[Marxism] Fwd: They freed a Syrian town from ISIS. Now they have to govern it. - The Washington Post

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Sat Oct 31 08:03:14 MDT 2015

TAL ABYAD, Syria — When Islamic State fighters fled this northern Syrian 
town in June, they took with them the electricity generators, the water 
pumps, the hospital equipment and pretty much everything else that had 
helped sustain the semblance that they ran a functioning state.

They left behind their graffiti, their instruments of torture, the block 
of wood on which they beheaded their victims, the cage in which they 
punished smokers — and a community riven with suspicion and distrust.

Today, Tal Abyad is a tense and troubled place. Its new Kurdish masters 
are seeking to assert their control over a mixed town that, at least 
until recently, had an Arab majority — some of whom were not entirely 
unhappy to be governed by the Islamic State.

“As long as you didn’t bother them, they didn’t bother you,” said Sarkis 
Kaorkian, 60, who is one of the town’s few Christians who remained 
behind and is now deeply relieved the Islamic State is gone. He claims 
he drank and smoked his way through the group’s 17-month rule by staying 
out of their way and paying on time the $100 tax, or jizya, leveled 
twice a year on Christian residents.


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