Middle East

Turkish and Syrian regimes unite against Kurdish-led struggle for democracy


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.

Laughter and ideology: life 3km away from ISIS

This picture looks like any ordinary scenery from the Kobanê countryside. The idyllic villages and golden wheat fields with the sleepy little houses tucked away across the distance. But, it is more than that.

This is Ain Issa, an area of Tell Abyad and the frontline between the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) and Daesh (Islamic State).

Syrian talks fail to stop bloodshed, but Rojava example spreads

Since a “cessation in hostilities” in Syria's multi-sided civil war was declared on February 27, about 6000 people have been killed in the conflict.

This “cessation in hostilities” was brokered by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), made up of the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League and the governments of Britain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

The ISSG is co-chaired by the US and Russia.

Syria: Talks fail to stop bloodshed, but Rojava example spreads


Fighters in the Rojava-based Women's Protection Units (YPJ) militia.

Since a “cessation in hostilities” in Syria's multi-sided civil war was declared on February 27, about 6000 people have been killed in the conflict.

US admits killing a further 20 civilians in Iraq and Syria

The US government has admitted to killing 20 civilians in Iraq and Syria over five months, a death toll far below that estimated by independent observers. Washington had previously acknowledged 26 civilian casualties.

In a statement released on April 22, the US Central Command insisted that the killing of the civilians, and the injuring of 11 others, was legal.

Turkey wages war on its Kurdish population

“The police and military are using every kind of violence against the Kurds. They are using tanks and heavy armoured vehicles. They have flattened houses, historical places, mosques. They use helicopters and technological weapons, night vision binoculars and drones. They don't let families get to the bodies of youths who were killed. Corpses remain on the streets for weeks.”

Baran, a Kurdish political activist who now lives in exile, described the massacres taking place in Kurdish cities in Turkey. Baran is from Amed, or Diyarbakır in Turkish.

Palestinian performance poet Rafeef Ziadah not to be missed


Palestinian performance poet Rafeef Ziadah on stage with Phil Monsour, with whom she is touring Australia's in late March and April.

We Teach Life
CD & Australian tour
Rafeef Ziadah & Phil Monsour
http://www.rafeefziadah.net

Rafeef Ziadah is a Palestinian campaigner and spoken word performer of such immense power that she demands to be heard.

Yemen: Saudi air strike kills more than 100

Unicef representative in Yemen Meritxell Relano said on March 17 that the death toll from a Saudi air raid two days earlier had reached 119.

The Morning Star said on March 18 that the Saudi strike on Mastaba in the north-western Hajja province also wounded 47 people. The dead include 22 children.

Palestinians run for freedom in anti-occupation marathon


Training for the Right To Movement marathon. Photo: Patrick Harrison.

When people imagine Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation, lacing up some trainers and hitting the pavement is not the first thing that comes to mind.

But for some Palestinians, running is one creative and non-violent way to oppose Israeli injustices — rallying behind the banner of the Right to Movement organisation.

Syria: Feminist hope amid multi-sided conflict

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.

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