Syria

On March 17, after a two-day meeting held in the town of Girkê Legê (Al-Muabbada) in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), a Constituent Assembly established a “Rojava-Northern Syria Democratic Federal System”.

The Constituent Assembly was attended by 31 parties and 200 delegates representing Rojava's Kobanê, Efrîn and Cizîrê cantons and the Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian, Syriac, Armenian, Turkmen and Chechen peoples of Girê Spî (Tal Abyad), Shaddadi, Aleppo and Shehba regions.

A “cessation of hostilities” in Syria, sponsored by the United States and Russia, came into force on February 27. Only some of the internal and foreign participants in Syria's multi-sided conflicts signed on.

The air wars that the US and Russia are waging in Syria are both officially directed against ISIS. But in reality, Russia is keen to protect its ally, the dictator Bashar al-Assad, while the US and its regional allies, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have given money, weapons and logistical and diplomatic support to his opponents since the civil war began in 2011.

Since the Mu'l'livaaykkaal killings of 2009, the Tamil diaspora has mostly focused political efforts towards demanding justice for the inhuman crimes committed against Tamil civilians.

While such efforts have elevated international awareness of the gross human rights violations committed by the Sri Lankan military during the war, the approach has not yielded results on prosecuting the perpetrators of the international crimes.

İlham Ehmed is Co-President of the Syrian Democratic Council, the political body with which the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) are affiliated, and a leading representative of the Kurdish-led Rojava Revolution in Northern Syria.

She spoke to Firat News Agency on February 22 about the QSD's recent gains and Turkey's bombardment, and threatened invasion, of Rojava.

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What is your evaluation of Turkey's recent escalated attacks on Rojava?

Russian Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev said in an interview with German newspaper Handelsblatt on February 11 that a threatened ground invasion of Syria by Western allies Turkey and possibly Saudi Arabia would lead to a “new world war”. On February 18, Hawar News Agency reported that “dozens” of Turkish armoured vehicles had advanced 200 metres across the Syrian border.

Indirect internationally-brokered peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad and a Saudi-backed coalition of some opposition groups were suspended on February 3 — just two days after they started.

Associated Press said that day that “neither the government nor the opposition even acknowledged that the negotiations had officially begun”.

Inside Syria, meanwhile, fighting intensified and the humanitarian situation deteriorated. Advances by government forces, backed by Russian air strikes, were the apparent cause for the talks’ collapse.

Below is the speech given by Socialist Alliance member Dave Holmes to a Melbourne meeting and concert to mark the founding of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). About 400-500 people attended the November 28 event organised by the Kurdish Association of Victoria at the Kurdish House centre in Melbourne’s Pascoe Vale.

In July 2012, the residents Kobanê rose up against the regime of Bashar al-Assad, making it the centre of the liberated cantons of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan).

In the rest of Syria, various forces — including the regime, the so-called "Islamic State" and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front have turned the country into a battleground, fuelled ethnic and religious divisions and competed with each other in cruelty to civilians. By contrast, in Rojava's liberated cantons a new society based on participatory democracy, ethnic equality, religious tolerance and feminism is emerging.

The statement below was released by four mayors of cities in the Spanish state — Barcelona, Cadiz, Zaragoza and A Coruna — and signed by many well-known figures from Spanish media and culture. It was translated for Green Left Weekly by Dick Nichols.

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The brutal attacks in Paris on November 13 were designed to install a climate of terror in the population, raising walls of suspicion and hatred between neighbours, shattering community life and bringing the politics of fear into our daily lives.

British parliament sat late into the night on December 2 before eventually voting up Prime Minister David Cameron's proposal to join the US-led air war in Syria.

Opposition Labour Party leader and veteran anti-war activist Jeremy Corbyn argued strongly against bombing Syria, as did protesters outside parliament. However, many right-wing Labour MPs supported the government.

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