‘We will turn Kobanê into hell for ISIS’

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

Members of one of the largest anarchist groups in Turkey, Devrimci Anarşist Faaliyet (DAF), or the Revolutionary Anarchist Action, who are known mostly for their local demonstrations and solidarity actions, have traveled into the predominantly Kurdish town of Kobanê (Ain al-Arab), located in northern Syria, in order to confront the self-described Islamic State (IS). Their slogan has been, “We are all Kawa against Dehak,” a direct reference to traditional Kurdish mythology – the story of the ironworker Kawa who faces and then defeats the tyrant Dehak. According to the BBC, Kobanê has seen an exodus of at least 150,000 civilians, an overwhelming number of them being Kurdish, fleeing “across the border into Turkey seeking shelter,” all this in the shadows of US airstrikes and increased Turkish involvement in the region with the prospect of Turkey’s armed forces joining an already splintered international coalition combating the IS.

Union Solidarity International, a grassroots international union solidarity organization, reports that the Revolutionary Anarchist Action “along with thousands of young people, socialists, trade unionists, feminists, and other leftists” from Turkey managed to enter Kobanê, traveling there “to support and defend the city.” Revolutionary Anarchist Action released a statement which defines the IS as being “the subcontractor of the States that pursue income strategies on the region.” “People are fighting not for the schemes and strategies around meeting tables, not for income, but for their freedom,” the statement reads.

“All the plots of states and capitalism will be destroyed, procreated violence will be extinguished, ISIS will lose against the freedom fighters and the people will be victorious as always. We take our belief in freedom from Kawa, who stood against Dehak. And we take our belief from the many comrades fighting against Dehaks.”

Members of the Revolutionary Anarchist Action joined Yekîneyên Parastina Gel, or the People’s Protection Units, most commonly referred to as YPG, in resisting the takeover of Kobanê. According to DC based-journalist and Kurdish affairs analyst Mutlu Civiroglu, if the city of Kobanê falls to the so-called Islamic State it will be a defining moment as it would allow them to control the Mursitpinar Border Gate. “ISIS gives specific importance to border gates especially for trade, easy crossing for fighters and logistics, the treatment of injured fighters etc. In this regard, it is increasingly likely that ISIS will plan attacks on other border crossings controlled by the Kurds like Serekaniye and Til Kocer, and crossings controlled by rival Islamist groups in Azaz… If Kobane falls to ISIS, such a possibility will bring some additional advantages for ISIS to further pursue its goals.”

The United Nations chief spokeswoman Melissa Fleming has warned that if the enclave falls as many as 400,000 would be forced to flee into Turkey, as reported by Reuters: "We are preparing for the potential of the whole population fleeing into Turkey. Anything could happen… We don't know if all of those people will flee, but we are preparing for that contingency.” Up-to-date military equipment falling into the hands of IS forces has made defending Kobanê, Sinjar and Rabia difficult for the militia groups who are mostly armed with light machine guns and who are being forced to produce their own armor. According to Civiroglu, for at least two years the YPG have been fighting the IS:

“The group recently prevented the Islamic State from advancing in the strategically important area of Syria's Hasakah province, which neighbors Iraq's Nineveh province. Had it not been for the successful intervention of the YPG, the Islamic State would have merged the regions and posed a bigger threat both to Syria and Turkey, which borders both provinces.”

Protests in Turkey, which have included an all-female demonstration comprised of members from 36 separate civil society institutions, have peppered Istanbul – targeting the IS while “marching towards the ruling Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) headquarters in Kadıköy.” On September 26 it was reported by Isabel Hunter, a freelance journalist based in Turkey, that “protesters stormed a border fence to go to defend Kobanê” and that despite Turkish police’s attempts to break up these protests “several hundred unarmed protesters who had gathered on the Turkish side in solidarity with Syrian Kurds broke through a barbed wire fence and rushed towards the city.”

There are a growing number of Kurdish-Syrians returning, despite being pushed out of their homeland, so as to join the fight against the IS, some of whom had “never picked up a gun before.” Bernard Smith, Istanbul based correspondent for Al Jazeera English (AJE), recently tweeted that “mortar fire continues” in Kobanê, with Syrian Kurdish fighters “telling AJE that they dug trenches around the town and Islamic State fighters while using hit and run tactics” against them. Though it is hard to predict the outcome of this ongoing battle one thing that remains certain is that the refugee crisis has not ebbed, despite the Kobanê resistance. The United Nations reports that at least 60 percent of Iraqi’s fleeing into Jordan and Turkey are “from ISIS-controlled areas in Ninewa, Salah Al Din and Anbar governorates.” Those who have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees are revealing that “their homes [are] being burned” and that they fear “forced marriage, kidnapping and public threats.” Those fighting in Kobanê have promised, despite the hurdles they face, that they will “resist to the end.” “We are not demoralised nor hopeless, and we will not be. We will turn Kobanê into hell for ISIS.”

Roqayah Chamseddine is a Sydney based Lebanese-American journalist and commentator. She tweets @roqchams and writes 'Letters From the Underground.'


This article really does not put the finger on the heart of the problem. It does not mention the so called "fight against ISIS" by the coalition lead by US and consisting of those countries (Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar) which, as Joe Biden in his speech to Harvard students yesterday said correctly, have from the start helped ISIS to rise to its current power. Turkey of all states provides logistics, arms and has been helping terrorists since the beginning of the war against Syria to cross the border to Syria unhindered. The bombing by the coalition was supposed to stop ISIS from advancing towards Kobane. Instead the bombing destroyed Syrian infrastructure ie wheat silos. So why could ISIS not be stopped from advancing? Why instead ISIS seems even more powerful and advancing faster towards Kobane? Because this was the purpose of the so called bombing of ISIS and fighting terrorism. The warning to the population of Kobane to leave their city, knowing very well that men will accompany their families and the fact that Turkey does not allow Kurdish men back into Syria to fight ISIS speaks for itself. All this needs to be mentioned to get a more complete picture of the situation.

I didn't even know that there was anything happening in Kobani because media here makes it sound as though everyone fighting ISIS is either from the Iraqi army or part of the US "coalition" so I think you're being a bit harsh. Many people are being blocked from knowing about any resistance to ISIS.

In all likely hood the inevitable (Because the west insists upon it) war between Iran and the resistance axis and the west and it's puppets is coming in hot. The only question that remains to be answered is whether or not it is a 3 way war or 2 way war and my money is on the latter with daesh and Al Qaeda front fighting with the westerners and what ever pitiful forces the Arab dictators send to their deaths.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><img><h1><h2><h3><h4><h5><h6><blockquote><span><aside>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

^ Back to Top