Guerrillas, peshmergas and civilians in Kirkuk evaluate the past one year

One year has passed since ISIS gangs attacked the lands of South Kurdistan after suffering a heavy blow in Rojava, West Kurdistan.

One year has passed since ISIS gangs attacked the lands of South Kurdistan after suffering a heavy blow in Rojava, West Kurdistan.

After freely and easily entering and taking the city of Mosul on June 9, 2014, ISIS gangs entered the town of Shengal and perpetrated a massacre of Kurdish Êzîdî people on August 3, after which they attacked Maxmur on August 6 and Kirkuk soon later.

Guerrillas of HPG (People's Defense Forces) and YJA-Star (Free Women's Troops), peshmergas and local people in Kirkuk spoke to ANF about the past one year.


HPG guerrilla Andok Serhildan: Our arrival in Başure (South) Kurdistan was a multilateral and strategic situation, it was a result of the gains we as Kurdish people and movement had achieved during the past 35 years of struggle. The ISIS gangs that were created against the gains of the Kurdish people in Rojava attacked our people and their values, to which our movement waged strong resistance and never allowed any gains for the gangs. On seeing that they wouldn't get anything from Rojava, the gangs wended their way to the people of South Kurdistan under so-called KDP security. As HPG guerrillas, we came to South Kurdistan to defend our people with a spirit of self-sacrifice. After Mosul, gangs attacked Shengal, Maxmur and Kirkuk because of the strategic importance they possess.

As a matter of fact, there could have taken place great massacres had it not been for the resistance here. Besides its geostrategic location, Kirkuk also houses remarkable underground treasures. This is why these lands have witnessed wars and massacres for thousands of years.

Because of the fact that every four part of Kurdistan is the same to us, guerrilla will always be defending the people against the attacks targeting them in Başur (South), Bakur (North), Rojhilat (East) and Rojava (West) Kurdistan. As HPG guerrillas, we have done our duty and part in the defense of the Maxmur-Kirkuk line and we will continue doing the same.


YJA-Star guerrilla Zelal Newal: The ISIS gangs that launched very severe and many-sided attacks on South Kurdistan perpetrated a big massacre in Shengal after taking Mosul under their control. They were planning to make Hewler fall after taking control of Maxmur which they attacked with this purpose. Within this process, thousands of women and children were either kidnapped or killed by ISIS due to the failure of responsible parties and organisations to play their role. It is not a coincidental case that we came here to defend Başur in this process. It was our major responsibility and what we were expected to do.


ISIS continued conducting multiple attacks during this past one year. On the other hand, Kurdish forces, i.e. guerrilla, peshmerga, and local militia manifested historic resistance.

The people of Başur suffered an intense war concept and policies throughout the history. The arrival of guerrilla to their help in this process gave people a great hope. It is an undoubted reality that this war affected women the most in the society. When we as YJA-Star guerrillas first came here, there was no single women in sight in villages. We helped them form their self-defense in many villages. The local women who wouldn't speak a single word during that time have now become capable of discussing the developments for hours. This we can interpret as a great success which is remarkable as a gain achieved by the Kurdish women.

YJA-Star guerrilla Yıldız Cudi: Guerrillas came to Başur Kurdistan exactly one year ago. It has been a historic year for the Kurdish people for being the first time when guerrillas and peshmergas waged joint resistance to the enemy. The people of Başur welcomed the arrival of guerrillas to their help with great interest, hope and desires. This is sacred for us. Our joint fight with the peshmerga is a historic case and beginning of a new process, and it has played an important role for the formation of Kurdish unity which has eliminated the plots planned against it.


Attacks by ISIS still continue in the southern side of Kirkuk and some strategic points remain under ISIS control. The gangs are targeting mainly the Kakai villages, some other villages with strategical importance and the Kirkuk-Baghdad road. All their attacks face resistance and defeat by the guerrilla and peshmerga forces.

Waging major resistance with limited means but with a variety of tactics, guerrillas have liberated a number of areas where they were present, and continue launching counter attacks against ISIS emplacements. We will defend all the areas targeted by ISIS to the end. Guerrillas stand on the very front line everywhere they are present. Every inch of Kurdistan lands matters to us and we do not differentiate between any part of these lands.


Peshmerga Commander Mihiyedin: For all four parts of Kurdistan, PKK guerrillas have one goal; prosperity of people. Peshmerga and guerrilla forces must defend the people, no matter in which part of Kurdistan. The arrival of PKK guerrillas was an important factor in the defense of Kirkuk. It is a joint success of the Kurdish people. The lands of entire Kurdistan need a national military force to defend all the areas.

Civilian Mıhemmed Kakai: Guerrillas have been defending us in this region for over a year now. ISIS gangs attacked our village several times but were strongly responded and stopped by the guerrillas. With the arrival of the guerrillas, we attained a self-defense. We are not afraid of ISIS gangs anymore. Guerrillas are fighting with heart and soul for the defense of the people. We do not want the guerrillas to go because if they do, all these areas will once again come under danger.

Civilian Kamuran Celal: Guerrillas are fighting alongside the peshmerga forces against ISIS for one year. We want guerrillas to stay here defend the people officially. We call on all Kurdish forces in four parts of Kurdistan, youths in the first place, to come together for a joint defense and we demand the founding of an official army for the common land of Kurdistan. Guerrilla forces mustn't retreat because we as people need them very much and we demand their official recognition. I also call on youths to provide support to the guerrilla and peshmerga forces.