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Kurds call on int’l community not to forget ISIS war sacrifices amid Turkey’s aggression

By Rudaw 15/1/2018
YPG and YPJ fighters carry out a military ceremony in Kobane. Photo: PYD
YPG and YPJ fighters carry out a military ceremony in Kobane. Photo: PYD
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — Kurdish militia who have fought off ISIS since 2014 are not satisfied with global silence as mounting Turkish aggression threatens to destabilize Afrin in northwest Syria.

“A call to the international community to support Afrin and pressure on Turkey to stop its attacks and put an end to the Turkish violations and especially our international allies to fight terrorism”, tweeted Hediye Yusuf, a founding member of the self-declared Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria, on Monday.

She claimed that Afrin canton has been effectively suffering besiegement for more than four years. Turkish forces shelled Afrin villages on Sunday with mortars and Katyusha rockets, according to YPG-linked ANHA.

“[T]he international silence isn’t suitable to humanitarian situation,” wrote Yusuf in a separate Tweet, “despite its active role in the fight against terrorism.”

Yusuf is a member of Democratic Union Party (PYD). Its armed wing is the mostly-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). They form the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the main partnered ground force in northern Syria or Rojava, for the US-led international anti-ISIS coalition.

Russia has also been a strong supporter of the YPG in Afrin.

YPG spokesperson Rojhat Roj told Associated Press that Turkey regularly bombards Afrin, but Saturday’s shelling was different because it was intensive and lasted for a longer time.

"By attacking Afrin, the AKP government wants to guarantee its invasion of Syria and impose [its authority] on the international community,” wrote Yusuf in another Tweet on Monday.

AKP (Justice and Development Party) is the ruling party in Turkey. Afrin sits on Turkey’s southwestern border. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is banned and listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara and the United States. The PKK has fought a three-decade-long struggle against the Turkish in their quest for greater cultural and political rights for minorities like Kurds and Alawites.

Ankara conflates the YPG with the PKK. The YPG denies any organic links to the PKK.

“The threats of Turks will pave the way for [the formation of] a new military and political process and the defeated party will be AKP,” added Yusuf. “They do not realize that Mount Kurmenj and Kurdish heroes are on front of them."

Yusuf also claimed Turkey is the main supporter of terrorism represented by ISIS and al-Nusra front. Ankara denies supporting these groups, and only says it supports the Free Syrian Army against ISIS in Syria.

Turkey’s Euphrates Shield Operation began in August 2016 and ended in March 2017, ousting ISIS from areas north of Aleppo, around Jarablus and al-Bab, near Manbij, and preventing Kurdish advances.

The PKK is known to be active in the southern border provinces of Turkey.

Turkish officials repeatedly have said they will not allow a “terror corridor” on its borders and would carry out a military offensive in northern Syria to prevent Kurdish advances.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said “despite it all” he wants to work with the U.S. in the region and hopes it will not side with the YPG during the upcoming Afrin operation.

“We expect (the US) to support Turkey in its legitimate efforts” to combat terror, said Erdogan on Sunday.

Ankara has received domestic and international criticism about Afrin.

Ayhan Bilgen spokesperson for the pro-Kurdish Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) in Turkey labelled Ankara’s move as stupidity.

“The intolerance on Afrin is the outpouring of the stupidity of [those] who govern this area [Turkey],” said Bilgen, adding that as if there is no other threat on the Turkish community, the Turkish government is focusing on those forces who are outside Turkish borders [YPG] and who have not attacked Turkey and are not a threat to it, reported Haberdar a Turkish outlet.


Muraz Adzhoev | 15/1/2018
And why, what for the “Kurdish” leadership of the so called “self-declared Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria” rejects political cooperation with the Kurdish National Council of Western Kurdistan (KNC) and also unity of Rojava Peshmerga and YPG armed forces? What are their real tasks and aims, if, according to their political ideology, they actually are not interested in independent or autonomous Western Kurdistan, do not want establishment of an sovereignly independent Kurdish national state anywhere in the Middle East? It seems that the idea of “the self-declared Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria” has been purposefully «invented” and then forcefully promoting in order to prevent INDEPENDENT KURDISTAN, especially territorial reintegration, national and humanitarian reunification of Southern Kurdistan and Western Kurdistan. Yes it seems so, because it is very much obvious at least in terms of the real facts.
Guest | 15/1/2018
The sacrifices of all those who have laid down their life are not forgotten. Those members of the Syrian Defense Forces/YPG, regardless of their ethnicity or even citizenship of country, will always be remembered as ones who stood face to face with evil and forced it back down the hole it came from. For the rest of my life there is a day I will never forget, Oct 30 2014, when Kurdish brothers from both Iraq and Syria, as well as Arabs, came together, faced down evil and death, and were victorious. Like Bill McDonald once said, No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that's in the right and keeps on a-coming!

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What You Say

Outsider | 3/24/2018 1:00:17 PM
I just ask myself...where did the 1,000,000 population of Afrin and the multi 100,000's of refugees, as claimed by YPG and PYG (incl here in...
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Stewee Guy
Stewee Guy | 3/24/2018 11:14:59 AM
Well Turkey Erdogan is playing it smart with two governments the Irqi Kurds couldn't unite over 40 years. Shame.
muhammad | 3/24/2018 11:52:57 AM
anyone knows the visa policy to entre directly to kurdistan. also need iraqi visa or not now?
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Stewee Guy
Stewee Guy | 3/24/2018 11:09:35 AM
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