Syrian Kurds feel betrayed by Western allies after Turkey seized Afrin

Editorial Staff

PARIS,— After leading the charge against Islamic State jihadists on Syria’s frontlines, Kurds feel betrayed by their Western allies following the seizure of their stronghold Afrin by Turkish forces. Turkey’s offensive aided by Ankara-backed Syrian fighters including secular rebels and Islamist groups who rampaged through Afrin and triggered a mass exodus — has left Syrian […]

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source: Kurd Net – Daily News

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It Was Not Afrin But Western Values That Fell!


Jihadist from the FSA of Turkey during the attack on Afrin

By Rebwar Rashed:

The Turks repeated their history when they attacked Afrin and invaded it after 60 days. In February 1258 the city of Baghdad struggled for only 13 days before the Mongol Turks burned it down. The Turks have since Baghdad´s conquest burned and exterminated Armenians, Assyrians, Greeks, Bulgarians, Arabs, Kurds and so on.

The Kurdish city of Afrin is probably the only city in the history of Mongols, now armed with NATO’s fire power, to be able to resist for two months. The destruction of Afrin and the atrocities the Turks committed in Afrin are only a repetition of what once happened to Baghdad and elsewhere.

The world, especially the Western democracies, looked at Afrin through their fingers. On the first day of the invasion on January 20th 2018, Turkey attacked Afrin using 72 American F16 fighter jets, German tanks and German-made armored vehicles and an army of ISIS, Jabha Alnusra, Sultan Murad Brigades and other Islamic terrorist groups. Russia and Iran were also helping the Turks.

Afrin was one of the cantons that the Kurds of Syria along with other ethnic groups declared as a part of a democratic, federal system and the one and only area of Syria which, despite the Turkish blockade and psychological warfare and also the international silence, stood on her feet. The city had a functional bureaucracy, schools, hospitals and roads, but most importantly, it had a democratic administration.

In the middle of a Sahara of Islamic radical movements and an Islamic neo-fascism led by Turkey, the Afrin canton was implementing pluralism, gender equality, and secularism and it was developing a self-sufficient economy, especially in the fields of sustainable agriculture and the employment of women and youths. The canton had even begun to invest in renewable energy and had launched ecology and environmental studies in school books.

In the last seven years Afrin has been a peaceful neighborhood to Turkey and there have not been any kinds of violence or provocative actions. The people of Afrin appreciated their lives and were thankful for the achievements they had while they saw the other parts of Syria in misery.

Turkey started its invasion with the help of Russia and Iran. Russia doesn’t care about Syria’s sovereignty and integrity. It therefore allowed Turkey to invade Syria in order to make a split in NATO. The Islamic regime of Iran, which is the second axis of radical and fascistic Islam, albeit a Shia version, would rather have Turkey take a part of Syria than the Kurds. The reason is that Iran has its own Kurdish people to think about. Any kinds of Kurdish losses are always welcomed.

What about the standpoint of the USA and other Western democracies? Wasn’t their silence a signal of acceptance? These countries have good knowledge about the barbaric behavior of the Turks, the fascistic mentality of the AKP and Erdogan. They are aware too of the Turkish coalition with Sunni radical Islamic terrorists. These countries know too that Turkey has organized and brought Islamic terrorists all the way from China and through the Islamic republics of former Soviet Union, North Africa and Arabic countries. They know that it’s Erdogan who organizes Islamic fascist groups in Europe as well as taking care of the smuggling business with refugees from Syria and Afghanistan. The public opinion and many feminist organizations in the West also know that the AKP government is behind the prostitution, people trafficking, forced child marriage with Syrian refugees and recruitment of Syrian men and youths into terrorist groups for a monthly wage of a few hundreds of dollars.

These democracies have very good knowledge about Turkish atrocities in the region, especially in Syria and specifically in Afrin, which includes beheading people, lootings, rapes, sexual abuses and harassment, confiscating private sector assets, destroying historical sites which are globally significant and even demolishing graveyards. The Turkish so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) is a terrorist umbrella which comprises ISIS and Co. Turkey is waging much of its dirty war through the FSA.

In almost 70 years of Arabization of Syrian Kurdistan, especially under the Baath party of Syria, the Syrian government could only make relatively “small” Arabic-pockets in the Kurdish region. By getting rid of radical Sunni Muslims through sending them to these new established pockets in the Kurdistan area the Baath party killed two birds by one stone; it got rid of these radical Arabs and all of a sudden they became a Kurdish “problem”. Now, Erdogan vows to give these lands to its “real owners”. That means Erdogan will continue with the same Arabization policy of the Baath party, but this time Turkey wants to do it quickly and completely. The official ideology of Turkey calls for “crushing Kurdish dreams to reach the Mediterranean”.

Turkey must be brought before the bodies such as the International Criminal Court, International Court of Justice and European Court of Justice for crimes of genocide, organized atrocities, and crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

By invading Syria and destroying this Kurdish oasis of Afrin, Turkey is plotting to divide Syria. The FSA is much less than the puppet government of Cyprus and will not be more than a rubber stamp. Thus Turkey has shattered the dreams of the peoples of the region for freedom and liberty. The Islamic neo-fascism of Erdogan has destroyed the democratic values which mankind has fought for since the Renaissance. It was not Afrin but Western values that fell.

The Kurdish people will continue its struggle and will eventually break the evil axis of Iran and Turkey. The Kurds have lost the battle of Afrin due to the superior fire-power the Turks possess thanks to NATO and countries such as Germany, but they will for sure win the war of liberation. That is the Turkish nightmare and that horrible nightmare is following Turkey to an inevitable defeat.

Rebwar Rashed is Co-Chair of the Kurdistan National Congress – KNK

source: The Kurdistan Tribune

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Syrian Kurds turn new Kurdish year Newroz celebrations into protests for Afrin

Editorial Staff

QAMISHLO, Syrian Kurdistan,— Donning vibrant traditional dress, thousands of Kurds in the Kurdish main city of Qamishlo in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) turned their new year celebration of Newroz on Wednesday into mass protests in solidarity with the city of Afrin. They wore floral scarves, waved Kurdish flags, and carried posters that pledged to win back Afrin, […]

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source: Kurd Net – Daily News

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Kurds in Turkey mark Newroz under shadow of Syria’s Afrin, arrests

Editorial Staff

DIYARBAKIR-AMED, Turkey Kurdistan,— Turkey’s Kurds on Wednesday celebrated the annual New Kurdish Year of Newroz under the shadow of the capture of Afrin in Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) by the Turkish army, arrests of pro-Kurdish politicians and the breakdown of the peace process. Tens of thousands joined authorised celebrations for the New Year across the country, […]

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source: Kurd Net – Daily News

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Dana Gas’s Pearl Petroleum signs gas sales deal with Iraqi Kurdistan government

Editorial Staff

ABU DHABI,— Pearl Petroleum, majority-owned by UAE’s Dana Gas and its affiliate Crescent, has signed a 10-year gas sales agreement (GSA) with Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). Under the deal, Pearl will sell an estimated 80 million cubic feet per day of additional gas it plans to produce later this year from the Khor Mor […]

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source: Kurd Net – Daily News

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Extremists Prepared For Their Defeat In Iraq, Now They’re Re-Grouping

Over the past month there has been an increase in attacks by extremists in various parts of Iraq, but in particular, on the outskirts of cities that were previously controlled by the extremist group known as the Islamic State. “We have recorded dozens of terrorist activities in various parts of the country,” a senior officer in the defence ministry in Baghdad told NIQASH, off the record because he was not authorised to comment on the matter. “Especially on the outskirts of the liberated cities – east of Diyala, south of Kirkuk and in the Anbar desert as well as north of Salahaddin. We see it as a sign that the Islamic State has a plan to destabilize these cities.”

There have been surprise attacks on army patrols, ambushes on highways connecting cities and suicide bombers.

Where are all the IS fighters coming from, or, perhaps more importantly, where did they all disappear to?

“Today the Islamic State group is very weak and it cannot launch large scale attacks in the way that it used to,” the senior officer explained. “The army is undertaking a wide scale operation to prevent the extremists from re-grouping but there are still hundreds of extremist fighters who are free and who wish to re-establish violence.”

Last week, soldiers were killed in an ambush on the highway between Balad Roz and Mandali, two towns in Diyala. In the same week a family was killed on the highway between Baghdad and Kirkuk. Both incidents were carried out by extremists disguised as members of the Iraqi military, pretending to be staffing fake checkpoints on the road.

There are two important points becoming clear after the uptick in attacks by the Islamic State, or IS, group. While Iraqi pro-government forces have made it their responsibility to secure cities and city centres, they have not been able to – or have neglected to – secure the outskirts. Having said that, securing population centres’ outskirts has always been an issue for government forces. Often these are desert or agricultural areas, which are difficult to control, and often the pro-government forces lack decent intelligence in these areas too.

Secondly, the fact that the IS group still has the ability and opportunity to launch attacks is worrying, especially after the overwhelming defeat they have suffered during the last year; they have clearly adapted to their new circumstances.

The authorities have reacted relatively quickly to the attacks. Last Sunday, the Diyala provincial council was supposed to hold a special meeting to discuss the deteriorating security situation on city outskirts. But the meeting had to be postponed as the senior officers who were supposed to attend were busy supervising an operation, chasing the extremists.


Iraqi soldiers find an IS hideout in Diyala orchards last Sunday.


“The IS group is trying to regroup in the eastern and northern parts of the city but joint security forces – from the army, the police and the militias – have chased them off,” Mizher al-Azzawi, a senior commander in the Diyala area, told NIQASH. Operations are ongoing, he noted, but things are under control.

The situation is similar in the central Iraqi province of Anbar, where counter-terrorism forces have been trying to prevent the IS fighters from entering Iraq via the Syrian border. The international coalition fighting the IS group has also started to publish details of air strikes on IS strongholds, something it had not been doing for a few weeks.

According to Mazen al-Mahalawi, an officer from the Iraqi army’s 8th division, all this has to do with the IS group’s forward planning. “The terrorists were very well prepared for the period following their defeat,” al-Mahalawi says. “They buried large stockpiles of weapons in the desert and in secret valleys. Last week we found warehouses full of medium and heavy weaponry and we discovered tunnels dug near the towns of Rutba and Heet.” The IS group controlled both at one stage.

Al-Mahalawi says that over the past months they have recorded ten different attempts by IS fighters to get into Anbar, via Syria. “That means they have their own headquarters’ inside Anbar,” he suggests. “So, the army is currently trying to find and destroy their bases. Last Monday we also carried out an important mission, sending some of our men deep into the desert where we were able to capture some of the organisation’s leaders.”

It is looking more and more like a guerrilla war that will take place on Iraq’s dark highways and in remote countryside.

Further north, around the unsettled area of Kirkuk, locals are even more worried. The security situation there has been disrupted due to the fighting between the Iraqi government and the authorities in the semi-autonomous region of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Kurds had been in charge of security but had to give way to Iraqi security forces.

On February 18, a group of pro-government militia fighters was ambushed in Sadouniya, south of Kirkuk and 27 were killed. On Monday, senior officer Raed Shaker Jawdat announced a new operation that would target the area around Hawija – another town formerly controlled by the IS group. Just hours after the operation began, the troops had already found three tunnels, a bomb-making factory and a rocket launcher.

All of these incidents bring up important questions. Does the Iraqi government have a plan to eradicate the IS group forever? Where are all the IS fighters coming from, or, perhaps more importantly, where did they all disappear to?

The battle for the IS group’s defacto capital inside Iraq, the major city of Mosul, was a long and arduous one. So it was somewhat surprising when the Iraqi army arrived in other, smaller towns occupied by the IS group, and they did not meet as much resistance. Often these cities were freed of the IS group far faster. But it seems clear now that the many IS fighters in those towns simply slipped away. Where to, nobody really knows as yet.

The only thing that does seem clear is that the IS group has not given up fighting the Iraqi government and that it had already planned for withdrawal, that would allow it to keep fighting. It seems the war against the IS group must continue – statements by Iraq’s prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, and the country’s senior Shiite cleric, Ali al-Sistani, confirm that this is generally accepted – except now it is looking more and more like a guerrilla war that will take place on Iraq’s dark highways and in remote countryside.


Iraqi army humvees heading for Diyala last week.

source: Niqash

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