A YPG Fighter in Kobane (DIHA)
Mutlu Civiroglu https://twitter.com/mutludc
Mr. Berxwedan, I would firstly like to wish a happy New Year to you and all Kobane. Exciting news are coming through from Kobane for the last several days. What is the result of the recent clashes?
We wish especially to the Christian world and the whole world a happy new year. As you know, we started the operation to liberate Kobane about 15 days ago. Operations at the eastern and southern fronts were carried out as part of this offensive during which YPG and YPJ fighters have achieved a great success.
Most recently, the Mekteba Resh [Black School] where the ISIS thugs were deployed and carried out attacks from, and several other strategic points were liberated by us three days ago. A number of thugs were killed and their ammunition were seized by us. That’s why our fighters are in high morale and do firmly believe they will triumph.
What is the strategic importance of the liberated Black School and the other strategic points on the path to victory?
The area of the Black School and other points we took control over, divides Kobane into two sides. From Mishtenur Hill extends a line to the border and under the hill and above at the 48th Street there is a pool, from where dominance can be gained over the western and eastern sides. The strategic importance of this area is very great. When ISIS thugs were there, they could see each side of the city both with naked eye and with binoculars. We can say that we have been able to liberate this point from the ISIS thugs completely and now it is in our control. That’s why the operation of the night before was of great importance and successful.
The ISIS entered the city from the eastern front and attacked mainly from this side. What kind of an impact would the liberation of the mentioned points have on the eastern front?
ISIS made advances through these mentioned points which are the areas that enable to gain domination over the city. Now that we have captured these areas, ISIS will no longer be able to move as easily as it has done so far, because we have also taken the control of a reinforcement route they used. Therefore, ISIS is in panic now. They are startled and have withdrawn from Kobane many tanks and armored vehicles of theirs.
YPG Fighters in Kobane (Photo: DIHA)
What is the course of the fighting in Kobane, are you hopeful that a greater progress can be achieved or the Kobane city can be entirely cleansed of the ISIS within a short period?
We know that ISIS will not give up on Kobane that easily. During recent clashes we saw once again that they are firmly resisting to not to leave Kobane. They are using all their possibilities to the fullest extent, carrying out suicide attacks with vehicles or individuals. In order not to leave Kobane, they have brought their most skilled teams here. It is not true to say that the ISIS thugs are withdrawing from Kobane but they all are being killed by the YPG and YPJ fighters who are fighting at every point with courage and commitment to victory and liberating these areas step by step. Journalists can come here and document it; their corpses are to be found in every single house liberated by us now. Therefore, we cannot speak of a simple and quick triumph but we believe that the thugs will no longer be able to resist in the face of the operation we are waging.
Do you attribute their recently increased suicide attacks to this offensive?
ISIS is making every effort to make a progress in Kobane. Everyone knows that the main method of ISIS is the suicide attacks. A few more explosions took place in the Black School and some other houses the in past few days. They are carrying out both suicide attacks and other explosion tactics. In this way, they want to spread fear but this tactics of theirs has not really worked in Kobane since our fighters are on the alert and moving in a professional manner.
YPG Fighters and Local Defenders Photo: DIHA
Many experts on Kurds and Syria thought that Kobane would fall in a two weeks time. What is the secret of this resistance? How could YPG withstand a power like ISIS and is heading on the way to victory as you put it?
If examined well, it will be seen that the secret of the resistance lies hidden in the soul of every single fighter of the YPG not accepting to surrender. Putting up a heroic fight, these fighters wrote epics such as the Serzori Epic, they fought to the last drop of blood despite being encircled from all sides, and fell a martyr saying “Bijî Berxwedana Kobane” [Long live Kobane resistance].
YPG Fighter Arin
Fighters like Martyr Zozan and Martyr Erish were martyred whilst fighting by saying that the ISIS tanks could enter Kobane only by walking over their bodies. This is where lies the secret of this resistance which is the struggle of tens of others like Arin and Kendal.
This secret is the devotion to the land and to an honorable life. ISIS thugs have so far been able to capture in a short time all the areas they headed for, but they haven’t been able to take Kobane where they have been suffering heavy losses for over three months now. They will never be able to take it either. The spirit of resistance born by YPG and YPJ fighters is present nowhere else all around the world. This spirit is also the guarantee of the success to be achieved in 2015.
Is ISIS still bringing in reinforcements from other cities as Raqqa which are under its control, to launch new attacks?
At every opportunity they are bringing in reinforcements from the cities of Manbij, Jarablus, Al-Bab, Raqqa and Tal Abyad under their control. Having suffered a setback here, they now want to turn the situation to their advantage by means of these forces. We are making a progress and have now taken some more significant points under control but they continue to resist. Despite all the reinforcements being deployed by them, we believe we are going to liberate Kobane in not a very long time.
YPG Fighters in a Newly Liberated Building (Photo: DIHA)
Recently a number of air strikes were carried out by the coalition. Is there a new strategy of the coalition forces regarding the roads used by the ISIS to dispatch reinforcements?
There is no major change in question regarding the coalition’s strategy. However, considerable airstrikes were conducted earlier against the roads in Tal Abyad and Jarablus areas. The strikes are mainly targeting the forepart of the battlefield and partially the backside.
What is the impact of the enhanced and effective air attacks on you?
Air attacks have increased in the last few days. This support of coalition forces also causes a psychological destruction for the ISIS.
What do you think about the return of more civilians to Kobane?
Many of our people are waiting at the border and want to return to Kobane as soon as possible. There are also those who have not left Kobane and continue living here despite the war. The inhabitants of Kobane have never lived anywhere else before, they have no such an incident in their history. Many families are turning back to Kobane of their own accord. On the one hand this is good in terms of support but on the other bad, because due to the harsh winter conditions we have some problems, especially with the heating. Besides, a humanitarian corridor into Kobane has yet to be opened. There is also a lack of experienced doctors. But the people who have returned say that they will not leave Kobane even if they have to eat soil out of necessity.
Finally, what is your message to the Kurds and the world for the year 2015?
2014 was the year of the Kurdish resistance as the Kurds showed the whole world that they will never accept defeat. This people, who stick to liberty, has fought against ISIS not only for themselves but also for the peoples of the Middle East and the whole world. We hope the fight which began in 2014 brings freedom to the Kurdish people in 2015. We wish a happy new year to the resisting Kurdish people and all the peoples of the world.
For my participation to a show, interview me or get a quote on Kobane and other Kurdish related issues, please contact me at email@example.com
Translated into English by Berna Özgencil https://twitter.com/bzgncl