PYD rejects claim
Syrian Arab Red Crescent members providing medical assistance to a child injured in the school bombing in Homs on Oct. 1
Speaking in a press conference in Estonia, the president of Turkey, Tayyip Erdoğan, claimed that 1,300 Free Syrian Army fighters would join the Kurdish forces in defense of the northern Syrian town of Kobani in their fight against the Islamic State (also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Levant). He said, “The Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) accepted the passage of 1,300 people from the FSA, and on this topic, right now, our relevant teams are negotiating what the route of their passage should be.”
Reflective of his limitless hypocrisy, this latest statement by Erdoğan is at total odds with an earlier statement he gave only a couple of days ago objecting to the arming of PYD on the grounds that PYD in his mind is equal to PKK (Kurdistan Worker’s Party), which has waged a 30-year insurgency in Turkey and is designated a terror group by the U.S. government and NATO.
Erdoğan’s claims on the collaboration of PYD and FSA for the defense of Kobani were swiftly rejected by the co-chair of PYD, Saleh Moslem. Moslem also responded to Erdoğan’s earlier remarks on PYD being a terrorist organization: “Erdoğan is looking for an excuse to justify his stance against the Kurdish achievements, against the Kurdish people’s identity.” Moslem added: “We have never engaged in terror. We are the ones fighting ISIL. He [Erdoğan] should clarify his position. How much does he really support us? If he really wants to fight against ISIL, he should be standing by us.”
In fact, the FSA is a largely defunct organization, with little or no central command. Its leadership’s failure to secure large-scale imperialist intervention last year led to its disintegration into various militias that once operated under the FSA umbrella. However, the U.S. government and its allies use the term “FSA” as a sort of shorthand to refer to the elements of the armed opposition that are the most reliably willing to follow the dictates of imperialism.
In an Oct. 13 interview with Turkish daily Hürriyet, Moslem answered a question about whether PYD would fight the Syrian government as the ruling AKP of Turkey has been pressuring them to do: “Do you want us to fight against them in Damascus and be a soldier there instead of you? We will not do that. We have stopped being soldiers for others, which Kurds have done throughout history.”
Commenting on Kobani, Moslem rejected AKP’s proposals for the establishment of a buffer zone in northern Syria, adding that the Kurds would see that as an occupation. Moslem rejected the presence of Turkish ground forces and alluded to the role AKP has played in the rise of ISIL, saying: “A ground offensive would make things worse, not better. Who would they conduct the ground war against? Is it against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant? ISIL is in İstanbul.”
The Turkish government, a member of NATO, claims to be against the ISIL. In fact, it has facilitated ISIL’s siege of Kobani by sealing the northern border to the town, preventing residents and the YPG from receiving supplies, arms and military volunteers. It is clear that Erdoğan and his ruling AKP were hoping that ISIL would wipe out the Kurdish semi-autonomous zones, and then use this as a pretext for full-scale intervention against Syria.
All of Syria is a battleground against imperialism
While the whole world is focused on Kobani, as YPG, the armed wing of PYD is engaged in a fierce and heroic fight for survival against ISIL, we should also not lose sight of the fact that many such fierce battles against reactionary, sectarian armed opposition groups have been taking place all over Syria for the last three years. Whether it is against ISIL or “moderate” groups in FSA, all directly or indirectly armed and funded by U.S. imperialism and its regional clients, the people of all Syria continue to resist imperialist plans and its henchmen on the ground in Syria.
Hama, the fourth-largest city in Syria after Aleppo, Damascus and Homs, located in west-central Syria has been under attack by ISIL as well as Jabhat Al-Nusrah and other groups. In the last month, Jabhat Al-Nusrah, an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, along with its “moderate” allies, have intensified their attacks against Alawite villages around Hama. At the same time, ISIL forces have been attacking east of Hama in an effort to capture the town center. Many villages around Hama have fallen to ISIL, and many Alawites fleeing ISIL violence have been moved to safer regions of Hama by the Syrian government. The Alawites are a sect of Shi’a Islam, as distinct from the majority of the Syrian population, who are Sunni Muslims.
Alawite villages around the city of Latakia continuously suffer from indiscriminate rocket attacks and shelling by Islamic Front and Jabhat Al-Nusrah, whose stronghold is the town of Salmah near the Turkish border. The Syrian government forces have recently recaptured six villages in the Latakia countryside from the Islamic Front and Jabhat Al-Nusra: Ayn Al-Joozi, Raweesa Al-Zeitouneh, Al-Ja’awara, Al-Balata Kabeer, Tal Doreen and Kataf Al-Ghanama. Earlier in 2014, Kassab, Latakia was also the site of the massacre of civilian Armenians at the hands of ISIL fighters along with members of Jabhat al-Nusrah and Ahrar ash-Sham.
Homs—Twin bombs kill 48, wounds 115, most of them children
On Oct. 1 in Homs province, in the Akrameh neighborhood, home to a majority of Alawites, a car bomb was detonated in front of a school and minutes later a suicide bomber blew himself up near another school. In order to inflict maximum casualties, both cowardly attacks took place at a time when children were leaving school. Some 48 people, 41 of them children, were killed and 115 others were injured. Speaking after the attack, Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said: “These terrorist acts, taking their hatred out on our schoolchildren, are meant to discourage Syria’s children from pursuing knowledge. The armed opposition groups have been taken aghast by the Syrian army’s military successes, which accounts for their resort to these cowardly acts.”
Back in April 2014, Jabhat Al-Nusrah was behind a similar twin bombing in Homs, which killed 100.
Aleppo—Missile attack on al-Kamal School kills four civilians, two of them children
On Oct. 27, rocket shells fired by the opposition fighters in in al-Hamadania neighborhood of Aleppo killed four civilians including two school children while wounding 17 others, mostly children, as one of the rocket shells hit al-Kamal school.
In fact, since the crisis started, thousands of Syrians have been killed by car and suicide bombings and mortar attacks. The Western media is either shamefully silent not even reporting these terror attacks or helps justify these horrific crimes by reporting that they were in “pro-Assad” areas, implying that Syrian people who support their government deserve to be killed by terror attacks.
U.S. imperialism hopes that ISIL’s violence against the Kurdish population in northern Syria will force the secular PYD forces to collaborate with the imperialist-backed, sectarian and reactionary forces of FSA. It is important to note that as a result of the three year-long destructive and sectarian civil war that has been stoked by imperialism itself, Syria’s pluralistic, secular society is now facing total disintegration. News of ethnic cleansing by the opposition groups, car-bombings, suicide bombings targeting civilians are eerily reminiscent of the fate of Iraq and Libya after they had been “liberated” by U.S. imperialism and NATO.
Throughout the Syrian crisis, thousands of Christians, Alawites and other minorities have been targeted and massacred simply because of their ethnic or religious identity. They have suffered immensely not only at the hands of the ISIL mercenaries but also by many other reactionary, jihadist forces that have relationships with the FSA, now promoted as the “moderate” rebels. All this sectarian, reactionary violence to which the people of Syria have been subjected is only a preview of even the greater terror that would be unleashed against Syrian society if the secular and unitary Syrian government were overthrown.
US imperialism hands off Syria!
Reposted from Liberation News