Syria

As Ireland prepares for its referendum today, May 25, on repealing the constitutional amendment prohibiting free, safe, legal abortion, women and health workers in Rojava, the largely Kurdish area in Syria's north, have expressed their solidarity with Irish women’s right to choose.

With the exception of the Vatican state and Malta, Ireland has the most restrictive abortion laws in Europe. It exceeds Saudi Arabia and Qatar in its restrictions on women’s rights to basic reproductive health.

“Freedom” can be a very difficult word to define, but it is easy to understand when you lose it.

A suspected chemical weapons attack on April 8 killed at least 60 people and wounded more than 1000 in the Syrian town of Douma, the last rebel-held town in Eastern Ghouta. The Syrian opposition blamed the Assad government for carrying out the attacks, but Syria denied having any role. The chemical attack came one day after Syrian forces launched an air and ground assault on Douma.

The Democratic Autonomous Administration of Afrin Canton in Syria’s north, which is resisting Turkey’s occupation, has warned all Syrians that Turkey’s murderous attack aims at ethnic cleansing.

Turkey’s murderous invasion of the Afrin canton in Syria’s north, backed explicitly or implicitly by Russia and the US, succeeded in taking the canton’s capital on March 18. But Kamran Martin says this is far from the end for the Kurdish-led resistance in defence of the democratic revolution in the region.

The Kurdish Red Crescent reported on February 27 that at least 348 civilians had died in the conflict begun by Turkey’s January 20 invasion of northern Syria’s small enclave of Afrin.

The Afrin canton in Northern Syria is under sustained assault from invading Turkish forces and allied Islamist gangs. 

The Turkish invasion, accompanied by reports of massacres and use of chemical weapons, aims to destroy the progressive, democratic Kurdish-led revolution in Syria’s north, which places women’s liberation at its centre.

Northern Syria (also known by its Kurdish name of “Rojava”) has been the scene of a social revolution with women’s liberation at its centre in recent years. However, it has come under constant attack.

When a democratic uprising broke out against the Syrian dictatorship of Bashar al-Assad in 2011, the regime responded with brutal repression. Aided by defections from the Syrian Army, this helped turn the mass protest movement into the armed conflict that wracks Syria today.

The People’s Democratic Party (HDP), a broad-based left-wing group largely initiated by Kurdish forces in Turkey, has faced the full brunt of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s authoritarian crackdown.

More than 10,000 HDP members have been arrested, along with its leaders and dozens of elected officials — often on trumped-up charges of “supporting terrorism” in retaliation for the HDP’s support for the struggle of the Kurdish community for democratic rights.

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