Revolutionary Kurdish Women’s Defense Forces Heroic Resistance to ISIS

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“At least a third of the defence forces of Rojava are female. They are in the frontlines and in the command.

Many women have perished after resisting heroically to the end.

Such examples by women are demolishing social taboos and challenging feudal, patriarchal values in society.

Rojava has also mounted a big ongoing campaign against domestic violence.”




Reuters / Osama Al-dulaimi

Kobanê’s heroic resistance to ‘Islamic State’: West prefers IS killers to a humane, democratic revolution

Besieged since September 15, the northern Syrian Kurdish-majority city of Kobanê (Arabic name: Ayn al-Arab) has mounted an heroic, all-out resistance to the genocidal ‘Islamic State’ gangs. Despite all the superior heavy weaponry deployed by the IS, fierce resistance held off the IS killers. Nonetheless, the defenders have been remorselessly forced back and fighting is now taking place in the city itself. The defence forces have vowed to fight to the end.

The US-led anti-IS coalition has failed to give any meaningful assistance to the city’s defenders. It has bombed all over northern Syria but refused to target the IS positions around Kobanê, except in the most token way. The West has refused to give the Kurds any heavy weapons to enable them to effectively counter the fundamentalists’ big advantage.

Rojava a model for whole Middle East

Kobanê, 135km north-east of Aleppo, hard up against the Turkish border, is one of the three ‘cantons’ (districts) of the “Rojava Revolution”. Rojava’s system of “democratic confederalism” is an inspiring attempt to build a society inclusive of all ethnicities and religious communities and to empower women.

At least a third of the defence forces of Rojava are female. They are in the frontlines and in the command. Many women have perished after resisting heroically to the end. Such examples by women are demolishing social taboos and challenging feudal, patriarchal values in society. Rojava has also mounted a big ongoing campaign against domestic violence.

Kurds are the majority community in Rojava (Rojava means “West” as in West Kurdistan) but many other ethnic and religious groups are also part of this liberation experiment (Arabs, Assyrians, Syriac Christians, Turkmen). In this sense, Rojava is a model for the entire Middle East.

The contrast between the humane, democratic Rojava project and the brutal, fundamentalist, women-hating Islamic State could not be greater.

Kobanê a national cause for Kurdish people

The defence of Kobanê has been a national cause for the Kurdish people.

The PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), which has led a decades-long struggle for Kurdish rights in Turkey, called on Kurdish youth to go to Kobanê. Thousands of people crossed into the city from Turkey to join the defence effort led by the YPG-YPJ (Peoples Protection Units-Women’s Protection Units). Thousands of PKK fighters left their bases in Iraq’s Qandil Mountains to go to Kobanê.

Kurds established a solidarity camp and vigil on the Turkish border opposite Kobanê. It was attacked by police with water cannon and tear gas.

Turkey using IS to attack Rojava Revolution

NATO member Turkey, which has long severely oppressed its 20% Kurdish minority, is implacably opposed to the Rojava Revolution. It decided to deal the revolution a massive blow by using the IS gangs to attack Kobanê.

Despite all the media obfuscation, Turkey is giving direct support to the IS killers. Jihadis freely transit Turkey to join IS in Syria; IS wounded are openly treated in Turkish hospitals; Turkey has supplied, tanks, weapons and ammunition to the IS gangs; IS buys large quantities of vehicles in Turkey; and large amounts of IS oil from their captured fields in northern Syria is sold through Turkey. And while Turkey allowed refugees from Kobanê to enter, it prevented people crossing the border to help defend the city.

And now the Turkish government is pushing the idea of a “buffer zone”. The buffer would be on the Syrian side of the border. Clearly, it will not be aimed at the IS but at crushing the deeply unpleasant example of a democratic, self-governing, multi-ethnic, Kurdish-majority Rojava. Turkish troops may yet cross the border and deal Kobanê the final blow

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is supposedly engaged in ‘peace’ talks with the Kurds but his support to the IS killers against Rojava makes this farcical.

To crush the IS killers, arm Rojava

Despite the enormous courage and commitment of the people, Kobanê always faced a tremendous challenge fighting an opponent backed by state power and armed with vastly superior weaponry.

The fall of Kobanê will place the Rojava Revolution in great danger.

The West — including Australia — talks about waging war on the IS but the real fight against the fundamentalists is being waged on the ground by the YPG-YPJ, the PKK and their allies. The imperialist powers do not want to help Rojava in any way. The IS may be a headache for Washington and its allies but a real people’s revolution is a far greater one.

Resistance is not terrorism

The PKK, together with the YPG-YPJ, is the backbone of the people’s resistance to the IS gangs. Yet it remains on the US, European Union and Australian lists of ‘terrorist’ organisations. It is thus an offence for any Australian to raise funds for it.

This travesty should be rectified immediately: Resistance is not terrorism. Take the PKK off the terror list now!

Solidarity with Rojava

The US-Australian-EU war drive will not crush the Islamic State. Only the Kurdish, Syrian and Iraqi people can do that. Right now the people of Rojava — and especially those fighting so bravely at Kobanê — need our solidarity.

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