Berxwedan of YPG: Turkey Will Be Plunged into a Swamp if Tries to Occupy Afrin


YPG Commander Mahmud Berxwedan, Canton PM Anwar Moslem, Photo (Mislim Nebo)

Mutlu Civirglu @Mutludc

YPG General Commander in Afrin region Mahmud Berxwedan responds to our questions regarding latest developments in Afrin region and reports about the Turkish media on a possible Turkish operation against Afrin.

Mr. Berxwedan, in the past several days there have been many reports published by Turkish media saying that the Turkish army and their supported militants are preparing a large-scale operation against Afrin, as a commander of the YPG, how do you see these reports? What is the current situation in Afrin?

Firstly, I extend my greetings to the listeners of the VOA Kurdish, anyone who hears our voice we greet them from Afrin. It is critical for us to share the realities in Afrin with the world outside. The Turkish govt controlled media have been spreading misinformation in the form of military psychological warfare for a long time, especially Erdogan supporting channels, spreading many groundless news regarding Afrin to undermine the reality in the region.

First thing for us to know is that Turkey is an occupying state, it has occupied parts of Syrian soil. From Jarabulus to Al-Bab, and towards Azaz, it has occupied Syrian territory in an action like the occupation of Liwa Iskandaroun. Turkey at the same time supports radical Islamist terrorist groups in Syria, and everyone knows this now. All of the terrorist groups came into Syria through Turkey. Conversely, all radical groups went to Europe through Turkey. The world knows about all this very well.

Now Turkey is making safe havens for the Ikhwans [Muslim Brotherhood groups], groups that most of their commanders were earlier working with Daesh [Islamic State] – their training bases are in Turkey, again openly, in defiance of world opinion. But now Turkey tries to fabricate these realities, while Turkey itself trained and backed these terrorist groups they now attempt to portray the revolutionary people of Afrin, those who are only defending their lands, as terrorists – this is formally deceiving the public opinion.

Is there a threat from Turkey towards YPG in Afrin?

From our side in six years there has not been one problem on our Afrin borders with Turkey. We have fired not one single bullet towards Turkey. The Turkish state however, is always violating the borders, occupying parts of Afrin soil, built walls along the border and repetitively shelled Afrin villages; causing many deaths and injuries.

But Turkey always claims that you [YPG] are attacking, and they are responding – most recently two days ago in a report by the Reuters, they said the YPG attacked and they repelled.

This is completely false. The reality is unlike how they falsely claim, as I said the Turkish state fabricates the facts on the ground using their special psychological warfare. People see on the ground that Turkey carries out attacks and shells the region – all Afrin villages from Qastal to Hizwan areas as well as Shahba villages are being targeted by Turkey.

The excuse Turkey gives for its occupation was to support radical groups against another terrorist group, for example the ones in Tal Rifat [east Afrin], which was liberated later on. Local people want to return back to their homes but Turkish shelling does not allow them to do so, however where Turkish shelling is comparatively mild, there are many who have been inhabited, for example Kafir Nayem, Kafir Nasih, and also Til Rifat despite Turkish shelling. People who are defending those areas are local to the areas, including Arab components from Jaish Al-Thuwar [Army of the Revolutionaries].

And regarding Afrin, for the past six years, it has been the most secure and peaceful place in all Syria, having a self-administration with local defense forces. With all this being said, Turkey tries to distort and portray a purposefully fabricated picture, claiming that ‘there is PKK there,’ ‘there are terrorists who have occupied the region’ – but in reality, the Turkish state has brazenly occupied parts of Syria, itself is an occupying force yet it tries to show the world a fabricated image. The people in defense positions are all native to Afrin, protecting their lands.

I would like to know about the two main forces in Syria, the US and Russia – if we start with Russia, what is their approach towards Turkish preparations, and speaking about the US, although there are collaboration with the YPG and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – and you yourself were the chief YPG commander during Kobane Resistance – does the US works differently with the YPG in Kobane and Jazira with the YPG in Afrin?

That is right, I was a part of YPG command in Kobane, and now I am in Afrin, the two are the parts of the same YPG.

Both the US and Russia know about the reality of Turkish activities; they also know what Turkey want to create, but Syria now has turned into an area of different competing interests. Despite that, our objective is to clear Syria from terrorist groups, be it in Jazira region or in Afrin region, and since the initiative of our forces, we have fought terrorism, Daesh or other groups; many lives have been sacrificed for this purpose. In our fight against terrorism, whoever stands along us, we will also remain true to them, the US or Russia – and we have the two countries support in both sides of the Euphrates, we would welcome their support in the future.

My last question is, if there was an attack on Afrin, what would be your response? What are your preparations? And how would a situation like that affect the ongoing Raqqa operation?

Turkey is preparing a plot for the region in general, without knowing that it would put everyone in danger, it would impact everything specifically the Raqqa campaign – Shahba and Afrin regions are strategically important for us. Such an attack by Turkey will influence forces that are present in the region, the Russians, for instance.

On the ground, Shahba and Afrin have a different situation than other areas, they are not like Jarabulus that Turkey can easily occupy. Turkey will be plunged into a swamp, politically and militarily – there will be an historical resistance against Turkish occupation in Afrin and Shahba regions. The people of Afrin along their military forces will defend themselves against such attempts.

I would also like to call on the people of Azaz who have long lived alongside the people of Afrin, and the people of Mare who in difficult times, Afrin and Shahba have supported them, to not allow occupying Turkey plans to sow hostility among peoples of the region – everyone must learn of these plans of the Turkish state.


*Translated into English by

Kobane Defense Chief Hasan: We Want Turkey to Change Its Faulty Attitude Towards Us

Defense Minister of Kobane Canton Ismet Hasan (3rd on the right) with peshmerga commanders and YPG fighters

Mutlu Civiroglu

Interview conducted on November 6, 2014


Mr. Hasan, we are informed that the clashes continue at the eastern front, shelling and mortar attacks at the western front. Can you update us about the recent situation?

As you also now, it has been 54 days that Kobane has demonstrated a historical resistance. ISIS is bombing our citizens waiting at the border in the western front and also at the Tilsahr Hill. The clashes have not stopped since the first day at the eastern front. They try to recruit forces from surrounding cities and continue attacking us. As long as Kobane is surrounded by attacks from all three fronts, it is always going to be dangerous for Kobane. Since the winter came, people at the front lines are having many difficulties.

You stated that ISIS attacks with bombs. The coalition was assuming that it destroyed most of the heavy weaponry of ISIS, is that not true? Do they continue to attack you and civilians comfortably because they still have a big amount of weaponry?

They have mortars such as the M57s, they have a tank in industrial zone and they are using it heavily. When airstrike starts, they hide those and when it stops, they take them out again and attack.


You mentioned about cold weather, what are the needs of people between Suruc and Kobane, and at the border, what can be done for those?

These civilians are under terrible conditions. There is no house or tent that they can stay in. They sleep outside. There are many women and children. We try to at least provide them with basic needs such as food, but it has become a huge challenge for us as the weather is getting colder. This is a very serious problem that needs urgent attention. Also, there are some civilians still in the city and they cannot go out because of continuous attacks and shelling.

Firstly, we want a safe corridor for these civilians. Secondly, today a group of young men and women wanted to come to Kobane to support us from the other side of the border. However, because of the attacks by Turkish soldiers, a young woman lost her life and a few got injured. We are going through a very though time. People who had crossed the border to Turkey are being shot when they want to come back to support their city. We want them to allow our people to cross the borders.

How do you interpret the attitude of Turkey in this regard?

Turkey has a faulty attitude towards us and we want it to change. We are not fighting against Turkey; we are fighting against the terrorist group ISIS that does not only target Kurds, but the whole world. If they attack us here today, they are going to attack Turkey tomorrow. They have organized crimes in many cities and killed many civilians. For instance, in Iraq, they killed about 400 people from a tribe. Turkey needs to reanalyze its politics and alter them. We are neighbor with Turkey and as Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and as Kurdish Women’s Protection Units (YPJ); we are fighting against a terrorist group, ISIS. Even if Turkey does not provide any support, it should stop to interfere and attack our people so we can carry out a more efficient resistance.

The world media is watching you closely and writing very positively about you. There were protests in all over the world a few days ago. What do you want to say about this?

This is very important for us. We want to thank all those who support us. We will never forget the airstrike support of America and international coalition. Turkey is out neighbor and they should have reacted accordingly, but what can we say. The support from people of different countries in the same date has increased our morale. Today, when YPG and YPJ fight against terrorism, they do not do this only to support Kobane or Kurdish people, but for the people of the world.

We are talking about a terrorist organization that has carried attacks in many European countries including Spain and France, and we still remember September 11 attack. They have one hand in Baghdad and one in Lebanon, one other in Raqqa and nobody dared to resist against this group, but us. ISIS took control of Mosul, which has a population of 4 million, within a few hours, the same is true for Raqqa and Manbij, however, even though they surrounded Kobane, they were not able to win and therefore, they are fighting us wholeheartedly. For this reason, we need the support of international community and we send our greetings to those who already did so.

You said that ISIS attacks with all its strength; can you say that new forces arrive in the last days?

According to information provided to us, additional forces are joining them from Talabyad, Raqqa, Manbij and Jarablus. As we understand from the radio, a lot of their members are coming from Afghanistan.

Some media sources claimed that YPG retook some villages from them. However, YPG sources disputed this, what is the issue here?

No, there is not any village that we retook now. Yesterday, 9 ISIS members were killed in the conflict that emerged in Ebruşk village.  We just got Tilsahr back, but nowhere else. However, our forces go to the villages and attack ISIS. For instance, they attacked ISIS in Karamox, which is about 20 km from here, but they withdrew. It is true that we advanced a little bit in the city, but there is not any village that we saved yet.

What is the role of peshmergas, what are you going to tell about them?

It is a very positive thing. 150 people may not be a big as a support materially, but they are a big support morally.  It is an honor for us that peshmergas came from the southern Kurdistan to here for us. Kurds are being slaughtered every few years. We want Kobane to be the last one. A national army should be established and Kurds need to defend themselves.

Are peshmergas fighting only at the western front or at all fronts?

Not only at the western front, but anywhere we need them most to work with heavy weaponry. They work with 57’s, mortars, Katyushas, whichever is needed in whichever front.

I want to ask about Abdul Jabbar Akidi’s group. Are they also fighting actively and supporting YPG? It is speculated that some left the group. Is that true?

Previously, some groups named “Euphrates Volcano” from Free Syrian Army (FSA) were with us. It has been 8-10 months we have been fighting together and they lost a lot of martyrs. Lastly, a group of 50 from Akidi came to Kobane, but we did not really want them. Instead, since ISIS are in many other areas in Jarablus, Azaz and many other Syrian cities, we wanted them to collaborate with Kurds from Afrin or other areas and do something in those areas. However, they refused it saying that they do not have the power to do so, but instead wanted to come to Kobane to fight. We want an egalitarian, democratic Syria where everybody has a say and for this reason we accepted them. While they throw mortars, they are not actively fighting yet. I do not know, but 9-10 of them went back. But as I said we have our doors open to everyone, who wants to support this mission.

You see YPG and YPJ fighters and peshmergas while you go through the war fronts. How is their morale in general?

YPG, YPJ, and peshmerge forces are fighting together. This is a very crucial thing for us morally and our morale is very high because of this. We are hopeful that we will achieve significant results in a short time.

We want to thank again to the United States, Europe and the coalition for their support. As long as they support us in our struggle, our resistance will prevail. They need to know that Kurdish people are brave. We will continue resisting and they should keep in mind that their support is very crucial for us and for our resistance against ISIS.


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Thanks for Demet Arpacik for translating this interview from Kurdish into English

YPG Spokesman Can: We are Working with the Coalition against ISIS

Polat Can

In an exclusive interview with the daily Radikal, Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) Spokesperson Polat Can says they are officially working with the International Coalition against ISIS, and their representative is in the Joint Operation Command Center.

Mutlu Civiroglu @mutludc


Mr. Polat Can, you have been leading a fierce struggle against ISIS in Kobane for almost month. The world is watching Kobane. What is the situation there?

In the morning, the Kobane resistance will be on its 30th day and a new, long-winded process will start. Everyone knows that the resistance that YPG put up against ISIS is unprecedented by the forces in the region, especially in comparison to the Iraqi army.  Cities ten times the size of Kobane surrendered to ISIS in a few days and those cities were not even besieged with considerable force. However, when they started attacking Kobane, they gathered their forces from around the region, from places including Minbij, Raqqah, Jarabulus, and Tal Hamis. What I mean by considerable force is tanks, cannons, heavy artillery and thugs whose numbers were in the tens of thousands. They wanted to capture Kobane within a week, but they did not succeed. Then, they wanted to say their Eid prayers in Kobane, and they could not do that either.

Since last week, they seized some streets in East Kobane, and now they want to capture the whole city, but they can’t advance. As they try to make their way, they sustain considerable losses. Especially within the last few days, both YPG attacks and the air strikes against ISIS terror led by international coalition forces have increased. They sustained major losses, many of their bodies and weapons passed into the hands of the YPG.


Mutlu Civiroglu and Polat Can

So, can we say that Kobane is relatively safe from danger?

No, saying this would be major heedlessness. Because ISIS still controls a large portion of Kobane. In addition, all of the villages in Kobane are occupied by ISIS.  The resistance we started both within and around Kobane is ongoing. ISIS continues to receive renewed assistance. This war is a matter of life and death for us in every way. Thus, it is not yet possible to say that there is no danger.

You are saying that ISIS consists of tens of thousands of people and constantly renewed support. Your numbers are very small in comparison. Do you receive any kind of support?

Kobane has been under an embargo for the last year and a half. None of the major forces from other cantons have been able to reach Kobane. Kobane is resisting with its own efforts. Some Kurdish youth have been able to reach Kobane from the north of Kurdistan, especially through Suruç. Some arrived Kobane in small groups from the cantons of Afrin and Jazira. In addition, some of the youth from Kobane who were living abroad came to Kobane to protect their city. Some of the small groups from the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are here under the name of “The Volcano of Euphrates.” This is all of our power and support. Unfortunately, we did not receive any additional military support, neither from the South, nor from other places.


What can you tell us about the air strikes by the coalition led by the United States?

For the last few days, the air strikes have been numerous and effective. We can clearly state that, had these attacks started a couple weeks ago, ISIS would not have been able to enter Kobane at all. ISIS would have been defeated 10-15 kilometers away from the city, and the city would not have turned into a war zone.

Alright, why did effective air strikes start one week before, and not two? Or, to ask in another way; What happened over the course of the last week that the strikes intensified?

The YPG’s relationship with the coalition, then, had just started recently. I will be blunt; some regional powers, especially Turkey was a serious obstacle. They made every effort to prevent any help from reaching us and to prevent the air strikes. At first, coalition jets could get no closer than 10 kilometers to the Turkish border, because Turkey would not allow it. Of course, there were other problems as well such as logistics and distance. The coalition had not yet made a serious decision to help the YPG.

Moreover, everyone thought that Kobane would fall in a week or two and be forgotten easily, but that did not happen. Kurds all around the world and their friends have risen up, supported by calls by world-famous intellectuals, and the resultant public opinion. This situation has affected shift on some countries’ policies towards us and created pressure for more effective and intensified air strikes and assistance for the YPG.

What sort of help? There are calls to provide arms to the YPG, has any such assistance been provided?


Up until now, we really can’t speak of the provision of arms to Kobane. The YPG is trying to bring certain arms which we require to Kobane through certain means. Because we are in serious need of arms. Not only for Kobane, but also for Jazira and Afrin. It’s important that we have fighters that come and fight, but it’s equally important that there be arms for them to use. It’s very difficult to fight using light weaponry against ISIS, who possess heavy weaponry. In the current situation, under such circumstances, we are throwing ourselves heroically in a fight against a force utilizing the latest weapons technology.

You mentioned the coalition’s being late. What sort of relationship does the YPG have with the US and other countries in the coalition? Can you elaborate on this?

Long before the Kobane resistance, we had relations with many countries including the USA. When Kobane was attacked, our relationship became more substantial and our exchange of ideas was realized in practice. In a way, urgent situation on the ground expedited some things. True partnership comes to realization when the situation is difficult and parties support each other.

Can we say there is an official relation between the YPG and the coalition?

Yes, we are acting in concert with international coalition forces. We are in direct contact with them, in terms of intelligence, on a military level, and in terms of air strikes.

I guess the coordinates for the airstrikes are coming from you then?

Yes. One of our special units in Kobane gives us coordinates, and the YPG transmits these coordinates to coalition forces, and then air strikes are directly realized. I would also like to mention that we also benefitted from the assistance of certain Kurdish factions, and this assistance is ongoing.

Some media outlets reported that these airstrikes are carried out through peshmergas?

No. We have a direct relation with the coalition without any intermediaries. YPG representative is physically ready in the joint operation command center and transmits the coordinates. Indeed, no airstrikes would be possible militarily without YPG taking part in the process because the clashes are ongoing  and the situation on the ground changes rapidly.

But, I would like to acknowledge efforts of some Kurdish parties and individuals in regard, and their assistance for the YPG is still onging.

For a while, news agencies from around the world have been discussing the fall of Kobane. In fact, last week, some of them announced that the city fell. However, now the American press has started to applaud the resistance by the YPG, comparing it to the famous Alamo resistance. What is your take on American and other peoples’ support for Kobane?

We have 5-6 American fighters in YPG. One of them was wounded during combat. The fact that they are fighting for us is making us proud. There are fighters from other peoples as well. We are thankful for all the people who have been appealing to their politicians on our behalf to get their attention, to help us.

Especially some European armies and their commanders are working vigorously towards providing help to the YPG. Yes, right now YPG is fighting against ISIS, but in reality this fight belongs to the whole world; the world should fight ISIS. The fighters of ISIS are from 81 different countries which will be responsible for the terror that ISIS will unleash on us. Therefore, everyone should take responsibility. If Kobane falls, a possibility we never consider, ISIS will attack many other territories motivated with the fervent of so-called conquest. Hence, the victory of Kobane resistance means a victory for Kurdistan, coalition forces, USA and for every human being with a conscience.

The global public was first introduced to the YPG during the Sinjar Massacres against Yezidi Kurds. Now, the whole world is talking about the outstanding resistance of the YPG in Kobane. Can we consider the YPG as one of the main actors in the war against ISIS?

Kurds are the strongest people fighting on earth today, be it YPG or the Peshmergas, it is the Kurds! There is of course a surprising element to this: a relatively small number of young people, equipped with light arms, stage an unprecedented resistance against heavy weaponry. I state this cut and dried; if there was any army of even 500 thousand soldiers in our place, they wouldn’t be able to resist, even for one week. We don’t possess one thousandth of the resources and arms that those who lost to ISIS in Mosul, Tikrit and Anbar had. But we have a will and we have faith, and we protect our lands. This is why the coalition forces must consider YPG as one of the main actors in this war. Many high ranking officials of the coalition forces have congratulated us and expressed their admiration for our struggle.

Finally, is there anything else you would like to say to the whole world which has been watching you with admiration?

We respectfully salute all the peoples of the world who support the YPG, Kobane and the Kurds. We promise to millions of Kurds and the friends of the Kurds who can’t sleep, whose hearts beat for us this: We will fight until the last person falls, until our last bullet, our last drop of blood, and we will win this fight. We will embellish this resistance worthy of the Kurdish people with victory and dedicate it to first to the proud Kurdish people and to all the peoples of the world. The resistance against Nazis in Stalingrd and in Alamo is what is repeating in Kobane. We invite everyone to support Kobane, the YPG and Kurdistan until the day of victory.


If you want my participation to a show, interview me or get a quote on Kobane and other Kurdish related issues, please contact me at

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Special Thanks to Cagla O, Dilek U and Cihan T for translating this interview into English in such a short period of time.

An Exclusive Interview with Premier of Kobane Anwar Moslem About Ongoing ISIS Attacks

Moslem: International Community Should Support Kobane Against ISIS

Mutlu Civiroglu Kobane_YPG

Mr Anwar Moslem, Premier of Kobane Canton in Rojava, over the recent days, the ISIS has been waging remarkably severe attacks on Kobane and its surrounding villages. First of all, please give us the latest about what has been going on in Kobane?

Enwer Mislim

Anwar Moslem: Yes, that’s right. It is almost a year a devastating war has been waging on Kobane in order to seize it. But since two days ago, they have been waging an unprecedented attack on Kobane from east, south, and west with the tanks, artilleries, and Humvees they had seized in Mosul. They have been doing their very best to make Kobane give up. They have an intention of committing a massacre in Kobane like how they made people of Shengal flee, how they were massacred, how women were seized and enslaved, how kids were killed; the ISIS wants to inflict the same predicament upon Kobane. That’s why a remarkable resistance and bravery, led by the People’s Protection Units (YPG), is being waged against those extremist forces. But unfortunately, their heavy weaponry have caused many problems for us. Our people’s resistance, however, has been noticeable until the moment we are having this conversation.

How long people of Kobane will be able to resist in front of those heavy weaponry shown on videos?

Anwar Moslem: Kobane’s resistance had been substantiated before, and it is going on again. They are using the very sophisticated and developed American weaponry e.g. tanks, Humvees, and long-range mortars they seized in Mosul. People of Kobane are saying, as they had frequently said before, “we will resist till the last one of us gets martyred.” Indeed, there has been a historic YPG resistance; it is not sufficient, though. They are in desperate need of an international support. Kobane Canton needs support of all Kurds living inside or outside Kurdistan. The situation is extremely dangerous. If something happens to Kobane, all those who claim they care about human rights and lives will be held accountable.

You pointed to an international support. A special meeting was held in Paris; The US president, Barack Obama, has released several speeches talking about a military operation against the ISIS. Have you ever received any assistance from these forces thus far? Or, have you had any meeting with them asking them to help you?

Anwar Moslem: I am afraid we have not received any assistance till this moment. Despite what had been agreed upon in Paris and the US president Obama’s emphasis upon the attack against the ISIS, nothing has been dispatched to us so far. We hope the international community and especially the USA, Russia, France, and the UK will get started with attacking the ISIS as soon as possible. The ISIS is growing so fast and if this trend does not stop, they will be too strong to be defeated by people; and, that’s when we will witness a huge, bloody massacre. We hope that those states will come to help us through attacking the ISIS as soon as possible.

There are some accusations spreading in Kurdish media based upon which Turkey has been helping the ISIS, and a train had been sent to the border carrying assistance to the ISIS. What do you have to say in this regard?

Anwar Moslem: Based on the intelligence we got two days before the breakout of the current war, trains full of forces and ammunition, which were passing by north of Kobane, had an-hour-and-ten-to-twenty-minute-long stops in these villages: Salib Qaran, Gire Sor, Moshrefat Ezzo. There are evidences, witnesses, and videos about this. What attracts one’s attention is why the ISIS is strong only in Kobane’s east? Why is it not strong neither in its south nor in west? Since these trains stopped in those villages located in east of Kobane, we guess they had brought ammunition and additional force for the ISIS.

Well, where are those videos? How can public opinion get access to them?

Anwar Moslem: Most of our witnesses are the ones forced to leave those villages. If news agencies come to the region, we will help them meet those IDPs. If members of international organizations come to visit Kobane, they will be able to meet all those who have seen the trains. To make trains stop in villages controlled by the ISIS persuades one that something wrong is going on.

There are many reports about a couple of villages seized by the ISIS. I want to know if there is a tactic to leave those villages or not. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the number of those villages is twenty. How many villages the YPG have lost so far, and what are the reasons for these losses?


Anwar Moslem: we know how barbaric the ISIS has attacked civilians in those villages. It has been shelling those villages in order to force residents leave their villages. According to the YPG, 15 villages have been left so far whereas the resistance is still going on. Those who have left their villages are afraid of the ISIS atrocious methods in treating civilians. That’s why, they have fled to Kobane. But a severe response will be waged soon.

How far the ISIS is from Kobane city?

Anwar Moslem: They are 25 to 30 kilometers far from Kobane.

You addressed the world community. What do you have to say to Kurds?

Anwar Moslem: Kobane is the manifestation of Kurds’ will. Kobane is a part of Rojava. Kobane is a part of Kurdistan. Kobane’s collapse is Kurdish people’s collapse. And, we do not want it to collapse. We are calling upon those from Kobane living outside to come back to Kobane, center of honor and bravery, in order to protect their own people. We are calling on all Kurdish people, especially those from Northern Kurdistan [Kurdistan of Turkey), to head towards Kobane and protect their own brothers and sisters again, like they had done it before.

We are calling upon Kurds of Eastern and Southern Kurdistan [Iranian and Iraqi Kurdistan] to come and participate in this resistance. Whoever of honor and conscience, based upon their opportunity, via demonstrations, via holding protests in front of embassies of those countries helping the ISIS, they can help Kobane. These activities will inspire our girls and boys in the battlefield.

Based upon some Kurdish news agencies, those from Kobane living outside and want to go back to Kobane are facing hardships in the border line by the Turkish authorities. Do you confirm these news?

Anwar Moslem: Yes, that’s right. It regularly happens. But our people from Northern Kurdistan will also join us despite the difficulties created by the Turkish authorities. Those who want to cross the border to Kobane, they can do it one way or another despite all those hardships. But Turkish authorities must realize that if the ISIS seizes Kobane, they will soon head to Turkey. Turkish officials must take this fact into account and help Kobane and let Kobane’s boys and girls cross the borders to their own city.

I want to know the number of casualties. How many YPG fighters have lost their lives? How many of the ISIS members have been killed? Yesterday, there were some news about the high number of the ISIS casualties in the Manbij Hospital. Give us some information in this regard, please.


Anwar Moslem: That’s right. YPG’s heroic resistance has inflicted a high number of casualties upon them, not only in Manbij but also in Tel Abyad as well. Today, some of their wounded members were crossed into Turkey in order to get cured. We have had 8 martyrs until this moment. But, tens of their members have been killed so far.

How can it be possible? I mean, despite all their heavy attacks, why the YPG’s casualties are not high?

Anwar Moslem: The ISIS wages attacks with high numbers upon a given place. And, the YPG members resist. Since they are in an offensive and we are in a defensive position, despite our light weaponry, we inflict high casualties upon them without having many martyrs. And, sometimes we do tactical withdrawals.

What about Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG’s) support. Have you ever received any assistance from the KRG?

Anwar Moslem: We hope to be heard by the KRG. We have not received any support up until now. But we are looking forward to receiving help from our brothers in Southern Kurdistan. They have already witnessed what happened to Ezidi Kurds in Shengal [Sinjar]. Let us not allow the same massacres to take place in Kobane. That’s why we hope people of Southern Kurdistan will join this campaign in defense of Kobane.

My last question is, as the president of Kobane Canton, you visit villages. I want to know about people’s spirit in Kobane and its surrounding villages.

Anwar Moslem: Despite the heavy war going on, people’s spirit is noticeably high. The vast majority of them say they will continue their resistance before they make these attacks fail. But unfortunately, there is a small number of people who are scared of ISIS atrocities. They want to leave Kobane but a whopping majority of people, including Arabs and Turkmens, have been resisting against the ISIS and their spirit is remarkably impressive.

Again, we are repeating our call upon international forces especially USA, UK and France and others to help Kobane against the ISIS whose only goal is to annihilate all dissident peoples and religions.


You can follow me on Twitter for updates from Kurds in Syria, Turkey and Iraq @mutludc

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Solidarity Event with Displaced Ezidi People *

Saturday, September 13, 2014

1pm until 5pm

Address: DHARA Community House, 6000 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205

Ezidi refugees entering into Rojava, Kurdish controlled Syria (Photo: Delil Suleiman)

In solidarity with the displaced Ezidi victims of Shengal (Sinjar) and its surroundings, the American Ezidi Center in Washington DC and Virginia accordingly invites you to gather in a charitable event supporting these helpless victims.

As a non-profit organization working towards the Ezidi cause, The American Ezidi Center predominantly stresses the right to religious freedoms. Aiming to build bridges of understanding between the Ezidi communities and others, we promote awareness to increase tolerance, particularly, in times of great tragedy and crisis.

Ezidi refugees entering into Rojava, Kurdish controlled Syria (Photo: Delil Suleiman)

In view of the recent incidents taken place in the Kurdish region of Shingal towards the Ezidis, the American Ezidi Center aims to raise awareness in pursuit of constructing support to aid and assist not only the persecuted Ezidis but other persecuted religious minorities as well.

Ezidi refugees entering into Rojava, Kurdish controlled Syria (Photo: Delil Suleiman)

Given the magnitude of this catastrophic tragedy, we hope to shed light on this tragedy through knowledge.

Please join us in unity to spread awareness and support.


American Ezidi Center
Twitter: @centerezidi

* Press Release sent by the American Ezidi Center

Gazeteci Ahmed Şengalî ile Şengal’deki Durum Üzerine


Gazeteci Ahmed Şengalî

Kendisi de Şengalli Ezidi bir Kürt olan, bölgenin tanınmış gazetecilerinden biri olan Ahmed Şengalî, 3 Ağustos felaketinın ardından tekrar bölgeye gidip katiam sonrası durumu inceledi.

Biz de kendisiyle detalı bir röportaj yapıp, izlenimlerini öğrenmeye çalştık.



Sayın Şengalî, Şengal’de yaşananları gözlemlemek için kaç gündür o bölgede dolaşıyorsunuz. IŞİD’in gerçekleştirmiş olduğu Ezidi katliamından neler aktaracaksın bize?

Şengal’in IŞİD üyeleri tarafından talan edilmesinin 20 gün ardından Şengal’e dönünce gerçek yürek burkan içler acısı bir tablo ile karşılaştım. Binlerce otomobil öyle terkedilmiş şekilde bırakılmıştı. Çoğu yolda tükenmiş, bozulmuş arabalardı bunlar. Sadece otomobillerin haline bakıp insanların nasıl bir şekilde kaçtığını anlamak mümkündü. Yine aynı şekilde tarlalar üzerinde binlerce ölü hayvan vardı. Topraktan keskin bir ölüm, kan ve korku kokusu geliyordu. Dükkanlar, evler, her yer talan edilmiş, yakılmış yıkılmıştı. Bunları kendi gözlerimle gördüm. Kurtarılan bazı köyler de şimdi YPG savaşçıları ve 3 Ağustos’ta Şengal halkının başına gelen ihanet olayından sonra oluşturdukları kendi birlikleri Hêzên Parastina Şengal (HPŞ) yani Şengal Koruma Güçleri’nin elinde. Zaten Şengal hazır bir sofra gibi IŞİD’in eline teslim edilmişti. Bu kabul edilemez bir durum. Belki Şengal ahım şahım bir yer değildi ama bizler mutluyduk orda yaşamaktan. Şimdi ise her şey değişti, kara bulutlar doluştu Şengal’in üzerine.


Bazı köylerin YPG ve HPŞ tarafından kurtarıldığını söylediniz. Bunlar hangi köyler, biraz bahsedebilir misiniz?

Kurtarılan bu köyler daha çok Sengal Dağı’nın kuzey tarafındaki Sinûn kasabasına bağlı köyler. Sinûn kasabasın gerçekten çok büyük bir yerdi. 200 binden fazla kişi o nahiyede yaşıyordu. Bu bölgede kurtarılan köyler de Zorava, Guhbel, Gurik, Dohla, Dugirê. Yaklaşık 100 bin kişi bu köylerde yaşıyorlardı. Kurtarılamayan yerler ise Sinûn kasaba merkezi Xanesor köyü ki bu ikisi halen IŞİD’in elindeler. Bu iki yerleşim yeri çok büyük bir talan gerçekleştirilmiş. Sinûn ve Xanesor evlerin yapısından tutun da ekonomisine kadar her şeyiyle gelişmiş yerler. O nedenle de IŞİD buraları ele geçirdi ve halen de merkez olarak kullanıyor. Şengal Dağı’nın güneyine düşen yerlerde, Şengal ilçe merkezinde, Qêrewan nahiyesinde ve Girezêra nahiyesi halen IŞİD’in elinde. Şimdiye kadar sadece dağın eteğine düşen yerler Şengal Koruma Güçleri ve YPG tarafından alınmış durumda. Şengal’in güneyine düşen hiçbir köy henüz kurtarılabilmiş değil ne yazık ki.


Peki, Şengal şehrî ne olacak? YPG ve HPŞ’nin şehri kurtaracağına dair bir umudunuz var mı, ya da IŞİD’in bölgeden çekileceğine dair bir sinyal görüyor musunuz?

Açıkçası eğer durum böyle devam ederse Şengal’in hemen kurtarılabileceğini düşünmüyorum. Kürt güçleri eğer birleşip hareket ederlerse, yani Peşmergeler, HPG ve YPG eğer birlikte hareket ederlerse kurtarabilirler. Fakat ben sadece siyasi tartışmaları görüyorum. Çekildiği günden bu yana da Peşmerge en ufak bir şekilde uğraşmış bile değil Şengal’in kurtarılması için. Bazen değişik televizyonlarda sanki kurtarma çabası varmış gibi göstermeye çalışıyorlar. Fakat herhangi bir hazırlık ya da çaba kesinlikle yok. Kimsenin Şengal’den bahsettiği yok! Çünkü Şengal teslim edildiği gibi unutuldu.

Birkaç dolar para verip, maaş bağlayıp Şengal halkını, Ezidi halkından bazılarının kendi yanlarına çekmeye, halka karşı ihanete teşvik ediyorlar; halkın iradesine karşı durmaya, inançlarını yok saymaya zorluyorlar. Büyük bir ihanet ile Şengal’i IŞİD’e teslim ettiler. Şimdi de yeniden boyayıp süsleyip, kendilerini yeniden şirin göstermeye, 3 Ağustos’u unutturmaya çalışıyorlar.

Binlerce insanın namusu, şerefi, onuru ve dini ayaklar altına alındı. 3 Ağustos asla unutulmaz. Halkımızın şerefi ve namusu şimdi Katar ve Suudi Arabistanlarda satılıyor. 2700 kadınımız IŞİD’in elinde! Şimdi Şengal’i altından da yeniden yapıp verseler benim gözümde kaçırılan bir kadının namusunu geri getirmiyor.

Açlıktan, susuzluktan ve saldırılılarda ölen insanlarımızın sayısı belli bile değil. Kim kendini şirin göstermeye çalışıyor için hiç önemi yok. Kimse şimdiye kadar bir adım atmamış. Sadece YPG ve HPG güçleri Şengal için bir şeyler yaptılar ve yaptıkları devrim ile Şengal’i taçlandırdılar. YPG bize yol açmak için de onlarca şehit verdi. Ezidiler var oldukça kendilerine her zaman minnettar kalacaklardır.


Qasim Şeşo’nun açıklamasında YPG’ye yönelik bazı eleştiriler vardı. Bu olayın aslı nedir?

Evet, Ezidi güçlerinin liderliğini yapan Qasim Şeşo’nun bazı açıklamaları oldu. Gerçekten bir iş yaptığınızda hata da yapabilirsiniz. Fakat bir iş yapmadığınızda, evinizde oturduğunuzda hata falan da yapmazsınız. YPG o ilçeleri kurtardı. Askeri sistemde, Amerikalıların, Britanyalıların, Sovyetlerin sisteminde, yani bütün dünya sisteminde bir yeri kurtardıkları gibi hemen oraya bayraklarını dikme geleneği var. IŞİD de bir yeri işgal ettiğinde hemen o kara bayrağını dikiyor. HPG, YPG ya da Peşmerge onlar da IŞİD’den geri aldıkları zaman bir yere bayraklarını dikiyorlar.

Gördüğüm kadarıyla bir anlaşmazlık söz konusu idi, Ezidiler için kutsal sayılan Şerfeddin Mezarlığına YPG’nin bayrak dikmesi konusunda. Bu anlaşmazlık da halledildi. Qasim Şeşo YPG’ye bayrağı kaldırması gerektiğini söyledi çünkü farklı partilerden, farkı inançlardan insanlar HPŞ olarak oradaydı. Amaç ayaklar altına alınan Ezidi dinini kurtarmak ve halkın öcünü almaktı. O nedenle herhangi bir partinin bayrağının asılması doğru olmazdı. Ben YPG’nin bayrak asmasını doğru bulmadığım gibi, Qasim Şeşo’nun da YPG’ye karşı bu kadar sertçe açıklama yapmasını doğru bulmadım. YSanırım bir yanlış anlaşılma oldu ve bu sorun giderildi. 

Şengal halkı olarak birçok zorluk yaşıyoruz. Örneğin ben Rojava’daki halkımızın durumunu görmek için oraya gitmiştim. Gazeteci olmama rağmen arak dönüşte peşmergeler tarafında sorguya çekildim. Ne getirdin, niye kamera götürdün gibisinden bir sürü şey soruldu! Demek istediğim böyle sorunlar yaşanıyor ama bunlar geçici şeyler. Basının da bu tür şeyleri büyütüp, tahrik etmemesi lazım.

Daha önemli sorunlar var. Şengal halen bu felaket altında. Madem Kürdistan Bölgesi olarak Şengal’i kurtarmaya gidemiyorlarsa, bari halka güçlük çıkarmasınlar, kurtarmaya gidenlere de engel olmasınlar. Madem Kürdistan Bölgesi altıda hareket ettiğini söyleyen PDK, YNK, Goran, Yekgirtu ve Komela’nın terk ettikleri Şengal’i kurtarmaya niyetleri yok, bari Ezidi güçleri ve YPG’nin önünü kesmek için problem çıkarmasınlar. Çünkü sadece YPG ve HPŞ Şengal için büyük bir öneme sahipler.


2700 Ezidi kızından bahsettiğiniz. Onların akıbeti ne olacak, onlara ulaşan bir akrabaları var mı? Rakka’da ve Musul’da satılan bu insanlara ulaşabilen var mı?

Bazı yerler ile gizli bir şekilde ilişki kurabildik. Bu kadınlar ev hapsinde tutuluyorlar. IŞİD ile çalışan insanlar da hep aynı türden insanlar değiller, kimi Nakşibendi bunlardan, her biri farklı bir gruptan. Kimi para için katılmış, kimi mal mülk edinmek için. Aralarında bazı iyi insanlar olabilir bu kızların aileleriyle konuşmasına izin veren. Yine bazen de bilerek aileleriyle konuşmalarını izin veriyorlar ki kızlarına ulaşmaya çalışan ailelere tuzağa düşürüp, onları da öldürüorlar. Ben kendim de biliyorum, 1000 dolara satıyorlar Ezidi kızlarını. İnsanın vicdanı bir Ezidi kızının bu şekilde satılmasını nasıl kabul edebilir? Sadece Rakka, Musul ve Bağdat’ta değil birçok yerde satılıyorlar. Bir Ezidi kadını satın alıp, onu Müslüman yaparak cennete gitmeyi düşünen bir sürü insan var. Bazı fikirler dolaşıyor etrafta kadınlarımızı kendi paramızla satın alalım, bu şekilde ölümden kurtaralım diyenler var. Fakat bu tür girişimler de henüz iyi bir sonuç vermedi.

Sayının 2700’den kesinlikle fazla olduğunu biliyoruz. Bunu dillendirmekten, yani kadınların IŞİD’in eline geçtiğini söylemekten çekinen birçok aile var. Bunu kendileri için büyük bir ayıp olarak gören çok insan var. Ben şahsen, kurtarılan bu kadınlardan birini, eğer o da razıysa eşim olarak kabul etmeye hazır ilk kişiyim. Bu şekilde bu kadınların namuslarının kirletildiği söylemini önlemiş oluruz. Kaçırılanlar bizim insanlarımız, bizim bacılarımız. Bu kaçırılan insanların onuru tüm Ezidilerin ve tüm Kürtlerin onurudur, bunun iyi görülmesi lazım.


Birçok Ezidi, kirveleri saydıkları Arapların da onlara karşı gerçekleştirilen saldırılarda yer aldıklarını söylüyorlar. Bu konudaki fikirlerini ve gözlemlerini aktarır mısınız bize?

Biz Şengallilerin eski bir sözü der ki “Arapsa selam bile verme”. Evet, çevremizdeki Araplar birçok saldırı, kaçırma ve talan olayında yer aldılar. Burasi hiç şüphe götürmez. Ama benim asıl değinmek istediğim Müslüman Kürtlerin bizlere yaptıkları!   Müslüman Kürtler de Araplar ve IŞİD gibi bize saldırdılar. Düne kadar Ezidilerin ekmeğini yiyen bazı Müslüman Kürtler çok kötülük ettiler Ezidilere karşı. Onlar IŞİD ile ev ev dolaşıp kim Ezidi Kürt, kim Şii Kürt, kim hangi parti üyesi, kim ne iş yapar tek tek IŞİD’e anlattılar. Bütün insanları tek tek fişlediler bu şekilde.

İlginç bir şeyden bahsediyorsunuz, bu medyada pek bilinen bir şey değil. Yani IŞİD’de yer alana bazı Kürtlerin herkesi fişlediğini söylüyorsunuz, doğru mu?

Evet yapıyorlardı, bu gizli saklı bir şey değil. Bütün görüşmelerde söylüyorum, bazı Müslüman Kürtler büyük bir talanın asıl unsurlarından biri oldular. Bunu söylerken bütün Müslüman Kürtlerden bahsetmiyorum tabi ki. Bazı Müslüman Kürtler vardı ki kaçırılan kadınlarımızı kurtardılar. Fakat üzülerek söyleyeyim ki IŞİD’e çalışan bu Müslüman Kürtlerin bizlere karşı katliamda oynadıkları rol çok önemli.


Kim bu insanlar, hangi köyden, hangi aşirettenler?

Köylerin de aşiretlerin de ismi zamana kalsın. Şengalliler onların kim olduklarını çok iyi biliyorlar.

Şengal Kürtleri bunlar, öyle mi?

Evet, Şengal Kürtleri. Bunlar Ezidilerin yemeklerini yiyen, güzel zamanlarında yanında olan insanlar, hepsi Ezidilerin komşuları idi. İyisiyle kötüsüyle ortak bir yaşamları varken, Ezidilere böyle yaptılar.

Şu konuya da dikkat çekmek istiyorum. Bizim Kürt partileri de çevredeki Araplara çok değer verirlerdi. Araplara bizlerden ve Ezidi büyüklerden daha fazla kıymetleri bilinirdi Kürt yetkililer tarafından. Şengal’deki Kürt yöneticiler emniyet bahanesiyle biz Ezidilere ayırımcılık yapıyor, evimizi başka bir yere taşımamıza ve işyeri açmamıza bile izin vermezlerdi. Hani emniyet? Şengal’de 18 bin peşmerge vardı, bir teki bir tek fişek patlattı mı? Dünya tarihinde bunun bir başka örneği var mı? 18 bin peşmergenin bir bölgeyi tek bir şehit vermeden bırakması görülmüş bir şey mi? Bizi böyle ortada bıraktılar, şeref ve namusumuzu sattılar. Sözde bizim arkamızdalardı ve ölümüne bizimleydiler.


Bu kadar büyük bir peşmerge gücü neden bu şekilde çekildi peki? IŞİD için çok az bir sayıdan bahsediyorlar. 18 bin peşmerge nasıl oldu da oradan ayrılıp o insanları terk etti? Bunu nasıl değerlendiriyorsunuz?

Nasıl değerlendireyim, neyi değerlendireyim ki? Mallarını mülklerini, varlarını yoklarını terk edip her bir tarafa dağılan insanlarımız var. Öldürülen insanlarımız, susuzluktan ölen çocuklarımız. Neden çekildiler o peşmergeler? Neden çekildikleri çok açık. Ben burada bir şey söylemek istemiyorum. Bunu Peşmerge Bakanlığı’na sorabilirsiniz neden bu şekilde halkı bırakıp, kaçtılar diye.

Kurtarılan bazı yerlerin adlarını söylediniz. Oralardan ayrılan Ezidilerin oraya dönme gibi bir ihtimalleri var mı? Güvenlik açısından bunun altyapısı hazır mı?

Hayır yollar kapalı, oralar kurtarılmış fakat ana yollar kapalı. Oraya dönseler bile açlıktan ölürler. Kürdistan Hükümeti bize Sêmalka üzerinden gıda yardımı ulaşmasına izin vermiyor. Musul ve Rabia’daki ve diğer yollar IŞİD’in elinde. Halk ne yiyecek, ne içecek, nasıl? Şengal tamamen kurtarılsa da buradan ayrılan insanların yarısı dönmez artık, hatta yarıdan da fazlası. Konuştuğum insanlar kadınlarına tecavüz edilmiş, analarımızın, babalarımızın öldürüldüğü yerlere nasıl geri dönelim diyorlar haklı olarak. Gerçekten de yüzlerce gencin öldürüldüğü bir köye nasıl dönsünler? Hem kim bizi koruyacak? Kim var arkamızda? Zaten kendimizi korumamıza da izin vermiyorlar.


Son olarak Rojava’da Newroz Kampı’nda bulunan Ezidileri ve yine aynı şekilde Duhok, Zaxo ve diğer bölgelerine yerleşen Ezidileri sormak istiyorum. Onlara yeterli hizmet sunuluyor mu, durumları nedir?

 Newroz Kampı’nı kendi gözlerimle gördüm. Suriye’deki savaştan dolayı Rojava’da büyük bir ekonomik kriz olmasına rağmen hem yiyecek, içecek bakımından, hem de diğer ihtiyaçlar bakımından Newroz Kampı dört dörtlük bir kamp.

Kürdistan Bölgesi’ne de çok fazla kişi gitti, gerçekten insanlarımız çok zor durumdalar. Çocukların ölüm riski var, hastalık geçiriyorlar sürekli. Kürdistan Hükümeti bu insanların sorunları için çözüm için henüz yeterli bir rol oynamadı. Birçok insan inşaatlarda, köprü altlarında yaşıyor. Gerçekten çok büyük problemler var, kış kapıda. Bu çadırlarda, kurdukları bu küçük yerlerde nasıl yaşayacaklar? Yağmur çamurlu durumlarda çok daha zorlaşacak her şey. Kıştan önce bu zor durumdan kurtarılmalı Ezidiler. Keşke yaşadıkları yerdeö kendi dağlarında özgürce ölselerdi bu perişan hallerinden çok daha iyiydi.


Fotoğraflar: Delil Suleiman, Şêro Hindê, Ferhad Ehmê, Zana Omer

Heartbreaking Situation of a Sick Yezidi Girl

Sick Yezidi Girl Suhal

Sick Yezidi Girl Suhal

In this undated video, the desperate situation of a Yezidi girl can be seen.

Suhal is from Sinjar. She is sick in somewhere in Iraqi Kurdistan, apparently in severe pain.

She has not eaten for 3 days, and she has been fainting and vomiting since then.

Suhal tells the Kurdish and Swedish speaking reporter that she has no idea about where her parents are.


World Lit A Candle for Ezidi People


Light a Candle for Ezidi People


American Ezidi Center is launching a Twitter Campaign on September 2, 2014 at 1 pm EST (5pm UTC) to draw attention to kidnapped Ezidi girls who are sold at markets by ISIS, as well as the dire situation of hundreds of thousands displaced Ezidi people that are living in tough conditions.


American Ezidi Center officials says they will announce the the hashtag shortly before the campaign starts.


Ciwanên Êzîdî jibo qîzên ku ji alîyê DAÎŞ ve hatine revandin û jibo Êzîdîyên  ku li gelek cîhan bûne penaber, kempeyna piştgirîyê dide destpê kirin.

Ev kempeyna Twitter îro (02/09/2014) seet 8’ê êvarê bi dema Amedê’ destpê dike.


Bir grup Ezidi genc kacirilan Ezidi kizlari ve yerlerinden surulmus Ezidiler icin Twitter kampanyasi baslatiyor.  Kampanya 2 Eylul Sali Turkiye saatiyle 20’de baslayacak

Top YPG and FSA Commanders Met for Cooperation against ISIS

Top Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Free Syrian Army (FSA) met  on August 22, 2014 in city of Afrin north of Aleppo.

Both parties have agreed to create a common front to fight against ISIS which is preparing for new offensive in north of Aleppo to seize the border crossing with Turkey.

YPG and FSA Commanders

YPG and FSA Commanders

From the Kurdish side, YPG General Commander Sipah Hamo, Head of Afrin Canton Defense Affairs Abdo Chilo and from the FSA ,Colonel Abdul Jabbar al-Aqidi and some other commanders participated this important meeting.

Sources close to meeting parties also state that YPG and FSA agreed to fight jointly against Assad regime as well.


In some videos circulated on the internet last year, Aqidi was appearing with extremists with speaking anti-Kurdish remarks. It is significant that Aqidi now visits YPG, which has risen as the main power fighting ISIS in Syria, and asks their cooperation.

See my recent piece on VICE YPG fight against ISIS 



Also, see August 23 The Guardian report on ISIS fighters mass on Syria’s north-western frontier as it seeks to reopen its main artery for foreign fighters.

“ISIS Surges Towards the Borders of Turkey as West Mulls Options”


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