SDF

A popular uprising has broken out in Idlib, a province in the north of Syria, against the reactionary Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), according to Leila al-Shami, a well known Syrian activist and author.

The uprising began in the town of Kafar Takharim, when people refused to pay increased taxes imposed by HTS on goods and services, including bread, electricity and olive oil. They stormed HTS-controlled olive presses and police stations and evicted HTS from their community.

There is little about United States President Donald Trump that one can truly be surprised by at this stage in his presidency. Buffoonery and delusion — not to mention racism and the incitement of violence — have become normalised during his time in office to a frightening degree.

Still, even if we take the most jaw-dropping quotes of his more than two-and-a-half years in office into account, there is something remarkably horrifying about the comments he has made in recent days since he de facto supported Turkey’s offensive into northern Syria, writes Marcel Cartier.

More than 200 people attended a protest at Sydney Town Hall on October 12, organised by Rojava Solidarity Sydney and the Democratic Kurdish Community Centre (NSW). The protest was part of a global day of action against Turkey's genocidal invasion of North and East Syria.

Turkish forces have invaded Rojava — the Kurdish-majority multi-ethnic territory of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AA). In a telephone call to Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, United States president Donald Trump gave the invasion a green light.

US president Donald Trump announced by tweet on December 19 his intention to withdraw US troops from Syria. This followed a phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had often stated his intention to invade north-eastern Syria. 

The Assad regime and its allies have been building up their forces around the rebel-held Idlib province, in Syria’s north-west, in preparation for a major offensive. Some bombing raids have already been carried out in the south and west of the province.

Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are carrying out guerrilla resistance against the occupying Turkish army and its militia allies in the Afrin canton, a predominantly Kurdish area of northern Syria.

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 defeat of ISIS in Syria last year raised hopes that the long-running war that has displaced more than two-thirds of the population might be coming to an end. However, the attempted Turkish invasion of the Afrin region of Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan), which began on January 20, has underlined that the war is in fact intensifying.

Three years after Kurdish-led forces liberated the northern Syrian city of Kobane from ISIS — after a months-long siege that captured the world’s imagination — the democratic, multi-ethnic and feminist revolution in Syria’s north is facing a new assault.

This time, it is coming directly from the virulently anti-Kurdish Turkish state, which had supported ISIS’s siege of Kobane.

After receiving approval from Russia, the Turkish state has launched an air strike with 69 jets, bombing the Afrin centre and Cindirêsê, Reco, Shera, Shêrawa and Mabeta districts in northern Syria, ANF News reported on January 20.

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