On October 9, with the US’s implicit approval, the Erdogan regime launched a military operation in northern Syria (Rojava), which is called the “Peace Spring ”. Other factors lie behind the scenes of the occupation, which is hidden behind fancy diplomatic phrases about the preservation of Syria’s territorial integrity and the cleansing of “terror” focuses in the region: Preventing the national-democratic gains of the Kurdish people as an old state tradition, bringing a breath of fresh air to the neo-Ottomanist adventures established on the axis of the Middle East and Syria, reviving the decline in popularity due to the economic crisis, poverty and unemployment and raising the consent of the working class with a chauvinist campaign.
Particularly since the referendum in 2016, Erdogan has intensified his co-operation with the MHP (Fascist Party) and launched an overwhelming campaign against the Kurdish national movement. In this new era, especially with Selahattin Demirtas, the Kurdish political movement, which became increasingly strong in the field of civil politics, faced a severe oppression. Demirtas and many HDP politicians have been imprisoned; elected HDP mayors in Kurdish cities were replaced by trustees. While cities such as Sirnak, Nusaybin and Sur were freed from Kurdish youth militias, they were heavily destroyed. Hundreds of people lost their lives. On the other hand, along with the “Euphrates Shield” and “Olive Branch” operations, the Kurdish self-government in Syria, especially Afrin, was severely hit. Through the establishment of post offices, colleges and district governors in these regions, the government is trying to lay the foundations of a possible annexation step and violates Syria’s right to sovereignty. Fanatical Islamist groups in Idlib are continuing their battle under Turkey’s auspices. The current operation, Peace Spring, aims to deal a permanent blow to the gains of the Kurdish people and to radically change the demographic structure of the region through jihadist gangs called “Syrian National Army”.
In this process, the Kurdish people were abandoned by imperialism, especially by the USA. When the danger of ISIS was eliminated, the PYD-YPG, which was once supported for operations against ISIS, is now abandoned in order to prevent the shift of the Erdogan regime, which is one of NATO’s strongest allies in the region, to the axis of Russia. In addition, this move also attempts to prevent the possibility of a de-facto occupation by the TAF, to secure US interests in the region in the long term. The PYD-YPG pays heavily for its unilateral attachment to and trust of the United States. This process has proved that oppressed peoples cannot taste freedom depending on imperialist balances. The history of the Kurdish people is full of countless tragic examples: from the experience of the very short period of the Mahabad Kurdistan Republic in 1946 to the independence referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan that was crushed with Baghdad tanks in 2017.
The current dynamics of the Middle East, which were shaped by imperialist powers such as Britain and France after the First Imperialist War, have produced nothing but blood and tears for more than a century. The biggest victims of this process were the oppressed peoples such as the Palestinian and Kurdish peoples. These peoples have faced the most extreme examples of imperialist-capitalist barbarism. Ethnic and religious identity divisions have paved the way for bloody civil wars and massacres in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon.
The imperialist capitalist system surrenders the oppressed peoples of the region: Palestine is oppressed by the Zionist policies of Israel, Yemen is massacred by the dirty regimes of the Gulf, and Rojava is attacked by the military aggression of the Erdogan regime. For Kurdish workers, there is no other option but to unite with the workers of the other nations, to raise solidarity and build an internationalist alternative against occupations and imperialist hypocrisy. Freedom, equality and sisterhood will not come until the imperialist status quo, which imprisons the Kurds, is completely demolished. The movement of the laborers in Iraq and Lebanon currently demonstrates that the only possible way out is to overcome ethno-sectarian divisions. If a unified socialist struggle succeeds in becoming an alternative for the youth and laborers of the Middle East, the bourgeois system, not only in the Middle East, but in the whole world, will be shaken. Only a Socialist Middle East Federation, established based on real equality, can bring salvation for the oppressed and working people. The International Socialist League calls on workers, women and the youth of the whole world to surround the Kurdish people with solidarity.
October of 2019