Syria


Protest against Turkish invasion and massacre of civilians. Girkê Legê, Rojava, August 28.

The statement below was released on September 1 and signed by a range of politicians, academics and activists from around the world. To sign, please send your name, organisation and country to mc@kurdishinstitute.be.

* * *

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) says 4475 people were killed in the nation's horrific civil war during July. Of these, 1289 were civilians, including 263 children. Almost three quarters of these civilian casualties were killed in airstrikes by the government or its ally, Russia, and other attacks by the pro-government side, SOHR said. Since the Syrian Civil War began in 2011, more than 400,000 people have been killed, between 4-to-5 million people have left Syria as refugees and about 8 million have been internally displaced.
On the surface, it seems the war against ISIS in Syria is going well. On August 12, the town of Manbij was taken by forces of the Manbij Military Council (MMC) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Then on August 24, the nearby border town of Jarablus was occupied by Turkish tanks and troops. Turkish forces were joined by Syrian fighters claiming allegiance to Islamist and other groups affiliated with the Free Syrian Army (FSA). In both instances, the US provided air cover. However, there the similarities end.
In largely Kurdish Rojava in Syria's north, a profoundly democratic and revolutionary experiment is underway. A multi-ethnic, feminist and socialist-oriented society is being built from the ground up, organised around communes and other bodies of participatory democracy.
Hawzhin Azeez is member of Kobane Reconstruction Board in the largely Kurdish area of northern Syria and a former politics lecturer at Newcastle university. In Rojava, a profoundly democratic and revolutionary experiment is underway. A multi-ethnic, feminist and socialist-oriented society is being built from the ground up, organised around communes and other bodies of participatory democracy.
Kurdish fighter in Aleppo's Sheikh Maqsoud neighbourhood. Kurdish forces of the People's Protection Units (YPG) responded in an official statement to the Syrian rebels' Aleppo Operations Chamber that said they will attack the Kurds after breaking a regime siege on Aleppo city.
Qamişlo, July 27. On the morning of July 27, a bomb-laden truck exploded in a crowded area of Qamişlo in Rojava (northern Syria). This terrorist massacre, claimed by ISIS, killed at least 44 people and left about 150 injured. Many surrounding buildings were destroyed, and among the dead were a number of women and children.
The following statement by the left-wing, Kurdish-led Peoples Democratic Party (HDP) Co-Chairs was released on June 29: We condemn the attack in Istanbul, Atatürk International Airport. Unfortunately 36 civilians lost their lives and 147 people were injured as a result of this inhumane attack. We wish that God rests the souls of all departed, we extend our condolences to their families and friends, and wish the wounded quick recovery. We share the great sorrow with the whole society and harshly condemn the terror attacks that target civilians and the humankind.
It is no exaggeration to say that a strip of land along Syria’s northern border with Turkey is home to the most radical experiment in democracy and gender equality, not just in the Middle East, but in the whole world.
Protest in Rojava against exclusion of Kurdish-led democratic forces from negotiations in Geneva, March 30. Photo: Hawar News Agency. The Syrian Kurds and allied communities declared their areas the “Federation of Northern Syria and Rojava” on March 17, and announced that democratic federalism is a viable alternative to the detrimental politics of both the Syrian regime and the jihadist opposition.

Pages

Subscribe to Syria