Tag Archives: Rojava

YPG Sözcüsü Rêdûr Xelîl: IŞİD Tehditi Kalktığı İçin Türkiye YPG’ye Teşekkür Etmeli

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YPG Sözcüsü Rêdûr Xelîl ile Ain İsa kasabasının alınması, Tılabyad ve Türkiye ile İlişkiler üzerine görüştük.

Mutlu Çiviroğlu

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Sayın Rêdûr Xelîl, YPG ve Fırat Volkanı güçlerinin kısa bir süre önce Ain İsa kasabasını kontrol altına aldıkları yönünde haberler çıkıyor. Doğru mu bu?

Rêdûr Xelîl: Evet, yaklaşık 15 dakika önce Haseke ile Halep arasındaki Ain İsa tamamen YPG ve Fırat Volkanı’nın kontrolü altına geçti. Ain İsa’nın etrafındaki onlarca köy de kontrolümüz altına geçmiş durumda.

Peki, Ain İsa’nın stratejik önemin’ biraz açarmısınız?

Rêdûr Xelîl: Rakka tarafından Tilabyad’ı koruma hattında yer alıyor Ain İsa. 93 nolu askeri alay da yanı başında. Üzerinde etrafı kontrol edebileceğiniz birçok tepe de var Ain İsa’da. Aynı zamanda Haseke’den Halep’e giden uluslararası yol üzerinde yer alıyor. Tüm bunlar buranın stratejik önemini artırıyor.

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Medyada YPG’nin Rakka’ya da gireceği yazılıyor. Ain İsa’yı almaktaki amacı biraz daha açarak önümüzdeki günler için hedefin ne olduğunu açıklar mısınız?

Rêdûr Xelîl: Ain İsa ve etrafındaki yerler IŞİD’e karşı yürütülen mücadele kapsamında kontrol altına alındı. Zaten bir süredir idari olarak Rakka’ya bağlı olan arazilerde IŞİD’e karşı savaşılıyor. Amacımız kurtardığımız bölgelerdeki güvenli ortamı sağlamlaştırmak. Basında yer alıyor fakat YPG’nin amacı Rakka’ya girmek değil. O da diğer Suriye şehirleri gibi bir şehir ve eminim insanları şehrin IŞİD’in elinden kurtarılmasına sevinecekler. Fakat dediğimizde hedefimizde  Rakka’nın merkezini almak yok, bizim için şimdi önemli olan savunma hattımızı güçlendirmek.

Kobanê’nin batısında yer alan Efrîn’in savunma hattı için başlattığınız bir operasyon var mı?

Rêdûr Xelîl: Karada değişen şartlara göre değişiyor bu. Uluslararası yol IŞİD’ten tamamen temizlendi. Bu şekilde IŞİD ile aramızda sınır gibi bir şey oluşuyor. YPG’nin önümüzdeki günlerde nereye, nasıl hareket edeceği elimizdeki imkanlara bağlı bir şey.

Tilabyad artık sizin kontrolünüzde, uluslararası yol ve aynı şekilde Ain İsa. Tüm bunların IŞİD’in üzerindeki etkisi ne?

Rêdûr Xelîl: Şüphesiz ki bu operasyonlar sonucu terör örgütü IŞİD ağır bir darbe aldı. Moralleri alt üst olmuş durumda, ne yapacaklarını bilmiyorlar ve askeri anlaşmazlıklar var aralarında. YPG’nin uluslararası koalisyonun desteği ile elde etmiş olduğu başarı karşsında IŞİD şokta. Bölgede zayıfladılar. Tilabyad onların ana damarlarından biriydi. Bu damarın kesilmesi IŞİD’in geleceğini önemli bir şekilde etkileyecek.

YPG ve Amerika öncülüğündeki koalisyonun IŞİD’e karşı birlikte operasyon düzenlemesini uluslararası kamuoyu olumlu karşılıyor. Neler diyeceksiniz bu konuda?

Rêdûr Xelîl: Bu kolisyon IŞİD’e karşı kuruldu. Fakat bu koalisyon sadece havadan saldırma kararı aldı. Karada da disiplin sahibi, kararlı bir örgüte ihtiyaçları vardı. Bu şekilde hava saldırılarından sonra bu örgüt o yerlere hakim olacaktı. Bu coğrafyada YPG dışında aktif hareket edebilecek başka bir güç yok. Bunun için uluslararası koalisyon YPG’ye umut bağladı. YPG ve koalisyon güçleri birlikte çok iyi bir şekilde hareket ediyorlar. Ve önemli sonuçlar elde ediyorlar.

Peki, hava saldırıları desteği dışında herhangi bir ağır silah yardımı oldu mu?

Rêdûr Xelîl: Şu ana kadar herhangi bir silah yardımı yapılmış değil. Zaten koalisyon için sadece bu çerçevede eleştirilerimiz var. YPG disiplinli bir örgüt ve ağır silahlara ve maddi desteğe ihtiyacı var. Cephane ve maddi destek ile bu bölgeleri daha iyi bir şekilde korur ve IŞİD’e karşı daha etkili bir mücadele yürütebiliriz.

Tilkoçer’den Fırat’a kadar geniş bir alan şu an YPG’nin kontrolünde. Türkiye Girêspî’nin alınmasından çok rahatsız oldu. Türkiye kamuoyu için neler demek istersiniz?

Rêdûr Xelîl:  Türkiye sınırındaki 400 km’den daha uzun bir mesafedeki alan YPG’nin kontrolü altında. Türkiye’nin YPG’nin ilerleyişinden korkması doğru bir şey değil. Türkiye komşumuz olduğu için her daim ilişkilerimizin iyi olmasını istedik. Komşuluk ilişkilerimiz doğrultusunda hareket etmeliyiz. Buradan Türkiye’yi hedef alan bir hareketin oluşmasına izin vermeyiz. Bunun için Türkiye YPG’nin elde ettiği zafere tereddüt etmeden sevinmeli. IŞİD bir örgütün Türkiye sınırında olmasının Türkiye’nin içine olumsuz etkileri olur. Böyle bir tehdit kalktığı için tam aksine Türkiye YPG’ye teşekkür edip, yardım etmeli.

Son olarak etnik temizlik iddiaları konusunda neler söyleyeceksiniz?

Rêdûr Xelil: Bunlar gerçekle alakası olmayan asılsız iddialar. YPG güçleri arasında Süryaniler, Araplar var bugün. Bundan dolayı YPG’nin etnik temizlik yapması mümkün değil. Hem Suriye’de hem de Türkiye’den YPG’yi karalamak isteyenlerin ortaya attığı yalanlar bunlar. Fakat YPG ilkeli duruşuyla, disipliniyle tüm bu  antipropagandaları boşa çıkarıyor.

YPG Genel Komutanlık Üyesi Sozdar Dêrîk ile Mebruka Kasabası ve Son Kazanımlar Üzerine

Sozdar Dêrîk ve arkadaşlari geçtiğimiz günlerde IŞİD’den temizlenen Abdulaziz Dağı’nda

Mebruka kasabasını IŞİD’in elinden tamamen kurtarıp tamamen kontrol altına aldınız. Bu operasyon nasıl gerçekleşti ve Mebruka kasabasının stratejik önemi nedir?

Sozdar Dêrik: Mebruka kasabası, Kezwan  (Abdulaziz) Dağı, Tiltemir çevresi, Haseke’ye giden Habur hattının kurtarılması bütün dünya halklarına ve bölgede yaşayan Kürt, Arap, Süryani halklarına kutlu olsun. Cezire Kantonu’nun batısını kurtarma hamlesi bizim için büyük bir başarıyla sonuçlandı. Bölgede farklı haklar yaşadığı için önemli, stratejik bir yer. Mebruka kasabası Haseke, Serêkanîyê, Tilebyad ve Rakka’nın ortasında bir yer. Kürt bölgeleri ile Arap bölgeleri bu kasaba üzerinden bağlanıyor. Bu kasaba içimizde bir yaraydı, burada şiddetli çatışmalar yaşanmış ve çok sayıda şehit vermiştik. Bu kasabanın kurtarılması bizim için çok kutsal bir şey diyebilirim.

Peki, Kezwan Dağı ve Mebruka kasabasının kurtarılması YPG ve YPJ için önümüzdeki günlerde nasıl bir fayda sağlayacak?

Sozdar Dêrik: Bu kasabanın kurtarılması Cezire kantonu için başta sınırın temizlenmesi anlamına geliyor. Arap ve Kürt halkı burada birlikte yaşadıkları için de halkların kardeşliği açısından önemli. Çoğunluk olarak burada Arap halkı yaşıyor.

Halkların kardeşliğinden bahsettiğiniz. Son operasyonlarda Araplar ve Süryaniler de sizinle birlikte savaştı, değil mi?

Sozdar Dêrik: YPG olarak kendimizi bölgede yaşayan bütün halklardan oluşan bir ordu olarak tanımlıyoruz. Biz demokrasi düzenine, eşitliğe ve kardeşliğe inanıyoruz. Süryanilerin, Araplar ve Kürtlerin ortak vatanseverliği birlikte hareket etmelerini sağladı. Herkes YPG şemsiyesi altında kendi kimliğiyle yaşayabileceğini gördü. Süryaniler önemli bir misyon ve güç yüklendiler, Arap güçleri de aynı şekilde. Bizi birleştiren tek bir hedef ve amaç var; bu da demokrasi düzeni.

Amerika’nın öncülüğünü ettiği koalisyon nasıl bir rol aldı son operasyonlarda?

Sozdar Dêrik: Son operasyonlarda koalisyon da gerçekten önemli bir rol oynadı. Onları takdir ediyor ve teşekkür ediyoruz. Yerde IŞİD’e karşı savaşan, mücadele yürüten örgütün YPG-YPJ olduğunu biliyorlar. Yerde biz saldırdık, yukarıdan da onlar iyi bir destek sağladılar.

IŞİD’in önemli üslerinden biri de Tilebyad. Mebruka kaşanmasının alınmasından sonra YPG’nin Tilebyad’a yöneleceği konuşuluyor. Kobanê’de de YPG Tilebyad’a doğru ilerliyor. Tilebyad konusunda neler diyeceksiniz?

Sozdar Dêrik: IŞİD’e karşı savaşan bir örgütüz. Şu an falan yere saldıracağız, filan planımız var gibi şeyler söylemiyoruz. Kürdistan topraklarında ve Suriye’deki IŞİD’e karşı sonuna kadar savaşacağız. Nerede olursa olsun onlar halkımıza saldırdıkça biz de onlara karşı mücadele yürüteceğiz. İnsanlığı hedef alan vahşi terör örgütü IŞİD’e boyun eğmeyeceğiz.

Peki, şu an Tilebyad’a ne kadar uzaklıktasınız?

Sozdar Dêrik: Mebruka ile Tilebyad arası 61 km.

Irak Ordusu’nun Ramadi’den tekar kaçması sonrası orduya yönelik eleştirililer dile getiriliyor. Buna karşılık YPG’nin IŞİD’e karşı gösterdiği başarılardan dolayı sizlere daha fazla destek vermesi gerektiğini yazıyorlar?

Sozdar Dêrik: IŞİD’e karşı savaşan ve ilerleyen tek güç YPG. YPG’ye verilecek daha büyük bir destek tabi ki daha güzel sonuçlar doğuracaktır. Irak’ta ve Suriye’de IŞİD saldırıları karşısında başka herhangi bir güç mücadele edemiyor. En çok biz mücadele ediyoruz, fakat en az desteği biz alıyoruz. Eğer büyük bir destek verilirse daha kısa bir sürede iyi sonuçlar elde ederiz. Fakat bir inancımız var, tek başımıza da kalsak mücadelemizi yürütmeye devam edeceğiz.

Peki, Amerikalı, Kanadalı, Alman, Fransız ve diğer uyruklardan savaşçıların YPG’de olmalarının nasıl bir etkisi var?

Sozdar Dêrik: O arkadaşlarımızın enternasyonal bir yaklaşımı var. Demokrasiye, halkların kardeşliğine ve barışa inanıyorlar. Bütün ülkelerden gelip YPG’ye katılıyorlar. Onların bize katılması bizi çok mutlu ediyor.

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Röportajın Kürtçe ses dosyasını aşaüıdaki linkten dinleyebilirsiniz:

http://www.dengeamerika.com/content/ypg_mabruka_sozdar/2792462.html

Berxwedan of YPG: We Will Crush ISIS Anywhere in Syria

Kurdish fighters claim to have cleared Islamic State from Kobane

After liberating the city of Kobane, you began operations to liberate villages. What is the situation on the eastern, western and southern fronts? How far have you reached?

Mahmud Berxwedan: After liberating Kobane, we started a second advance. Since that day, approximately 20 days have passed. Within this time period, we carried out our operations successfully. Day by day, we are moving forward on all three fronts. We are liberating the land around Kobane bit by bit. On the western front, we have reached the point where we made close contact with ISIS on September 15th, we are somewhere near Shexler, there are 3-4 kilometers between us and the Euphrates. Around here, there are a small number of villages that are not yet under our control. Our operations are still ongoing around the villages of Kechelo, Jabalfaraj, Sevalo and Derbazin, and we will recapture these villages one by one.

Alright, on the western front, will you go beyond the Euphrates and go toward Jarablus?

Mahmud Berxwedan: Our top priority is to liberate the whole area around Kobane. Then we will start a new war with ISIS. Up until now ISIS conquered our land and we succeeded thanks to our friends who act with fighting spirit and made them suffer a great defeat. After taking the whole of Kobane under our control, I can say that we’ll start a war with ISIS, on September 15th they started the war, this time we will do it. Our struggle with ISIS will continue no matter where they go. We cut across all boundaries when it comes to fighting with them, we will liberate anyone who is targeted by 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, Defense Chief Ismet Hasan and other officials Photo (Mislim Nebo)

Your sound very confident and you seem to be in good spirits. What makes you speak so assertively?

Mahmud Berxwedan: We have faith in ourselves, in our strength and the YPG-YPJ fighters. We believe in our Kalashnikovs and our bombs. Anything else are supportive tools. We will crush ISIS in anywhere in Syria. We will fight with them first in the area around Kobane, then wherever ISIS goes.

Then, shall we say you will soon enter Jarablus, Manbij, Sarin and Tal Abyad? Is that right?

Mahmud Berxwedan: Wherever ISIS exists is our target. We don’t want to be misunderstood, we are not targeting the Arab people, we are targeting ISIS. We don’t have our eyes on anyone’s property. We just want to fight ISIS. Wherever they are, we will settle scores, old and new.

It has been reported that Arabs in places where ISIS holds control await your support, are these claims true?

Mahmud Berxwedan: Yes, they are. There are people who have escaped ISIS’s tyranny from Manbij and Jarablus, and they have come and asked for our help. They want us to save their land from ISIS, we promised to help them. We’ll help anyone who is subjected to ISIS’s tyranny and save them from it.

Mahmud Berxwedan

How about the situation on the southern and eastern fronts?

Mahmud Berxwedan: On the southern front, Shahid Xabur Hill has strategic importance because it overlooks the Qaraqozak Bridge and the area around Sarin. Girê Sêvê Hill, where there are intensive clashes, is now under our control, the YPG flag is flying on top of it.

Is it true that part of the Aleppo-Hasakah highway is under your control now?

Mahmud Berxwedan: Yes, a 25 kilometer-long section of Aleppo-Haseke highway just southeast of Kobane is under the control of our fighters. Qilheydê, Girêk and many other villages on the Rotko Highway were liberated by the YPG. On the eastern front, Bexdik, Idani and many other villages close to these places are under our control.

You are saying that you will support the Arab people who ask for your help and fight ISIS wherever they are in the world. Do the world powers also support you?

Mahmud Berxwedan: The ISIS thugs have become a nuisance for the world. Anyone who fights against them should support us, and increase the already extant support. Up until now, we have been fighting with limited means, always fighting with the weapons that we always mention. True that the Coalition Forces support us with airstrikes; however we still weren’t given heavy weaponry such as tanks or new weapons.

Everyone should take responsibility for this; we can be rid of ISIS only when we are united. We are fighting ISIS not only for Kobane but also for the whole of humanity. People should look out for Kobane not only about arms aid, but in terms of other things as well. Today a new Kobane is being built; everyone should act with a sense of responsibility. There was nothing left in the villages, the ISIS thugs had plundered everything. They had put landmines, bombs inside the houses to kill the civilians. That’s why de-mining organizations should come to Kobane as soon as possible.

It has been said that the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which was on your side in Kobane, will lead the operations that you will conduct in places which are densely populated by Arabs. What do you have to say about the role played both the FSA groups and the peshmerga forces from Iraqi Kurdistan in Kobane?

Mahmud Berxwedan: The groups such as Siwar al-Raqqa, Shams al-Shimal, Jabhat al-Akrad fought with us in Kobane and still now are continuing the struggle on the front line. In Arab areas, they lead, and we assist them. But they also need other kinds of help and haven’t received any of sort of help yet. We try to help them with the limited means we have.

The peshmerga forces were the back support from the beginning, they are not on the frontline. They have heavy weaponry and can give any form of support depending on our needs. They never hesitated doing anything they could do.

Lastly, what percentage of the Kobane villages have been recovered? Also, the possibility of you entering Tal Abyad caused a stir among the people, what do you want to say about this?

Mahmud Berxwedan: 80% of the Kobane villages have been recovered. Our operations are still ongoing for the remaining 20%. We are planning to liberate Tal Abyad from ISIS. As I said in the beginning, we will fight ISIS with all the strength we have no matter where they are.

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For my participation to a show, interview me or get a quote on Kobane and other Kurdish related issues, please contact me at mciviroglu@gmail.com

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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

Urgent Appeal to International Community from Kobane Officials

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Horrifying Image of Devastation in Kobane

While the historical resistance of the People Protection Units (YPG) and the Women Protection Units (YPJ) continues against Daash terrorists, making a major victory with their heroic steadfastness, the rubble of destruction and devastation throughout the city increases.

Moreover, the negative effects of the war on Kobane civilians from children, women and elderly people accumulate either inside the city or on the boarder points with Turkey.

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Children are living under tough circumstances in Kobane

Therefore, the possibility of living and pursue life almost become impossible and even warn of an impending humanitarian disaster. Especially hard coldness of winter and spreading of residues harmful projectiles further endanger lives of human and other beings.

But, despite the destruction and devastation of Kobane Canton, its resistance takes a global and humanitarian dimensions beyond its borders, reflecting the human values and objectives. The sacrifices of its heroes and defenders become general humanitarian gains that turn their steadfast city to a global defender front for the international community and humanity as whole.

The above mentioned impose on everyone’s duty to support and provide help to them as long as the security and safety of all of us in danger.

The Executive Council in Kobane Canton salutes the heroic resistance of YPG, YPJ, Free Syrian Army (FSA) and Peshmerga forces against Daash in an ordinary meeting today.

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Kobane Defense Chief General Ismet Hasan and Peshmerga Commander General Ahmed Gerdi

The Council members appreciate sacrifices of the mentioned common forces and salute their bravery and honest commitment to defend the noble humanitarian values and their strenuously quest to build a democratic, fair and equal society, which shares peace and tranquility regionally and globally.

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Kobane Children Are Under Threat of Continues ISIS Shelling

The Council members, at the same time, saddened with the  global indifference towards Kobane, expressing their deep regret for the failure of the humanitarian organizations and democratic countries to the worsening humanitarian situation where Kobane civilians exposed from all sides to instantaneous indiscriminate shells and continuing attacks of Daash, killing and injuring many of them.

In addition to, great challenges left by the suffocating siege on the province, making providing life means and its essential things impossible. With the gradual disappear from the stocks of food, medicine and baby milk of warehouses or destroy completely by bomb shelling.

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Dr. Welat Omer and Medical Team Delivering Aid to Displaced Kobane Residents

So, there is possibility of a humanitarian catastrophe against civilians if the international community does not take the initiative to meet the calls of our citizens and defenders to open a safe humanitarian corridor to cleanse the effects of missiles, bombings and the rubble of destruction.

We appeal international community to make very effort to save the lives of children and other civilians by offering them through support and aid of medical, food and preventive fundamentals.

Kobane 19/12/2014

The Executive Board of Kobane Canton, Syria

American YPG Fighter Dean Parker Tells His Interesting Story

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American Dean Parker of Colorado recently joined Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) to fight against ISIS. In this exclusive interview Parker speaks about his decision to join YPG and his life in Rojava

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Please click the link below to listen to the interview with Dean Parker

Kobane Journalist Bali: Thousands of Civilians Try to Survive Facing Death Every Day

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Mr. Bali, as a journalist currently living in Kobane you are following the events on the ground closely. According to some media reports, Kobane is almost completely freed from ISIS.  Is such news telling the truth?

Kobane as the symbol of resistance is continuing to fight. News that declare Kobane is totally freed, are true at all. I suspect that such deceitful and false news are part of a hideous plan pursued against Kobane. It was especially the Turkish media that spread such news. Mr. Erdogan and Davutoglu had statements to the effect that “Kobane’s situation was good.” A few times they stated that ISIS left Kobane and retreated to Aleppo. In this way, they were hoping to leave Kobane out of news agenda and draw public attention to Aleppo. As someone living in Kobane right now, I would like to ask this to journalists who spread this type of news: if the situation in Kobane is good, if ISIS has withdrawn from here totally and there is no longer any danger, why are you not coming into Kobane? Why are hundreds of thousands of Kurds who took refuge to the north of our country, are still living in refugee camps there?

Tens of shells everyday target homes and civilians living in Kobane get wounded. It is true that a great resistance is put up in Kobane; likewise, the YPG and YPJ have taken the initiative into their hands. But ISIS is still sustaining a street fight against Kurdish people in Kobane. Just a couple of hours ago, ISIS conducted attacks against Mursitpinar Border Gate [between Kobane and Turkey]. ISIS has been trying daily to capture this border gate ever since the first clashes in Kobane started. This border gate is located in the middle of Kobane. If ISIS is totally withdrawn from Kobane [as reported by some media], how could it attack to this gate?

Mustafa Bali
Mustafa Bali

You say Turkish media is spreading such false news, but such news also finds a place in Kurdish media?

Language is not a sufficient criterion to tell whether the media is that of Kurdish or Turkish [origin]. When the clashes started in Kobane, some media, despite the fact that they were Kurdish media, were spreading the “news of defeat.” The Kurdish media that I referred to were reporting “Kobane is going to fall after 1-2 km”, as if measuring the distance inch by inch and the language in which they reported this was Kurdish. What I am saying is that the mere use of Kurdish language by such media is not a good measure of their Kurdish-ness. Media that identifies with the suffering and resistance in Kobane, media that boosts the spirit when needed –in place of spreading demoralizing news- may be called Kurdish media, not the ones that say “situation in Kobane is calm and very good.”

As I mentioned earlier, Mr. Erdogan and Davutoglu said things like “ISIS withdrew from Kobane and was heading toward Aleppo” because they wanted to drop Kobane from the news agenda. And in an unconscious way, some media organizations also strive to spread the news of a premature victory. A surface reading of such news give a misleading impression of complete liberation of Kobane which does not reflect the reality at all, the danger and the clashes are continuing…

I heard an explosion now, is there an attack again [sound of an explosion was heard during the interview]?

Kobani as you also heard, almost every five minutes we are hit with mortar shells. We are the civilians living in Kobane and such attacks target us. Right now tens of civilians are ducking into corners, trying to protect themselves from these mortar shells that are fired from east of Kobane targeting its west.

Aside from mortar shells, with what other weapons does ISIS attack Kobane?

ISIS uses all kinds of military vehicles to attack Kobane. In addition it uses Dushka, Kalashnikovs, BKS [PKMS], hand grenades and suicide car bombings. Everyone is wondering about one thing: why is ISIS still not finished in Kobane after all these aerial bombings?

ISIS needs to be repelled from Kobane via room to room fighting, not street by street. Every nook and corner that ISIS has reached is pillaged, destroyed, booby-trapped and mined. Clearing Kobane from ISIS is not an easy thing to do. Even a mighty force like NATO stated recently that it might take two years to clear ISIS from Mosul. The resistance in Kobane was put forth with a few Kalashnikovs. Resisting YPG fighters keep fighting because they believe in their will power. ISIS has a great military and technical might in its hands and with this might and technical capabilities, it is attacking Kobane.

One of the noticeable news of the previous weeks was that the YPG established control over the roads that brought reinforcements to the ISIS. Is ISIS still receiving reinforcements from cities like Talabyad, Rakka and Jarablus bordering Kobane?

It has been more than two weeks that the YPG is fighting in villages of Kobane using guerrilla tactics. Such tactics have certainly increased the pressures on ISIS. It is true that they cannot reach Kobane as easily as before. However, this should not be interpreted as these roads are under complete control and that ISIS will no longer get reinforcements via these roads. ISIS is receiving reinforcements (using vehicles) every day, using different roads and methods. They use big vehicles to transport their mortar cannons here, the sounds of which you heard twice during this interview. They fire between 30-40 mortars each day. This means they receive ammunition supplies every day.

In a similar way, tens of ISIS gangs are killed every day, if they had not received new reinforcements, Kobane would have been liberated by now. According to the information we receive from our sources in Manbij, Talabyad and Rakka, every day reinforcements are sent to ISIS. Specifically they move from Rakka to Talabyad and from there into Kobane.

OK, what is the situation of thousands of civilians in Kobane and those that wait along the border? How will they survive through the harsh winter conditions?

I truly don’t know how to describe the situation of the civilians who remain in Kobane and along the border area. Thousands of civilians most of whom are children and elderly try to survive facing death every day. Before the harsh winter conditions set in, there was the danger of dying from mortar shells, fire from military vehicles, sometimes from the Turkish tanks or at the hands of ISIS suicide bombings. But, now to these added the new danger of freezing to death. These civilians are in need of everything ranging from water, food, winter necessities and fuel. Especially, the fuel is critical. There is no fuel in Kobane and Turkey does not allow the passage of fuel. We appeal to everyone to do whatever they can to attend to the needs of these civilians. I saw tens of people with bare feet walking through mud and puddles on the streets of Kobane.

As the officials of the Kobane Canton have expressed previously, a security corridor should be set up under the protection of the United Nations. Again, we have to state that Turkey creates dire hardships if and when allowing help to come through the Mursitpinar Gate. Our people wait for days to pass a truck load of relief supplies from the Turkish side to our side. Turkey creates the same problems for the transfer of our wounded. They die while waiting for hours for an ambulance to arrive. We appeal to all international relief organizations to help the civilians here, through this interview with you…

*Translated into English by Burhan Elturan

YPJ Komutanı Meryem Kobanî ile Miştenur Tepesi ve Son Durum Üzerine

ypj tree

YPJ Kobanê Komutanı Meryem Kobanî ile Miştenur Tepesi ve Kobanê’deki Son Durumu Görüştük

Mutlu Çiviroğlu https://twitter.com/mutludc

***

Sayın Kobanî, YPG ve YPJ güçlerinin Kobanê’de bugün bazı ilerlemeler kaydettiği aktarılıyor. Savaş cephesinde son durum ne?

Genel olarak güçlerimizin birçok noktada IŞİD’e ağır darbeler vurduğunu söyleyebiliriz. Onlara Rakka, Tilabyad ve Carablus gibi yerlerden gelen takviye ekiplerin kullandigi bazı yollarda ve Miştenur Tepesi’nin eteklerinde, küçük grupların gerilla taktiği ile büyük bir darbe aldılar. Şehir içinde de dün gece iki üç defa saldırmaya çalıştılar fakat biz saldırıları boşa çıkardık, ilerleyemediler. Yine hava saldırıları sonucu birçok IŞİD üyesi öldürüldü. Eskisi gibi her tarafta hareket edemeyecekler. Sadece Kobanê’de değil, hangi yoldan gelirlerse gelsinler her noktada bizim gerilla taktiğimiz ile YPG ve YPJ güçleri ile karşılaşacaklar.

Okurlarımız için de bu bahsettiğiniz gerilla taktiğinin ne olduğunu açıklar mısınız biraz. Gerilla taktiği derken vur-kaç taktiğinden mi bahsediyorsunuz?

Fırsat bulduğunuzda düşman kuvvetini vuracaksınız ve o sizin yerinizi bilemeyecek, kestiremeyecek. Her tarafta olacaksınız, mantar gibi her tarafa yayılacaksınız fakat kendi yerinizde gizlenmiş olacaksınız. Düşman kuvvetleri ateş açtığınız yere kadar gelse bile sizi orada bulamayacak. Buna gerilla taktiği diyebiliriz.

Peki, ne oldu, alanda ne değişti de güçleriniz bu şekilde ilerleyebiliyorlar?

IŞİD bütün gücünü bölgemize yığdı ve biz zaman içerisinde deneyim kazandık. Bu savaşın bir kuralıdır, düşman kuvvetiyle savaştıkça savaş deneyiminiz artıyor ve daha etkili bir mücadele yürütebiliyorsunuz.

Hangi taraftan gelirse gelsin onlara gelen desteğin önünü kesebileceğinizi belirttiniz. Rakka, Cerablus ve Tilabyad taraflarından IŞİD’e sürekli yardım geliyor değil mi?

Tabii ki! Dün gece ve dün de onlara yardım kuvvetleri geldi. Onlara her taraftan sürekli yardım geliyor, sürekli ağır silahlar geliyor. Fakat bu saatten sonra geldikleri her noktaya müdahale edip orayı onlara mezar yapacağız.

Anladığım kadarıyla Miştenur Tepesi henüz tam olarak kontrolünüz altına geçmiş değil, fakat tepeye çıkan yollara ve aynı şekilde Kobanê’ye ulaşan yollarda artık etkili bir gücünüz var, öyle mi?

Evet, ama bu saatten sonra her tarafta olacağız.

İki ay geride kaldı, önümüzdeki günlerde Kobanê’yi nasıl bir durum bekliyor? Hem Kürtler arasında hem de bütün dünya halklar arasında Kobanê’yi IŞİD’ten kurtaracağınıza dair bir umut oluşmuş, neler diyeceksiniz?

60 gün önce, doğu cephesinde saat gece dokuzda başladı saldırılar. Savaşın başladığı ilk saatten bu saate kadar savaştayım. Uluslararası güçler bize destek çıktılar. Bunu belirtmek istiyorum, şüphesiz Kürdüz biz fakat Kobanê’de gerçekten sadece Kürtler için savaşmıyoruz. İnsanlığı hedef alan bu terör örgütü karşısında insanlık için savaşıyoruz.

Bir önceki görüşmemizde ‘elim tetikteyken bütün dünya kadınlarını düşünüyorum’ demiştiniz.

Evet, şüphesiz öyle. Savaşçı arkadaşlarımızla konuştuğum zaman da, kendim savaştığım zaman da bütün Kürt kadınları adına, bütün dünya kadınları adına yapıyorum bunu. Özgürlüğü düşünen her insanı düşünüp savaşıyoruz.

1 Kasım’da bütün dünya sizin için ayağa kalktı. Genel olarak dünya kamuoyuna ve özelde de bütün dünya kadınlarına neler söylemek istersiniz?

Kobanê’deki savaş uluslararası bir savaştır. Kobanê’nin özgürleştirilmesi Ortadoğu’nun özgürleştirilmesine vesile olur. Savaş daha başlar başlamaz Kobanê’nin Ortadoğu için Stalingrad olacağını, halkların birlikteliğini oluşturacağını söylemiştim. Birçok kişi neden böyle bir şey söylediğimi sordu. Yalnız olmayacağımızı, milyonlarca insanın haksızlığı görüp bizi destekleyeceğini belirttim. Çünkü biz kendi topraklarımızda, kendi ülkemizdeyiz.

21. yüzyılda ne dünya da ne de insan haklarını savunanlar bu hakikate göz yumamaz. Vicdan sahibi her insan, her ülke, her gücün bu haksızlık karşısında bir tutum sergileyeceğini düşündüm. Birçok kişi bunu nasıl öngördüğümü soruyor. Çünkü başta kimse destek vermedi, yalnız başımıza, irademizle tanklar toplar karşısında mücadele ettik. Benim umudum vardı, haklı olan hakkına ulaşır elbet.

Bahsettiğiniz bu umut, bütün dünyaya da ilham olmuş gibi. NBC televizyonundan Amerikalı ünlü gazeteci Richard Engel de birkaç gün önce Kobanê’deydi. YPG ve özellikle de YPJ’yi övüp, savaşçılarınızın IŞİD’e karşı yürütülen mücadele bütün dünyanın umut kaynağı olduğunu belirtiyor.

Bu umudun birçok insanın, milyonlarca kadının umudu olacağına inanıyorum. İslam adı altında insanlığı hedef alan bu vahşi örgüt karşısında yürüttüğümüz mücadele, gerçek İslam’ı savunan insanlar için de modern bir geleceğin kaynağı olur.

Bahsettiğiniz bu vahşiler kişiler ne durumda? Savaş cephesinde onları görüyor ve telsizde onları dinleyebiliyorsunuz, moralleri nasıl?

Savaş kuralı, düşmanınız çok zayıf da düşse düşmanınız çok kuvvetliymiş gibi hareket etmenizi söyler. Düşmanlarımızın zorluklar yaşadığını biliyoruz. Fakat dediğim gibi ben bir komutan olduğum için savaş kuralları gereği ancak bu şekilde açıklayabilirim bunu.

Önümüzdeki günlerde ilerleyişinizin devam etmesi mümkün mü? Kamuoyunu beklentileri bu konuda iyimser…

Çok açıklama yapmak istemiyorum şimdi. Bir hedefim var, oraya ulaştığım zaman her şeyi açıklayacağım. Orayı bıraktığım gün buraya mutlaka döneceğim diye ahdetmiştim.

Sesinizden bahsettiğiniz yere çok uzak olmadığınız anlaşılıyor?

Ben umutluyum, şu an konuştuğumuz bu dakikada bir mevzideyim ve bahsettiğim o yere bakıyorum…

***

Görüş ve röportaj istekleri için mciviroglu@gmail.com

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YPJ Kobanê Komutanı Meryem Kobanî ile yaptığımız röportajın Kürtçe orjinal ses dosyasını aşağıdaki linkten dinleyebilirsiniz.

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 https://twitter.com/mutludc

Interview conducted on November 6, 2014

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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.

Ismet_Hasan

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.

***

For my participation to a show, interview me or get a quote on Kobane and other Kurdish related issues, please contact me at mciviroglu@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter for latest updates from Kobani  https://twitter.com/mutludc

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

In Day 50, A Synopsis of the Situation in Kobane

YPG 3

Mutlu Civiroglu https://twitter.com/mutludc

According to military, political and civilian sources in Kobane, in the day 50 of the resistance,  YPG has been gaining a momentum after successfully repelling strong ISIS attacks in eastern front which aimed at seizing the border crossing. Despite excessive man power and close combat in eastern front, YPG forces did not allow ISIS to advance.

With recent offensive in eastern front, ISIS hoped to seize the border gate to Turkey to totally suffocate the city and force YPG to surrender. Senior YPG sources report ISIS resorted to more than 20 car bombs in recent days, and all of these attacks were thwarted successfully with only some light YPG injuries.

One other reason for the recent ISIS attack on east was to prevent arrival of the Iraqi Kurdish peshmergas and heavy weaponry they brought along. As of November 3, the situation in eastern front is stable and ISIS members were further driven out from the border area. Kobane sources report that the failure of recent ISIS push caused demoralization of ISIS, and killing of 3 princes in last 48 further even worsened the situation on the ground.

On Sunday night clashes continued in East and South with some YPG advance reported. In Western front Kurdish peshermergas first time actively involved in a major assault. In this front YPG, “Euphrates Volcano” and Peshmerga forces carry out attack against ISIS positions in Abrus, Albalur and Minaz villages.

YPG Kobane

One other note is that US led coalition airstrikes have been playing a major role in destroying heavy ISIS weaponry which caused serious damages and destroyed many houses in the city. Sources in Kobane add that ISIS shelling decreased thanks to successful airstrikes.

However, it is still too early to conclude that the danger is over and ISIS is defeated. It is not secret that ISIS has made Kobane a matter of honor and will not give up easily. Therefore, despite recent major setbacks, ISIS forces in Kobane still receive reinforcements from Raqqa and surrounding cities, and some field commanders were replaced with new ones.

It is also reported that the arrival of peshmergas has brought a positive atmosphere for the Kurds and considerably lifted the spirit of YPG fighters on the frontline as well as the civilians in the city.

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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 mciviroglu@gmail.com

You can follow me on Twitter for latest updates from Kobani  https://twitter.com/mutludc