The international campaign RiseUp4Rojava has issued an analysis of the current political and military developments in Başûr, Bakûr and Rojava of Kurdistan as well as the rest of the middle east, taking into account the impacts of Turkish aggression and KDP cooperation on the region and the world. The evaluation which was submitted to the RiseUp4Rojava website is as follows:
“In the past weeks and months, the attacks of the fascist Turkish occupation forces onto the liberated areas of North-Eastern Syria have rapidly increased. Ranging from Afrin, and the resistance areas of Şehba, to the front of Manbij and Ayn Issa, to Til Temir, and up to Dêrik in the North-East, the Turkish occupying army and its Islamist auxiliary troops intensified their attacks against the civilian population and their revolutionary defense forces.
Almost daily, Turkish artillery fire hits the liberated areas of Afrin and Şehba, which have become home to hundreds of thousands of displaced people from the occupied territories of the Canton of Afrin, and fear and terror continue to plague the areas under the control of the occupying forces. Not a day goes by without reports of further kidnappings and murders; robbery, looting, extortion, and rape are not exceptions, but the foundation of the Islamist occupation regime. In line with the well-known NATO Counter-Insurgency Doctrine, the fascist occupiers retaliate every partisan action of the Afrin Liberation Forces, HRE, with sheer terror against the civilian population and with hours of shelling against the self-administered villages and small towns.
Further east, on the Manbij front, there has also been a significant increase in attacks, especially in the past days and weeks. Especially after nightfall, there are repeated attacks, mostly with artillery, but occasionally with light weapons in direct combat. At the front in Til Temir, and near the city of Serê Kaniyê, which was occupied last October, there is a deceitful tranquility, apart from a few isolated attacks and repeated outbreaks of fighting between the gangs themselves. Although active fighting is currently concentrated in other areas, the occupying forces have mobilised new troops to reinforce their fronts and have begun to expand their fortifications. The area east of Qamişlo, all the way up to the town of Dêrik, has witnessed unprecedented activity by Turkish reconnaissance and combat drones in recent months, and most recently two civilians, who were travelling in their car in the North-Eastern part of the town of Dêrik, lost their lives in a Turkish air strike.
The collaborators of the Southern Kurdish KDP continue their provocative actions along the Syrian-Iraqi border, and they continue to move troops and heavy weapons to their more than 40 newly established military bases on the border of Rojava.
Movements of the Turkish occupying army can also be observed in occupied Northern Kurdistan, and both regular Turkish units, as well as mercenaries and Islamist gangs are taking up positions in the Iraq-Turkey-Syria border triangle. It is unclear whether the troops are being gathered for an expansion of the occupation operations in Southern Kurdistan, or in preparation for an attack on the border towns east of Qamişlo.
Preparations are in full swing on all fronts in Northern Syria, leaving no doubt regarding the occupying forces’ war intentions. Since October in particular, an increased activity of enemy troops can be observed, especially on the front sections near the occupied city of Girê Spî. The surroundings and the center of the city Ayn Issa at the front, north of Raqqa, has been under continuous bombardment by the Turkish artillery for days, and on the ground, infiltration troops of the Islamic gangs, under the command of experienced veterans of the Islamic state, are trying to break through the lines of defense, and are trying to advance into the city center. Turkish drones and reconnaissance planes circle almost non-stop over the combat zones and try to locate the positions of the resistance. The Turkish invaders are gathering howitzers, rocket launchers, and other heavy weapons in the villages just behind the front line, and Islamist mercenaries of the self-proclaimed Syrian National Army are gathering in preparation for new attacks in the north of the city of Ayn Issa, the official capital of the Autonomous Self-Administration of Northern and Eastern Syria.
In light of the preparations and fortification work that has been going on for months in the occupied territories, the renewed high concentration of troops along the lines of contact, and the indiscriminate bombing of civilian settlement areas, it must be assumed that Ayn Issa will become the target of another occupation attack in the near future, as the General Command of the Syrian Democratic Forces, QSD, warned in its latest statement on the events in Northern Raqqa. With devastating bomb terror and permanent attacks on civilians in the surroundings of the city and the international highway M4, the Turkish fascists and their collaborators try to break the will of resistance of the people of Ayn Issa, to frighten the people and to force them to flee. Last week, the last bigger attack of the occupation troops failed because of the resistance of the defenders of Ayn Issa. In the battles that broke out in the night of 24th November and that lasted until the evening of the next day, the forces of the revolution succeeded in killing at least 18 occupiers. The advance was broken, leaving the aggressors no choice but to retreat behind their front lines. With several thousand mortars, artillery shells and rockets fired in the last few days alone, the aim was to weaken the resistance of the Syrian Democratic Forces, demoralise resistance fighters and the population, and thus facilitating a renewed attack.
Given the current war situation and the attacks that escalate daily, it could not be more cynical to speak of an intact ceasefire. While bombs are raining down upon the liberated areas every day, and while the Turkish fascists are only waiting for a favourable opportunity for another large-scale attack upon the revolution, the imperialist so-called ‘guarantor powers’ stand idly by and legitimise nothing more than the Turkish occupation policy with their lie about the highly praised ceasefire. This orchestration which is drenched in blood never had any other purpose than to carve in stone the status of the occupied territories, and to consolidate Turkish sovereignty over the stolen parts of Syria.
Contrary to what many have widely assumed, the increase in Turkish attacks does not depend significantly on the outcome of the U.S. elections, but can be explained primarily by regional developments, the newly emerging balance of power, Turkey’s domestic political situation, and the regime’s situation. After the Armenian President, Pashinyan, under pressure from the Russian regime and confronted with the devastating situation on the battlefield announced the de facto surrender of all Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh on 10th November, the armed clashes between the Turkish-Azerbaijani occupation forces and Artsakh’s defense army came to an abrupt end. After more than 40 days of fierce fighting, the Armenian defenders had to bow to the superiority of the Turkish-Azerbaijani occupation coalition. Even though the Turkish armed forces officially played no role on the battlefield and both states vehemently denied a Turkish intervention, there is no doubt that the main force and brain behind the Azerbaijani offensive was none other than the AKP-MHP regime itself. From day one, the representatives of the palace regime did not miss any opportunity to express their support for dictator Aliyev and his criminal regime, and the Turkish Ministry of Defence reported daily on the progress of the Azerbaijani troops. When talking about the Azerbaijani troops, one spoke openly of “our Turkish soldiers” and even went so far as to speak of “our citizens” in the reporting of civilian losses on the Azerbaijani side. The slogan “two states, one nation” filled the streets of Azerbaijan and Turkey, and the Azerbaijani troops openly marched into the field with the flag of the Turkish Republic. The television channels of the Turkish regime propaganda reported every other minute about the successes of the “Azerbaijani Turkish brothers” in the “defense of the fatherland”, and the pictures of soldiers who greeted the cameraman with the ‘wolf salute’, the distinctive sign of Turkish fascists, flickered across the screens.
For the AKP-MHP regime, which had previously relied increasingly on neo-Ottoman propaganda for its expansionist ambitions in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and other areas of the Middle East, the war against the Republic of Artsakh has become a literal test run for ‘Turanism’. Turanism is the name given to the Pan-Turkish superpower fantasy of establishing a mythological empire that unites all Turkic peoples from Central Asia to the Middle East under one state. This fascist ideology, which is based on the superiority of the Turkish race, was not only adhered to by the masterminds of the Turkish national state, the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress (Ittihad ve Terraki), but it is also the official ideology of the Turkish regime party MHP. Turanism is also widespread among the supporters of the Azerbaijani regime. If you look at the map, you will quickly see that the elimination of Armenian autonomy represents a decisive step towards the territorial unification of both Turkish states. The decisive factor that turned the war in favour of the Turanian coalition forces was also the Turkish air support in Nagorno-Karabakh. For the Armenian units, death came from the air. The Armenian troops suffered the greatest losses from the blows of the Turkish Bayraktar TB 2 drones. In addition, the Turkish-Azerbaijani troops were supported on the ground by numerous Islamist mercenaries that the Turkish regime transferred from the occupied territories in Syria and Libya, as cannon fodder, to the fronts of Nagorno-Karabakh.
After the withdrawal of the Armenian troops, the mass exodus of the Armenian population of Artsakh, and the transfer of the territories to the Azerbaijani occupation forces under Russian supervision, it is still unclear whether and in what form the Turkish army will have an official presence in the occupied territories, but the outcome of the war is a victory for Turkish fascism and a gift to the regime. With or without an official presence: Turkish army and secret service are active on the ground and actively coordinated the war events, thousands of Islamist murder gangs secure influence and control for the regime, and the plan of opening a corridor between Turkey, the Azerbaijani autonomous region of Nakhivan, and Azerbaijan under the agreement are big steps forward in the strategic expansion project of Turkish fascism. The regime, which poisons the heads and hearts of the people with its fascist propaganda, was able to stabilise its position at home with the mobilization of Turanism, and Erdogan had himself celebrated as the “Conqueror of Karabakh”. The war in Nagorno-Karabakh should have made it clear once and for all to everyone that the regime in Ankara is not interested in securing its own borders or fighting terrorism, but only in realising its own expansionist superpower project.
Those who still claim that the sole reason for the Turkish occupation operations in Northern Syria and Northern Iraq is the alleged or actual presence of forces of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and other revolutionary forces blindly adopt the Turkish narrative and legitimise the regime’s occupation policies. This is what the forces of the South Kurdish KDP, which collaborates with fascism, are doing above all when they call on the popular defense forces of Kurdistan and not the Turkish occupiers to withdraw from South Kurdistan. The past months, in particular, have shown a further escalation of the confrontation between the revolutionary forces and the fascists in Southern Kurdistan. Units of the so called ‘Kurdistan Democratic Party’, KDP, which governs the autonomous areas of South Kurdistan dictatorially and with an iron hand under the leadership of the Barzani family, have without interruption moved troops and heavy weapons to the retreat areas of the guerrilla in the mountains. Barzani’s KDP, which leaves its own people in poverty while it sells the country’s wealth to the Turkish occupants, makes no secret of its open collaboration with the fascist regime and prepares itself in terms of propaganda as well as militarily to fight on the side of the occupiers against the forces of the freedom movement.
The guerrilla fighters, who defended with great sacrifices the autonomous regions of Southern Kurdistan against the advance of the Islamic state in 2014 in Mexmur, Kerkuk, in front of Hewler and in Şengal, are accused of questioning the sovereignty of the autonomous region, and they are denigrated as ‘occupiers’, while the Barzani family is welcomed in Ankara with splendor. While the guerrilla struggle against the occupiers continues in many areas of Southern Kurdistan, from Heftanin to Xakurke, the KDP troops are advancing into the guerrilla areas in coordination with the Turkish army leadership and covered by the Turkish air force. They set up bases and control posts to restrict the guerrilla units’ freedom of movement and provide the Turkish secret service with coordinates and information about guerrilla positions. Despite all the appeals and mediation requests of various Kurdish political forces, the KDP continues its aggressive and provocative policy, taking a clear position on the side of the occupying forces. It is only thanks to the considerate and solution-oriented approach of the PKK that no major escalation has occurred to date, but the situation is tense and could turn into an armed conflict at any moment. It is already clear that the measures against the guerrilla are only intended to weaken the resistance and to open the way for the Turkish army to enter into other areas of Southern Kurdistan.
The situation in the self-administered areas of Şengal must be evaluated as equally critical. There, on 27th November, the Iraqi army, the KDP, and its allies began to implement the agreement between Hewler and Baghdad, which was reached on 9th October 2020. The agreement aims to ‘cleanse’ Şengal of the presence of all militias – by which the Yazidi self-defense forces, YBŞ, and the women’s forces, YJÊ, as well as groups of the so-called peoples’ mobilization forces are meant–, and to install a paid mercenary force and a puppet regime replacing the Democratic Autonomous Council of Şengal. The defenders of the Yazidi people and liberators of Şengal should once again give way to the troops who stabbed the people of Şengal in the back in 2014 and left them defenselessly to the murder gangs of the Islamic state. The agreement, in which Turkey is also actively involved behind the scenes, was developed over the summer months under the auspices and mediation of the U.S. imperialists, who hope to see in the smashing of the popular power of Şengal a blueprint for an alliance between Turkish fascism, the Iraqi central government, and the KDP for a joint fight against the freedom movement in other parts of Iraq. In order to put the plan into practice, the Iraqi factions have mobilised more than 10,000 troops of the army and the federal police and want to start with the dissolution of the self-administration in the coming days, starting with putting down the flags of the self-administration and the planned disarmament of the self-defence forces. The people of Şengal and its self-governing structures announced determined resistance to any measure that ignores and tramples on the will of the Yazidi people. For six years, Yazidi people lived in and around the Şengal mountains with their own democratic self-administration, learned to defend themselves and created their own defense army. Although the further course of the situation remains open, one thing remains crystal clear: no power in the world can simply wipe out the experience of freedom of the past six years and turn it into nothing. Whoever tries to break the will of the people of Êzidxan must expect resistance.
The events in the Şengal mountains, the mountains of Southern Kurdistan, and also in Rojava form a unity. They are part of one and the same annihilation concept against the revolution in all four parts of Kurdistan and the Middle East, and must be responded to as such. While we encounter the Turkish state and its allies on the battlefield as direct adversaries, the architects and leading forces behind the dirty plans, agreements and conspiracies against the revolutionary movement are and remain, first and foremost, the U.S. imperialists, NATO and the Russian regime. They are using the Turkish state and other collaborating forces as leverage to blackmail the revolution of Rojava and North-East Syria. The threat of another Turkish invasion, which like the sword of Damocles is always hanging over the heads of the people of North-East Syria, is designed to bring the independent will of the self-administration to its knees and to make the revolution subservient to the interests of imperialism. Turkish fascism is the hammer with which they try to crush the revolution, but the hands that guide its fate are to be found elsewhere.
It has been the U.S. concept since the summer of 2015, namely to maximally increase the pressure on the revolutionary movement in Northern Kurdistan and Northern Iraq, to weaken the revolution as a regional factor, and thus to push Rojava’s self-administration into a corner. In the U.S.-sponsored negotiations for a Kurdish united front in Northern Syria between the party alliance PYNK (Kurdish National Unity Parties), which supports the self-government of North-East Syria, and the Syrian branch of the KDP, ENKS (Kurdish National Council in Syria), the negotiations were recently suspended indefinitely. Negotiations came to a standstill, after the delegation of ENKS, which has made no secret of its open hostility to the social revolution of Rojava since the very first days, demanded, among other things, the dissolution of the system of co-presidency of women and men, the abolition of mother-tongue education in favour of the Syrian regime’s curriculum, and the transfer of 50% of governing power from the hands of the people to its own organisation.
The United States of America has been trying for a long time to put its favourites, ENKS, in a position of strength, and would like to install a collaborative regime along the lines of the independent region of Kurdistan in Northern Iraq instead of the popular power of Northern and Eastern Syria. Of course, none of these conditions, which would constitute a surrender of the main achievements of the revolution, are acceptable in any form. What was fought for with the blood of over 11,000 heroic young women and men is not for sale. The developments in Iraq, but also the intensified attacks on North-East Syria, must be understood above all as a threat against the revolutionary forces in Syria. The message is clear, either bow down to the will of imperialism, or they will let their bloodhound, Turkish fascism, off the leash. Concealed behind political spectacle and a diplomacy of lies and deception, the people of North-East Syria are to be presented with a ‘choice’: Either surrender or annihilation.
Therefore, it is necessary to answer in equal terms to every attack against the revolution, whether in the North of Syria, the mountains of Kurdistan, or the self-administered areas of Şengal. Whoever attempts to look at the situation in Northern Syria separately from the entire concept of annihilation against the revolutionary forces, provides the best service to the enemy, even if it is done unintentionally. Likewise, to hope for a political or diplomatic solution under the given circumstances means to fall for one of their many deceptions and lies. As long as Turkish fascism is not crushed and the peoples have not put an end to their madness, the war against the revolution will continue in all harshness. The appeasement policy of the Western states against Turkish fascism has cleared the way, making Turkish imperialism a strong regional power factor. Those who believe that their insatiable urge for expansion has already been satiated are seriously mistaken. Only the revolutionary struggle of the peoples of the region together with an organised global resistance movement, united in a front against fascism, will be able to stop them.
On the occasion of its 42 years of existence and struggle, on the anniversary of the party’s foundation on 27th November, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party expressed its determination to crown the 43rd year of struggle with the smashing of the AKP-MHP regime. We, too, congratulate the PKK, the most determined leading force of the regional revolutionary struggle, and all progressive people of the world on the 42nd anniversary of its foundation, and as part of the global resistance movement against Turkish fascism, we declare that we will do our part to smash this barbaric regime.
Fascism will be smashed – the Revolution in the Middle East will win!”