Today it was reported – see video at end of article – that Rojavan Kurds (of northern Syria) are heading north to cross the Turkish border to offer help to their beleagured cousins in North Kurdistan, which has been under constant attack by the Turkish military for some weeks. Unfortunately, this means that the frontline forces fighting ISIS in Syria will be temporarily weakened as a consequence of Turkey’s warmongering (though perhaps that’s the intention of Turkey, a NATO member, in order that its precious oil supplies from ISIS are not further disrupted). In the meantime we report from the frontline: interviews with YPJ combatants in Arif (Rojava).
May the Force be with them.
Combatants from the 2nd Mobile Unit of the Women’s Defence Units (YPJ) who are undertaking some of the most significant defence acts in their area of operation by demonstrating their intent to protect the civilian population of the village Bene, Sherawa District, Afrin Canton, Rojava, Syria, were asked for their thoughts on the Syrian Democratic Forces (QSD) and its challenges. These fighters for over a year have been resisting continual terrorist activities attempted by occupying groups Al-Nusra and Ahrar Al-Sham on the frontlines of Afrin region, giving the QSD forces a vital foothold in the northwestern canton. During the past two weeks their operations were followed by fierce battles, which led to the liberation of several villages in the county.
“Our people have faced and suffered from brutal attacks by different terrorist forces. As the Women’s Defence Units, what we are doing with this mission is keeping up the relentless defence against the terrorists. We focus on contributing to the liberation of the region, and to repel terror groups – Al-Nusra and their affiliates, such as Ahrar al-Sham. For our people to live in peace and security we will commit a fighting force capable of resisting and defeating all terrorist elements. To assist in that objective we call on young men and women to stand up in protection of their city and their fellow Syrians by supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces.” – Silva Qamishlo, Women’s Defence Units Combatant
“At this specific point, where we are in the village of Bene, it is critical that the population is defended against the terrorists attacks that took place with heavy weapons only days ago. We are now on duty in support of the village and the broader area. The enemy is a threat to our people and is still targeting the village with mortars. But they have been repelled. The people are also showing their resilience against such violence and stand shoulder to shoulder with our comrades. Ammunition and resources are low and we are light on numbers and rifles; also, our heaviest weapons are old (DShKs). Most of the time it’s cold, with a freezing wind blowing. Nevertheless, we are concentrated on what we are trying to achieve as the Syrian Democratic Forces coalition, to liberate the region and help the people establish and create a free and democratic society.” – Ruken Amuda, Women’s Defence Units Combatant
“Just like any other place where people prove their capabilities to protect universal values, the Women’s Defence Units defend this region and play a critical role in leading security operations. We will continue to respond to terrorist attacks, no matter what odds. Conducting day and night operations, we will ensure that the newly-established coalition of Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian military units – the Syrian Democratic Forces – remain united and strong. Altogether, we shall stop the terrorist intimidation of the people in Afrin region.” – Didar Kawa, Women’s Defence Units Commander