Foza Yusif: Whoever attacks Efrîn will lose
Northern Syrian Democratic Federation Executive Council Co-chair Foza Yusif said: “Whoever attacks Efrîn will lose to the people of Efrîn. These attacks will unite the North and Rojava. Nobody should engage in wrongful calculations.”
Recently, the most talked about development is the Idlib operation. There is much discussion on Russia entering an alliance with the Turks and allowing Turkey to enter Idlib in particular. Everybody knows that the actual goal of President Erdoğan, who has built his strategy on animosity against Kurds and turned it into a raison d'être, is to invade Efrîn.
Northern Syrian Democratic Federation Executive Council Co-chair Foza Yusif answered ANF’s questions about the developments in Syria and Rojava.
The SDF announced that Raqqa will be liberated soon and it will be shared with the public. What do you want to say?
I say congratulations to all fighters, martyrs and the Syrian people already. Raqqa was the capital of ISIS. Now the liberation of Raqqa also means the defeat of ISIS. This is a very important victory for us and will mark the beginning of a new period. After this, the war will come into the second phase and will be talked about more in the political arena. It is possible to say that a political solution will start in Rojava with the liberation of Raqqa. It will also bring about a development that could be a solution to the chaos in Syria.
What will Raqqa’s status be after the liberation?
With the liberation of Raqqa, the already founded Raqqa Civilian Council will expand and continue their efforts. Like in Manbij, Raqqa will form its institutions and work. They will bring services to the people. So the people of Raqqa will determine their own fate and govern themselves.
A platform with a wide participation was held in Ayn Isa. There were discussions on the future of Raqqa. What do you think about this platform and these efforts?
This platform was very important. At the same time, it was a preparation to greet the Raqqa Civilian Council’s freedom. Another important point is that there were very important discussions about the future of Raqqa and many important decisions were made. These meetings are very important to see the process ahead and to analyse and achieve important results. The outcomes of the platform are also very important.
On the other hand, there is a very important operation in progress in Deir ez-Zor. What would you say about the operation and its significance?
It is very important, both politically and geographically. This city connects the north and south of Syria. Deir ez-Zor is that important. But how it will be liberated, by which forces, what will happen afterwards, I believe these will be determined by the political solution.
What do you think about the Syrian regime and Russia attacking the SDF in Deir ez-Zor? What do the attacks aim for?
Neither Russia nor Syria want the SDF to advance and they are trying to prevent it. With the liberation of cities like Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, the people who live there will have a say. These attacks want to prevent that as well. But they can’t stand against this.
What do you think about the operation on Idlib? What can you say about the goals and outcomes of the operation?
I believe Russia’s great strategic mistake is including Turkey in the Idlib operation. Still, it is very wrong that they are allowing the Turks into Idlib. All the decisions have already been made in Idlib. Also, as always, they want to smother the Kurds in Efrîn. But they won’t succeed. Secondly, like they took Aleppo, Azaz and Jarablus, they want to take the areas Iran wants in Idlib and separate these areas from Damascus. Russia can’t fight in two fronts at this time, because they are interested in Deir ez-Zor. That is why they cleared the way for the Turks and allowed them to enter Idlib. But, I want to stress once more, that they won’t achieve any results and they will be in a great mistake. Turkey will never want to leave that area. They will want to continue with their fascist state mentality.
There has been an extensive embargo on the Efrîn Canton for 5 years already. Now with the Turks entering Idlib, are you expecting an attack on Efrîn?
One of the goals of the operation on Idlib is to attack Efrîn. Since the beginning, Turks have been waiting for this day. Now all they think about is to carry out this attack as soon as possible.
What is beneath Turkish President Erdoğan’s comments of “I don’t want a second Kobanê, and I won’t allow it to come to pass”?
I think these comments show that Erdoğan is under pressure and afraid. And that shows that they have very dirty plans. Erdoğan worked very hard to break the Kobanê resistance. He didn’t want the Kurds to succeed. But both ISIS and Erdoğan were defeated.
What will the people of Efrîn and the Kurdish people in general do in the face of Turkey’s attack on Efrîn?
Efrin has been preparing for a possible attack for the last two years and it is ready for one now. I say the people will display a great resistance and a heroic stance. Whoever attacks, they will lose to the people of Efrîn. That is why the war won’t only be confined to Efrîn. These attacks will unite the North and Rojava. So, nobody should engage in wrongful calculations.
Following the commune elections, elections for the Council will be held. Rojava is inching towards the federation. Can you talk about the efforts in place now?
These elections are very important. For the first time, the people are holding an election with their own free will. Participation in the elections is very important. The people of Rojava participated in the commune elections with a high percentage. Now there will be the Council, and then the federation elections. I believe the participation will be high for these as well. With this model, we will be a solution to the issues in Syria. We will solve the people’s issues with this system.
One of the recent statements by the Syrian regime was “We can discuss autonomy with the Kurds”, and another was “The Kurds are drunk on US investment, but these investments will end one day”. What do you think about these two comments?
It is apparent that the Syrian regime is not OK with the armed and political organizations in Northern Syria. We know that the regime is once again engaging in a fascistic approach to once more take control of the rights and the fate of the peoples of Rojava. They want to thus try and block the democratic forces. Sometimes they voice this with small reactions and sometimes with threats. But we continue, without heeding these too much.
Will the Federation be a model for a solution to the people of Syria, the people of Rojava and the peoples of the Middle East?
The Syrian people have had thousands of martyrs for freedom and democracy. And we respond to the systems against the people by creating a new system. As the federation system settles, we will be able to resolve our issues more easily. We can tend our wounds more easily. That is why we fight. A system that will be a cure for what ails the peoples.
What is the importance of women in the federation system?
We saw how enthusiastic women were and how much they participated during the commune elections. This system is the women’s system as well as the peoples’ system. Women defended this system before anybody. And I am issuing a call for women to protect it more, defend it and put themselves into it.