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(en) France, Organisation Communiste Libertarie (OCL) - Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) - The bataillle of Kobanê: between jihadist offensive, Turkish and Kurdish resistance complicity (fr, pt) [machine translation]

Date Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:08:07 +0300

The offensive of the Islamic State (EI) launched on Kobanê, one of three townships Kurds in Syria, September 15, and continues marks a crucial episode at a time of war in Syria and the revolution launched by movements of the left Kurdish. ---- stake in this battle determines the fate of the entire Kurdistan and the entire Middle East. ---- Kobanê third Kurdish city in Syria, inhabited before the war about 300 000 but now housing more than 200,000 refugees, has for more than a week the scene of military operations of the most brutal jihadists and after Homs, the cruelest. ---- A consequence of the strengthening of Islamists ---- The immediate cause of the attack is outside Syria. In Iraq, the IU was able to seize a huge booty of arms, partly under Saddam Hussein but more importantly a huge amount of heavy weapons and armored abandoned by the United States and "new" Iraqi army. When, in June, the IU held Mosul, he found almost intact arsenals. In August, the Islamist group launched against Sinjar because this city is mainly inhabited by Yazidis. The purpose of EI is to literally destroy any religion that is not Sunni Muslim. These events have caused an international response and the United States began bombing the positions of IE allowing some recovery of the land from the Iraqi Kurdish troops (including Mosul Dam).

During the events of Sinjar, the main Kurdish militia Syria, the YPG (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel / Units Defence of the People) will intervene for the first time on Iraqi soil to save tens of thousands of refugees, abandoned by all, sending reinforcements from Rojava (Kurdistan of Syria). Reinforcements have been instrumental in the mountains of Sinjar, organizing humanitarian corridors and by organizing the first Yezidi self-defense units, but also on other parts of the front line, in particular by taking, with PKK fighters rushed themselves also, the town of Makhmour and the surrounding villages.

Paradoxically or not, the American bombings, which certainly saved many civilians in Iraq, caused this brutal attack on Syrian territory. It is not possible to operate in Iraq without thinking on a global scale, especially on the developments in Syria, because it amounts to protect themselves on a blank leaving the other uncovered.


But the United States does not seem to have a strategy that goes beyond the protection of the oil fields and the restoration of the old national and institutional frameworks. In this sense, hitting the IE in Iraq (especially in Iraq), Mosul and retrieve the rich northern provinces, help to strengthen the autonomous regime of Iraqi Kurdistan, which comes simultaneously refluxing jihadists and return to Syria (where they will be most useful for Westerners fighting both the Damascus regime and Kurdish "terrorist" PKK-PYD), appear as the main focus of the United States and coalition intends to place on up and run.
Recent bombings on Syrian soil obey this general line, even if they apparently opened a second anti-jihadist whose forehead covered and expected to weaken the regime of Bashar al-Assad effect.

Kobanê is located in the province of Raqqa is strength instead of IE, the "real" capital, which will fold to jihadist forces in the event of a major offensive on Mosul (Nineveh province) and western Iraq (the largest province of Al-Anbar ¾ desert but with rebel cities of Ramadi and Fallujah and uncontrolled borders with Jordan and Saudi Arabia).

The elements of this offensive

The AEs he seems moved some of his forces in Syria, specifically in Raqqa. The "Caliph" self proclaimed himself, Ibrahim is now in Syria. Once he was able to focus much of its military forces in Syria, the IU ended up with great potential and has set a new priority: Kobanê.

The reasons are at least threefold:
1) Kobanê is the central canton of three cantons Kurds. It is also the smallest. The drop means isolate the other two, Efrin west, east cerize.
2) Kobanê provides access to Turkey from Syria. As several sources have shown, the evidence of Turkish support for IR are clear.
3) The Kurds, especially YPG, have been on the battlefield as the only force that can cope with the EI, and even crush it in many places. On equal terms means.

To this can be added additional reasons, symbolic but equally important.
Kobanê is where the revolution was proclaimed the Rojava, 19 July 2012 It is also the town where went the first time Abdullah Öcalan , July 2, 1979, when he was exiled from Turkey to continue the fight. It was also at Kobanê the Kurdish solidarity with the victims of the Anfal operation perpetrated by the regime of Saddam Hussein (the massacre of Halabja in 1988) was among the highest, where, among others, children were donated their own clothes for young genocide survivors. This is one of the cradles of the Kurdish movement in Syria.

And additionally, a tactical reason: the jihadists could expect to benefit from the absence of bombing Western forces on Syrian soil.

In this context, the EI has launched a very Kobanê prepared against attack with the following:
1) An attack on three fronts; by the east, west and south.
2) The commitment of 3,000 fighters at the beginning, which were strengthened after five days more than 4000 other: they are now 7000.
3) Use for most of its arsenal of Syria.
4) The use of military equipment arrived from Turkey, at least two freight trains anonymous detected Tell-Abyad
5) And fundamental: the use of artillery heavy, especially around 50 tanks and even in Turkey according to testimony from Iraq, arsenals of the Syrian regime.

This imbalance in armaments has meant that on September 15, IU was able to break the front from the south, despite the desperate Kurdish resistance. On September 17 jihadist Advanced was undeniable.

YPG have no armored vehicles and tanks, and fight primarily with AK47 (assault rifles, the famous Kalashnikov), RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades, medium range) and machine guns. Their superiority in organization, experience and determination allowed them to hold out for months, but the arrival of tanks from Raqqa made it impossible to maintain this balance of power. It's like fighting with spears against guns. Especially since it is a plain, desert and partly irrigated, making it almost impossible guerrilla warfare against forces with armored equipment equipped for long-range shots.


On 17 September, the IU entered 21 villages and the next day, the YPG has given the order to evacuate people and retreat. 48 hours later, the villages occupied by the jihadists are thought to number about sixty.
From there, YPG managed to stabilize the front at the cost of heavy casualties on both sides. The AEs he seems chose not to use all his strength and is limited to massive bombings against civilians. The Observatory for Human Rights in Syria (close to the opposition "moderate") refers to 70 deaths in each camp, but also a large number of missing among the Kurds. Other sources claim the much greater losses among jihadists.

Turkey's main ally jihadists

The desperate calls of the besieged had no effect. The United States, the main responsible for the facts to be bombed Iraq and Syria left a sanctuary, have looked elsewhere for more than a week. Turkey offers informal support for IR and the Iraqi Kurds who have both YPG are limited to words and gestures. One last fact: EI issued a fatwa (religious decree) by which all Kurds who are captured, whether military or civilian, should be decapitated. Half a million Kurds are encircled in Kobanê by EI with two options: die fighting or bombing or be executed if caught.


But thousands of civilians have fled before the arrival of jihadists and headed to the Syrian-Turkish border.

For its part, Turkey has initially rendered totally impassable border to the Kurds. The instructions of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was to create a buffer zone to block all aid to the Kurds in Syria, civilians and combatants, was ordered to return to their city and their bombed villages.

Friday, September 19, when they were only 3-4000 face Turkish soldiers and hundreds of young Kurds came to show their solidarity from the Turkish side, they forced their way, cut the barbed wire and forced the government Turkey to open the border. The next day, they and were tens of thousands.

This Monday, Sept. 22, refugees fleeing the offensive jihad exceed 100 000 We're talking about 130,000. Kurds, but also: Arabs, Assyrians, Armenians ... all composite populations of this region, beyond the Kurds, living and / or communities who have found refuge in Kobanê mass since the beginning of the war (200,000 ), fleeing from the border was ajar.


All weekend, the Turkish Kurds took to the streets by the tens of thousands in major cities. Hundreds of young people across the southeast of Turkey headed by bus or private car to the city of Suruç (Pirsûs in Kurdish), close to the border, opposite Kobanê.

Thousands of police, gendarmes and Turkish soldiers have been deployed to control the demonstrators and activists who want to mingle with refugees. At the border post Mursitpinar, the forces of repression Turkey launched attacks to disperse the crowd without gas and water cannon. Sunday, more than thirty injured protesters were admitted to different hospitals in the province of Urfa (or Sanl?urfa). Hundreds of protesters responded with stones and at least one police vehicle was set on fire. Solidarity tents erected by protesters were also burnt by the soldiers.

The Turkish state, already accused of arming jihadists yet, aims to create a buffer zone on the border to prevent the flow of people in both directions: the flight of refugees to Turkey in a sense, the influx of volunteers and material support towards Kobanê to enhance resistance.

According to various sources, more than a thousand young Kurds in Turkey have managed to cross the border to other places to join the ranks of YPG, responding to the call on September 18 by the KCK (Union of Communities of Kurdistan).

Friday, September 19, at noon, the Turkish government relented on refugee reception (could he do otherwise?) But continues to assist the IE by preventing reinforcements and equipment (weapons, ammunition , equipment, other military and non-military supplies) to reach the besieged city. Turkey not only blocks the volunteers of Turkish Kurdistan but also many Syrian Kurds who crossed the border to support their families, helping them to shelter and wish to return to Kobanê to fight.

Since Saturday, September 20, refugees can pass but the outputs towards Kobanê are completely blocked on and around the main road.

The Turkish military, in fact, complete the seat of jihadists Kobanê the north.


Sunday, September 21, as fighting raged on the border between the Turkish troops and police and young protesters Kurdish, the PKK launched a new call to arms to defend the city of Kobanê and claimed that 400 of its fighters had joined the front these days, a front line that is about fifteen kilometers from the city. Other reinforcements and better weapons (including anti-tank) are expected in the coming days, despite the encirclement.
Attacks diversion are also expected from other Kurdish districts of Syria, in particular Jazeera in is Kobanê.

Sunday, 21.09 constantly, according to the Turkish daily Milliyet , IE reportedly captured 300 alleged members of the PYD in different villages and were then shot dead. According to the daily, some of them were forced to strip, then dragged to the ground before being executed. Pictures of bodies lying on the ground were broadcast on the Internet without being authenticated.

The testimonies of refugees crossing the border on foot, vehicles, including ambulances, report that there have been numerous beheadings in the villages. For Ibrahim Binici pro-Kurdish MP HDP present on the border who collected these stories, "rather than a war, this is an operation of genocide ... They go into villages, cut the heads of one or two people and show the villagers " .


KCK: "There is no limit to the resistance"

The Kurdish movement as a whole calls for a general mobilization to defend Kobanê and repel the forces of EI.

Civil legal political organizations and the range of associations called the people to take to the street to go to mass in the direction of the border to help refugees and besieged. For their part, the authorities of the movement as the KCK and the "illegal" and fighting organizations (PKK ... PYD), call the Kurdish Youth Turkey to join the armed resistance by enlisting in combat units, including YPG and the YPJ Rojava. On 22 September, the KCK issues a new statement saying that "the Kurdish people should not put limits to its strength" .


KCK: Borders are disappearing, Urfa [*] and Kobanê must unite

ANF - September 20, 2014

The co-chair of the Executive Council of the KCK appealed inviting the people of Kurdistan, first and foremost the people [district] of Urfa, to join the resistance Kobanê and make the fight against the EIIL [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, now EI, Islamic State] the struggle of the people of Kurdistan whole "Let's remove the borders, unite with Kobanê Urfa, unmake the aggressors and do EIIL of the Revolution of the Rojava revolution throughout Syria and the whole Middle East "

The declaration of the KCK said the resistance of the people of Kobanê encouraged democratic struggle everywhere, adding "tens of thousands of young people should join the resistance to fascism and answer the EIIL."

"Turkey is behind the gangs of EIIL"

The release of KCK said afterwards: "They can deny it is no doubt that one of the powers behind the EIIL is Turkey. The Turkish state uses to attack EIIL revolution Rojava and the entire Kurdish people. That's how it conducts its dirty war against the Kurdish liberation struggle. The PDK, which is allied with Turkey, said that Turkey had not helped when he was attacked by EIIL. This demonstrates that relations Turkey EIIL are deeper and more comprehensive than the PDK-Turkey relations. The AKP government is trying to emerge from its isolation in the region by EIIL. Media around the world have documented this relationship. The release of 49 members of the consular staff Turkish [Mosul] occurred as a result of this support for the EIIL. The hostages were released mainly because of the collaboration with the Turkish EIIL during his last assault on Kobanê. "

"Turkey maintains its most hypocritical political"

The declaration of the KCK points to the hypocrisy of Turkish politics, saying, "First, it uses the EIIL to attack the Kurdish people, and on the other it makes propaganda about how it accommodates those who arrive at its borders. This will go down in history as a flagrant example of hypocrisy. One goal of Turkey is to clear Kobanê Kurds, breaking the positive effects of the Revolution on Rojava North Kurdistan "[Turkey].

The declaration of the KCK insists that the revolution should be extended to Kobanê Urfa, and fascism on the EIIL be drowned in blood he shed because of the revolution Rojava combined with the revolution in northern Kurdistan.

"The Kurds in the north have to travel to Kobanê and Rojava"

"Tens of thousands of young people should join the resistance to fascism and answer the EIIL," the statement said, adding that in this way the Turkish state and the anti-Kurdish policies of the AKP could be defeated.

"Right now, the Turkish state and the AKP have no political solution. They use EIIL to strangle democratic aspirations. "

"The attacks of EIIL should be considered attacks Turkey"

KCK statement concludes with a call to arms: "Resistance against the EIIL in Kobanê must be transformed into a resistance against the AKP government. Join the resistance and do Kobanê the fight against the EIIL the struggle of the people of the entire Kurdistan. Let's remove the borders, unite with Kobanê Urfa, unmake the aggressors EIIL and do the Revolution Rojava revolution throughout Syria and the whole Middle East "

Declaration of the Executive Council of the KCK ends commemorating those who fell during the struggle in the canton of Kobanê.



[*] Note: Urfa is the province of Kurdistan Turkish opposite Township Kobanê. District Suruç (Pirsûs in Kurdish) near the border, where refugees find themselves, in part .


On the diplomatic front, three members of the HDP (Democratic People's Party) in Turkey, Selma Irmak, Sabahat Tuncel, Kemal Aktas and a former MP in the European Parliament German Feleknaz Uca, began a hunger strike in Geneva before the offices of the UN, Sunday, Sept. 21 to draw the attention of the public on the offensive and the massacres of the Islamic state to Kobanê and seek emergency humanitarian aid for the Kurdish people. Selma Irmak told a journalist from Today's Zaman Ankara: "In addition to the hunger strike, we will have diplomatic talks with UN officials. We will ask the UN and international powers to send military aid to the Kurds to eliminate violence of IE " .

On the Kurdish front, the PKK, the voice of one of its officers, Duran Kalkan, does not call the Peshmerga Iraq to intervene directly on the floor of Rojava, but their application to launch offensives into Iraq against the jihadists.

Several witnesses on the night of Sunday to Monday, September 22, about 500 PKK fighters have managed to outwit the border by the Turkish army and infiltrate Syrian territory.

In total, it is estimated that for a week, some 1,000 PKK fighters have joined Kobanê and an equal number of young Kurdish militants or sympathizers not fighters managed to cross the border to enlist in combat units or in one way or another, participate in the defense of the city.

In addition, several hundred guerrilla fighters of the PKK have passed since their base, located in the Qandil Mountains in northern Iraq, in the easternmost canton of Rojava, Cezîrê (Jazira) to contribute to the implementation attacks on other fronts to break the siege of Kobanê.

Jihadist offensive blocked

This Monday, Sept. 22, the YPG reported having stabilized the front and blocked the offensive EI about fifteen kilometers from the city of Kobamê and even have started an offensive against the southern and eastern fronts. Furthermore, Kurdish forces have started an attack against jihadist positions from Canton Cezîrê (Jazira).

In a statement, the press center of YPG says that Kurdish forces lost 32 soldiers in combat in a week, and inflicted far greater losses to the EI: 232 killed, four tanks and a dozen vehicles were destroyed, and a large amount of weapons seized. They also had arrested three foreign jihadists, two Belgians and one French.


The situation in the city is becoming increasingly difficult. Water and electricity were cut by the jihadists. A reporter from a Turkish newspaper speaks of a city partly deserted, but also with people determined and armed with handguns. Young Kurds from the north train for part in weapons or are incorporated into groups of civil defense of the city.

Solidarity across

In France, Saturday, Sept. 21, events in Paris at the call of the Federation of Associations of France Kurds (FEYKA). In Marseille, the Old Port, a banner 80 feet long was deployed by Kurdish militants. ... In Germany, several events took place.

Regarding calls for international aid, Kurdish forces Kobanê require neither the presence of Peshmerga in Iraq (they do not want all that barzanistes put their feet in the corner) neither expressly airstrikes ( even if they wish) but they would welcome heavy weapons, anti-tank, allowing them to fight "on equal terms" and to take the offensive on the ground floor. By cons, if the coalition "Western" on the "Syrian front" against the Islamic state, the PYD does not intend to be excluded: he asked to be included as a belligerent force leading opposing both the Assad regime and the jihadis with extensive experience in ground fighting (interview Saleh Muslim, co-president of PYD, the Frankfurter Allgemeine , 21-09-2014)

Air strikes in the United States

On the night of September 22 to 23, several air strikes took place on Syrian territory on the initiative of the United States. The main targets were the infrastructure of IE in the Raqqa region near Tabqa (former air base taken by the EI regime on 24 August), Ain Issa (between Raqqa and Kobanê) and Tell Abyad (IWRM Sipi Kurdish, close to Turkey, an area of conflict with YPG), Deir ez-Zor southeast and in two places in the border between Syria and Iraq under control of IE.

Other bombings took place in the Aleppo region and that of Idlib, in the northwest of the country where they are-it seems the jihadists of al-Nosra Front (Al-Qaeda maintained) that were targeted.

A statement from the staff of étatsuniennes armed forces, the coalition included Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar. Beautiful reversals jackets when we know where the support came (in weapons and financial) jihadists ...

The various factions of the Syrian opposition called moderate welcome these strikes.
Kurdish movements also welcomed the intervention.

But they did not meet.
They want weapons, such as Iraqi Kurds. They want support for their struggle. Demonstrations are underway in this regard, particularly in London, to Parliament where a rally was called Wednesday, 9.24, and in Brussels on 24 and 25 September in Paris on 24 in Reims, Draguignan, Strasbourg, Bordeaux , Toulouse, etc ...

They want to be associated with anti-EI coalition: "We look forward to working with the coalition in the fight against terrorism that threatens all human values in the Middle East," said Salih Muslim, co-chairman of the Party of Democratic Union (PYD) this Tuesday, September 23. But they do not want the proxy play an opportunistic coalition "Arab-Western", quite the opposite: they want to increase the resources to continue the fight Kurdish liberation, with the establishment of a political project and a original and alternative social model (confederalism democratic autonomy, ecology, anti-patriarchy ...): these are the goals then they intend to defend and place in a non-negotiable part of a "front" to fight anti- Jihadist. They want recognition of the autonomy of self-government and its Rojava. They want to continue, deepen, extend, expand the mobilization for the Kurdish liberation on all fronts, on all terrains of struggle.

If they fight militarily in Syria and Iraq, they do not forget the global nature of their struggle and in particular that they lead for so long on the Turkish front. They want to be denounced the policy of Turkey, either dismantled the "buffer zone" set up by the Turkish government at the border, no man's land that has militarized other functions that complement the seat Kobanê and prevent reinforcements to join the Kurdish enclave to rout the jihadists.

They call for the sanctioned states that help the jihadists and the PKK to be removed from the list of terrorist organizations.

Kurdish forces YPG and YPJ for their part have not only halted the offensive on jihadist Kobanê from Sunday, September 21, but launched an offensive on Monday 22 City Tell Abyad (70 kilometers east of Kobanê) held by the IU from the Kurdish city of Sêrékaniyé (Rass al-Ain, Canton Cizîrê) located more than 100 km to the east. Other attacks are carried out for three days in the south of this area (Mabrukah) against jihadist positions to break the siege of Kobanê.


The Battle of Kobanê is not only an important episode for Kobanê and Rojava or even the only fight against the jihadists. His challenge determines the fate of the entire Kurdistan and the entire Middle East.

The September 23, 2014


Post Scriptum

As we complete the editing of this article on the site, a statement of YPG made a quick status report. He announced this Wednesday, Sept. 24 that jihadists are stuck on the Eastern Front, and several villages (Susane, Tell Xezal, Halinc ...) were taken to jihadists in the south, southwest and west Kobanê recent hours.
This early-offensive against is now led by YPG / YPJ alone, sometimes with fighters Burkan El F?rat , Joint Operations Center, recently established structure involving brigades from ASL in the region of the Euphrates and acting political agreement and in close coordination with the military YPG, against the jihadists and against the regime in Damascus.


_ _
Links to http://oclibertaire.free.fr/spip.php?article1581

Video showing hundreds of Kurds storming a Turkish border post Monday, September 22 and penetrating mass Kobanê to join the resistance.


Syria: Facing the barbaric attacks against the IU Kobanê,
call for demonstrations on September 27

To go further ...

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The events of Sinjar and Iraq in recent days

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Links to http://oclibertaire.free.fr/spip.php?article1581
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The Kurdish question and anarchism
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