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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL - Syria-Kurdistan, libertarian communist in the IFB # 07: " The coexistence between YPG and pro-Assad militiamen is quite tense " (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]
Thu, 8 Mar 2018 09:54:21 +0200
" The alliance displayed today in Afrin against the Turkish invasion does not change this
rivalry ; it results from a compromise that can only be temporary. " ---- Libertarian
Alternative reproduces the posts of the blog Kurdistan-Autogestion-Revolution where, after
Arthur Aberlin, engaged in the YPG, now expresses Damien Keller, engaged him in the
International Battalion of Liberation (IFB). ---- Over the weeks, he will testify to life
in the IFB, the debates that are going on and the evolution of the revolutionary process
in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria. ---- International release Battalion, ----
Canton Cizîrê, 1 st March 2018 ---- The entry of Bashar al-Assad's troops into Afrin, to
reinforce the Kurdish defense against the Turkish invasion, raises many questions. Will
this end the offensive ? Are the Russians going to put pressure on Erdogan ? Did the SDS
throw itself into the dictator's arms ? Were they cornered to the point of having no
choice ? etc.
Above, the self-administration elected officials from Afrin Township on January 23 read a
statement of resistance to the Turkish invasion. In arms.
To begin, we must measure the weakness of this reinforcement, more symbolic than anything
else. It was not regular troops of the Syrian army that entered Afrin, but only a convoy
of 300 to 400 Shiite militiamen (probably ultranationalist, so anti-Kurdish), with the
red-white-black flag of the Baath party. A 2 e convoy bombed by Turkish artillery, fled to
Aleppo and Afrin has not reached. For now, that's all. That's not much compared to the 30
or so thousands of MSF fighters and fighters who defend the township on foot.
As for cohabitation with these pro-Assad militiamen, it is obviously quite tense. As it is
whenever we have to neighbor, whether in Hassakê, Qamislo or Deir ez-Zor.
Since 2011, the " armed peace " between the YPG-YPJ and the regime has been broken several
times by bloody clashes. That of April 2016 in Qamislo has killed dozens of people. Ditto
Hassakê, four months later, during clashes that saw the soldiers of Damascus almost driven
out of the city. As for Deir ez-Zor, the regime's troops took advantage of the Turkish
attack on Afrin to launch an assault on the SDF on February 8 - an assault that ended in a
bloody rout for them.
The alliance displayed today in Afrîn facing the Turkish invasion does not change this
rivalry ; it results from a compromise that can only be temporary.
A few words on Qamislo, the capital of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, where
there is still a war atmosphere, with flags hanging on the roundabouts, discolored
portraits of Abdullah Ocalan and martyrs (sêhid) of the revolution displayed in the streets.
The memory of the martyrs is very present: we baptize with their name schools, hospitals,
premises of self-administration ; some businesses display their photos, as well as flags
of the Turkish and / or Kurdish revolutionary organizations they support.
Traders refuse to pay for our purchases
Some destroyed buildings have not yet been cleared, some are uninhabitable, and
interrupted shipyards have never restarted. In front of the local employment center,
dozens of people are looking for work while the reconstruction of the country is hampered
by the blockade organized by Turkey and its ally in Iraq, the Regional Government of
In the midst of these ruins, schools work. Arab, Kurdish and Assyrian children often share
the same, and sometimes walk several kilometers to get there.
A ceremony in Qamislo on 14 February for Afrîn defenders fallen in action.
In Qamislo, the regime of Damascus still holds an enclave. Nearby, the YPGs, the regular
police as well as the regime's army each have their checkpoints. The portraits of Bachar
el Assad and those of Ocalan sometimes meet, in a strange face-to-face. A war of images,
with giant portraits shot.
Small shops and workshops are also open, despite the damage: often, parts of their walls
were ripped to the ground to open passages during street fighting. These traders, who also
display political posters, it is not uncommon for them to refuse that fighters and
combatants pay for their purchases, even when we insist.
And then, there is Afrîn: the population lives to the rhythm of the information that comes
from the battle, the demonstrations of solidarity and the funeral of the combatants and
fighters who fall.
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