Syrian Kurdish–Islamist conflict (2013–present) – Wikipedia – The Syrian Kurdish–Islamist conflict, a major theater in the Syrian Civil War, started after fighting erupted between the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Islamist rebel factions in the city of Ras al-Ayn. Kurdish forces launched a campaign in an attempt to take control of the Islamist-controlled areas in the governorate of al-Hasakah and some parts of Raqqa and Aleppo governorates after al-Qaeda in Syria used those areas to attack the YPG. The Kurdish groups and their allies’ goal was also to capture Kurdish areas from the Arab Islamist rebels and strengthen the autonomy of the region of Rojava.
A New Generation of Steely-Gazed Anarcho-Communists Head Off to War — in Syria | Village Voice – In eleven days, Guy and Hristo will leave the comfort of their families’ homes in Chelsea and south Brooklyn, respectively, and attempt to smuggle themselves into Syria to join the Kurdish militia known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG). They will become the first reported American anarchists to join the leftist group, which is based in a swath of northern Syria that has been renamed Rojava. Most of the more than 100 American citizens who have made the journey to fight alongside the Kurds — whether with the YPG in Syria or the Peshmerga in Iraq — have been military vets, Christian crusaders, or adventurers looking for thrills and a chance to kill ISIS fighters. They have been surprised to discover that the YPG, the U.S.-supported group that has consistently beaten ISIS on the battlefield, is, at its core, organized around Marxist and feminist principles. As one Army vet named Scott put it in an interview with Agence France-Presse, the YPG is “a bunch of damn reds.”
Kurdish, Assyrian, Arab Women Are Taking Down ISIS in Their Capital – State Department spokesman Mark Toner today reiterated U.S. government support for the Syrian Democratic Forces, an anti-ISIS, anti-Qaeda, anti-Assad coalition currently leading the major Wrath of Euphrates offensive to oust ISIS from their greatest stronghold. The SDF consists of more than 50,000 fighters, female and male commanders, Arabs, Assyrian Christians, Kurds, and other minority ethnic groups. “They’ve been very effective — we’ve talked about this many times — in removing ISIS from the battlefield and dislodging them, and ultimately destroying them,” Toner said. Since launching the Wrath of Euphrates operation against ISIS at the beginning of November, the U.S.-backed SDF has liberated more than 3,700 square miles of territory in the drive toward Raqqa. SDF General Commander Rojda Felat is the Kurdish woman leading the operation. In a June interview with a Kurdish newspaper, she vowed that “wherever there is an attack against humanity we, as the Syrian Democratic Forces, will be there; wherever there is a suppressed woman, that is a battleground for us.” She hailed the “very many” women’s units under the SDF umbrella, including Arab and Assyrian women fighters, noting “people are joining the SDF and YPJ [Kurdish Women’s Defense Units] by the droves.” “Not only for the women of Shengal [Yazidis], wherever a woman is being suppressed, wherever a man is threatening a woman, our forces will struggle against this. Our struggle for the liberation of our people will become a beacon for all resisting peoples,” she added. The SDF says it has already freed hundreds of Yazidis held as sex slaves by ISIS.
This is a translation from our sister group in France, Alternative libertaire:
“Thousands of young people, socialists, trade unionists, revolutionary, feminist, libertarian poured in from all over Turkey to Kobanê. They and they go there to support and defend the city réfugié.es.
The Turkish army tries to disperse them, as she is accused of being much more permissive with the jihadists who are trying, too, to cross the border to join Daech.
Despite the dams of the Turkish army, hundreds of activists and militants have managed to cross the border. Among them, the comrades of the Revolutionary Anarchist Action [DAF] group, who made the trip to Istanbul to join the defense of Kobanê, and sent these photos.”
American Anarchists Join YPG in Syria Fighting ISIS, Islamic State – Rolling Stone – It was November 6th, 2016. The Kurdish militia known as the YPG – a Kurmanji acronym for People’s Protection Units – had commenced a major offensive to liberate the city that serves as the global headquarters for ISIS. The YPG was backed by U.S. air power and fighting alongside a coalition of Arab and Assyrian militias. Also within their ranks, though scantly reported, was a group of about 75 hardcore leftists, anarchists and communists from Europe and America, Belden among them, fighting to defend a socialist enclave roughly the size of Massachusetts.
Belden, who is 27, started tweeting photos of the front shortly after arriving in Syria in October. The first widely shared image showed him crouched in his YPG uniform, wearing thick Buddy Holly glasses, a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth, a stray puppy in one hand and a sniper rifle in the other. “To misquote Celine,” the post read, “when you’re in, you’re in.” He has since amassed 19,000 followers under the handle PissPigGranddad, puzzling the Internet with a combination of leftist invective and scurrilous bro humor. Tweets like “Heading to the Quandil Mountains to lecture the PKK about entitlement reform” are followed by “The dude with the lamb bailed so now we’re fucked for dinner.”
American Anarchist Michael Israel Killed by Turkish State While Fighting ISIS | anarchistnews.org —
From Insurrection News
and Kurdish Question
People’s Protection Units (YPG) volunteers, American Michael Israel (27) and German Anton Neshek (Zana Ciwan), were killed by Turkish warplanes on 29 November according to another international volunteer fighting alongside the pair against the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS/ISIL), north of Raqqa.
On his Facebook page, the international volunteer, who was amongst the group killed by Turkish warplanes wrote:
We were taking a small village when we got hit by Turkish jets in the night. Two of my friends, Anton and Michael were killed among many others. I’m staying to finish out my six months. Fuck Erdogan and Fuck Turkey.
The YPG have informed both men’s families.
One of Micheal Israel’s comrades posted the following message on his Facebook page:
It’s with a heavy heart that I learn today heval [friend] Michael Israel has passed away fighting ISIS as a volunteer with the YPG in Rojava. Michael was a man of extremely powerful convictions; an inspiring, idealistic fighter who struggled unlike any other for a better world, not just for a better Kurdistan and a better America. He spent his whole life fighting systems of injustice that deny peace, and trekked the states spreading awareness against the Iraq war. He conferred his experiences and lessons from both Syria and the states with everyone. He died the very way he lived, and his legacy is an example of how a true revolutionary should be. History will exalt him as one of the greatest of our generation, like many others. He taught me a lot, I’ll never forget him. Rest in power heval.
War against ISIS/Daesh: Anarchist and ecological guerrillas involved in the rebuilding and defence of Rojava and Kobane (Kurdistan) – An anarchist group active in Istanbul called Social Rebellion gave their statement of solidarity with the Rojava revolution, and they went to the region to support Kobani in the reconstruction stage acting with the United Liberation Forces “Birleşik Özgürlük Güçleri” (BOG), and with green anarchists, ecologists and communists from various countries they have declared that they acted as one front.
In short interviews the comrades called for the support of anarchist revolutionaries and their contributions to be included, to the extent that they came from the hand of all the different colours of anarchist activists themselves. In addition, Social Rebellion in Kobani and Rojava announced that they will continue hereafter in the ecological guerrilla struggle.
Anarchists join fight against IS to defend Kurdish autonomous areas – “For several days at the Syrian-Turkish border, the city of Kobanê is besieged by forces of the Islamic State (Daesh). Kobanê is a strategic turning point. If the city falls, the whole of Syrian Kurdistan is threatened, and with it a political and social model, that of “democratic autonomy” and “democratic confederalism” built since July 2012.
More than 100,000 inhabitants and residents have become refugees on Turkish territory.
The city is defended by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), militias linked to the PKK, and in which alongside the majority of Kurdish fighters, are also Arabs, Turks, Muslims, Yazidis, Christians or atheists, united against the fanatics of Daesh/ISIS.
Thousands of young people, socialists, trade unionists, revolutionaries, feminists, libertarians have poured in from all over Turkey to Kobanê. They go there to support the refugees and defend the city.
The Turkish army tries to disperse them, yet is accused of being much more permissive with the jihadists who are also trying to cross the border to join Daesh/ISIS
German YPG fighter: ‘I joined the Kurds in war on ISIS to change the world’ – ARA News – “In 2011, I started to know some people from the Kurdish freedom movement. In the spring of 2012, I went with a group of friends to the northern part of Kurdistan [Southeast of Turkey] to celebrate Newroz,” he told ARA News. “There I saw the connection between the Kurdish people and the Kurdish freedom movement, it was like a religion,” he said.
“I felt I was part of this movement, and believed that this movement could change the world,” he said. “We are not just fighting for a free Kurdistan, we fight for an equal world, and I am an internationalist,” he added.
This is one of the reasons why Kendal (Kurdish nickname) doesn’t want to go back to Germany. “The centre of revolution is now Kurdistan. It is the most important region in the Middle East, if you look to other revolutionary movements, in the world, there is no other one in the world that can give such perspectives and revolutionary practices as the Kurdish movement.”
When asked about the Islamic State’s jihadis, he said they are strong in their ideology but have some contradictions. “They have ideological power, and because of this they can carry out suicide attacks, some of them are really fearless.”
But he says it is difficult for ISIS militants to resist the YPG guerilla tactics when backed by US-led coalition’s airstrikes in the countryside in Rojava–Syria’s Kurdish region. “If you combine guerilla tactics with airstrikes, this is effective in the villages, but in the cities it’s different,” he told ARA News. “In the city [like Raqqa] there are snipers, and it is a war of the city and war of mines, and ISIS militants are experts in the use of mines. It would be a very heavy fight if we would do it [attack Raqqa]”, he said.