd hat damezirandin

    They use a yellow sun with three leaves: green, red and white on a blue field. They were established March 3, 2016.

    Hevbendiya Niştimanî a Kurdî li Sûryê (Kurdish National Alliance in Syria) HNKS
    which includes:

    • Partiya Yeketiya Demokratîk a Kurdî li Sûriyeyê (Yeketî) (Kurdish Democratic Union Party in Syria) (First) PYDKS
    • Partiya Çep Demokratîk Kurdî li Sûriyeyê (Democratic Left Party in Syria), Democratic Left Party
    • Partiya Demokratîk Kurdî li Sûriyeyê - şaxê Nesiredîn Îberahîm (Kurdish Democratic Party in Syria - Nesiredîn Îberahîm branch)
    • Partiya El-Wîfaq (El-Wifaq Party)
    • Tevgera Reforme (Îslah) (Reform Movement Island) Îslah probaly refers to Cizîrê/Gozarto/Jazira--the Island. That is the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers

    Here is an article and video about them: Syrian Kurds form new political alliance, call for federalism as solution to ongoing civil war
    They use the Alaya Rengîn (red, white, green glag with yellow sun) as well as a logo of a yellow sun with three red flags, two green flags in a pentagon formation on a white field. There first meeting was February 13, 2016.

    ENKS, Encûmena Niştimanî ya Kurdî li Sûriyê (Kurdish National Council in Syria)
    which includes:

    • Partiya Demokrati Kurdistanti-Sûriyeyê (Democratic Party Kurdistan-Syria) PDKS
    • Partiya Yeketî bi çar şaxên wê (The First Party, all four branches)

    They use the Alaya Rengîn (red, white, green glag with yellow sun) as well as a logo with the same colors and their initals. They were establisehd October 26, 2011.
    Wikipedia: ENKS

    Google Translate now can handle Kurmanji Kurdish.

    Flint

    6 years 6 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Rojava


    (click for larger)

    Interview with a German Anarchist fighting with the YPG, March 13, 2016

    Video with an interview with an MFS (Syriac Military Council) in English. Second half is an interview with two women from the HSNB (Bethnahrin Women Protection Forces), not in English (probably Syraic), Feb 22, 2016

    Macer Gifford YPG interview, Jan 27, 2016

    Kurdistan: Women At War, ARTE, March 8, 2016

    A group I'm active with locally--the Alliance for Radical Democracy (ARD) recently held a talk about Rojava at Johns Hopkins University with Nazan Üstündağ (Boğaziçi University), Michael Taussig (Columbia University), Janet Biehl (Author/Activist), Stefan Tarnowski (Columbia University). We should have video of that talk soon. The same group also hosted Sinam Mohammad, the PYD representative to Europe last fall.

    Ehmed: Nobody can question where the SDF will advance, Feburary 2, 2016

    What Is The Kurdish Calculation In Rojava?, Fehim Taştekin for Radikal. In the article Taştekin interviews Eldar Halill, a member of the executive committee of TEV-DEM, and Zuhat Kobani, a representative of the PYD in Europe, and reflects on the current calculations of the Kurds in Rojava in light of the complex geopolitics unfolding in the region. March 13, 2016

    Also, in political news on March 3, 2016, the former Syrian National Council president Ahmad al-Jarba join Syrian Democratic Assembly(MSD),after long negotiation with PYD. Ziyad El-Asî of the Syrian Democratic Society which was affiliated with al-Jarba is a representative in the MSD. Al-Jarbai is also of the Shammar tribe. He's a cousin to Hmeidi Daham al-Jarba, co-governor of Hasakah and political leader of Quwwat al-Sanadid. Despite that connetion Ahmad al-Jarba and Hmeidi Daham al-Jarba had been in opposing factions till now.

    (I heard a story about Hmeidi Daham al-Jarba from Nazan Üstündağ. She met him, and he kept throwing pieces of lamb at her to eat. She rarely eats meat, but he kept insisting. More interestingly, he wanted to get together a conference of indigenous peoples together throughout the world to meet Hasakah).

    There has been some talk that some Iraqi Shammar have been joining Quwwat al-Sanadid. Previously, some had formed an Iraqi Popular Mobilization Unit.

    Self-Defense as a Revolutionary Practice in Rojava, or How to Unmake the State, Nazan Üstündağ, The South Atlantic Quarterly 115:1, January 2016

    Rebuilding Kobanî : After Liberation From ISIS, The Fight Isn’t Over Yet, Suchandra Banerjee & edited by Manisha Ganguly, February 6, 2016

    The Experience of Co-operative Societies in Rojava, TEV-DEM Economic Committee, January 19, 2016

    Lots of details in the article about participation in co-operatives, cost of shares in Syrian Pounds, rules about participation, restrictions on management, etc... one detail that is missing is the salary for positions that the share profits are added to at the end of a big job or annually. In short, though, they appear to be worker-cooperatives that participate in a regulated market that allow outside investors to have less shares than the workers (who have the most shares). Membership in a cooperative seems to be a privilege rather than a requirement. Many of the negatives of a worker-cooperative in a market economy are still there such as profit motivations, competition with other enterprises in the market place, market allocation of goods and services, etc...

    Some good maps from Le Monde about the situation in Northern Aleppo.

    Outcome of the campaign in Northern Aleppo just before the cease fire, February 17, 2016:

    After this point and immediately before the ceasefire, the SDF got the SAA to hand over control over Ahras to them.

    Another map of the Northern Aleppo Offensive

    The Ash-Shadaddi Offensive, February 19, 2016

    Outcome of the latest campaign in Hasakah, March 2, 2016:

    I try to keep this map up to date.

    Foristaruso

    6 years 6 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    You said, "a libertarian revolution"?

    From a interview of Economy Minister of a Rojava canton:
    "Private capital is not forbidden but it is made to suite our ideas and system. We are developing a system around cooperatives and communes. However this does not prove that we are against private capital. They will complete each other. We believe that when the cooperative system is developed moral private capital can be added in certain parts of the economy" (https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/…/efrin-economy-ministe…/)
    A MIXED ECONOMY IS ENEMY OF LIBERTARIAN COMMUNISM!

    klas batalo

    6 years 5 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    US ground troops working in Rojava with SDF

    http://www.stripes.com/news/middle-east/large-portion-of-additional-250-us-troops-going-to-syria-may-be-green-berets-1.406165

    http://www.basnews.com/index.php/en/news/middle-east/272869

    Flint

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Manbij is a mixed city.

    "The residents of Manbij are ethnically diverse, including Kurds, Arabs and Circassians, and many practice Naqshbandi Sufism... Owing to the tribal and ethnically mixed population and social structure, the milieu in which Manbijis grow up is substantially more diverse and open than one might expect in a peripheral Sunni city."

    The Struggle for Syria's Regions, Kheder Khaddour, Kevin Mazur, MER269, Winter 2013

    SDF is a mixed force. Kurdish super-majority, yes. The Arab component has grown considerably. The Syriac component has remained about the same (and thus is a smaller part now overall). The number thrown around now is 30% of SDF is Arab.

    As to a Kurdish/Sunni alliance... most Kurds are Sunni. Most Kurds in Syria are Sunni. What you probably mean is a Kurdish/Arab alliance that you are skeptical of, and that you are skeptical of Arabs being involved.

    Talal Sello is actually a Turkman. He is the primary spokesperson for the SDF.

    There are Kurds in other military organizations that participate in SDF. Jabhat al-Krad is part of Jaysh al-Thuwar. That said, there were YPG and probably YPJ in the Manbij campaign. There are probably still some there.

    The NDF (Assad loyalist militia) did get in a fight with Asayis (TEV-DEM's Kurdish and Arab security). It escalated. Syrian airforce conducted some airstrikes in Hasakah neighborhoods. The nearby Syrian army artillery base shelled Hasakah neighborhoods. The YPG also got involved.

    The NDF was largely routed in the city. There was a ceasefire. The Assad regime agreed to disband the NDF in Hasakah and gave most of what they controlled in the city to Asayis/YPG. The Assad regime retained a few blocks that included the Goveronate Palace, the Baath HQ and some parks. It largely seems like a face saving gesture. The Assad regime is done in Hasakah.

    Turkey's Armed Forces (Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri / TSK ) has invaded northern Syria in northern Aleppo, taking the Jarabulus with minimal resistance from Daesh. Operations is called "Fırat Kalkanı"--Euphrates Shield. The TSK presence is said to consist of 20 tanks and 350 soldiers, and thousands of rebels who depending on who you talk to are Free Syrian Army, Sultan Murad, Ahrar al-Sham, Nour al-Din al-Zenki, etc... some even go so far as to say it includes some rebranded Jabhat al-Nusra (Jabhat Fath Al Sham) or even that Daesh folks have joined up. Idea is that these folks came from either the Azaz pocket or even Idlib transporting through Turkey's territory. The incursion is also aided by artillery and airstrikes.

    The resistance to the TSK incursion is lead by the Al-Jadir Family. Its named after Yussuf al-Jadir (alias Abu Furat), a FSA commander, killed in 2012. They were previously called "Furat Jarabulus" and were FSA rebels. They have six batallions called Min Katibat Fursan Jirabls, al-Shshahid Zaki Jadir, Maeid al-Jadir, Jamieat al-Jadiri, Shuhada' Jawadir Wakatibat Dire al-Furat. They joined SDF about seven months ago, but their relationship goes back farther. When Daesh took over Jarabulus, they expelled them. They relocated to Kobane. They helped defend Kobane during the Daesh seige. They were part of Burkan al-Furat (Euphrates Volcaon) as Saraya Jarabulus. They were then part of the Tel Abyad campaign, then Manbij campaign.

    Video of al-Shshahid joining Furat Jarabulus

    They recently destroyed two tanks that were part of the TSK incursion were destroyed by rocket attack by Al-Jadir / Jarabulus Military Council. Right now, the fighting is mostly around Ayn al-Bayda and Amarnah, south of Jarabulus near the west bank of the Euphrates. There is video of one of the tanks being destroyed that is easy to find on the internet but I won't share here--the video has people cheering in Kurdish in it.

    Al-Jadir is being reinforced by Liwa al-Seljukiya, Kataeb Shams al-Shamal and Jaysh al-Thuwar.

    Some more on Family of Jadir (from not a PYD or SDF source) and then there involvement in Kobane.

    Speech from Yussuf al-Jadir/Abu Furat against sectaraianism:

    We want to send a message to the regime, Bashar al-Assad. This man is our brother. This man is a Alawite. I lived in Lattakia for 22 years. Why did you plunge your own sect in a battle for you and try to make them hate Sunnis? Why? Don’t you think about how we are going to live together? Well, despite you, we are going to live together. I know Alawites are a generous and nice people. Many of them are poor too. And you use these people to achieve your own malicious goals. And these are the children of villages. Bread probably takes a year to finally make its way to their villages. They are poor, they don’t have food, they don’t have bread, if one of them gets sick, they will die because they can’t afford medicine.

    But I want to ask from you my Alawite brothers–and you know me, I have sat among you and drank matté with you before–be careful: We are not your enemies, we are your brothers, we are participants in the nation, and we lived together. And Saleh al-Ali (anti-colonial Syrian Alawi leader during French colonialism) refused to work under the French flag, and refused to separate into a Alawi state, just like his sons and grandsons will also refuse such a thing. The plans have been exposed, and our Alawite brothers will come back to us, for we are the same.”

    Remembering Abu Fura, December 15, 2012, Darth Nader

    More on Jadir

    Daesh destroyed his tombstone

    A couple photos from a protest in Deir Jamal where residents call for SDF to libeate the area. That banner on the left side with the three hands is from the Al-Bab Council. The yellow flags are SDF flags.

    At the end of July 2012, Rebels controlled Deir Jamal. January 2014, the town was controlled Daesh. Then Jabhat al-Akrad and YPG took control. Then 12/1/2015: the Mare Operations Room (rebels) took control. Then 2/8/2016 the SDF/YPG/JAT took it back. It's a mixed Arab-Kurdish town.

    Now that the U.S. seems to have condoned Turkey's incursion and ordered either the YPG (or the SDF) to go back across the Euphrates.

    Only an idiot would think that this incursion by the TSK is actually to fight Daesh. The target is the SDF and will be part of plan to stop them from moving on al-Bab and connecting the Rojava cantons into a contiguous territory and the SDF sealing the border between Turkey and Aleppo city. There are dozens of mainstream articles that state this and these objectives are openly talked about in the press in Turkey as well.

    Even before the Euphrates Shield operation started, TSK artillery were shelling SDF positions in northern Manbij.

    The SDF strategy seems to be to slow the Euphrates Shield advance along the Sajur river. Beyond that? We may see SDF rush towards al-Bab. SDF is only 18 KM east of Al-Bab. Unlike Manbij which is an ethnically mixed city, al-Bab is an Arab city (though the surrounding al-Shahbaa countryside has a large number of Kurdish villages). (Izady maps show where ethnic group has a larger % than the country's average for that group, so that highlights ethnic minorities where they may not be majorities)

    In October and November 2013, the YPG and Jabhat al-Krad controlled much of the Northern Aleppo area north of al-Bab and Manbij that Turkey has always wanted for its "Safe Zone" to shove refugees into. That's the area that the TSK and its allies are now trying to invade.

    The SDF may just dig in to Manbij. There has been increasing mobilization across the Rojava cantons for a TSK invasion.

    ---

    Do folks on Libcom want this sort of content posted here by me?

    jesuithitsquad

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Yes please do Flint. Deciphering heads from tails is incredibly difficult, and your posts are very helpful at making even a start at understanding what's going on there.

    Spikymike

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    I appreciate Flints contributions. Doesn't this latest incursion by the Turkish state military post-coup, and with USA support, suggest that behind the scenes discussions especially between Turkey, Russia and the USA suggest a possible shift in the global and regional imperialist alliances operating in Syria and Iraq, including the client and 'proxy' relationships with on the ground militias - one that will see the PKK allied Syrian forces isolated, despite their previous attempts to garner the support of one or other of the more powerful players from the USA/Europe/Russia?

    jesuithitsquad

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Spikymike

    I appreciate Flints contributions. Doesn't this latest incursion by the Turkish state military post-coup, and with USA support, suggest that behind the scenes discussions especially between Turkey, Russia and the USA suggest a possible shift in the global and regional imperialist alliances operating in Syria and Iraq, including the client and 'proxy' relationships with on the ground militias - one that will see the PKK allied Syrian forces isolated, despite their previous attempts to garner the support of one or other of the more powerful players from the USA/Europe/Russia?

    I'd say you're likely on to something with this, particularly considering the Russian Foreign Minister and US Secretary of State have been in high level talks this week...

    petey

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Flint

    Do folks on Libcom want this sort of content posted here by me?

    yes, very much

    Flint

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Note that both sides include groups that fly the green flag of the Free Syrian Army.

    Auld-bod

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Syria war: US warns over Turkish-Kurdish violence

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37212256

    Black Badger

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    *shield*

    Flint

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Infographic on the Turkish-Syrian border (Turkey's perspective)

    potrokin

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Foristaruso

    You said, "a libertarian revolution"?

    From a interview of Economy Minister of a Rojava canton:
    "Private capital is not forbidden but it is made to suite our ideas and system. We are developing a system around cooperatives and communes. However this does not prove that we are against private capital. They will complete each other. We believe that when the cooperative system is developed moral private capital can be added in certain parts of the economy" (https://rojavareport.wordpress.com/…/efrin-economy-ministe…/)
    A MIXED ECONOMY IS ENEMY OF LIBERTARIAN COMMUNISM!

    I'm an anarchist but I'm realistic and I'd take a mixed economy, secularism and more rights for women over the alternative, which is either Arab Nationalist dictatorship or psycho Islamic theocractic fascist sadism. You can't afford to be picky in the middle east.

    Serge Forward

    6 years 1 month ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Potrokin, I wouldn't disagree with that view and the YPG et al seem infinitely preferable to the likes of Daesh and other factions in the mix. The problem is when people dress up what's going on in Rojava as something it really isn't - the libertarian/anarchist/communist/proletarian revolution. The way you hear some anarchists talk sometimes, it's as if they're referring to the Makhnovschina and the CNT-FAI militias all rolled into one.

    Flint

    6 years ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Declaration of the formation of the Syrian National Resistance Against the Turkish Occupation in Northern Aleppo

    You can get the general gist with a google translation.

    Here is another article about it in English: New Syria group vows to “resist”
    Turkish military incursion
    , Albin Szakola, NOW, Sep 7, 2016

    I'm linking to this announcement because one name stands out for me:

    Majid Hebu (Macid Hebo), European Representative of Wheat Wave Movement -- Law – Citizenship – Rights Movement -- Teyar El-Qemih -- QMH

    Teyar El-Qemih is the group that former co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Assembly -- Haytham Manna leads. Majid Hebu was also a representative of the Syrian Democratic Assembly.

    Soon after the Syrian Democratic Assembly was formed, Haytham Manna resigned as co-chair in protest of the announcement of a "Federal Region of Northern Syria -- Rojava".

    The iconography and the language in the Syrian National Resistance does suggest a connection with the Syrian Democratic Forces and Syrian Democratic Assembly. The colors are even TEV-DEM colors. It seems to be that QMH is still coordinate with TEV-DEM and the Syrian Democratic Assembly.

    We Need to End This Dirty War: An Interview With Haytham Manna, Aron Lund, Diwan, March 03, 2015

    Syrian dissident Haytham Manna says he will not attend Geneva talks, Reuters, Mar 11, 2016

    Haytham Manna articles in "The Guardian"

    http://haythammanna.net/

    Flint

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    I know many posters who frequent this forum are skeptical of the PYD and TEV-DEM's post-nationalist politics, regarding the YPG as little more than an ethnic gang.

    I came across on interesting article on ANHA News in Kurdish.

    Hişmendiya netewperest û rêgeza wekheviyê; nîqaşên şêniyên Rojava ( Google translate does a fair job if you know the subject matter and the personalities involved.)

    Here is a similar article in Turkish

    That is, its not really an article intended for a western audience and it hasn't been translated into English yet. Its about a forum held in Qamişlo, which is the largest city and defacto capitol of Rojava, The forum was about opposing the "Nation-worshipping" of "the West". The panel talked about how all nations could live together in the federal system: not only Kurds but also Arabs, Assyrians and Turkomans.

    On the panel were:

    • Elizabeth Gawrie, Syriac, Syriac Union Party, TEV-DEM, co-President of the Jazira Canton, and also a member of the Association of Solidarity and Citizenship of the Peoples (SYPG)/Sazîya Yekîtî û Piştgiriya Gelan --a political group, not a militia
    • Hediya Yousef , Kurd, PYD, TEV-DEM, co-president of the Federal Region of Northern Syria - Rojava, Yousef was co-governor of Jazira canton, alongside leading Shammar shaykh Humaidi Daham al-Hadi
    • Mansur Selum, Arab from Tel Abyad (Girê Spî), co-president of the Federal Region of Northern Syria - Rojava, co-chair of Tel Abyad people's assembly
    • Şoreş Amed, SYPG Spokesperson (if this is his Facebook and twitter, he is likely PYD and Apocu.
    • Bengîn Bêzî, SYPG

    There is a fascinating story of Tel Abyad's new people's court resolving a feud between Selum's family and another. Selum had lost a son in the feuding.

    While putting together this post, I came across a speech (google translate) by Şoreş Amed.;

    Şoreş Amed

    free world in which peoples live fraternally, equally, fairly and peacefully, with no classes or boundaries against exploitation, occupation, oppression, massacres and genocide . Amed pointed out that no tyrannical system could survive the revolutionary battles that the oppressed peoples had grown up in a common and organized manner, and noted that the experiences of the peoples of the world were instructive in this regard.

    Expressing that the peoples of the Middle East were constantly confronted by imperialist and reactionary forces on the basis of sectarian, racial and religious reaction, Amed voiced that there were examples of people living together despite all the provocations and games. "So to claim the Rojava revolution, to fight for success is to uphold the tradition of the people's fraternity and resistance," said the SYPG spokesman Amed, who said that the Rojava revolution is the most concrete expression of the will of the people to live together.

    Emphasizing that the Rojava revolution is a women's revolution at the same time, Shoreh Amed said that the revolution will work for the promotion of women's existence, strengthening and permanentization of women's representation in all institutions and areas of the revolution.

    In the same event, Sengal (Sinjar, Iraq) Ezidi Parliamentary Member Hidir Faris "This institution was founded on the backs of those who sacrificed their lives for a great deal of labor, thanks to fighters fighting against imperialism and capitalism."

    Some more details about TEV-DEM's mother tongue education have emerged.

    200 students learning in Turkmen mother tongue in Dadata, 10KM from Tel Abyad. 5 Teachers teaching in Turkish an Arabic (4 of them women). Thats in a village of 500 people.

    TEV-DEM has recruited "50 Syriac language teachers who will be sent to schools in the cities of Rimelan, Qamishli, Ras al-Ain, Malikiyah and Qahtaniyah." TEV-DEM likes to have a classroom size of 28 students per teacher. That means TEV-DEM is providing Syriac education to 1,400 students. Also, its interesting to note that: "that most political parties and church bodies did not accept the introduction of the teaching of the Syriac language, except the Syriac Union Party, an ally of PYD."

    Syriac Language to Be Taught in PYD-controlled Schools

    According to the Rojava’s Education Commission, the old Ba’athist curriculum has been replaced. Primary education will now be taught in three languages: Kurdish, Arabic and Syriac-Assyrian. The overwhelming majority of the schools in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah Governorate are controlled by the NSR (Federal region of Northern Syria - Rojava) administration. The exceptions are a handful of schools inside regime-held areas and a number of private Christian schools in Hasakah and Qamishli.

    Rojava administration launches new curriculum in Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian, Ahmed Shiwesh, ARA News, October 7, 2016

    Video on the changes to the education system from ARA News: cancellation of the Ba'ath regime educaiton; education in 6 grades in Kurdish, education in 6 grades in Arabic and education in 3 grades in Syriac-Assyrian.

    (in other news, the AKP state of Turkey says they *might* let Zarok TV the Kurdish language Chilrden's TV station return to the air, if 40% of its content is in Turkish. The kids just want it back.. Turkey recently closed 20 TV and Radio stations)

    I know a lot of people are skeptical about the PYD being post-nationalists, but this is what they tell themselves and tell the people they are organizing with in what is clearly a multi-ethnic, multi-religious way. At this point I have far more material reasons to believe in their post-nationalist politics than others who claim to be internationalist.

    Or in the words of Memed Aksoy in a blog posting from before the Rojava Revolution in March 2011:
    Memed Aksoy

    we are, on a political level, supporters of a democratic socialist society that is ecological and also gender emancipatory. The organisation of this society is from the bottom up and foresees the organisation of society according to all its different 'colours,' whether that be gender-based, religion or class based, or ethnicity-based, society, we believe has the right to organise according to its needs and the needs of nature, not the needs of the state structure.

    SYPG is in solidarity with Standing Rock:

    A bit on refugee centers in Greece:

    Here is a story on Five Refugee Centers setup by the Syrian Revolutionary Left Current. Over 2400 refugees including children live there. They also provide aid in forms of food, clothing, and so on to over 1600 refugees living in other centers across the city. A comrade who has been to those camps tells me this article in the Washington Post is about the same centers: Welcome to Greece’s refugee squats. The Syrian Revolutionary Left Current is working with Rojava, Syrian Democratic Council and TWDS now. There is a similar refugee camp of 400 om Greece that is obviously sympathetic to the PKK: PKK flags and Ocalan's face: Inside Greece's self-ruling Kurdish enclave

    Since I'm in a mood for international solidarity against fascism, here I am with some Turks and Kurds signing Bella Ciao in a small demonstration against the arrests of Cumhuriyet journalists and HDP parlimentarians .

    I like an internationalism that is manfiest in action.

    Flint

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    SDF has announced the start of its campaign to liberate Raqqa, called the "Wrath of Euphrates" / "Ghahbab al-Furat"

    Final Showdown: Raqqa


    Left to right:

    The SDF is deploying 30,000 fighters for this battle.

    US-backed forces launch bid to capture IS Syria 'capital', Al Monitor, 11/6/2016

    The Long Battle to Retake the ISIS Capital, Raqqa, Has Now Begun, WLADIMIR VAN WILGENBURG, NANCY A. YOUSSEF, Daily Beast, 11.06.16

    ANHA

    Many revolutionary and military factions comprised under SDF are majorly moving under the command of Ghadab al-Firat operations room and these factions are YPG, YPJ, liwaa Soqour al-Raqqa(Raqqa Hawks Brigade), Liwaa Shoheda al-Raqqa, Shoheda Hamam Turkman brigade, Ahrar al-Raqqa brigade, Liwaa Thuwar Til Abyad, and the Syriac Military Council.

    Factions comprised under SDF include further factions but groups taking part in this campaign are majorly of Raqqa fighters and nearby regions.

    Who is taking part in Ghadab al-Firat campaign?, ANHA News, 06.11.2016

    Arab SDF forces are expected to be the primary forces involved with the offensive with the YPG/YPJ, MFS/HSNB, Quwat al-Nukhbat (militia of Ahmed Jarba's Syrian Tomorrow Movement) and SDF Sarrin battalion in supporting roles.

    I also note with interest that a Katibat Shuhada Hammam al-Turkman will be participating in the offensive Hammam al-Turkman is the large Turkmen village south of Tel Abyad whose residents were temporarily displaced, but later returned and where TEV-DEM recently saw the opening of a Turkmen Cultural Center. Based on other mother tongue education in the Tel Abyad area, I think we can also assume primary education in Turkish. There is also a Tal Abyad unit involved.

    A battalion of Faylaq ash-Sham recently defected from to join the Manbij Military Council near the Sajur river.

    Democratic Council of Syria and Syrian Democratic Forces meet in Hasakah to discuss the strategic importance of the Raqqa campaign.
    Left to right:

    The Afrin SDF was able to hold off Turkey's Operations Euphrates Shield from advancing west and south of Mare.

    Flint

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Speculation on the amount of recruits SDF has trained from Manbij:

    Nobody_is_perfect

    So Minimum 750 have already graduated in the SDF for the Manbij Military Council (including this 254). + 620 Assayish completed or still on training (of them 50 women). + 150 Minimum now in training for the SDF in Manbij.
    And do not forget, there is also a local YPG group formed in Manbij from members of Manbij (unknown size, but small).
    And all these since Manbij has been freed.

    Summary of how the SDF is organized:
    Nobody_is_perfect

    Assayish are a paramilitaric police force; target is gerneral, 1/3 shall be women. They are equipped with military type weapons. Clashes with the NDF in Hasakah and Quamishly were regular in responsibility of the Assayish, YPG and SDF came later only for support. SWAT teams are called H.A.T., every of the 3 regions have now one (Kobani shall have been the last). You can compare the Assayish best with the Guardia civil in Spain or the Carabinieri in Italy or the Gendameria in France. (In Quamishli, in the government controlled parts, you have additional another police force, responsible for the regular police staff, like traffic control, parking control, follow up after accidents, small thiefs e.g., I expect in peace time something like this will be additional implemented). Assayish are a volunteer police force.

    SDF as also YPG/YPJ are the volunteer front units. These are fighting the IS. Many YPG units are part of the SDF. Overall the women forces of the SDF and the YPJ are even more mixed and working together, in Afrin it even seems to be one mixed group, running around with different type of uniforms, depending from where they come. Also the YPG and SDF are more mixed and working as one group in Afrin. They are already calling themself as "revolutionary front". In Kobani and Quamishli, SDF and YPG forces are still less mixed, during the Manbij offensive, the short "Tabqa offensive" (just to widen the pocket on the east side of the dam), the landing Operation at the QQ bridge and the whole northern front was done by the YPG (>80% YPG), while the souther arm/front, starting at the dam, surrounding from the south and the west was done by the SDF units (80% SDF, 20% YPG). Manbij City was taken primary by the southern arm.

    The conscript army are the HXP, 6 month conscript duty. Till now primary used behind the front at check points and as self defence forces to protect the homes of the civilians. And it seems now, this week they have been already accepted by the Syrian government as the regular future army of the northern part of Syria, responsible for home defence and especially to defend all outer borders, so Turkey and Iraq (so the former job of the SAA).

    And than of course you have the HPC (do not forget them). These have a regular job and in their free time/weekends, they are manning check points, performing trainings e.g. In these are also 80 years old grandmothers e.g. and do not laugh, as seen during the IS raid last year with the 200 men, who have started in Sarrin. The raid was perfectly running as planned, 2 sVBIED had eliminated the week border control forces in Kobani, so no armed forces were left...till the grandmothers, kids and grandfathers (all others were at the front)packed out the AK47 from their cupboards and started to eliminate the raid in a storm of lead, so the whole raid eneded miserably. There was a nice picture of a 80 years old grandmother, sitting on her cheap white plastic chair on the middle of a crossing with her AK47 (as she was really not tall, it was really big in comparison) on her tight. Her comment: I am old. If they want to get in the house blocks behind me, they have to kill me. If they kill me, my comraids behind me will be warned and will kill them (she was not killed). These are also pure volunteers and support units, these are the last defence line to protect the civilians.

    source

    Blesk

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Flint wrote:

    I know many posters who frequent this forum are skeptical of the PYD and TEV-DEM's post-nationalist politics, regarding the YPG as little more than an ethnic gang.
    I came across on interesting article on ANHA News in Kurdish.

    It seems that Flint believes more in what Kurdish national-liberationist propaganda put forward as the truth than what a “pro-Islamist” says while criticizing the collaborationist politics of PYD. Why not? Everybody's free to believe to any god he likes…

    Flint wrote:

    I know a lot of people are skeptical about the PYD being post-nationalists, but this is what they tell themselves and tell the people they are organizing with in what is clearly a multi-ethnic, multi-religious way. At this point I have far more material reasons to believe in their post-nationalist politics than others who claim to be internationalist.

    Hey Flint, I’ve better quotes directly coming from TEV-DEM and which genuinely expose their real politics of collaborationism and not what some are fantasying about them:

    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.

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

    Ad Nauseam!

    Blesk

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Flint wrote:

    Nobody_is_perfect wrote:

    Assayish are a paramilitaric police force; target is gerneral, 1/3 shall be women. They are equipped with military type weapons. Clashes with the NDF in Hasakah and Quamishly were regular in responsibility of the Assayish, YPG and SDF came later only for support. SWAT teams are called H.A.T., every of the 3 regions have now one (Kobani shall have been the last). You can compare the Assayish best with the Guardia civil in Spain or the Carabinieri in Italy or the Gendameria in France.

    WAW what a comparison! Assayish are like the Spanish, Italian or French Gendarmerie? I personally never had any doubt about! But tell that to “anarchists” who pretend to piss on the police and to fuck any state institutions!

    Nobody_is_perfect wrote:

    The conscript army are the HXP, 6 month conscript duty. Till now primary used behind the front at check points and as self defence forces to protect the homes of the civilians. And it seems now, this week they have been already accepted by the Syrian government as the regular future army of the northern part of Syria, responsible for home defence and especially to defend all outer borders, so Turkey and Iraq (so the former job of the SAA).

    WAW once again! “Accepted by the Syrian government” without obviously speaking about the Pentagon and the Kremlin! All imperialists, capitalists, statists agree with Rojava structures, except maybe the Turkish nation-state but it’s just a question of time and opportunities. BTW the PKK already signed peace agreements with Erdogan’s government and Ocalan is calling from is jail for new peace discussions…

    Flint

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Blesk

    the PKK already signed peace agreements with Erdogan’s government and Ocalan is calling from is jail for new peace discussions…

    The PKK has tried several times to start a unilateral ceasefire and there was peace talks with the AKP. I don't see why you think this is some sort of gotcha revelation. Do you think the principled revolutionary thing to do is continue to wage a guerrilla armed struggle or end that armed struggle?

    Nobody_is_perfect opinion is Nobody_is_perfect's opinion. But it seems clear with the recent conflict in Hasakah that the Assad regime has had to accept that the Asayiş control the streets there. The dual power situation between the Baathists and TEV-DEM seems to be resolving in TEV-DEM's favor in Jazira canton. Baathists have no power in Afrin or Kobane cantons.

    If Rojava's realpolitik with existing states that you find objectionable, that's your call. Total war against all states at all times is probably not going to ever be a viable strategy in the short term.

    Anyway, Blesk... just so I know where you are a coming from... this is just the latest handle for antiwar/Guerre De Classe/TŘÍDNÍ VÁLKA right? The group that was so enthusiastic about the initial rebellion in Syria with its desertions--up to even endorsing the Free Syrian Army? That your politics is for some kind of spontaneous insurrection of the working class that will obviously choose communist revolution and the correct line and advance accordingly to global revolution? Do I have that right?

    If not, do please explain how you see a revolution happening and how it would be different than what TEV-DEM is doing.

    Mark.

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Flint

    Here is a story on Five Refugee Centers setup by the Syrian Revolutionary Left Current. Over 2400 refugees including children live there. They also provide aid in forms of food, clothing, and so on to over 1600 refugees living in other centers across the city. A comrade who has been to those camps tells me this article in the Washington Post is about the same centers: Welcome to Greece’s refugee squats.

    Interesting to see this as well:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/mollycrabapple/status/795944523373379585

    "Bidoun Watan" (without nation), first Arabic edition of an anarchist street newspaper based in Greece.

    A report on the City Plaza squat:

    http://time.com/4501017/greek-anarchists-are-finding-space-for-refugees-in-abandoned-hotels/

    I'm still not quite sure what the relationship is between the Revolutionary Left Current and the Athens refugee squats.

    Spikymike

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Not Syria but in Iraqi Kurdistan teachers on strike and protesting on the streets over unpaid salaries against both the PUK and KDP main political parties as 'internal' opposition continues at the same time as Kurdish troops involved in attacks against ISIS around Mosul.

    Flint

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Yes. This bit was surprising:

    Kurdish President Masoud Barzani on Sunday urged political parties to get together to reactivate the parliament, appoint a new cabinet and elect another president until the next presidential elections.

    Barzani, whose extended term has already expired, also commented on a strike by Kurdish teachers, saying they have full right to take to street and demand their delayed salaries from the government.

    Barzani urges political parties to resolve differences, reactivate parliament, Rudaw

    Last year, Barzani effectively suspended parliament by banning the 2nd largest party, Gorran. The KDP also suppressed the protests and strikes last year. He also refused to step down as president. He's been a defacto dictator since then.

    I thought he was going to die in office.

    Crises inside the Kurdistan Region deepened after the five major political parties failed to reach an agreement on the Kurdistan presidency issue in October 2015, following the expiration of the President’s term.

    Following the ninth round of failed talks, demonstrations about lack of basic services and the current political struggle turned violent in the eastern cities of the Region, where a number of offices belonging to the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) were torched.

    Teachers have been on strike in some parts of the Kurdistan Region for more than a month in protest against the system of salary cuts which have been taken by the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to cope with worsening financial crisis.

    Barzani expressed support for public school teachers on strike, saying it is an “undisputed right” for them to demand the restoration of their salaries.

    Salaries for KRG employees have been delayed for months as the government struggles to pay the close to 1.4 million people on its monthly payroll.

    Barzani calls for new leadership in parliament, successor until presidential election, NRT TV


    Kurdistan Parliament Speaker calls for cancellation of KRG
    , NRT TV

    Teachers say they cannot afford to return to classes with salary delays and austerity measures the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has taken to withhold a percentage of their wages.

    “We are clear, what we demand is ending the system of withholding salaries and achieving our undisputed rights,” said a teacher on strike.

    Joined by veteran Peshmerga, the disabled and other members of the public, teachers in Sulaimani threatened to resume protests until their demands are met.

    Growing discontent among civil servants with the KRG over wages comes as Kurdish authorities resume operations to oust ISIS from Mosul.

    Peaceful protests and demonstrations are growing in the Kurdistan Region. KRG officials announced on February a measure to withhold a percentage of salaries and vowed the measure would resolve chronic delays in monthly payments of government employees.

    Salaries for government workers have been plagued by delays since 2014 and Kurdish authorities have repeatedly said they cannot make payments due to a number of crises affecting the region.


    Teachers, public servants protest over economic crisis in Kurdistan Region
    , NRT TV

    Nymphalis Antiopa

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    The state of Rojava congratulates the American people for electing a new president of the USA:

    http://en.hawarnews.com/msd-congratulates-americans/

    "In the name of Democratic Syria Council, we congratulate the American people who elected a new president and we deeply respect the free and democratic choice of the American people, we also hope that the new administration stands by the oppressed people in the world, undertakes its role in bringing about global peace and security, advances in fighting terror, impose crackdown on the dictator regimes and we are looking forward to more collaboration on all levels in fighting terror in Syria and reach a settlement of the Syrian crisis and we hope success and prosperity for the American people and the new administration”.

    Flint

    5 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Strikes continue in KRG:

    NRT

    Teachers went on strike on Thursday (December 1) holding demonstrations in parts of the Kurdistan Region despite obstacles from security forces.

    NRT correspondents said teachers in Sulaimani, Halabja, Koya and Chamchamal protested against austerity measures imposed by the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) to cope with the economic crisis and overdue salaries.

    Teachers transferred the demonstration to a Sulaimani court after security forces prevented them from protesting in front of the Education Directorate.

    Asayish (security forces) arrested several teachers in front of the Education Directorate after the teachers went there to protest.

    Kurdish teachers have gone on strike for the past two months in Sulaimani and Halabja, as well as in the Raparin and Garmyan administrations in the Kurdistan Region.

    Under a newly announced plan, the KRG proposed salary cuts to all public employees as a result of financial crisis in the region. Government employees face cuts between 15 and 75 percent, depending on their position and pay-grade.

    Salaries for government workers have been plagued by delays since 2014 and Kurdish authorities have repeatedly said they cannot make payments due to a number of crises affecting the region.

    Teachers on Strike Demonstrate in parts of Kurdistan region, NRT, 12/1/2016

    Spikymike

    4 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    So Oct 2017 more Turkish military incursions into Syria, The YPG, USA backed forces on the verge of defeating ISIS in Ar Raqqah, Iraqi Kurdish declaration of Independence and confrontation with both the Baghdad government and the Turkish and Iranian allies of its main opposing political factions, plus presumably wider USA and Russian foreign policy thrown into further confusion??

    Mike Harman

    4 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Iraqi army launched an attack on Kirkuk last night: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-41631697

    mikail firtinaci

    4 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    sorry- wrong forum

    Mark.

    4 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Jenan Moussa on the battle for Kirkuk:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/i/moments/919984455502237696

    Spikymike

    4 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Also statement from Kurdish speaking anarchists on this site here:
    https://libcom.org/news/no-state-no-war-yes-self-administration-social-revolution-18102017

    Spikymike

    4 years 11 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    And this also an interesting development;
    https://libcom.org/forums/general/convergence-rojava-saudi-arabia-26102017

    mikail firtinaci

    4 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    The US backed Kurdish nationalist PYD/PKK forces came to a secret deal with the ISIS and took over Raqqa - the capital and last big city of the islamic state. According to this deal it appears that thousands of heavily armed islamist militants freely moved into Turkey (and possibly, from there to Europe).

    The YPG/PKK tried to conceal the deal but later admitted it. Just as the Turkish government sent islamists to syria to fight against Kurds and the Syrian regime, now the PYD is doing the same, this time sending the islamists to fight in Turkey&Europe where islamists carried out several violent attacks before.

    watch this for details:

    https://youtu.be/p4KLrQKJn3c

    update:

    the YPG on the subject: they claim that they had no other choice because the ISIS had human shields, that they did not let the ISIS loose on Turkey and that the BBC reporter who covered this news is a turkish propagandist...

    http://www.kurdistansolidaritycampaign.org/the_truth_about_the

    AndrewF

    4 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    mikail firtinaci

    now the PYD is doing the same, this time sending the islamists to fight in Turkey&Europe where islamists carried out several violent attacks before.

    And once more the Turkish nationalist spin on a story that is actually typical of all the city sieges of the Syrian war. The command always negotiates an escape through the use of human shields.

    BTW the BBC 'secret seal' spin is itself odd as the BBC itself reported on the deal back in its October 17th reporting of the liberation of Raqqa when they reported that "Syrian jihadists and their families were evacuees along with 3500 civilians under a deal negotiated by Raqqa Civil Council and local tribal elders". The deal / evacuation was mentioned by several SDF sources at that time.

    There is a useful thread unpicking the story at
    https://twitter.com/4rj1n/status/930572566246379522

    mikail firtinaci

    4 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    I am not going to respond to pro-war nationalist&Trotskist slanderer AndrewF, because there is nothing to respond anyway. But secret or not, the deal shows the validity of this:

    The expansion of US deployments in Syria is directed not against ISIS, which has collapsed, but at seizing territory, particularly the oil fields of eastern Deir Ezzor province, in order to undermine the Assad government and combat the regional influence of its main allies, Iran and Russia.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/11/02/pers-n02.html

    here the same bbc journalist reports that the PKK/SDF is recruiting former IS militants:

    https://twitter.com/Dalatrm/status/930785767311409153

    the destruction of the Raqqa city and history shows that neither the US nor its regional ally PKK care about civilians.

    AndrewF

    4 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    So first off you complain about the (not secret) deal that reduced civilian casualties but then you flip over to saying they don't care about such casualties.

    First you claim that the SDF is "sending the islamists to fight in Turkey&Europe" but then you post the tweet above to complain about the opposite, it actually says that they are using local former IS fighters to identify other fighters at SDF check points so they can be arrested.

    Your perspective is that of a Turkish nationalist, your attempted spin I highlighted above are particularly blatant examplse of that. As is the flip you just performed above which makes it very clear that your concern is not civilian casualties but attacking Rojava with whatever is available even if you have to flip flop so blatantly while doing so.

    Meanwhile in Turkey I see some 11,000 members of the HDP have been arrested and 4,5000 of those imprisoned. http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/00ffaaeb-a43d-40c9-ab4c-226ef9b18775

    mikail firtinaci

    4 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    I didn't spin anything. I am totally behind everything I said/wrote.

    The fasicst Turkish regime is not only imprisoning HDP but all oppositionists - be they islamists, kemalists, leftists, Kurds or communists. That does not mean one has to choose a side among the warring bourgeois factions. Syria, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the US and its puppet regime in Rojava... all are murderous capitalist regimes and I don't defend any one nation state over the other. All have to be destroyed.

    mikail firtinaci

    4 years 10 months ago

    In reply to by libcom.org

    Here the same BBC news reporter posted the record of the negotiations btw the PKK/SDF and ISIS:

    "We want the #Raqqa deal all done in secret, unlike #Manbij & #Tabqa. We can send them wherever they want. No problem"

    https://twitter.com/Dalatrm/status/930107412908036096

    update:

    another event of the day was the defection of the SDF (Syrian front org. of the PKK) spokesperson, Talal Silo to Turkey:

    A senior commander defected to Turkey on Wednesday from the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a leading combatant in the fight against Islamic State, Syrian rebel officials said, in the first such departure from its higher ranks.
    They said Brigadier General Talal Silo handed himself in at dawn to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), an adversary of the SDF, near Jarablus city in northern Syria where he was then escorted to Turkey, which backs some FSA groups in that area.

    The officials gave no reason for move by Silo, who was the SDF spokesman, but it follows months of growing discontent by some Arab tribes with the SDF, an alliance of Kurdish and Arab forces that is dominated by the Kurdish YPG.

    https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/syria/1.822987

    Pro-PKK people I read on twitter suggest that this was a sign of Arabic tribes discontent with the PKK, which is also what Haaretz hints above.