YPJ’s red line: Being present everywhere
Commander for one of the YPJ battalions in the Raqqa operation Şîlan Cûdî said: “Our red line is this: The YPJ will be present everywhere.”
YPJ Commander Şîlan Cûdî said Raqqa is very important for women and reiterated their historic and current oath for revenge. Cûdî stated that many of the women they liberate join the YPJ and that they have such women in her own battalion as well. Cudî said: “We embrace and liberate women. We don’t push this on them, we don’t force them. We chat with them, we discuss, and most importantly we listen. This, this profile for people and this understanding is new for them. They are very impressed with the YPJ. They say they have been asleep for hundreds of years and they are waking up with the YPJ.”
Şîlan Cûdî is the commander for one of the YPJ battalions in the Great Battle launched by the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to liberate Raqqa. She participated in the battle to liberate Manbij from invasion and then joined the women’s army there. Now she is in the Raqqa front with her battalion. Battalion Commander Şîlan Cûdî said the planning has not been hindered and that they are using all their resources so the civilians are liberated with no harm at all.
WE HOLD ON TO EACH OTHER
Battalion Commander Cûdî said they entered the Raqqa battle like a celebration, and they left panic and fear aside: “When the fighting starts, we hold on to each other. We couldn’t fight if we didn’t have our moral values and our support for each other. Our will, our strength in comradery, our view on life and the world, our connection carries this struggle. Our true guarantee is our own will and our ties of comradery. The victory in Raqqa will belong to the sum of these.”
YPJ IS PRESENT AT EVERY POINT IN THE WAR
Şîlan Cûdî stated that female fighters are present in every step of the Raqqa operation, from logistics to command, from assassination units to attack teams, and stressed that the YPJ’s principle of “woman is the leader of the revolution” is not an abstract slogan: “We have a red line, which is: The YPJ will be present everywhere,” said Cûdî, and stated that women of the YPJ are present in all 6 attack branches advancing towards Raqqa center. She added: “The attack groups, the heavy weapons - we are fighting in all areas. We are on the frontlines in Raqqa. We are always the leaders of the war and the revolution. Especially Raqqa is much more important to us. We have a historic and current oath for revenge.”
WOMEN SAVED FROM ISIS JOIN THE YPJ
Şîlan Cûdî said many women they freed have joined the YPJ and continued: “They say they have been sleeping for centuries and they woke up with the YPJ now. After the operations, hundreds of women join the YPJ. The women whose houses we entered and who we freed are present in my battalion as well.”
Cûdî said they approach all women in a libertarian understanding and the women notice that, adding: “We did whatever was necessary for the women we saved from ISIS, and we will continue to do so. We embrace and liberate women. We don’t impose, we don’t force them. We talk with them, we discuss and most importantly we listen. This is, this profile of people and this understanding is new for them. They are very impressed with the YPJ.”
THE WOMEN OF RAQQA WILL BECOME AN ARMY
YPJ Battalion Commander Şîlan Cûdî said she proposed to stay after the invasion is ended in Raqqa and stressed the following: “We want to create women’s battalions in Raqqa so what happened to the women won’t happen again. If we did it in other liberated areas, we should do it in Raqqa as well. We want to take Raqqa to such a level that it can defend itself, and YPJ battalions are a part of that.”
FULL DISCIPLINE AND COORDINATION
Cûdî said there are no problems involving the command, discipline and the multitude structure of fighters or the coordination of fighters from outside and the YPJ fighters, and continued: “Sometimes the internationalist fighters have issues with the language, but they adapt quickly and do whatever is necessary in a coordinated way.”
AMMUNITION USE CULTURE
Cûdî said when they first came to the area, they had logistical issues because there were no roads and they had to endure hardship until the roads were opened, but now that they have been, the hardship is done. Battalion Commander Şîlan Cûdî said they may not have the best resources, but they have no issue in the sharing and the use of the resources they do have and continued: “We don’t have a culture of wasting ammunition. We are very careful in this area. We use what is necessary, where it is necessary, and to the extent that is necessary.
WHEN THE DRUGS WEAR OFF...
Şîlan Cûdî shared her insights on the ISIS members they captured: “There are ISIS members who surrender and who we capture. When the drugs they take wear off, they look like they are waking up. They first call us pigs, then when the drugs wear off they change, they share the stories they heard about us and tell us how they are really victims.”
* This article first appeared on Yeni Özgür Politika newspaper and was translated by ANF English service.