KURDISH WEEKLY NEWS BRIEFING, 20 – 27 JANUARY 2018

 

  1. KCK calls for national unity based on democratic values
  2. SDF: 308 Turkish soldiers and gangs were killed in seven days
  3. International volunteers join mass mobilization to defend Afrin
  4. SDF: 308 Turkish soldiers and gangs were killed in seven days
  5. British MP calls for an end to Turkey’s assault on Afrin
  6. Kurds invited to Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi — diplomat
  7. US to Turkey: De-escalate Tensions in Northern Syria, Focus on Fighting Islamic State
  8. Syria war: Kurds call on Damascus to defend against Turks
  9. US to Turkey: De-escalate Tensions in Northern Syria, Focus on Fighting Islamic State
  10. Syria war: Kurds call on Damascus to defend against Turks
  11. British men prepare to fight Turkish-led forces in Syria
  12. Turkey’s preoccupation with Syrian Kurds could spell disaster for US
  13. Turkish attack highlights Syrian Kurds’ isolation
  14. Pentagon Chief Slams Ankara’s Op in Syria Amid US-Turkey Row Over Kurds
  15. Turkey to extend Syria campaign to Kurdish-controlled Manbij

    STATEMENTS

1. There is no justification for Turkish Attacks on Afrin
2.GMB CONDEMNS BORIS JOHNSON’S ‘ILL-INFORMED’ REMARKS ABOUT TURKEY’S ATTACK ON KURDISH REGION OF AFRIN
3. UNISON letter to Boris Johnson
4.ELDH calls on EU and the EU member states to condemn the Turkish attack on Afrin (Northern Syria)
5.KCK-INFO Kurdistan Democratic Communities’ Union -Info Koma Civaken Kurdistan – Info
6. Statement to the Public Opinion: Syrian democratic forces- General Command
7. Kurdistan Democratic Communities’ Union -Info Koma Civaken Kurdistan – Info
8. The Afrin Resistance

 OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. Kalkan: “The Afrin resistance will spread throughout Kurdistan”
  2. A call for solidarity: defend Afrin – defend humanity!
  3. Protest Against UK Complicity In “Genocidal Fascist Invasion” of Northern Syria
  4. The geopolitics of the Kurds and the case of Rojava
  5. Jineology Conference – Women of northern Syria ‘will be an example to the entire world’
  6. Mixed Messages From U.S. as Turkey Attacks Syrian Kurds
  7. The Kurdish Question; An Answer for All of Us? 
  8. Will Trump Stop the Attacks on America’s Strongest Ally in Syria?
  9. An Appeal to the U.S.: Don’t Abandon the Kurds

ACTION, EVENTS

  1. Do Not Let Afrin Become Another Kobane
  2. MARCH AND RALLY ON AFRIN Saturday 27 January
  3. SPECIAL EVENT: MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL DELEGATION TO OBSERVE TRIALS OF HDP CO-CHAIRS DEMIRTAS AND YUKSEKDAG REPORTS BACK


———————————
NEWS

  1. KCK calls for national unity based on democratic values
    26 January/ANF News
    In a message addressed to the workshop in Sulaymaniyah KCK said, “our real problem and point of discussion is if we will construct national unity on democratic principles and values or on nationalist approaches” and warned about the effects of nationalism on Kurds.
    https://anfenglish.com/news/kck-calls-for-national-unity-based-on-democratic-values-24470
  1. SDF: 308 Turkish soldiers and gangs were killed in seven days
    26 january/ANF News
    SDF Central Command released a statement about ongoing clashes with Turkish army and said that 308 Turkish soldiers and gang members, including four officers and one gang leader, were killed in the last seven days.
    59 civilians were killed and 134 were wounded by the Turkish army and 43 SDF fighters lost their lives during the clashes.
    https://anfenglish.com/news/sdf-308-turkish-soldiers-and-gangs-were-killed-in-seven-days-24472
  1. International volunteers join mass mobilization to defend Afrin
    26 January/ANF News
    The fighters from all over the world, who joined the fight against ISIS for years, announced that they would respond the call to mobilize by Afrin local administration. Fighters stated that they will not stay silent while Afrin is being attacked by Turkish occupation army. “We’ve been fighting against ISIS terrorism for years. No one should expect us to stay silent when the territories saved from ISIS with blood is being invaded.”
    https://anfenglish.com/rojava/international-volunteers-join-mass-mobilization-to-defend-afrin-24471
  1. SDF: 308 Turkish soldiers and gangs were killed in seven days
    26 January/ANF News
    The fighters from all over the world, who joined the fight against ISIS for years, announced that they would respond the call to mobilize by Afrin local administration. Fighters stated that they will not stay silent while Afrin is being attacked by Turkish occupation army. “We’ve been fighting against ISIS terrorism for years. No one should expect us to stay silent when the territories saved from ISIS with blood is being invaded.”
    https://anfenglish.com/news/sdf-308-turkish-soldiers-and-gangs-were-killed-in-seven-days-24472
  1. British MP calls for an end to Turkey’s assault on Afrin
    26 January/ANF News
    British politician Joan Ryan, Member of Parliament for Enfield North, sent an appeal to Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson regarding the Turkish military’s assault on Afrin and to express her serious concerns about the deterioration of the security and humanitarian situation for the Kurdish community in the area.
    https://anfenglish.com/news/british-mp-calls-for-an-end-to-turkey-s-assault-on-afrin-24465
  1. Kurds invited to Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi — diplomat
    25 January/Tass.com
    “We are totally focused on preparations for the Congress,” she said. “Invitations have been sent to representatives of the Kurds and now it is up to them to decide whether to accept the invitations and take an active part in the event,” the Russian diplomat added.
    http://tass.com/politics/986912
  1. US to Turkey: De-escalate Tensions in Northern Syria, Focus on Fighting Islamic State
    25 January/Global Security
    The United States is urging Turkey to de-escalate tensions over its military operations in Syria and focus on the fight to defeat the Islamic State militants, amid a growing distrust between two NATO allies.
    https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/turkey/2018/turkey-180125-voa01.htm?_m=3n%2e002a%2e2211%2elx0ao0bqce%2e21a1
  2. Syria war: Kurds call on Damascus to defend against Turks
    25 January/BBC
    Kurdish authorities in Syria’s northern Afrin enclave have called on Syrian troops to defend the region’s border, as a Turkish offensive continues there.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-42826253

 9. British men prepare to fight Turkish-led forces in Syria
24 January/BBC News
British men are among a group of international volunteers preparing to fight against Turkish-led forces in north-west Syria, the BBC understands.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42799284?intlink_from_url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/topics/cg41ylwvggnt/syrian-civil-war&link_location=live-reporting-story

  1. Turkey’s preoccupation with Syrian Kurds could spell disaster for US
    23 January/The Guardian
    The US, Britain and France have all strongly criticised the Turkish invasion of northern Syria, but the three countries have so far been unwilling to instruct their Nato partner to pull back.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/23/turkey-preoccupation-syrian-kurds-could-spell-disaster-for-us

    11. Turkish attack highlights Syrian Kurds’ isolation
    24 January/Agence France
    After Turkey assaulted a relatively peaceful Kurdish enclave of northern Syria, regional leaders fear the world will abandon them even though they provided the ground troops who beat the Islamic State group.For the past four days, Turkish troops and allied Arab Islamist fighters have been battling their way into Syria’s Afrin canton, which is defended by the American-backed Kurdish YPG militia.
    https://www.afp.com/en/news/826/turkish-attack-highlights-syrian-kurds-isolation-doc-xm79w1

  2. Pentagon Chief Slams Ankara’s Op in Syria Amid US-Turkey Row Over Kurds
    23 January/Global Security
    Just a month after the US promised Turkey to halt its arms supplies to the Syrian Kurdish fighters, the Pentagon announced plans to created a 30,000-strong border force from Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Afrin, which has been dubbed as a “terrorist army” by Ankara.
    https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/news/turkey/2018/turkey-180123-sputnik02.htm?_m=3n%2e002a%2e2210%2elx0ao0bqce%2e218u
  1. Turkey to extend Syria campaign to Kurdish-controlled Manbij
    25 January/The Guardian
    Turkey has said it will extend its incursion in Syria to the town of Manbij, taking its forces to the edge of the US-backed Kurdish presence in the country’s north-east and raising the spectre of a military standoff with Washington.https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jan/24/turkey-to-extend-syria-campaign-to-kurdish-controlled-manbij

STATEMENTS
1. There is no justification for Turkish Attacks on Afrin
26 January/Peace in Kurdistan campaign
Joan Ryan MP has called on the Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary to make urgent representations to their Turkish counterparts, to end the Turkish military’s assault on the Kurdish region of Afrin in Syria.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/there-is-no-justification-for-the-turkish-attack-on-afrin-says-joan-ryan-mp/

2. GMB CONDEMNS BORIS JOHNSON’S ‘ILL-INFORMED’ REMARKS ABOUT TURKEY’S ATTACK ON KURDISH REGION OF AFRIN
26 January/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
Instead of selling arms to the genocidal Erdogan regime, Johnson should be supporting the Kurds who have been pivotal in defeating ISIS says GMB GMB, Britain’s general union, has condemned Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s ill-informed and hypocritical comments about Turkey’s illegitimate attack on Afrin.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/gmb-condemns-boris-johnsons-ill-informed-remarks-about-turkeys-attack-on-kurdish-region-of-afrin/

3. UNISON letter to Boris Johnson
26 January/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
On behalf of UNISON’s 1.3 million members working in public services in the UK, I am writing to express our deep concern over recent Turkish military attacks on the Syrian Kurdish area of Afrin.
https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/unison-letter-to-boris-johnson/

  1. ELDH calls on EU and the EU member states to condemn the Turkish attack on Afrin (Northern Syria)
    26 January/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
    ELDH calls on the EU, and all other world powers, to condemn Turkey’s unprovoked attack on the people of Afrin in Syria. This amounts to a war crime (aggression) and commission of crimes against humanity.
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/eldh-calls-on-eu-and-the-eu-member-states-to-condemn-the-turkish-attack-on-afrin-northern-syria/
  1. KCK-INFO Kurdistan Democratic Communities’ Union -Info Koma Civaken Kurdistan – Info
    26 January/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
    AKP-MHP fascist rule in Turkey has begun the air and ground invasion operation against the Kurdish town of Afrin. This comes after months of threatening and targeting campaign. Turkey wants to destroy the democratic system which was established on the principle of brotherhood of Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen peoples. There are two main reasons for these attacks. Firstly, the anti-Kurdish AKP-MHP fascist rule wants to destroy Kurdish people’s gains in Afrin. Secondly, the AKP-MHP which have come to the point of losing their power; so they try to shore up their fascist rule by carrying out this invasion operation.
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/kck-info-kurdistan-democratic-communities-union-info-koma-civaken-kurdistan-info/
  1. Statement to the Public Opinion: Syrian democratic forces- General Command
    26 January/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
    After the liberation of Mosul, Raqqa, and the pressure imposed on the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist organization, the world’s effort to counter terrorists reached to the peak, and it was followed with ISIS’ encirclement in the town of Bukamal, leaving the terrorists with no way. With all of that, a hope for freedom and democracy was inspired in the hearts of Syrian components and all the people around the world; peace and stability then were of important talks to the forces who wanted to relieve the sufferings of the Syrian peoples. In that area, the International Coalition was preparing to declare the completion of the campaign against ISIS in a short time.
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/statement-to-the-public-opinion-syrian-democratic-forces-general-command/
  1. Kurdistan Democratic Communities’ Union -Info Koma Civaken Kurdistan – Info
    26 January/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
    The AKP-MHP fascist rule, in collaboration with the anti-human gangs has launched an occupation attack against Afrin. They want to totally strip Afrin, an oasis of democracy for Syria and the Middle East, of the Kurdish population and replace them with these gangs. The AKP-MHP fascist rule has once again demonstrated its enmity towards the Kurds. Through this occupation attack, they want to shore up and nurture the reactionary forces in the Middle East.
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/kurdistan-democratic-communities-union-info-koma-civaken-kurdistan-info/

 

  1. The Afrin Resistance
    26 January/ Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
    The Canton of Efrîn (Afrin) is laying to the south of the Fertile Crescent that has been regarded the mother of civilisation. Located on the west of Rojava, it consists of 202.775 hectare of land rich in natural resources. Efrîn has seven districts, including Şêrawa, Cindirêsê, Mabeta, Reco, Bilbil, Şiyê û Şera. These are all populated by the Kurds. Inside Efrîn city, however, there is a small number of Arab population. In Mabeta district, there are Alwaite Kurds. Throughout Efrîn there are dozens of Yezidi populated villages with a total number of around 25.000 inhabitants.
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/the-afrin-resistance/

OPINION, COMMENTARY, ANALYSIS

  1. Kalkan: “The Afrin resistance will spread throughout Kurdistan”
    25 January/ANF News
    PKK Executive Committee Member Duran Kalkan spoke in the graduation ceremony of guerrilla candidates who completed their training and said, “We will mobilize to defend Afrin, Shehba and all of Rojava. We will do whatever is necessary to break this fascist aggression of AKP-MHP-ISIS that has become the bane of humanity today throughout Kurdistan, and to send them to the trash can of history.”
    https://anfenglish.com/kurdistan/kalkan-the-afrin-resistance-will-spread-throughout-kurdistan-24447
  1. A call for solidarity: defend Afrin – defend humanity!
    24 January/Roar
    As I write, the Turkish army is engaged in an illegal cross-border invasion of the Syrian-Kurdish region of Afrin. Claiming to fight “terrorists,” the Turkish state — an EU candidate, ally of the West and second-largest NATO army — launched an act of aggression against the same people who earned the world’s respect for defeating ISIS with their courageous sacrifices and historic resistance. The military campaign includes pro-Erdogan Free Syrian Army (FSA) troops and poses a threat to 800,000 civilians, half of whom are internally displaced people who sought refuge in Afrin from regions like Idlib and Aleppo.
    https://roarmag.org/essays/call-solidarity-defend-afrin-defend-humanity/
  1. Protest Against UK Complicity In “Genocidal Fascist Invasion” of Northern Syria
    25 January/The Real News
    MOHAMED ELMAAZI: Demonstrators gathered outside of the British prime minister’s residence at Number 10 Downing Street in London on Tuesday to condemn what they see as British complicity with the recent Turkish invasion and bombardment of northern Syria, in particular the district of Afrin.
    http://therealnews.com/t2/story:20981:Protest-Against-UK-Complicity-In-“Genocidal-Fascist-Invasion”-of-Northern-Syria

    4. The geopolitics of the Kurds and the case of Rojava
    26 January/Open Democracy
    Nowadays, with the defeat of the so called “Islamic State” (IS) on the ground in Syria the geopolitics of the Syrian Kurds is discussed more than ever. To be precise, we should speak of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and of the political structure “Democratic Federation of Northern Syria” (DFNS) of which Rojava (West/Syrian Kurdistan) is a part. What is of interest for this article is the criticism by some (or many) leftists against the military cooperation with the US. However, speaking only of the US would be too limiting, since in this particular conflict Russia, Turkey and Iran are also closely involved.https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/ercan-ayboga/geopolitics-of-kurds-and-case-of-rojava

  1. Jineology Conference – Women of northern Syria ‘will be an example to the entire world’
    22 January/Morning Star
    EARLIER this month women gathered in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) in the city of Derek for the first ever conference on jineology — a Kurdish term meaning “the science of women,” which is aimed at developing a sociology, and practice behind it, based on truth and equality.
    https://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/article/women-northern-syria-will-be-example-entire-world
  1. Mixed Messages From U.S. as Turkey Attacks Syrian Kurds
    23 January/The New York Times
    The White House sent out a message aimed at mollifying Turkey’s president on Tuesday, suggesting that the United States was easing off its support for the Syrian Kurds. That message was quickly contradicted by the Pentagon, which said it would continue to stand by the Kurds, even as Turkey invaded their stronghold in northwestern Syria.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/world/middleeast/us-nato-turkey-afrin-manbij.html
  2. The Kurdish Question; An Answer for All of Us? (Descent Politics #1)
    Interweave
    This post is not aimed at the general public. This post is aimed at revolutionaries, ecopreneurs, sociologists, anyone who suffers from mental ill-health or who works in mental health, feminists of all kinds, political strategists, Transitioners, environmentalists and others who see the inevitability of the coming energy Descent to a more localised, resource-wise future the world over.
    http://www.interweav.wordpress.com
  1. Will Trump Stop the Attacks on America’s Strongest Ally in Syria?
    24 January/Rollingstone
    Just when it looked like the seven-year war in Syria might be nearing its end, Turkey has invaded the northwestern province of Afrin. The target of the invasion is the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, the Kurdish militia that, with American military backing, recently defeated ISIS in Raqqa. President Trump is scheduled to speak to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday, but it already seems clear the United States isn’t going to stick up for its ally.
    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/will-trump-stop-the-attacks-on-americas-strongest-ally-in-syria-w515822
  1. An Appeal to the U.S.: Don’t Abandon the Kurds
    23 January/The New York Times
    As the United States sits idle while the Turkish government proceeds with bombardment of the largely Kurdish canton of Afrin in northern Syria, we should all remember this: In contrast to Turkey, its neighbor to the north, Afrin, like other Kurdish regions in Syria, is based on a system of governance that enshrines the rights of women, ethnic minorities and grass-roots democracy, and it has never shown signs of aggression toward Turkey.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/23/opinion/turkey-syria-kurds.html?rref=collection%2Fsectioncollection%2Fopinion&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=6&pgtype=sectionfront

ACTION, EVENTS

  1. Do Not Let Afrin Become Another Kobane
    26 January/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign
    We, the undersigned academics and human rights activists, insist that the leaders of Russia, Iran, and the U.S. ensure that the sovereignty of Syrian borders is not breached by Turkey and that the people of Afrin in Syria, be allowed to live in peace.
    https://peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/do-not-let-afrin-become-another-kobane/
  1. MARCH AND RALLY ON AFRIN Saturday 27 January
    26 January/Peace in Kurdistan Campaign

    “The battle symbolizes the two options that the peoples and communities of the Middle East face today: between militarist, patriarchal, fascist dictatorships on the one hand, controlled by foreign imperialist interests and capital, or the solidarity between autonomous, self-determined, free and equal communities on the other. The defense of Afrin is an opportunity for the left to unite against fascism and mobilize against militarism, occupation and war.”
    peaceinkurdistancampaign.com/2018/01/26/defend-afrin-defend-humanity-unite-against-war/

    3. SPECIAL EVENT: MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL DELEGATION TO OBSERVE TRIALS OF HDP CO-CHAIRS DEMIRTAS AND YUKSEKDAG REPORTS BACK, Tuesday, 30 January, House of Commons 5.30pm
    http://www.kurdishprogress.org/special_event_members_of_the_international_delegation_hdp_co-chairs?utm_campaign=event_30_jan3&utm_medium=email&utm_source=kurdishprogress

 Peace in Kurdistan

Campaign for a political solution of the Kurdish Question

Email: estella24@tiscali.co.uk

http://www.peaceinkurdistancampaign.com

Contacts Estella Schmid 020 7586 5892 & Melanie Gingell – Tel: 020 7272 7890

Fax: 020 7263 0596

Patrons: John Austin, Christine Blower, NUT International Secretary, Prof Bill Bowring, Julie Christie, Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn MP,  Prof Mary Davis, Lord Dholakia, Simon Dubbins, UNITE International Director,  Jill Evans MEP, Lindsey German, Convenor STWC, Melanie Gingell, Rahila Gupta, Nick Hildyard, Dafydd Iwan, Former President Plaid Cymru, James Kelman, Bruce Kent, Jean Lambert MEP, Elfyn Llwyd, Aonghas MacNeacail, Scottish Gaelic poet, Mike Mansfield QC, Doug Nicholls, General Secretary, GFTU, Dr. Jessica Ayesha Northey, International Coordinator, Green Party of England and Wales;; Sinn Fein MLA Conor Murphy, Dr Thomas Jeffrey Miley, Kate Osamor MP, Margaret Owen OBE, Gareth Peirce, Maxine Peake, Lord Rea, Joe Ryan, Stephen Smellie, Steve Sweeney, Dr Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Dr Tom Wakeford, Dr Derek Wall, Julie Ward MEP, Hywel Williams MP.

 

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