Fierce resistance continues in northeast Syria against Turkey’s illegal invasion

A joint Turkish-Russian patrol
Tom Anderson

Turkey’s invasion of northeast Syria (aka Rojava) is facing fierce resistance from local defence forces. On Sunday 3 November, for example, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reported that they had destroyed a Turkish military vehicle:

 

As The Canary has previously reported;

The progressive Kurdish-led YPG and YPJ militias are at the heart of the SDF. These forces defeated Daesh in its de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa. Yet Turkey classifies these groups as terrorist organisations, with no valid justification.

Turkish-led forces invaded Rojava on 9 October. The NATO member has faced accusations of ethnic cleansing and war crimes, and its illegal invasion has so far killed over 300 civilians, created around 300,000 displaced people, and allowed hundreds of Daesh (Isis/Isil) supporters to escape detention.

The Canary previously wrote:

The Turkish invasion, which began on 9 October, is intended to crush the revolutionary movement in Rojava. This revolution is based on women’s freedom, direct democracy, peaceful co-existence, and living in harmony with the natural world.

[Turkish leader Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan sees the revolution in Rojava as a threat to his own autocratic rule because it acts as a beacon of hope for those who want to create radical peoples’ democracy in Turkey.

Resistance within the ‘safe zone’

Local civilians are also resisting the joint Russian-Turkish patrols in the so-called ‘safe-zone’.

On 22 October, Turkey and Russia reached an agreement to jointly patrol a 30km area along the northeast Syrian border:

Russian military police and Syrian border guards will enter the Syrian side of the Turkish-Syrian border to facilitate the removal of YPG elements and their weapons to the depth of 30km (19 miles) from the Turkish-Syrian border

Turkey and Russia are calling this area a ‘safe-zone’, or ‘security corridor‘.

On 29 October, left with little choice, the SDF agreed to withdraw:

The SDF is redeploying to new positions away from the Turkish-Syrian border across northeast Syria in accordance with the terms of the agreement in order to stop the bloodshed and to protect the inhabitants of the region from Turkish attacks. Our forces in the border zone are being replaced by border guards of the central government.

However, this video shows how the civilians living in the area feel about the joint patrols. The video was taken in the northern border town ofDirbêsiyê and shows stones being thrown at military vehicles

The people of Rojava are living with the threat of ethnic cleansing, and the constant threat of attack by Turkey and its jihadist proxy forces. Many are now living under occupation. They are risking their lives to resist.

We need to keep our eyes on what is happening in northeast Syria, and to do whatever is within our power to resist Turkey’s invasion.

Featured image via RiseUp4Rojava

Get involved

Tom Anderson is part of the Shoal Collective, a cooperative producing writing for social justice and a world beyond capitalism. Twitter: @shoalcollective

  • Join a demonstration against the Turkish invasion.
  • Kurdish activists are calling for people to boycott Turkey. To find out all the ways you can do this, visit Boycott Turkey.
  • Riseup4Rojava and Boycott Turkey are calling on people globally to take action against the companies supplying arms to Turkey.

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