Afrin is not alone, March 24 #WorldAfrinDay

The Internationalist Commune calls on everybody to join a day of action and global solidarity, as the one that took place on 1st November 2014 for Kobane.

The 20th of January the invasion of the canton of Afrin began. This territory located in the western part of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria has been bombarded mercilessly by fighter jets, artillery and all kinds of modern weaponry which carry the NATO seal. The Turkish army, so as not to dirty their hands and hide the number of casualties in their ranks, is using jihadist militias to carry out the attack. These militias were first a part of Al-Qaeda, in 2014 reorganized as Daesh and they now go under the banner of the FSA. The brutal images the invaders are posting to their social media, as well as their cries calling to war against the infidels, screaming “Allahu Akbar” at the top of their lungs, remind us that Rojava is still fighting the same enemy it once defeated in Kobane and Raqqa. But this time, the flag they stand behind is that of the second largest army of NATO. In addition, the black Daesh flag has been seen in several pictures with the red Turkish flag. Several of the combatants, killed in battle by the self-defense forces resisting in Afrin, have been positively identified as Daesh commanders.

The fascist and misogynistic dictator of the Turkish state, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has stated publicly that through this invasion against an autonomous territory inside a sovereign country, it wishes to “return Afrin to its real owners”. But behind this charade, it’s actually carrying out an ethnic cleansing and a genocide against the Kurdish people and other minorities, that have been living in Afrin since time immemorial. Afrin has been one of the few territories that has enjoyed a relative peace in the bloody war of Syria that has been raging for the last 7 years. Many families displaced by war, have sought shelter in this territory. Now Erdogan is trying to take advantage of this instability and the suffering that grips the peoples of Syria so as to legitimize its imperialist power grabs, dreaming of reconquering the territories that were once occupied by the Ottoman Empire.

The international community is turning a blind eye to the repeated calls for help that come out of Afrin. Russia’s withdrawal of troops stationed in Afrin gave the green light to the invasion and signals its complicity with the Turkish state. However, this complicity is no smaller than that of NATO’s member states. These are allowing Turkey to use western weaponry and technology to massacre civilians. The Democratic Federation of Northern Siria has been the main force fighting the Islamist barbarism of Daesh, but this seems to be irrelevant for those governments which, since 2014, have been lamenting every massacre that the Daesh propaganda claimed. On the 24th of February, a resolution was unanimously adopted by the UN Security Council for a cease-fire in all of Siria. This offered a glimmer of hope to prevent more civilian massacres. Nonetheless, the silence that has followed the Turkish intensification of its attacks is undeniable.

For its part, Bashar Al-Assad’s Baathist regime, after declaring that it would never allow the invasion of Syrian soil by Turkey, has proven an incapacity to confront the aggression. Despite having anti-aircraft systems that could stop the Turkish Air Force from striking, the regime demanded Afrin total submission to the Syrian state and to give up its autonomy, which has been attained through the revolutionary process that Rojava has seen in the last years. There is no doubt that this invasion is a result of the Sochi agreements between Assad, Russia, and Turkey. The Syrian Arab Army has chosen to avoid any direct confrontation that might oppose Erdogan’s plans and to abandon the Syrian Democratic Forces. Its dependency towards Russia and its enmity towards the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria is allowing the neo-ottoman jihadist forces to occupy Afrin.

The situation is critical. The forces of occupation are at the city gates. A city which shelters not only its inhabitants but numerous refugees that have fled their villages after the destruction caused by the Turkish bombardments. In addition to the massive shelling, there have been chemical attacks reported against civilians, specifically with chlorine gas. However, this is not the full picture of the mayhem caused, vital infrastructures for the survival of the civilian population have been deliberately attacked. A week ago Turkey cut off water and electricity supply to the city forcing its residents to flee. The siege continues and the population faces an impending massacre. Yesterday it was ISIS in Kobane, today it is the Turkish state in Afrin. And as kobane, Afrin will resist, Afrin will win.

The Internationalist Commune of Rojava, having taken into account all these facts, joins the multiple solidarity initiatives with Afrin. The Internationalist Commune calls on everybody to join a day of action and global solidarity, as the one that took place on 1st November 2014 for Kobane.

#WorldAfrinDay will take place on Saturday 24th of March. Solidarity with Afrin will be heard and felt all around the world to prove that Afrin is not alone and that the democratic and antipatriarchal project that is alive in Afrin will be defended worldwide.