Monthly Archives: January 2015

YPG Commander Berxwedan: Victory in Kobane Gave a New Spirit to Everyone Fighting for Humanity

Kurdish fighters claim to have cleared Islamic State from Kobane

Mr. Mahmud Berxwedan, you announced in an official statement the day before that you had entirely liberated Kobane from the ISIS. What does this victory mean to the Kurds and the whole world public opinion?

The attainment of victory in consequence of historic resistance for four months means the liberation of the whole humanity. The struggle waged here was the struggle of humanity. With restricted means, we fought against an organization that knows no limits in savagery. Many thought that Kobane would fall but fighters gave a struggle of honor. It was not easy of course, we witnessed historic days from the beginning to the end, and it was the history of not only Kurdish people but also of the whole humanity that laid here. Advancing step by step and with patience, we defeated our enemy in Kobane. Our operations are now continuing in villages. We are going to keep the fight going until no single ISIS member is left, no matter where it is. Victory in Kobane has given a huge moral support and a new spirit to everyone fighting for humanity. Everyone with the fear spread by ISIS in their heart has believed they could fight against these gangs and succeed.

Victory in Kobane had wide media coverage in various countries. On social media also, especially on Facebook and Twitter, numerous non-Kurds voice happiness over the victory and support for Kobane. The other day US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki also congratulated fighters in Kobane and stated that their support for Kobane would continue. What do you think about this attitude of the world public opinion and America?

YPG Commander Mahmud Berxwedan, Canton PM Anwar Moslem, Defense Chied Ismet Hasan and other officoals Photo (Mislim Nebo)
YPG Commander Mahmud Berxwedan, Canton PM Anwar Moslem, Defense Chied Ismet Hasan and other officoals Photo (Mislim Nebo)

Everyone who supported Kobane led an example of great struggle. We express once again our thanks to them. Right, we have drawn ISIS thugs out of entire Kobane but they are not ended yet, this danger against Europe, America and the whole humanity continues its presence. It is the duty of the whole humanity to finish them. This is why the entire world welcomed the victory in Kobane. Everyone who supported us, regardless of where they are, have been a part of this struggle. This achievement is also an achievement of theirs and we believe their support will continue until ISIS is finished off all around the world.

I hear sounds of arms and aircraft while talking to you right now. I suppose you are at the battle front. Mentioning the villages, Kobane is located on a large area with around 380 villages. What sort of preparations are you making now to liberate the villages?

Without a break and with determination, we launched operations for villages, the day Kobane city was entirely liberated. I am now in a village, the name of which I would prefer not to mention, which we have liberated this morning. Our operation in this village and many other points continues. We have accomplished a result in some operations, reseizing further areas, the results of which we shall make public once others are also finalized.

I suppose an aerial strike is taking place right now, I hear sounds of warplanes?

Right, airstrikes continue!

Because you are at the battlefront, I don’t want to take up your time any longer. What would you finally like to say to the Kurds and world public opinion?

The Kurdish people and other world peoples have given us great support which we hope will continue. We are continuing our operations in villages. We will be liberating at least a few of them every day. In particular the Kurdish youths whose hearts are with Kobane, all those across Kurdistan, should come here and join the fight to reclaim the sacred lands of Kobane. Their participation will enable a quicker elimination of our enemy. Kobane city has been demolished and destroyed on all sides. The civilians here in particular are living under harsh conditions. The infrastructure of the city has broken down completely. The people here are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. As the military wing, we are dealing with an entire expulsion of ISIS from Kobane. World public opinion should support Kobane in economic, political, military and all other aspects. With this support we can make Kobane both a city of resistance and a beautiful town.

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Mutlu Civiroglu is a Kurdish affairs analyst focusing on Syria and Turkey. He has closely been monitoring YPG’s fight against ISIS and other jihadist groups.

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Translated into English by Berna Özgencil https://twitter.com/bzgncl

Mahmud Berxwedan: Kobanê’de Tek IŞİD Üyesi Kalana Kadar Mücadele Edeceğiz

Kurdish fighters claim to have cleared Islamic State from Kobane

Sayın Mahmud Berxwedan, önceki gün resmi bir açıklamayla Kobanê’yi IŞİD’ten tamamen kurtardığınızı ilan ettiniz. Kürtler  ve bütün dünya kamuoyu için bu zafer ne anlama geliyor?

Mahmud Berxwedan: Dört aydan sonra tarihi bir direnişle Kobanê’nin özgürlüğe kavuşması bütün insanlığın özgürlüğe kavuşması demek. Buradaki mücadele bütün insanlığın mücadelesiydi. Kısıtlı imkanlarla vahşette sınır tanımayan bir örgüte karşı savaştık. Birçok kişi Kobanê’nin düşeceğini düşünüyordu fakat savaşçıların onur mücadelesi yürüttüler. Kolay olmadı elbet, baştan sonra tarihi günler yaşadık, sadece Kürt insanların değil bütün insanlığın tarihi buradaydı. Sabırlı bir şekilde adım adım hareket ederek düşmanımızı Kobanê’de yenilgiye uğrattık. Şimdi köylerde de operasyonlarımız devam ediyor. Kobanê’nin neresinde olursa olsun, bir tek IŞİD üyesi kalana kadar mücadele etmeye devam edeceğiz. Kobanê’deki zafer insanlık için mücadele eden herkese adeta büyük bir moral ve yeni bir ruh verdi. Kalbinde IŞİD çetelerinin saldığı korkuyu taşıyan herkes bu çetelere karşı direnip başarabileceklerine inandılar.

Çeşitli ülkelerin basınında zafer hakkında birçok yazı çıkıyor. Yine aynı şekilde sosyal medyada, özellikle Facebook ve Twitter üzerinde Kürt olmayan birçok kişi de zafer hakkındaki sevinçlerini ve Kobanê’ye olan desteklerini belirtiyorlar. Önceki gün de ABD Dışişleri Sözcüsü Jen Psaki Kobanê’deki savaşçıları kutladı ve Kobanê’ye desteklerinin devam edeceğini belirtti. Dünya kamuoyu ve Amerika’nın tutumu hakkında neler düşünüyorsunuz?

Mahmud Berxwedan
Mahmud Berxwedan

Mahmud Berxwedan: Kobanê’ye destek veren herkes büyük bir mücadele örneği yürüttüler. Destek veren herkese bir kez daha teşekkür ediyoruz. IŞİD çetelerini Kobanê’den tamamen çıkardığımız doğrudur fakat bitmiş değiller ve bu tehlike  Avrupa’ya, Amerika’ya ve bütün insanlığa karşı varlığını devam ettiriyor. Onların ortadan kaldırılması bütün insanlığın vazifesidir. Bunun için Kobanê’deki zafere bütün dünya sevindi. Nerede olursa olsun bize destek veren herkes mücadelenin bir parçası oldu. Bu başarı onların da başarısı ve IŞİD bütün dünyada yok edilene kadar desteklerinin devam edeceğine inanıyoruz.

Silah ve uçak sesleri duyuyorum şu an, sanırım cephedesiniz. Köylerden bahsettiniz sayın Berxwedan, Kobanê köyleriyle birlikte geniş bir alana sahip, yaklaşık 380 köy var. Köyleri kurtarmak için nasıl bir hazırlık yapıyorsunuz?

Mahmud Berxwedan: Kobanê şehri tamamen kurtarıldığı gün, hiç ara verilmeden büyük bir azim ve moral ile köy operasyonlarına çıktık. Şu an bir köydeyim, bu köyü bu sabah kurtardık ve operasyonumuz devam ediyor hala. İsim vermek istemiyorum, başka birçok noktada da operasyon var. Bazı operasyonlardan sonuç aldık, geri aldığımız yeni araziler var,  diğerlerini de tamamladığımız gibi kamuoyuna duyururuz.

Sanırım şu an hava saldırısı var, uçak sesleri de duyuyorum?

Mahmud Berxwedan: Evet, şu an uçak sesleri de var.

Cephedesiniz o nedenle de zamanınızı daha fazla almak istemiyorum. Son olarak Kürtler ve dünya kamuoyu için neler demek istersiniz, onlardan beklentileriniz neler?

Mahmud Berxwedan: Kürt halkı ve diğer dünya halklarının bize büyük bir desteği oldu. Bu desteğin devam etmesini umut ediyoruz. Özellikle de kalbi burada atan Kürt gençleri Kobanê’ye geri dönsünler. Köy operasyonlarına başladık, her gün en az bir iki köy kurtaracağız. Gençler gelip bu kutsal Kobanê topraklarını geri alma mücadelesine katılsın. Rojava, güney, bütün Kürdistan gençlerine sesleniyorum, onlar desteğiyle düşmanımızdan daha çabuk kurtulacağız. Kobanê şehri yıkıldı, talan edildi her taraftan. Özellikle de buradaki siviller çok zor şartlar altında yaşıyorlar. Şehrin altyapısı tamamen bozuldu. Burada kalan insanlar acil bir şekilde insani yardıma ihtiyaç duyuyorlar. Biz askeri kanat olarak IŞİD’i Kobanê’nin tamamından çıkarmakla meşgulüz. Dünya kamuoyu, ekonomik, siyasi, askeri ve diğer her yönden Kobanê’ye destek olmalı. Bu desteklerle Kobanê’yi hem direniş şehri hem de güzel bir şehir yapabiliriz.

Anwar Moslem, Premierminister des Kantons Kobane: “Die ganze Welt hat Anteil am Sieg.”

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Mutlu Civiroglu   https://twitter.com/mutludc

Herr Anwer Moslem, Präsident des Kantons Kobane. Gestern wurde in einer offiziellen Stellungnahme die Befreiung Kobanes bekannt gegeben. Diese Meldung wird seit Montag unter den Kurden wie auch in der gesamten Welt breit diskutiert. Können Sie Ihre Eindrücke schildern?

Seit fünf Monaten greift die ISIS Kobane an. Die Töchter und Söhne Kobanes sind die Verteidigungskämpfer der Zivilisten und des Kantons Kobane. Deswegen war hier ein Widerstand möglich, dem in der ganzen Welt Respekt gezollt wurde. Er ist auch der Grund für das Einschreiten der internationalen Anti-ISIS-Koalition unter der Führung der USA. Die Luftschläge waren sehr hilfreich im Kampf gegen die ISIS. Die Koalition und alle Menschen, die die Wahrung von Frieden, Demokratie und Brüderlichkeit in Kobane unterstützten, hatten einen großen Anteil am Sieg gegen die ISIS, deren Ideologie nur auf Töten, Foltern und Plündern ausgerichtet ist.

Unterstützt wurden wir auch von unseren Freunden aus einigen Teilen der Freien Syrischen Armee, wie Tuwar al-Raqqa und Shams al-Shamal, sowie der Peshmerga, die mit schwerer Artillerie kämpfte. Deswegen hatte neben den hiesigen Kämpfern die ganze Welt Anteil am Sieg, der nachvier Monaten errungen wurde. Dieser gemeinsame Kampf muss auch nach der Befreiung der Dörfer um Kobane fortgesetzt werden, damit die Terroristen der ISIS überall geschlagen werden.

Die USA hat des Öfteren Stellungnahmen zum Kampf um Kobane abgegeben. Erst gestern hat die US-Außenamtssprecherin Jen Psaki die Verteidiger Kobanes beglückwünscht und eine Fortsetzung der Unterstützung zugesichert. Wie beurteilen Sie die Einstellung der USA?

Anwar_Moslem_Serkeftin

Auch wir möchten der USA zum Sieg gratulieren, da sie Anteil am Kampf hatte. Wie ich bereits sagte, hat jeder, der Kobane in irgendeiner Form unterstützt hat, Anteil am Sieg. Kobane gehört nicht mehr nur der Bevölkerung Kobanes, sondern der ganzen Welt. Auch das amerikanische Volk hat uns sehr unterstützt, daher möchten wir diesem ebenfalls beglückwünschen. In der Zukunft werden noch größere Erfolge erzielt werden, wir hoffen, dass die amerikanische Regierung und das amerikanische Volk Kobane auch weiterhin unterstützen wird, denn in Kobane wurden fast 40 Autobomben gesprengt, tausende Mörsergranten sind eingeschlagen. Eine Rückkehr der Zivilisten ist also mit großen Schwierigkeiten verbunden. Wir hoffen, dass die USA den Kanton Kobane genauso unterstützt, wie sie der YPG und YPJ zum Sieg verholfen hat, damit unsere geflüchtete Bevölkerung in ein wiederaufgebautes Kobane zurückkehren kann.

Was hat die Regierung des Kantons Kobane bisher für den Wiederaufbau in die Wege geleitet? Und welche zusätzliche Unterstützung wird gebraucht?

 Wie alle wissen, liegen die Leichen der ISIS noch auf den Straßen oder unter Trümmerbergen. Die größte Befürchtung ist der Ausbruch von Krankheiten, daher wird medizinische Unterstützung benötigt. Zum Zweiten sind die Straßen unbefahrbar, wir brauchen Fahrzeuge, um sie freizuräumen. Zudem ist die gesamte Stadt zerstört, wir bitten um die Unterstützung von Organisationen und Fachkräften für den Wiederaufbau der Stadt. Wir haben mit ersten Vorbereitungen begonnen und ein Komitee gegründet, in der Ingeniere, Anwälte, Ärzte und Lehrer vertreten sind. Diese werden einen Bericht über die Ausmaße der Zerstörung und der benötigten Hilfe erstellen und diesen der Öffentlichkeit präsentieren, damit dem Kanton Kobane gezielt geholfen werden kann.

Wurde Ihnen bisher Hilfe von der Anti-ISIS-Koalition, der internationalen Gemeinschaft oder internationalen Organisationen in Aussicht gestellt?

Seit der Befreiung der Stadt sind erst zwei Tage vergangen, offizielle Zusagen bezüglich konkreter Hilfsmaßnahmen haben wir noch nicht bekommen. Aber wir werden unsere Dialoge mit allen Ländern, internationalen Menschenrechts- und Hilfsorganisationen fortsetzen, damit die notwendige Unterstützung in die Wege geleitet wird. Aber die Gefahr ist noch nicht gebannt, die ISIS wütet immer noch in den umliegenden Dörfern.

Sie erwähnten gerade die Dörfer, die Medien berichten davon, dass die YPG damit begonnen hat, die Dörfer zu befreien. Wie wird die Befreiung dieser Dörfer vonstatten gehen, mit welchen Schwierigkeiten ist diese Befreiungsphase verbunden und wieviel Zeit werden diese Operationen Ihrer Einschätzung nach in Anspruch nehmen?

Kobane hat 380 Dörfer. Aber die ISIS befindet sich nicht in allen diesen Dörfern, diese Möglichkeiten haben sie nicht. In Kobane wurden viele ihrer Anführer getötet. Die YPG wird versuchen, den Kampf um diese Dörfer schnellstmöglich für sich zu entscheiden. Aber nach wie vor braucht die YPG bessere Waffen und Munition.

Wieviele Dörfer wurden bisher befreit?

Um die Stadt herum wurden zahlreiche Dörfer befreit, viele weitere werden noch umkämpft. Die YPG wird in der näheren Zukunft Auskunft über die Anzahl befreiter Dörfer geben.

Verübt die Koalition gleichzeitig weitere Luftschläge oder haben diese abgenommen?

Die Koalition schwächt die ISIS sichtlich mit ihren Luftschlägen, auch in den Dörfern, in denen sie jetzt Luftschläge verübt.

Aus amerikanischen Stellungnahmen ist zu entnehmen, dass 90 Prozent der Stadt befreit seien, keine 100 Prozent. Können Sie uns erklären, worauf sich diese Stellungnahmen stützen?

Der Umstand, dass von 90 Prozent gesprochen wird, macht deutlich, dass noch ein Risiko besteht. Aber wir haben gestern bekannt gegeben, dass die Stadt vollständig befreit ist, das ist der neueste Stand. Allerdings haben wir es mit keinem einfachen Gegner zu tun, die Dörfer sind noch gefährdet, aber wir hoffen, dass wir auch diese in Kürze befreien werden.

Ich möchte Sie am Ende des Gesprächs um Ihre Meinung zu den Unterstützern von Kobane fragen. Nicht nur unter den Kurden, sondern in der ganzen Welt freuen sich Menschen über die Befreiung Kobanes.

Ich möchte mich im Namen des gesamten Kantons Kobane bei all denjenigen bedanken, die sich für Kobane eingesetzt und diesen Wiederstand unterstützt haben, bedanken. Wir hoffen, dass diese Unterstützung fortgesetzt wird, damit Kobane wiederaufgebaut werden kann. Die kurdische Jugend, insbesondere die jungen Männer und Frauen aus Kobane möchten wir bitten, sich diesem Widerstand anzuschließen. Ich gratuliere nochmals allen zum Sieg über den Terror.

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Mutlu Civiroglu ist ein Kurdischen Angelegenheiten Analyst mit Schwerpunkt auf Syrien und der Türkei. Er verfolgt aufmerksam Kurdischen Volksverteidigungseinheiten (YPG) Kampf gegen ISIS und anderen dschihadistischen gruppen .

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Vom Kurdischen ins Deutsche übersetzt von https://twitter.com/ViyanKurd

Enwer Mislim: Kobanê’deki Zaferde Tüm Dünyanın Payı Var

YPG Commander Mahmud Berxwedan, Canton PM Anwar Moslem, Defense Chied Ismet Hasan and other officoals Photo (Mislim Nebo)
YPG Commander Mahmud Berxwedan, Canton PM Anwar Moslem, Defense Chied Ismet Hasan and other officoals Photo (Mislim Nebo)

Sayin Mislim, dün Kobanê’deki zaferi resmi bir şekilde ilan ettiniz. Zafer bütün dünyada büyük bir yankı uyandırdı, herkes bu zaferi konuşuyor. Neler hissediyorsunuz, neler diyeceksiniz?

Enwer Mislim: IŞİD’in Kobanê’deki saldırıları beşinci ayına giriyor. Burada kadınlı erkekli gençlerimiz Kobanê’yi ve buradaki sivilleri korumak için eşi benzeri görülmemiş büyük bir direniş örneği gösterdiler. Direnişin getirdiği zafer bütün dünyayı şaşırttı, bu zafere büyük bir saygı duyuyorlar. Bu zaferde Amerika’nın öncülüğünü ettiği koalisyonun hava saldırıları da etkili oldu. Koalisyon kadar, Amerika’dan, Avrupa’dan dünyanın dört bir yanından bizi destekleyen insanların da payı var. İnsanlar kardeşlik, barış ve demokrasi için hedefi ve felsefesi sadece yakmak ve yıkmak olan IŞİD’e karşı birleştiler. Siwar Rakka, Şemsi Şimal gibi gruplardan Özgür Suriye Ordusu savaşçıları, bunun yanında ağır silahlarla bize destek vermeye gelen peşmerge kardeşlerimizin de büyük bir katkısı oldu bu zaferde. Sadece Kobanê’de değil, birlikte hareket ederek bütün dünyada IŞİD’i ortadan kaldırmalıyız.

Dün de ABD Dışişleri Sözcüsü Jen Psaki Kobanê’deki savaşçıları kutladı ve Kobanê’ye desteklerinin devam edeceğini belirtti. Bu açıklama ve genel olarak Amerika’nın şimdiye kadarki tutumunu nasıl değerlendiriyorsunuz?

Enwer Mislim: Kobanê’deki zaferde onların da payı olduğu için biz de onları kutluyoruz. Kobanê artık sadece Kobanêlilerin değil buraya destek veren herkesin şehri. Önümüzdeki günlerde daha önemli zaferlere ulaşacağız. Hükümet olarak, halk olarak, parlamenter ve senatörler olarak Amerikalı herkesin desteklerine devam etmelerini umuyoruz. Kobanê’de IŞİD yaklaşık 40 araçla intihar saldırısı gerçekleşti, binlerce havan topu düştü Kobanê’ye. Siviller buraya dönünce büyük zorluklar yaşayacaklar. Savaşçılarımıza destek veren Amerika’nın yerinden yurdundan olan, farklı ülkelere sığınan çocuklarımıza, annelerimize de destek vermesini umuyoruz, onların desteğiyle yeni bir Kobanê inşa edebiliriz.

Kobanê’nin yeniden inşası diyorsunuz. Destek olmak isteyenler nasıl destek sunabilirler?

Enwer Mislim: Kobanê’de IŞİD çetelerinin cesetleri hala enkazların arasında var. Ebola gibi bulaşıcı hastalıkların yayılma riski var. Sağlık konusunda çeşitli yardımlar yapılabilir. Bu enkazların ortada kaldırmak için kepçe gibi çeşitli belediye araçlarına da ihtiyacımız var. Şehrin bütün altyapısı bozuldu. Bu altyapının yeniden oluşturulması lazım. Kanton yönetimi olarak oluşturduğumuz komisyonda mühendisler, doktorlar, avukatlar, öğretmenler var. Bu komisyon destek sunmak isteyenler için yakın bir zamanda kamuoyuna bir rapor sunacak.

Şu ana kadar herhangi büyük bir devlet yardım etme sözü verdi mi? Koalisyon üyesi devletler, uluslararası kuruluşlarla herhangi bir görüşmeniz oldu mu?

Enwer Mislim: Özgürlüğümüze tekrar henüz yeni ulaştık, zaferimiz henüz iki günlük. Bütün devletlerle görüşmelerimiz devam edecek. IŞİD saldırmaya devam ediyor çünkü. Uluslararası kuruluşlarla da görüşmelerimiz olacak, hazırlıklara başlamalılar. Biz hem şehirdeki hem köydeki insanlarımıza huzurlu bir ortama kavuşturacağız.

Köyleri de sormak istiyorum. YPG’nin köyleri kurtarma operasyonuna başladığı aktarılıyor. Köylerin alınmasında ne tür zorluklar yaşanır ve sizce köylerin tamamının geri alınması ne kadar zaman alır?

Enwer Mislim: Kobanê’nin 380 köyü var fakat bu köylerin hepsinde IŞİD çeteleri yok. Onların birçok büyük emiri de Kobanê’de öldürüldü. YPG en kısa sürede köyleri geri almayı planlıyor fakat IŞİD’e hala ağır silah takviyesi yapılıyor. Köylerin alınması için Amerika’nın öncülüğündeki koalisyonun hava saldırılarına ihtiyaç duyuluyor yine.

Şimdiye kadar kaç köy kurtarıldı?

Enwer Mislim: Kobanê’nin etrafındaki bütün köyler kurtarıldı. Köyleri kurtarma hamlesi hala devam ediyor, batıda Tilşehir tarafları, Minaz, Gulmit, Memit, Helinc kurtarıldı. Kurtarılacak diğer köyleri de kamuoyuna duyururuz.

Koalisyonun hava saldırıları hala devam ediyor mu yoksa hava saldırılarında bir azalma söz konusu mu?

Enwer Mislim: Hayır, hava saldırıları hala devam ediyor. Barışsever, demokrat her insan bu hava saldırıları için Amerika’nın öncülüğünü yaptığı bu koalisyona minnettar. Şu an şehir tamamen kontrolümüzde, koalisyon köylerdeki IŞİD noktalarını etkili bir şekilde bombalıyor ve bu bombalama IŞİD’i daha da fazla kırılmaya uğratıyor.

Bazı Amerikan kaynakları Kobanê’nin tamamının değil %90lık bir kısmının kurtarıldığını duyurmuştu. Neden tamamı değil de %90’lık kısmı dediler?

Enwer Mislim: % 90 dediklerinde zaten hala tehlike vardı, fakat şimdi tamamen kurtarılmış durumda, biz dün açıklama yaptık. Amerikan kaynakları önceki gün açıklama yaptılar. Fakat şunu da belirtmemiz lazım, karşımızdaki düşman, IŞİD, büyük bir düşman. Köylerimizde IŞİD tehlikesi devam ediyor hala ama herkesin için rahat olsun, şehir tamamen kontrolümüzde. İnşallah yakın bir zamanda köyleri de kurtarırız.

Kobanê’nin IŞİD’den temizlenmesine sadece Kürtleri değil, dünya kamuoyun da mutlu etmişe benziyor?

Enwer Mislim: Kobanê’deki bütün kurumlar adına, kanton adına, siyasi fikri ne olursa olsun bizi destekleyen herkese teşekkür ediyoruz. Bu desteğe devam etmelerini umuyoruz. Özellikle genç kadın ve erkeklerimizin Kobanê’ye dönmelerini ve bu direnişte yer almalarını ümit ediyoruz. Herkese teşekkürlerimizi sunarken, zafer için biz de bizi destekleyen bütün herkesi kutluyoruz.

Psaki: We’ll Continue to Support the Brave Defenders of Kobani

Jen Psaki, Spokesperson of the US State Department
Jen Psaki, Spokesperson of the US State Department

Jen Psaki, Spokesperson of the State Department comments on Kobane on Daily Press Briefing of January 27, 2015:

QUESTION:  The biggest challenge in Kobani seems to be over. The Kurdish officials from Iraq and from Kobani have declared victory there.  But as you know, there are many more challenges that faces the rebels protecting the city.  Of course, they have said it officially that they don’t have ammunition – enough ammunition and stuff.  Also the civilians who want to go back to the city, when they want to rebuild the city – I’m wondering whether the United States is going to be a major player in terms of providing humanitarian and military assistance for the people and the rebels there to help alleviate the challenge that remain.

PSAKI:  Well, we have been, continue to be, have consistently been the largest provider of humanitarian assistance as it relates to the Syria conflict in the world, and that won’t change.  And certainly, as there are humanitarian needs, whether it’s in Kobani and other places, I expect that we will contribute – continue to be major contributors.

I know you’re looking ahead, but obviously the point we’re at now, so let me just reiterate this.  As CENTCOM announced yesterday, anti-ISIL forces now control approximately 90 percent of the city of Kobani, and we congratulate its brave defenders.  We’ll continue to support them as we look to the coming weeks ahead.  This is an important step in the first phase of a long-term campaign to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL, because of the strategic value ISIL places on Kobani.

I think, broadly speaking, the fight against ISIL is far from over, but we do feel that their failure in Kobani has denied them one of their strategic objectives.  And over time, we’ve seen that they’ve not only used Kobani as a base for driving their own narrative of inevitability, but also they’ve put a lot of resources and people into Kobani as well.

QUESTION:  There is no doubt that without the United States military support, the rebels would not have been able, probably, to do what they have done.  But as you know, the United States has helped transfer weapons to those rebels.  But should we expect that they would receive more ammunition?  Because probably the United States is the only partner they can look up to now.  Turkey is not going to do that; Syrian Government is not going to do that.  Should we expect the United States to do that?  Because ISIS could, at any moment, when the airstrikes are gone, come back and recapture the town and attack the town.

PSAKI:  As I mentioned, we will continue to support the effort.  In terms of more specifics, I’d certainly point you to my colleagues at the Department of Defense.

Source: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2015/01/236800.htm#SYRIA

 

Chief YPG Commander Berxwedan: Our Victory is the Beginning of the End for ISIS

YPG Commander Mahmud Berxwedan, Canton PM Anwar Moslem, Defense Chied Ismet Hasan and other officoals Photo (Mislim Nebo)
YPG Commander Mahmud Berxwedan, Canton PM Anwar Moslem other officials Photo (Mislim Nebo)

Mahmud Berxwedan, the chief commander of the YPG in Kobane delivered a speech at the special ceremony held about the liberation of Kobane City.

“ISIS thugs should know that just as the houses of Kobane became a graveyard for them, our villages will also be a graveyard for them. Our victory is the beginning of the end for ISIS worldwide.”

Berxwedan recalled that victory had come a day before the anniversary of the declaration of the founding of the Kobane canton, adding: “We will continue to resist until not one square meter of our land is under occupation. We would like to thank everyone who supported us, in particular those maintaining the vigil on the border.”

YPG commander also thanked the coalition forces led by the USA that supported the Kobane resistance from the air, the FSA forces that fought alongside the YPG/YPJ and peshmerga forces that provided support with heavy weaponry.

“Our struggle has not ended yet. Our villages are under occupation and the threat to Kobane has not gone away. I call on the youth of Rojava and Kobane to join the operation to liberate the villages. If we cannot liberate our land we will have to live a 100 years under ISIS barbarism.”

Source: http://en.firatajans.com/gallery/our-victory-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-isis/our-victory-the-beginning-of-the-end-for-isis-1422360472

Anwar Moslem: All World Has a Share in Kobane’s Victory

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In an interview conducted on Wednesday, January 28, 2015, the PM of the Kobane Canton administration Anwar Moslem comments on the liberation of the city after along battle.

Mutlu Civiroglu https://twitter.com/mutludc

While news had been spreading of the victory in Kobane for a number of days you officially declared victory the other day. The victory has echoed around the world, and everyone is speaking about it. What are you feeling? What would you like to say about this victory?

The assault by ISIS on Kobane is entering its 5th month. Here our female and male youths exhibited an example of unmatched resistance in order to protect the civilian population here. The victory which this resistance resulted in has shocked the whole world, and they have shown much respect for this victory. The airstrikes undertaken by the coalition led by America also had a role in this victory. The coalition, from America to Europe, and those people who have supported us from around the world all have a share in this victory. They united for brotherhood among peoples, peace and democracy against ISIS whose only philosophy and goal is to burn and destroy. Groups such as Siwar Rakka and Shamsal Sham from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), as well as our peshmerga brothers who supported us with heavy weapons also made a big contribution to this victory. Working together we should not only drive ISIS from Kobane but from everywhere.

Yesterday American State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki also celebrated the victory in Kobane and declared that the United States would continue to provide support. How do you evaluate this statement and the attitude of America to Kobane thus far?

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We are also celebrating them because they too have a share in this victory. Kobane is now a city that belongs not only to the residents of Kobane but to all of those people who have supported it. In the days ahead we will achieve more important victories. We hope that as a government, as a people and as House members and Senators all Americans will continue to support us. ISIS carried out around 40 suicide attacks employing vehicles in Kobane and fired thousands of shells into the city. When civilians return they will face many great difficulties. We hope that America, which has supported our fighters, will also support our children and mothers who have been driven from their homes and lands and were forced to seek refuge in different countries. With their support we will build a new Kobane.

-What kind of work are you carrying out to rebuild Kobane? How can those who want to support you do so?

In Kobane there are still ISIS corpses among the rubble. There is a risk of certain infectious diseases such as Ebola beginning to spread. There are a number of things they could do to help on the subject of health. In order to remove this wreckage we need things like backhoes and other municipal vehicles. The entire infrastructure of the city has been damaged. We need to rebuild this infrastructure. There is a committee which we as the canton administration formed in which there are engineers, doctors, lawyers and teachers. This commission will come out with a report shortly for all of those who are interested in providing support.

As of now have any large states promised to help? Have you met with any of the states which are part of the coalition or any international organizations?

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We have just been able to achieve liberation and our victory is only two days old. Our meetings with all states will continue. Because ISIS attacks still continue. We will have meetings with international organizations and preparations are underway. We will establish a peaceful environment for our people both in the city center and in the villages.

I want to ask about the villages. It is being reported that the YPG has begun operations to liberate the villages. What kind of difficulties will be experienced in retaking the villages and how long will it take to completely retake the villages?

In Kobane there are 380 villages however ISIS is not in all of these villages. Many of their important commanders also died in Kobane. The YPG is planning to take back the villages within the shortest possible period however ISIS is still reinforcing the area with heavy weapons. In order to take back the villages there will once again be a need for airstrikes from the US-led coalition.

How many villages have been liberated as of now?

Now the villages in the immediate vicinity of Kobane have been liberated. The push to liberate the villages is still continuing, and in the east toward Tilşehir the villages of Minaz, Gulmit, Memit, and Helinc have been liberated. We will continue to inform the public as we retake more villages.

Are coalition airstrikes continuing or has there been a reduction in the number of airstrikes?

No, the airstrikes are still ongoing. Every peace-loving democratic person is grateful to the American-led coalition for these airstrikes. Right now the city is entirely under our control and the coalition is carrying out effective bombings against ISIS positions in the villages and these strikes continue to degrade ISIS.

According to some American sources you have not entirely retaken Kobane but only 90% of the city. Why did they say 90% and not the entire city? Has Kobane been entirely liberated? Is what you are saying correct?

When they said 90% there was in fact still a certain danger however now it has been entirely liberated and yesterday we made that statement. The American sources had made this statement the previous day. However we need to make this clear, the enemy we are facing, ISIS, is a serious enemy. The ISIS danger continues in our villages but let everyone now relax, the city is entirely under our control. God willing we will liberate the villages too within a short amount of time.

Not only Kurds but all peoples of the world were very pleased with the victory in Kobane. What would you like to say to everyone who has supported you and to Kurds in particular?

In the name of all of the organizations in Kobane and in the name of the canton we thank everyone who supported us regardless of their political ideas. We hope that this support will continue. We hope in particular that young women and men will return to Kobane and take a place within the resistance. As we offer thanks to everyone, we also celebrate everyone who has supported us in this victory.

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Thanks for https://twitter.com/TheRojavaReport and  https://twitter.com/devbarkin for translating this interview into English

Interview with Dutch YPG Fighter Richard Jansen

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Richard Jansen (Photo by Roel Geeraedts)

Richard Jansen is one of the Westerners who has joined Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to fight against ISIS.

In this interview Richard explains why he decided to go to Rojava and join Kurds, and his experience since he arrived there.

Richard Jansen and Australian YPG Fighter Benjamin

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YPJ-Kommandantin aus Kobane: “Die Angst, Welche die ISIS Verbreitete, ist in Kobane Überwunden Worden”

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YPJ-Kommandantin Meryem Kobane zur aktuellen Lage in Kobane, über die Rolle der Kurden im Kampf gegen die ISIS und über den Umgang der westlichen Staaten mit den Kurden

Seit Beginn des Kampfes um Kobane sind vier Monate vergangen. Täglich haben die YPG und YPJ Fortschritte zu verzeichnen, die ISIS wird weiter aus der Stadt gedrängt. Wie sieht die aktuelle Situation aus, wie weit sind die Kurdischen KämpferInnen vorgerückt?

Wir haben vor einiger Zeit begonnen, die Stadt vollständig zu befreien. Diesem Ziel arbeiten wir weiterhin auf Hochtouren entgegen. Wir erzielen große Fortschritte am Mistenur-Hügel, im Osten, im Stadtinneren und in dem Gebiet, das sich von der Sheria-Moschee bis hin zum Viertel Kaniya Kurda erstreckt. Fortschritte werden auch an der Straße nach Aleppo erzielt, die Dörfer Termik, Memit und Golmik sind von der ISIS gesäubert worden. In diesem beispiellosen Kampf schreiten die KämpferInnen der YPG und YPJ mit ungebrochenem Willen voran.

In diesem Zusammenhang müssen auch die seit kurzem zugenommenen Luftschläge der Koalition erwähnt werden. Wir haben gehört, dass sich auch Frauen unter den Piloten der Koalition befinden, wir als die YPJ [Fraueneinheit] möchten diesen Frauen einen ganz besonderen Dank aussprechen. Wie schon oft betont, kämpfen wir hier stellvertretend für alle Frauen der Welt. Wir bekämpfen die ISIS, die das Zusammenleben verschiedener Religionen, Minderheiten und Identitäten nicht akzeptiert. Jedes einzelne demokratische Individuum des Jahrhunderts, das den Frieden verteidigen möchte, muss gegen diesen Terror kämpfen, ganz egal wo es sich befindet. Das ist ein ehrenhafter Kampf gegen eine Organisation, die behauptet im Namen des Islam zu kämpfen, aber rein gar nichts mit dem Islam oder der Menschlichkeit gemein hat.

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Wann schätzen Sie, wird es möglich sein, den Kampf mit einem Sieg zu beenden?

Diese Operation ist nicht von der Art, dass wir sie einfach beenden könnten. Wir werden unsere Operation fortsetzen bis die ISIS aus jedem Winkel Kobanes und aus jedem Dorf vertrieben ist.

Sie haben gerade die weiblichen Piloten erwähnt. Es scheint, als habe der Kampf der YPJ zahlreiche Frauen in der ganzen Welt inspiriert. Über die YPJ wurden Lieder und Berichte geschrieben, Gemälde angefertigt. Hillary Clinton hat in den höchsten Tönen über die YPJ gesprochen.

Die Augenfarben der Frauen in der Welt mögen unterschiedliche sein, aber ihre Tränen sind die gleichen, Es gibt keinen Unterschied zwischen den Frauen des Nahen Ostens und den Frauen in Europa, es macht keinen Unterschied, wo sie leben, wir haben alle dasselbe Ziel. Kobane hat einen Widerstand erlebt, den kein Buch und kein Gefühl ausreichend wird beschreiben können. So viele Kämpferinnen haben ihre Leben geopfert und ihre Körper vor unseren Augen in die Luft gesprengt, um die ISIS daran zu hindern, weiter vorzudringen. Sie haben sich der ISIS nicht ergeben. Unsere Freundinnen wie Arin Mirkan und Rehana, unsere Kammeraden wie Baran und der Märtyrer Diyar und Dutzende andere haben versprochen, bis zum Ende zu kämpfen. Zweifellos sie es, die unseren Kampf inspirieren.

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Ich glaube, dass der in Kobane stattfindende Kampf und die in Kobane gemachten Opfer die Renaissance des Nahen Ostens einleiten werden. Nichts fürchten diese kämpfenden Frauen, die eine Zeit einläuten wollen, in der alle Menschen zusammen und gleich leben können. Jede Frau, die Freiheit ersehnt und verlangt, sollte diesen Kampf unterstützen. Dieser Kampf ist nicht nur ein bewaffneter, sondern auch ein gesellschaftlicher Kampf um unsere Rechte. Man ist ungeschützt, sowohl als Individuum als auch als Nation, wenn man keine Rechte besitzt. Wir haben uns nicht alleine gefühlt, auch nicht unter den schwierigsten Bedingungen, und wir glauben, dass jede Frau mit uns mitfühlt. Wir fordern einzig von allen, die uns hören und sehen können, die heldenhaften Handlungen, Opfer und die hier erfahrenen Schwierigkeiten zu beobachten und uns zu unterstützen.

Ich würde Sie gerne nach Ihren persönlichen Gedanken und Gefühlen fragen. Sie haben in allen Interviews mit hoffnungsvoller Stimme gesprochen, auch während der Tage mit den heftigsten Kämpfen. Was ist es, das Sie die Hoffnung nicht aufgeben lässt.

Ich sollte zuallererst die Ideen unseres Anführer Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] erwähnen, die einen großen Einfluss auf unsere Emotionen gehabt haben. Unsere Herzen glauben an seine Philosophie, die besagt, dass dem kämpfenden Menschen ein Erfolg zusteht. Hoffnung ist etwas, das ehrenhafter ist als ein Sieg. Wir haben unsere Zuversicht auch in den schlimmsten Tagen nicht verloren, weil wir an unseren Willen geglaubt haben. Es gab keine Unterstützung der Koalition als die Kämpfe begannen. Trotzdem konnte die Welt heldenhafte Handlungen in Kobane bezeugen. Alle unsere weiblichen und männlichen Kammeraden kämpften mit nicht sehr effektiven Kalaschnikows, aber mit Kampfgeist.

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Ich sollte auch erwähnen, dass in Kobane der Kampf gegen die ISIS seit zwei Jahren andauert, wir haben an Kampferfahrung gewonnen. Zu Beginn der Zusammenstößen, wurde im Dorf Serzori Geschichte geschrieben: Zwölf unserer Kammeraden befanden sich in der Dorfschule, als drei Panzer [der ISIS] das Schulgelände betraten. Unsere Kammeraden sagten, dass sie sich nicht ergeben würden und dass ihr Märtyrertod die größte Strafe für die ISIS sein würde. Es ist diesem Kampfgeist zu verdanken, dass wir glaubten, dass Kobane nicht fallen würde, solange sich hier auch nur ein Kurde aufhielt. Unsere Entschlossenheit wurde stärker, als wir sahen, dass aus allen vier Teilen Kurdistans Menschen zur Unterstützung nach Kobane kamen, trotz der Restriktionen durch den türkischen Staat. Wir versprachen, um jede Straße, um jedes Haus und um jeden Quadratzentimeter zu kämpfen, das haben wir getan und tun es immer noch. Die ISIS wird Kobane nicht einnehmen, Kobane ist unvergleichbar. Kobane ist nicht Jarablus, Manbij, Mossul oder irgendeine andere Stadt. Kobane ist Kurdistan und der Geist der Kurden akzeptiert keine Kapitulation.

Sie erwähnten, dass die Luftschläge der Koalition in letzter Zeit zugenommen hätten. Prozent der Luftschläge in Syrien wurden in Kobane ausgeübt. Es wird berichtet, dass die Koalition auch Angriffsziele außerhalb der Stadt bombardiert.

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Der ehrenvolle Kampf der KämpferInnen der YPG und YPJ und des kurdischen Volkes hat bewiesen, dass Kobane triumphieren wird. Die Welt hat auch gelernt, dass die ISIS nicht nur die Kurden bekämpft. Die ISIS ist eine Organisation, die verschiedene Kulturen, Religionen, Identitäten und Frauen nicht duldet. Die internationalen Mächte sahen, dass diese Organisation nicht nur für Kobane, für die YPG und YPJ, für unser jezidisches Volk oder für Syrien eine Gefahr darstellt, sondern für die gesamte Menschheit. Die von der ISIS begangenen Taten werden nicht vom Islam und vom Koran akzeptiert. Die internationalen Mächte begannen, die ISIS auch außerhalb von Kobane anzugreifen, nachdem sie sahen, dass die ISIS die Menschheit bedrohte.

Die ISIS ist keine Organisation, die um Land oder eine Nation kämpft. Sie möchte Konflikte unter den Menschen stiften und überall plündern. Sie bekämpfen die Zeugnisse der Geschichte, zerstören Kirchen und Moscheen. Ich kann keine Kirche oder Moschee ablehnen, die für ihre Besucher heilig sind. Wir können keine Orte gering schätzen, an denen eine Religion ausgeübt wird. Das was die ISIS jetzt tut, hat auch Dschingis Khan getan, der die Werte und die Geschichte der Völker des Nahen Ostens mit seinem Einmarsch zerstören wollte. Die Welt hat sich jetzt der Wahrheit gestellt und ist tätig geworden. Diesbezüglich ist die Unterstützung der Koalition sehr bedeutsam.

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Ich würde Sie auch gerne wegen der Angriffe in Europa – Frankreich und Belgien – befragen. Die Gefahr, von der Sie sprechen, ist nun auch dort angekommen. Viele Menschen messen der Bedeutung der Kurden im Kampf gegen die ISIS mehr Gewicht bei. Was ist Ihre Meinung bezüglich der Angriffe in Frankreich?

Wir verurteilen diese Angriffe, weil die ISIS die gesamte Menschheit angreift. Ich beobachte die ISIS seit drei Jahren sehr genau und bin vertraut mit den Gedanken und Handlungen dieser Gruppe. Bevor sie einen Ort angreifen, sprechen sie ein sogenanntes Fatwa aus und verbreiten dieses. Allerdings konnte jeder sehen, dass die Angst, die sie verbreiteten, in Kobane geschlagen wurde. Sie beanspruchen für sich selbst das Recht, Orte, in denen sich Nicht-Muslime aufhalten, anzugreifen. Die ISIS zielt nicht nur auf das kurdische Volk, sondern auf die ganze Welt ab, das ist der Hauptgrund, warum eine Einheit gegen diese Organisation gebildet werden muss. Im Nahen Osten agiert sie im Namen des Islam. Mit dieser Angelehenheit muss man sich umfassend befassen. Nicht alle Muslime sind Mitglieder der ISIS. Diese Wahrheit muss berücksichtigt werden.

Vor zwei Tagen gab es ein Treffen der internationalen Anti-ISIS-Koalition in London. Die Kurden wurden nicht eingeladen. Masud Barzani, Präsident der Autonomen Region Kurdistans, hat diese Konferenz kritisiert. Wie bewerten Sie es, dass die Kurden, die sowohl in Syrien als auch im Irak die ISIS bekämpfen, nicht eingeladen waren?

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Die westlichen Nationen behandeln die Kurden immer noch ganz im Sinne der Staaten, die Kurdistan besetzen. Unter dem Einfluss dieser Staaten [Türkei, Irak, Syrien, Iran], beharren sie auf der Existenz der Grenzen zwischen den vier Teilen Kurdistans – genauso wie die Geschehnisse um den Vertrag von Lausanne. Dennoch sind heute trotz dieser Grenzen die Herzen der Kurden geeint. Niemand kann die neue kurdische Generation täuschen oder teilen. Die Strategie “das Lamm im Offenen lassen und es vom Wolf angreifen lassen” ist in Kurdistan zerschlagen worden. Ich möchte wiederholen, dass keine Strategie und keine Vereinbarung, die die Kurden exkludiert, im Nahen Osten Erfolg haben kann. Die Diplomaten mögen denken, sie hätten heute gesiegt, aber morgen oder übermorgen werden sie verstehen, dass sie im Unrecht sind. Die Tatsache, dass die Kurden nicht eingeladen waren, ist nicht gerecht, da es die Kurden sind, die auf dem Boden die ISIS bekämpfen.

Durch dieses Interview, möchten wir allen Menschen und der Koalition unseren Dank aussprechen, die uns unterstützt haben. Wir haben an den schwierigsten Tagen einen Sieg versprochen und werden die frohe Botschaft des Sieges am schönsten Tag verkünden.

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Mutlu Civiroglu ist ein Analytiker Kurdischer Angelegenheiten mit dem Schwerpunkt auf Syrien und den Irak. Er verfolgt insbesondere den Kampf der YPG gegen die ISIS und andere dschihadistische Gruppen.

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Vom Kurdischen ins Deutsche übersetzt von https://twitter.com/ViyanKurd

YPJ Commander in Kobane: The Fear ISIS Spread Has Been Defeated in Kobane

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In an exclusive interview, top commander of the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) Meryem Kobane assesses the situation in Kobane and provides important updates about the ongoing victory operation of Kurdish forces.

Mutlu Civiroglu        https://twitter.com/mutludc

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Ms. Kobane, fighting in Kobane has left four months behind. According to reports, YPG and YPJ forces are drawing the ISIS further out of Kobane day by day. What is the recent situation, how far have you advanced?

The operation to liberate Kobane which we started some time ago is continuing ceaselessly. We are currently making major advances in consequence of fierce clashes in Mishtenur Hill area in the first place, in the east, city center and a large area extending from Sheria Mosque to Kaniya Kurdan. Advances are also being made on the Aleppo road and Termik, Memit and Golmit villages have been cleansed of ISIS groups. Fighters of the YPG and YPJ are progressing by putting up an unprecedented struggle with a dedicated spirit.

Support of the recently increasing airstrikes by the coalition also needs to be mentioned in this regard. We heard that there are women among those piloting the coalition aircraft; we as YPJ fighters extend our special thanks to them. As we stated several other times before, we are fighting here for all the women in the world. We are fighting against ISIS which doesn’t accept the together-living of different religions, minorities and identities. Every single democrat and individual of the 21st century who defends freedom must fight against this terror, no matter where they live. This is an honorable fight against an organization that claims to be fighting in the name of Islam but has nothing to do with Islam or humanity.

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When do you anticipate you will be able to end the ongoing operation up in victory?

The operation we keep going is not of the kind we can end at a certain phase. We will continue our operation until ISIS is driven out of every single inch of Kobane, including its villages.

You’ve just mentioned female pilots. It seems the struggle of YPJ has inspired many women across the world. Songs are being written, news being written and paintings being done about you. A well-known person like Hillary Clinton speaks highly of you…

The eye color of the world’s women may be different but the color of their tears is same. There is no difference between the women in the Middle East and those in Europe and America, doesn’t matter where they are, we all have one purpose. Kobane has witnessed a true kind of resistance which neither books nor feelings will suffice to tell. So many female fighters sacrificed their lives and blew their bodies up in front of our eyes to not to let ISIS take these lands. They did not surrender to ISIS. Our female friends such as Ari Mirkan and Rehana, comrades such as Comrade Baran and Martyr Diyar and dozens of others like them had promised to fight till the end. It is no doubt them who inspire our struggle.

I believe the fight given and the sacrifice made in Kobane will be the Renaissance of the Middle East. Nothing ever scares the women fighting here, who wage a struggle for times that will enable all peoples to live together and equally. Every woman who desires and demands freedom should support this fight which is not only an armed battle but also a public struggle to attain our rights. You are left unprotected, both as an individual and a nation, unless you attain your rights. We didn’t feel lonely even under the worst circumstances, and we believe every single woman will be feeling us every moment we fight. The only thing we ask from everyone who hears and sees to closely follow the heroic deeds, sacrifices and difficulties experienced here, and to provide support.

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I would like to ask you to talk about your inner world a bit. You always spoke with hope in your voice in the interviews we made in the days of most intensified clashes. What made you not to give up hope under those challenging circumstances?

I should first and foremost indicate that the thoughts of Leader Apo [Ocalan] had a great influence on our emotional side. Our heart believes in the philosophy of ultimate success for one giving a fight. Hope is something is more honorable than victory. We didn’t lose our confidence in the worst days even because we trusted in our will. There was no coalition support when the attacks first began. Still, the whole world witnessed great heroic deeds in Kobane. All our male and female comrades fought with not very effective Kalashnikov rifles but with a spirit of struggle.

I should also remark that a fight is being given in Kobane against the ISIS for two years now, and this has given us a battle experience. Before these recent clashes, yet another epic was written in the Serzori village. 12 comrades of ours were in the garden of the village school and 3 tanks had entered the school area. Our comrades said they weren’t going to surrender and that their martyrdom would be the biggest punishment to ISIS. It is owing to this spirit of struggle that we’ve believed Kobane wouldn’t fall until no single Kurd is left. Our determination grew stronger as we saw people coming from four parts of Kurdistan to support Kobane despite all the restrictions of the Turkish state. We promised to fight street by street, house by house and inch by inch, which we have done indeed and continue doing. ISIS will not accomplish in Kobane which is not like anywhere else. Kobane is not Jarablus, not Manbij not Mosul nor any other country. Kobane is Kurdistan and the spirit of the Kurds who doesn’t accept surrendering.

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You mentioned that coalition airstrikes have increased recently. The coalition has carried out 80 percent of the airstrikes in Syria in Kobane. It is reported that the coalition is now striking ISIS outside the Kobane town center as well?

The honorable struggle of YPG-YPJ fighters and the Kurdish people has proved that Kobane will triumph whatever the consequences. Within this process, the whole world has learned that the ISIS wasn’t targeting the Kurds alone. ISIS is an organization that doesn’t agree to different cultures, religions, identities and women. International powers saw that this organization was a great danger to not only Kobane, YPG-YPJ, to our Yezidi people and Syria but also to the whole humanity. The acts perpetrated by ISIS are not accepted by Islam and Koran. International powers started to strike ISIS outside Kobane too after seeing that ISIS threatened humanity.

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ISIS is not an organization that fights for a land, nation or country. They want to incite conflicts among peoples and to plunder everywhere. They battle against the memory of history, destroying churches and mosques. I cannot reject a church or a mosque both of which are sacred for the people visiting those places. We cannot disrespect their places of worship. What ISIS is doing today is the same of what was done by Cenghis Khan who wanted to demolish and destroy all the values, history and memory of the peoples in an invasion in the Middle East. The world has faced this truth and taken action. In this regard, the support of the coalition is quite meaningful.

I would also like to ask you about the attacks in Europe, France and Belgium. The danger you talk about is also upon them now and many people lay stress on the importance of Kurds for fighting the ISIS. What is your opinion regarding the attacks in France?

We condemn those attacks because ISIS actually targets the entire humanity. I am closely following the ISIS for three years and know very well by now how this group thinks and acts. Before attacking a place, they predicate it on a so-called fatwa from the Koran and spread fear. However everyone has seen that this fear they spread has been defeated in Kobane. They bestow themselves the right to attack the places housing non-Muslims. ISIS targets not only the Kurdish people but the whole world, which is why a major unity must be formed against this organization. They are acting in the Middle East in the name of Islam. This issue must be dealt with very comprehensively. All Muslims are not members of the ISIS. Everyone should act considering this truth.

There was the meeting of the international coalition against ISIS in London two days ago, and Kurds were not invited there. Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani criticized the conference. How do you evaluate that Kurds who are fighting against ISIS in Syria and Iraq weren’t invited to the conference?

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Western countries still approach Kurds in terms of the states that are occupying Kurdistan. Under the impact of these occupying states, they insist existing of borders between four parts of Kurdistan, just like what happened with the Treaty of Lausanne. Still, the hearts of the Kurds have united today despite the presence of borders. No one can deceive nor divide the new Kurdish generation. The policy ‘to leave the lamb open and get the wolf attack it’ has been smashed in Kurdistan now. I want to reiterate that no politics or agreement that excludes the Kurds will accomplish in the Middle East. The diplomats may think today that they succeed but tomorrow or the day after, they will understand that they are wrong. The fact that Kurds were not invited to this conference is really unfair because it is the Kurds who are fighting against ISIS on the ground.

Through this interview, we convey our thanks to everyone and coalition forces that have supported us. We made a promise of victory in the most difficult days and we will give the good news of victory in the most beautiful day.

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Mutlu Civiroglu is a Kurdish affairs analyst focusing on Syria and Turkey. He has closely been monitoring YPG’s fight against ISIS and other jihadist groups.

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* Translated into English by Berna Özgencil https://twitter.com/bzgncl