YPJ Commander: We will void the attacks through our own strength
YPJ Commander Newroz Ehmed spoke about the US decision to withdraw troops in the face of the Turkish invasion and said, “We will void the invasion attacks through our own strength.”
YPJ Commander General Newroz Ehmed spoke about 2018 and said, “Nobody should deceive themselves. The force attacking Rojava and the force defending the region against these attacks are very clear. All should see this and defend it.”
YPJ Commander Newroz Ehmed answered journalist Ruken Cemal’s questions and stated that they won’t be engaging in the war like before in the face of attacks against the region and added that they will respond to enemy attacks with new tactics and strategies.
What were your goals for 2018, and how much of those have you accomplished?
We have 7 years of revolution behind us. We went through a period of important developments every year. 2018 was the year of struggle for Northern Syria. This was a year when the fate of our people became clearer. We have drawn important lessons from the fight against ISIS. Our forces have entered the new year with great resolve and dare with the experience they gained in the fight against Al Nusra and ISIS. Of course our goal was to make 2018 a safe and peaceful year. We prepared our self defense with this goal in mind. We have accomplished this goal to some extent, but as you know Afrin was attacked in early 2018.
We knew that the war would change track after Raqqa was liberated. And, the Turkish state threats never stopped. This was a sign that a large scale war was coming. We knew many political balances would change, and that meant new processes would start.ù
Why did the Turkish state launch an invasion attempt against Afrin at a time when you sought peace in the region?
Afrin was a very safe place. The people of Afrin had received people from everywhere else in Syria with open arms. But the Turkish state sought to attack the safest region. More to the point, they thought the Kurdish entity there was dangerous. They said many times that they prefer ISIS over Kurds.
Why did Erdogan say “Let there be ISIS rather than Kurds”?
Because the Turkish state doesn’t accept that Kurds have any rights. The democratic nation system flourished in the region under the lead of the Kurds. This system has become a hope for the peoples today. The invading powers thought this was dangerous for them, because the democratic nation system where the people can see themselves destroys their system. Erdogan knows very well that if the Kurdish people achieve a status, his fate will change as well.
So, why the democratic nation system?
The democratic nation system is against the system of one flag-one nation-one language. Erdogan and the international powers strive to destroy this system. That is why they tell the Syrian state not to accept this system. And so they continue to threaten Rojava and Northern Syria now. For instance, Afrin is there for all to see. They said there was chaos in Afrin and then went and created the biggest chaos themselves. They prolonged the lives of gangs with their great support for them. ISIS had been defeated, but they revived it once again. This shows that the Turkish state is making long term plans to control the region.
Since Afrin’s occupation, one day hasn’t gone by without death, torture, abductions, looting and rapes. Our biggest goal is to save Afrin and the people of Afrin from the Turkish occupation and atrocities.
Who are the people living in Afrin now?
Erdogan claimed that thousands of people returned to their lands after the invasion. Who are these people, where did they come from and how did they come to own the land? The purpose of these attacks is to occupy more territory in the region. Undoubtedly the people of Afrin displayed a dignified resistance against hundreds of jets bombing the city. This is a message to the invaders that they can’t break their will and they can’t take them hostage, whatever they do.
Our fighters displayed a relentless resistance in every area during the attakcs against Afrin. Vanguard, courageous fighters emerged against tanks, mortars and bombings. Here heval Avesta gave the enemy a message that the free women’s will cann ever be broken. Afrin became the line of resistance in Afrin. The Turkish state used all the technology in the world in such a tiny place, but Rosyar, Avesta, Zulan and Tekosin carried out greatly successful tactical and result oriented actions. So the Turkish state attacked the bodies of hevals Barin and Amargi. This shows how vile and immoral a state they are.
Why was the Operation Cizire Storm launched with the situation in Afrin was how it was?
Resistance in Afrin continues. We didn’t want to stop fighting against the gangs, and the Operation Cizire Storm was launched in this line. Because we knew that Erdogan wanted to prolong ISIS. This would have been a great danger against the people. So we continued with the operation. Under extremely harsh circumstances, in a desert region, thousands of kilometers of land was cleared of ISIS. We want to herald the good news our people and the whole world expects from us as soon as possible.
The US has decided to withdraw in the face of the Turkish state invasion, what do you have to say?
The whole world objected to the occupation during the attacks against Kobane. The international coalition forces were foremd. Of course this was an important process. The decision to withdraw before ISIS is done with is problematic and significant. But the people of the region continue the fight for freedom alongside the defense forces. This people has the right to live on their own lands in peace and quiet. We have been stressing for years that the problem in Syria will be resolved through dialogue. We want autonomy for all of Syria. We didn’t start the fight with the coalition forces and without them our fight will not end. For this, we will be waging a much greater struggle than before in any war. But nobody should deceive themselves, the force attacking Rojava and the force defending the region against these attacks are very clear. All should see this and defend it.”
How are you coming into 2019?
Our people’s situation is known. We as the fighters of this people continue our preparation non-stop. Our forces are prepared for any and all situations. If there is a war again on these lands, all should know that we won’t be fighting like before. We are prepared for dialogue to achieve results through political solutions. Our only care is how to defend our people and our land. We are calling on all world powers, like they protected and rescued so many peoples from genocide, they should protect the peoples of Rojava and Syria. Because the peoples of this land also deserve a peaceful life on their own lands. For the world to protect the people of Syria and Rojava, they must be involved in the solution. Those who paid a price and made sacrifices need to be part of the solution process as well.
We as the YPJ are ready for a heavy war but our hope is that this will be a year of peace. Once again, we say we will be there wherever our people are attacked and we will defend our people. On this foundation, we remember all our martyrs with gratitude in the persons of Avesta, Rosyar, Ilam, Polat and Barin. We celebrate 2019 for all our people and all the freedom fighters.