[Marxism] Geopolitics of Syrian Kurds and military cooperation with the US

Chris Slee chris_w_slee at hotmail.com
Fri Dec 8 17:48:21 MST 2017



http://links.org.au/geopolitics-syria-kurds-military-cooperation-united-states

This article explains the reasons for the military cooperation between the US and the Syrian Democratic Forces against the "Islamic State", and the limits of that cooperation.

The translation is imperfect, but in most cases the meaning is clear.

*****

"The YPG/YPJ are the defense forces of Rojava where the Movement for a Democratic Society (TEV-DEM) has started a revolutionary process in 2011....TEV-DEM organized in a strong way the Kurdish society, and became the biggest political force in Rojava within a short time and together with the YPG liberated territories of Rojava starting in Kobani on July 19, 2012....

"Shortly after the liberation of most parts of Rojava the Turkish state pressured reactionary-chauvinist-jihadist organizations in Syria to militarily attack Rojava. The attacks started in November 2012 in Serêkaniye and continued in the summer of 2013 when IS (at that time named ISIS/ISIL), Al-Nusra and some units of the FSA started a big campaign against Cizîre and Afrîn. All have been defeated successfully. There was not any critic[ism] or action by any regional or international government against these attacks. Rojava was not part of their future plans for Syria....

"While in spring 2014 there seemed to be a certain balance in and around Rojava, everything changed when the IS took over Mosul in one night on June 8, 2014 and became a very strong military and ideological power. With the urging of the Turkish government, IS started a huge offensive in mid-September 2014 against Kobani....

"Since September 14, 2014 IS was advancing towards Kobanî city with a technically superior force, but not as fast as planned and with some serious losses. On October 6, 2014 mass protests started in all cities of Bakur [Turkish Kurdistan], in the big cities of Turkey and in hundreds of cities in Europe and other parts of the world in solidarity with the people of Kobanî and against its siege by IS and the support of the Turkish government for IS. In Bakur, the Turkish police forces attacked the protesting population and killed around 40. Also in the other parts of Kurdistan mass demonstrations were happening. Never before in history had so many Kurds in all four parts of Kurdistan and in each region risen up together! In Europe, almost all major cities were full of daily protests. The world press was already covering the war in Kobanî for around two weeks, and had sent journalists to the Turkish side of the border to Kobanî. Nearby, tens of thousands were protesting continuously the blockade of the border to Kobanî by the Turkish government. International media was reporting daily from the border of Kobanî how IS was approaching the city which became world famous within two weeks....

"It was in this context that when IS entered Kobanî city, the US decided to bomb IS from the air. It is worth remembering that just one week before that the US Minister for Foreign Affairs, John Kerry, declared that they do not see any hope to defend Kobanî. However, in this one week much had happened as described above. It can be said that if the US did not support the Kurds in Kobanî, it would have faced strong and long lasting criticism by the international press, as well as by the world public opinion including the Kurds and other peoples in the Middle East....

"The fight against the IS is an essential (official) interest of the US in their international policies, particularly [after] it took over Mosul in June 2014. As the KFM [Kurdish Freedom Movement] was resisting the attacks of the IS quite successfully, in the special conditions of the summer and fall of 2014 there was a coincidence of short-term interests....The military cooperation between SDF and US can be compared with the military cooperation of the US and the Soviet Union against the Hitler fascism between 1941 and 1945....

"This military engagement was done also with the interest to limit the influence of Iran in Iraq which increased especially in the years after the retreat of the US from Iraq in 2011....

"A further reason was to limit the new policy of the Turkish state which aims to become a regional power with imperialist characteristics and less connections to the NATO....

"The cooperation is military, not political....

"The efforts to build up communes everywhere never ceased after the start of the military cooperation with the US; rather the number of communes doubled. Also the creation of cooperatives continued; while in fall 2014 the number of cooperatives was around several dozen, today there are at least several hundred cooperatives. The democratic-communal economy continues to be developed, but without [forcing anybody] to follow this way – it is based on convincing [people to participate]. From these facts it is possible to state that there is no concession by the revolutionaries to the core content of the revolution. The [criticism of] capitalist modernity and capitalist mentality was even stronger than in May 2014 when the author traveled for the first time to Rojava....

"Only a strong international solidarity with the revolution of Rojava will make the revolutionaries less dependent from military cooperations like with the US."






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