As we write Turkish drones drop bombs on the Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syrian Regions, the area also known as Rojava. So far there have been 10 strikes on Qamishlo, Kobane, and Sheba with damaged targets including a wheat flour mill, train station, sewing factory, wedding hall, cement factory, and Simaf printing press. Berivan Zubair, who worked at Simaf, was martyred when the site was hit. 5 other people have been killed, and 9 injured. Qamishlo hospital is calling for people to donate their blood.
This is the second day of attacks. On Saturday evening, at around 9pm UK time, Turkish warplanes bombed the Administration. Today, representatives of people from the region gathered to condemn the attacks but were interrupted by bombing nearby. Again the targets on Saturday were civilian infrastructure, including energy infrastructure, like the Saeeda and Odeh oil stations, and a plastic factory near Tirbêspiyê. Video footage shows the strikes and resulting fires in Tirbêspiyê and so far one casualty has been reported. Hussein Hamza Saadoun, a civilian, was injured at the Odeh station and transferred to a hospital in Qamishlo but his condition is unknown. There are also reports of bombing in the Derik region including an electricity power plant in the village Bani Şekfti. Parts of the region experienced power cuts, with 2500 villages and towns estimated to be affected. In their press statement released the same evening, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense claimed the airstrikes hit 29 targets, namely; “caves, bunkers, shelters, oil facilities and warehouses”. You can read the statement from the Administration about Saturday’s attacks here (https://twitter.com/defendrojava/status/1739019195277250612).
These attacks are the most recent in the Turkish state’s attempts to destroy the Autonomous Administration. They follow the tactics of Turkey’s bombing campaign in October when, for a week, Turkey bombed the Administration’s developing electrical grid, oil and natural gas infrastructure. The Administration estimates the cost of the damage to be at $1 billion – this is more than the Administration spends in a year, money that mostly comes from oil and natural gas production. These are the costs of what Turkey justifies as self-defense.
The actions Turkey claims to be defending itself from are those of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The airstrikes in October came after an attack by guerillas of the PKK on the Ankara police headquarters. Turkey’s attacks on 23rd December came after PKK guerillas carried out an operation in Iraqi-occupied Kurdistan the day before, which left 36 Turkish soldiers dead. They also confiscated or destroyed military equipment and weapons.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and EU countries. Campaigns to delist the PKK as a terrorist organisation have existed for as long as the PKK’s listing, based on the arguments that the listing prevents an effective peace process and that the PKK fails to meet legal definitions of a terrorist organisation, a position supported by the ruling of multiple European court cases.
Turkey has also bombed areas of Syrian and Iraqi territory for decades, regardless of the PKK’s actions. Şengal, an area mostly inhabited by Yezidi people, faces regular bombardment by Turkish warplanes. The fascist Turkish government claims to be acting exclusively against “PKK positions” and invokes the UN Charter and the right to self-defense. Numerous organizations and committees, including the German Bundestag’s scientific service, however, point out that Turkey is violating the ban on the use of violence, as there is no self-defence situation. There is no reasonable excuse for bombing the civilian infrastructure of a whole region, that is furthermore, organised by the Autonomous Administration, not the PKK.
This is not self-defense, it is an excuse.
23 December also marked the first anniversary of the assassination of three Kurdish people, Evîn Goyî (Emine Kara), Mîr Perwer, and Abdurrahman Kızıl, at a Kurdish community centre in Paris. Evîn Goyî was a leading figure in the women’s liberation movement and a member of the KCK Executive Committee.
The nation-states of the world remain silent about the war crimes committed by the Turkish state against the people in Kurdistan.
We call on people to break this silence. Share your knowledge of these attacks with your friends, discuss it with your family, and post about it online. Follow news sites like ANF News (https://anfenglishmobile.com/) or Medya News (https://medyanews.net/). As well as groups such as the Rojava Information Centre (Twitter: @RojavaIC) or Riseup 4 Rojava (https://riseup4rojava.org/). Stay up to date on events in the region and keep talking to your friends.
You can also donate to Heyva Sor a Kurd (Kurdish Red Crescent) who are on the ground in North-East Syria providing vital humanitarian and medical assistance.
Lastly, join, support, or set up a local solidarity group, such as the Kurdistan Solidarity Network or Scottish Solidarity with Kurdistan.
Long live the revolution!
The martyrs are immortal.
DONATE TO HEYVA SOR HERE:
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