Girê Spi: Four years on, a liberated city
15 and 16 June mark the fourth anniversary of the liberation of Girê Spi (Tal Abyad in Arabic) from DAESH.
The liberation of Girê Spi from the mercenaries was the turning point for the liberation of the Raqqa, which DAESH had proclaimed as its Caliphate’s 'capital'.
Girê Spi lived under the terror of DAESH between 2011 and 2015. The Turkish state-backed mercenaries tried to change the culture, language and traditions of the region through violence.
Two districts are conforming Girê Spi, located between the Cantons of Kobanê and Cizre: Siluk and Ayn Isa. There are about 500 villages connected to Girê Spi.
Girê Spi has Serêkaniyê on the east, Kobanê canton on the west, Ceylanpınar on the north, and Raqqa on the south. It is connected to the Euphrates Region of the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria.
Akçakale border gate is the way between Girê Spi and North Kurdistan. On the Turkish side of the border is Akçakale district. Indeed, the Turkish state was opening this border gate to let mercenaries into Syrian territory.
According to the census carried out by the Supreme Electoral Commission in 2017, the population of the city was set at 300 thousand. Kurds, Arabs, Armenians and Turkmens live in the city. Kurds make up 35 percent of the population in the city.
In ancient times, Girê Spi and the surrounding region was ruled by the Assyrian Empire and settled by Arameans. Later, various other empires ruled the area, such as the Romans, Byzantine, Sassinids, Umayyads, Abbasids and finally the Ottoman Empire.
Girê Spi remained Ottoman till the end of World War I, when it was incorporated in the French mandate of Syria.
The modern town was founded by Armenian refugees from Turkey and survivors of the deportations carried out during the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
Girê Spi is important for DAESH and the Turkish state
The liberation of Girê Spi by Kurdish YPG and YPJ fighters was a major blow to DAESH.
The rescue of Girê Spi represented a threat to the DAESH “capital in Syria" and also meant a cut on the logistic and weapons support from Turkey as this was passing through Akçakale border gate.
The Turkish state wanted DAESH to have a permanent presence in Girê Spi, because in this way it would have been able to control the area between the Cantons of Kobanê and Cizre and cut off communication between them.
On the other hand, as the citizens of this region were mostly Kurds, Turkey thought it could implement its assimilation policies there.
In order to implement this plan, an agreement was signed between the Turkish intelligence service, MIT, and the mercenaries of DAESH in Akcakale.
These details have been revealed by DAESH member Isamedin Ednan, known as Abu Mensur, who was captured and interrogated by the YPG. Ednan was responsible for the Akçakale border gate at that time.
Unable to find any allies apart from DAESH, Turkey resorted to take things in its own hands, and began a campaign of intimidation in Girê Spi trying to put people one against the other. However, Turkey did not succeed.
The liberation of Girê Spi was important for Northern Syria
Girê Spi is also important for the people of Northern Syria. Hesekê, Qamishlo, Its position, among Serêkaniyê, Raqqa, Kobanê, Manbij and Aleppo, makes the city strategical.
After the region was liberated from the mercenaries, DAESH actually lived a severe defeat.
Since the liberation of Girê Spi, the Turkish state continues to threaten the city.
On 26 February 2016, the invading Turkish state forces began bombing the region from the small border town of Hemam in order to transfer new DAESH mercenaries to Girê Spi.
On 27 February 2016, the mercenaries attacked many areas of Girê Spi.
On 3 May 2016, the Turkish invaders attacked the border gate with heavy weapons.
On 15 February 2017, Turkish reconnaissance aircraft began exploration flights over the region. Then the Turkish army bombed the villages of Esaf, Sosik and Til Fender (linked to Girê Spi) with heavy weapons.
On 27 February 2017, the Turkish army attacked the village of Sosik again.
On 7 June this year, the invading Turkish army bombed the Akçakale border again.
The liberation of Girê Spi was a major blow to the DAESH mercenaries, as it cut one of the strategic way of logistic and weapons support from Turkey
Furthermore the liberation of Girê Spi paved the way to the liberation of the Raqqa.