We are best three weeks into the invasion of Afrin in Northern Syria by Turkey and their quislings inside the Free Syrian Army, a dangerous flip for the Syrian civil conflict, and but it now not capabilities on our front pages and television information.
The mounting each day death toll of civilians, images of wounded ladies and youngsters, hollowed out buildings with their twisted iron spines, plumes of black smoke — fail to transport humans sufficiently. But compassion fatigue isn’t some inexplicable human condition; it’s far the result of being bombarded with pictures of devastation without right context.
Syria, in particular, with its seven-12 months lengthy civil warfare, a battleground for almost all the principal world and local powers with a reputedly invincible dictator, Bashar al-Assad, at the helm induces in us a very particular experience of powerlessness. Since the self-described caliphate of ISIS has been reduced to a thumbnail, Syria has in addition misplaced its fascination for us.
But the very humans, the Kurds, who led the hit struggle towards ISIS at the moment are under attack in Afrin. The United States, which furnished air cowl in that warfare, has proved to be an unfaithful best friend.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, with the aid of refusing to sentence Turkey’s invasion, has given it carte blanche to bomb the US’ personal allies because Turkey has “valid” issues about its borders, as long as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey, suggests restraint and avoids civilian casualties. A World Health Organization report emerging from that vicinity indicates it’s far from truth civilians who have fallen victim to Turkey’s random bombing. So plenty of Turkey heeding the advice of its effective NATO ally!
The equal document is going on to mention that the Syrian government troops have blocked all but one exit out of Afrin. The Turkish invasion from the north of Afrin is developing refugees even as the Syrian government is kettling them from the south.
Instead of Syria feeling threatened with the aid of Turkey’s invasion, Assad seems to be letting Turkey do the dirty paintings on his behalf, cooperating implicitly with Turkey by creating a pincer motion to choke off their common enemy, the Kurds. This is a strategy that Assad has used with Syrian rebels across Syria, sealing them into an area, then bombarding and starving them into submission.
Why we need to care
So why have to we care about this latest development in the Syrian war? Because Afrin, along with the cantons of Euphrates and Jazira, is experimenting with a form of backside-up, direct democracy this is arguably more revolutionary than another gadget inside the West. When I visited Rojava — or the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, as those cantons are together regarded — in March 2016, I witnessed a revolution unlike some other; girls’ equality, with the stop of patriarchy their avowed aim, is using this revolution.
Is your hair standing on give up yet? Every group — neighborhood councils, colleges, hospitals — is administered on a co-presidency rule with a person and a lady sharing all posts, inclusive of the command in their protection forces.
Photos of the girls of the YPJ in navy fatigues and colorful scarves in the front line in opposition to ISIS were the outdoor international’s best peek into this society. Parallel to an administration with identical quotas for men and women, there are ladies-most effective structures that have the energy of veto on all policies regarding women.
After the fall of Raqqa, there had been laugh reports from the refugee camps being run through the multiethnic, Kurdish-led, Syrian Democratic Forces, the SDF, that Arab man, currently escaped from ISIS, had been complaining approximately SDF insistence on gender equality. One stated, “They give lots of rights to women. If I increase my voice at a woman, they could position me in jail.”
The DFNS is absolutely wedded to the idea of racial inclusivity. Dr. Alan Semo, UK representative of the Democratic Union Party, the principal political birthday celebration in DFNS, defined the quota device in operation. The Kurdish humans have voluntarily surrendered their majority status in their Parliament and taken a 10% stake alongside Arabs and Syriacs (Christians), despite the fact that there is a long record of discrimination via the Arabs against the Kurds.
A refreshing counter to sectarian strife
In a country torn aside by sectarian war, this secular society presents a fresh countercurrent, a sanctuary to two million refugees from the relaxation of Syria and Iraq. Yet in place of looking for to replicate this version now not just throughout Syria but across the Middle East and, I would argue, throughout the complete international, the powers that be are searching for to extinguish this flame.
Inspired with the aid of the ideas of Abdullah Öcalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, imprisoned with the aid of Turkey due to the fact 1999, the Syrian Kurds are now not traumatic a countryside of their own due to the fact they have evolved a critique of the anti-democratic, militaristic and patriarchal nature of geographical regions.
They are content material to remain inside the borders of Syria as an autonomous self-governing confederation. But we’re so used to the concept of possession, borders and territorial aggrandizement that we are able to apprehend the Kurdish organization best as a land take hold of. This is precisely how they are regarded via Syria and Turkey, which has been accomplishing a little-recognized warfare against its personal Kurdish populace, concerned that they will demand independence.
DFNS assertions are not helped by projects around the corner in Iraqi Kurdistan, where a referendum for independence changed into received in September 2017 after which crushed with the aid of the central authorities. The political ideology of the Syrian and Turkish Kurds is 1,000,000 miles far from that of the Iraqi Kurds, a fact this is occasionally eclipsed through the Kurds themselves in an attempt to gift a united front to the arena as a people dispossessed.
For Turkey, Öcalan is a terrorist for representing the hobbies of the Kurdish people towards forced assimilation and cultural obliteration by way of the kingdom. While it is able to be a truism that one character’s terrorist is any other’s freedom fighter, it is slightly plausible that the West is ready to guide Erdoğan’s concept of “terrorist” when Erdoğan has imposed a fierce crackdown and imprisoned dissenters, in a purge that some claim has affected masses of hundreds.
The Rojava (DFNS) revolution is midwife to the beginning of another international. Erdoğan has declared that “Our project is to strangle it before it is even born.”
It has been born. It should spawn a more humane, rational, ethical and identical world. We have to do the entirety in our energy to keep the revolution alive. We ought to start by preventing the sale of palms to Turkey and worrying that they are booted out of NATO.