“Shehba supports the federation, not the Turkish invasion”

Ismail Musa said the people of Shehba have supported the democratic federation despite all kinds of attacks by the Turkish state and their gangs in the last 1.5 years, adding: “There are obstacles but our will is strong enough to overcome them.”

With the civil war that broke out in 2011, one of the regions in Syria with the most intense chaos has been Shehba. Shehba has chosen to put its will behind the democratic federal system, despite attacks and an invasion by the Turkish state for a year following the ISIS and Al Nusra invasions.

The Administrative Regions Act and Elections Act were passed during the 3rd session of the Northern Syrian Democratic Federation held on July 27-28. As part of the Administrative Regions Act, Shehba was accepted as a canton under the Efrîn region, and a couple of days ago the Shehba Executive Council held a meeting where they officially declared Shehba a canton.

Shehba Executive Council Co-chair and federal system representative Ismail Musa spoke about how the people of Shehba supported the federal system despite all the attacks by the Turkish state and the importance of the federal system and being a canton for Shehba.


Ismail Musa said the federation system was quickly accepted by the people of Shehba because it is a natural system based on the people governing themselves and added: “Shehba is a large region. It has been 1.5 years, and there have been no issues on this matter. The people have elected the council. Our council continues its efforts in this direction. One beautiful thing about Shehba is that there are Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens here. And this is a hospitable population. These people have suffered a lot in the 6 years. As you know, this region was invaded by various gangs, which were supported by the Turkish state. ISIS, Al Nusra, Ahrar Al Sham and other such groups put the people of Shehba through a lot. That is why women and men accept and support the federation system.”


Ismail Musa said Shehba becoming a canton is a great step for the people of Shehba and the council members and continued: “We celebrate our people for this. We have taken our place within this system because the Northern Syria Democratic Federation was a fundamental step towards the resolution of the Syrian crisis. With Shehba being declared a canton, the weight on our shoulders increase but both us and our friends here believe that a federation is the only solution for Syria, there are no others. This is the most important project to develop democracy in Syria. Neither the regime nor those who call themselves the opposition have no democratic project. That is why both we and the people believe that this project is right.”


Ismail Musa pointed out that Turkey had carried out many attacks to break down the federal system, but they managed to continue with their system for the last 1.5 years and that the federation has been accepted. Ismail Musa said: “For the last 1.5 years, both the Turkish state and their various gangs, but the people continue with their lives despite all that, and they support the federal system. Turkish intelligence has waged a very special war on Shehba. They armed various groups in the name of Islam. They wanted to turn the people against each other, so they wanted to develop fitnah and gossip. Because there are Arabs, Kurds and Turkmens in Shehba. But our people didn’t fall into this Turkish intelligence trap. Let me give an example: Everybody is flocking to the federation territory, but the villages next to the area the Turkish state and the Euphrates Shield gangs control are empty. So why do people come to our areas? Because there is democracy, respect for human beings, women’s freedom and a place for the youth in these areas. It is a different system in all counts. That is why all accept and support this system.

In these 1.5 years we have overcome many obstacles. From now on, the issue is organization. There will be elections in the communes. Anybody older than 16 will be able to vote. Anybody older than 18 can run in the elections to be an administrator in the communes. The federation system works upwards from the communes. There are obstacles still, but our will is strong.”


Ismail Musa stated that they have ties with the people living in territories invaded by the Turkish state as well and that the Shehbans there also support the federation system and added: “Everybody accepts the federation system and they are ready to take their place in it. We believe that they will be part of this system in the future. Life is hard there. They say it’s like they are in prison. They say Turkey is an invading force and they want to be left alone to govern themselves. There is a system of gangs in the Turkish invaded territories. Turkey pays US dollars to those who accept their system and a bit of support. There is no democratic system. The Turkish state is not a force to bring democracy to Syria. It is an invading force, what can they give this people?”


Ismail Musa concluded his words by pointing out that the Turkish state won’t be able to prolong their invasion of Shehba for long: “Especially in the last year, but for the last 6 years in general as well, Turkey has reached a state of failure. They have issues in foreign policy. Then there are the domestic issues of Turkey. Turkey entered Manbij, Jarablus and Bab to overcome these issues. The whole world is very clear on Erdoğan’s politics. He supports ISIS in Northern Syria, but tells the press other things. The Syrian people are also aware of this. The Turkish state that inflicted suffering on the Syrian people is on its last legs. Erdoğan can’t continue with such policies any longer. That is why there is so much pressure in Turkey on the Kurdish people, the forces of democracy and the press and journalists. That is why there are so many arrests. That is a fact known throughout the world. They can’t prolong their invasion in Jarablus, Bab, Mare and Azaz. They are temporary. We believe that our people also know this.”