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(en) France, Alternative Libertaire AL - logbook, A Libertarian Communist in the YPG # 11: "I saw the great plunge come inexorably closer" (fr, it, pt) [machine translation]

Date Sat, 26 Aug 2017 10:20:35 +0300

"My biggest fear: not knowing how to react in time if an order was given, with my meager rudiments of Kurdish." ---- Alternative libertarian reproduces the blog posts Kurdistan-Autogestion-Revolution , a travel diary of a fellow committed to the YPG. ---- Over the course of the weeks, he will testify to the life of the fighting militias, the debates that take place there and the experience of democratic confederalism in the liberated zones. ---- Raqqa East Front, August 23, 2017 ---- Continued from my previous post. ---- On the 27th of May, in the night, we abandoned our relative defensive comfort, in a village near Mansoura, to prepare us for a night operation. ---- Several dozens of militiamen and militiamen gathered at the bottom of the village for the briefing, and I realized that the operation in question was nothing less than the assault on Mansoura. And that my group would be the first to enter.

Certainly, in terms of military experience, it was most interesting, but what a sudden anguish ... Would I be able to ? Crack ? Running away from me ? Not really had time to ruminate all that. As trapped on the summit of a Russian mountain, I saw the great dive approach inexorably. And our group has started.

In single file, we crossed the fields towards the buildings I had observed the same afternoon. Particularly vulnerable to the moonlight and uncovered but, again, I was the only one to worry about it. The other comrades ? As a tourist hike.

From Building to Building, Groping

After ten minutes of walking, we reached the precincts of what turned out to be a bombed factory. After the shooting, I now feared the mines or other traps that Daech has the secret. Inside: ruins, atmosphere at the Fallout, famous video game postapocalytpique. We have deployed. From building to building, groping: every door, every dark corner, every pile of rubble could hide a sniper or an explosive trap.

My biggest fear: not knowing how to react in time if an order was given, with my meager rudiments of Kurdish. To stay in the videoludic metaphor, it gave the impression of starting a game at the highest level of difficulty, without being able to modify the options, nor to hope for a second chance in case of error.

The factory, which was ultimately totally deserted, was in fact only the initial stage of the operation, with the first blocks of Mansoura being 500 to 600 meters away. Our next objective: a multi-storey building under construction, which would be a good base to dominate the city.

I understood that I had to keep the bottom of the building, alone ...

Again, brisk walking uncovered. Again, the fear of mines or the sniper, which hugs the stomach. And suddenly, the night darkness torn by flashes: the city was bombed. The building we visited was now clearly separated from the light of the explosions.

It was time to get in. The heart tight, I thought that's it, it's gone. One knee on the ground, the Kalashnikov on a piece-by-piece basis, narrowing my eyes to discern the slightest movement in front, I covered the comrades who entered the building. From outside we could follow with their eyes the beam of their flashlight progressing from room to room.

A few minutes later, a signal commanded us to join them. Most hevals (comrades) have won the roof, but not me. The team leader put me on the first floor. I understood that I had to keep the bottom of the building, alone ...

What to do ? Shoot ?

A staircase under construction, almost in the dark, rising stress, fatigue, the weight of equipment that hurts. Outside, in the night: shadows, only shadows, here and there, more menacing than the others. And the silence, oppressive, broken without regularity by air strikes in the distance.

After a moment that seemed cruelly long, silhouettes began to move, a hundred meters, in my field of vision. Friends or enemies ? No one had warned me of anything, but these shadows seemed to follow the same path as ours.

What to do ? Shoot at the risk of hurting comrades ? Let them approach to try to recognize their uniform, at the risk of being shot at ? Fortunately, before I could make a bad decision, my team leader drove down the stairs to tell me not to open fire.

The timing was really tight for the shot. It was indeed another stool on approach, of which I could discern soon after the friendly faces. Big relief. And less stress for the two or three units that followed.

When I got up from my post, I dragged my body to the roof of the building, found a small corner sheltered from the wind and closed my eyes hoping to be able to decompress a little ... The order to get back in motion fell to that time.

Arthur Aberlin

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