The 129 people killed in the attacks in Paris last night were murdered by Daesh, the self proclaimed ‘Islamic State’. On June 25th this year a much larger ISIS suicide force of about 80 attacked the city of Kobane using a similar mix of suicide bombs, guns and the taking and murdering of hostages. Some 223 civilians were murdered, many when ISIS broke into homes killing everyone inside. Around 40 Kurdish militia were killed in the process of stopping the slaughter. (1 - Read more)
On October 16th ISIS suicide bombers attacked a pro-Kurdish peace rally in Ankara, killing 102 people. Although the bombers were from ISIS many understood that this bombing and the earlier Suruc bombing which killed 33 was accomplished with the aid of the Turkish state. ( 2 - Read more ) The October bombing was seen as part of the process of deliberate polarisation of the AKP government enabling them to once more win a majority in the parliament. Between the Suruc and Ankar bombings the US military had done a deal with Turkey where in return for the use of a major airbase they would turn a blind eye to Turkish airforce attacks on Kurdish forces fighting ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (3- Read More)
People gathered outside the Turkish embassy in Dublin last night to take part in a solidarity protest of remembrance for the 100 plus people killed in the bombing of a peace rally in Ankara on Saturday.
The cartoon on the left is from a few months ago but expresses how Kurds saw the role of the Turkish state towards ISIS and the conflict in Syria. Considerable evidence of support for ISIS from the Turkish state has been published in the international media over the last months. An ISIS commander told the Washington Post on August 12, 2014, "We used to have some fighters -- even high-level members of the Islamic State -- getting treated in Turkish hospitals."
This Sunday the Observer revealed details of a US Special forces raid on an ISIS compound. “One senior western official familiar with the intelligence gathered at the slain leader’s compound said that direct dealings between Turkish officials and ranking ISIS members was now “undeniable”.” Oil smuggling was what that ISIS leader was co-ordinating with the Turkish officials and ISIS were getting an “estimated $1m-$4m per day in oil revenue”
The Rojava revolution is taking place in three catons of northern Syria that are part of the area known as Kurdistan stretching through Turkey, Iran and Iraq. In 2012 a revolution occured in the Syrian cantoons, an area of 18,300 square km. The population of Rojava was estimated in 2014 as 4.6 million, obviously the ongoing war in the region makes precise estimates difficult in particual as refugees move into and out of the region as the fighting ebbs and flows.
Dublin protested last night against ISIS and the support it has received to date from the Turkish state. The protest was called by Lookleft in the aftermath of the Suruc bombing. 32 humanitarian volunteers on the way to help in the rebuilding of Kobane were killed in the bombing, at least 2 anarchists were amongst those killed.
The bomb went off on Monday at a community centre in Suruç a small mostly Kurdish town just across the border in the Turkish state. The Amara Culture Centre which was where 300 people on a Federation of Socialist Youth Associations stayed on their way to Kobane. 32 of them were killed by the bomb including at least two anarchists and over 100 injured, some critically.
17th May and ISIS capture Ramadi and with it another huge stock of modern US weaponry. Something like 6000 US trained Iraqi soldiers have fled the city without putting up much of a fight. From all accounts the ISIS force was considerable smaller and reliant on a waves of suicide car bombs for its final attack. It’s not hard to see why ISIS had been successful in establishing the idea that it was indeed an unstoppable force carrying out gods will.
But on the same day to the north west ISIS suffer yet another major defeat at the hands of the YPG and YPJ in Rojava. The YPG/J unlike the Iraqi army is a force almost starved of heavy modern weaponry. Photos have circulated online of self constructed armoured vehicles, often tractors with steel boxes bolted on, that for all intents and purposes are identical to the home made anarchist armour of the 1930s Spanish revolution. And no match at all for the captured US armour ISIS have.
Turkey goes to the polls June 7th and for the first time it looks like a radical left party, the HDP may get enough votes to claim seats in parliament. In the last couple of weeks of the campaign at least two HDP officers have been bombed, the driver of a HDP election vehicle was shot dead and unknown numbers of its activists have been arrested by the Turkish state.
Why is the Turkish state and the ruling AKP party so threatened by the HDP? The HDP presents itself as anti-capitalist and aspires to end religious, gender and racial discrimination. It has a 50% quota for women and a 10% quota for the LGBT community when fielding candidates. It's an expression of the movement coming out of Gezi park but also of the new ideology of the PKK and despite the peace process any manifestation related to the PKK continues to be repressed by the Turkish state.
“Ed, that’s soldier’s headed our way, we’re gonna have to move”. Sure enough the soldier is trudging down the road towards us, unshouldering his rifle and looking, even from this distance, distinctly narked. Ed doesn’t directly acknowledge my warning, except with a barely discernible movement of the head, focussed as he is on his camera shot. He knows I know that he’s heard me and he knows that as I haven’t yet added the “...now!” intensifier, that he has a few more precious seconds to finish the shot, as the camera pans over the ruins of Eastern Kobane against the backdrop of Mishtenur Hill. It’s 2:30 in the afternoon of Thursday 19 March on the Turkish side of the border with Syria and Kobane.
On October 8th about 200 people marched though Dublin to show solidarity with Kobane under attack by ISIS in an emergency demonstration organised at short notice.
What was intended as a rally turned into a march on the Dail (Irish parliament) when more than the expected 30-40 people turned up. The attendance was made up of members of the Kurdish community in Ireland, Turkish leftists and anarchists, left-republicans and other socialists.