National Sections of the L5I:

Solidarity with Rojava and Kobani! Support the Kurdish resistance against the ISIS!

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For the past two weeks, the city of Kobani in the Rojava region of Syria, bordering Turkey, has been at the heart of the Syrian civil war. The city is threatened by the forces of the clerical fascist "Islamic State" (ISIS) whose objective is to wipe out the self-governing territories established by the Kurds.

The People's Defence Forces of YPG and the women's battalions of YPJ have fought heroically and selflessly to defend their city. Just a few thousand fighters have successfully evacuated more than 100,000 civilians. It was also they who fought to create an escape corridor for the Yazidis in northern Iraq in order to protect them from the massacres of the ISIS.

Since October 7, fighting has raged in the streets of Kobani and Kurdish fighters, together with battalions of the FSA, have promised to make the city a "mass grave for the IS". Reports of suicide squads pitting themselves against tanks and artillery paint a clear picture of the military situation.

Show solidarity! No trust in the USA and Turkey!

In many European cities, tens of thousands of Kurds have taken to the streets in recent days not only to demonstrate their solidarity but also to show to the world that all the promises of the imperialist states and Turkey in the fight against the ISIS are little more than smoke and mirrors. The advance on Kobani was accepted and tolerated by the West. Secretary of State, John Kerry even admitted publicly that “defence of Kobani is not a strategic priority” for the US.

The UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon called on the international community to help the fighters and civilians in Kobani, he hoped that, “ All those who have the means to do so” would act, but his words were effectively ignored.

When the United States went to war with its "coalition of the willing", many hoped it would bring a quick end to ISIS, but now they look bitterly disappointed. Sporadic air strikes on oil refineries are a far cry from the "surgical warfare" that was threatened. Only now, with the ISIS actually entering Kobani, has the US Air Force taken notice and bombed the eastern part of the city. Destroying residential areas and infrastructure, is apparently easier than tanks and guns.

The policy of the United States and its allies is neither random nor unexpected. The imperialists have not gone to war against ISIS in the interests of humanity or self-determination or the like. On the contrary, the barbarity of the jihadis is rather a pretext to legitimise an intervention to establish a "stable" US-led order. The air strikes serve exactly these reactionary goals, which is also expressed in the fact that, for a long time, they had a largely cosmetic character.

The Kurds of Kobani, the YPG and the PKK are ultimately obstacles to the imperialists and their local allies (above all Turkey) achieving their objectives precisely because they are based on real mass support. This shows how naive and unrealistic it is to expect effective air support from precisely the imperialist powers that have prevented the arming of the progressive forces in the Middle East, such as the YPG and the FSA, for years.

Close to the border, the next heavily armed NATO power that is not in a position to fight ISIS, Turkey, is already waiting. The Turkish Armed Forces have moved up tanks and artillery because they know that the ISIS must be defeated on the ground. For years, Turkey has allowed ISIS and the other Islamist factions such as the Al-Nusra Front to operate from its territory, including allowing the passage of financial and military support from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. However, Turkey will not help the Kurds, as the experience of the many refugees currently in the border region shows.

Turkey's proposed solution is the creation of a "buffer zone" along the Syrian side of its border, to be enforced by its troops. This would be exactly the territory of the self-governing Rojava region. Such a Turkish invasion would be the final nail in the coffin of the Kurdish resistance.

It is quite possible that the Turkish troops will be held back until Kobani has fallen. Then the IS will have enough time to withdraw, leaving Turkey as an occupying power in East Kurdistan. This would fulfil Erdogan's ambition to continue to influence the Syrian civil war.

What the left can do

There is an alternative to imperialist intervention: We need to show solidarity with the Kurdish resistance. The struggle for Kobani and Rojava is not solely for the Kurds, their fight is important for all left and internationalist forces. In this, pacifist nonsense to the effect that "there are enough weapons in the region already" is no use at all. The weapons have to be in the right hands. We must defend the right of self-defence of the Kurds and that takes weapons, international solidarity and support.

Our solidarity also goes to the Kurdish resistance movement in Turkey and the Turkish left, who have repeatedly tried to break through the blockade of Kobani by the Turkish police and special forces, so as to bring the Kurdish fighters support. Politically, it is necessary to break Turkey's blockade of Kobani and other Kurdish areas in Syria and to open the way for supplies and heavy weapons, so that they can face the tanks and artillery of the ISIS with more than machine guns.

The labour movement in Europe must stand for material and military aid without any political preconditions. This includes the abolition of the ban on the PKK, as well as many other Kurdish organisations and their symbols. The PKK has stopped the "peace process" in Turkey and in many cities there are militant confrontations with the Turkish police. The PKK has organised volunteer units, which managed to break through the border and are now fighting with the comrades in Kobani against the ISIS-fascists. For all the criticism that we have of the theory and practice of the PKK, we now need to show solidarity in the fight for the rights of the Kurds and for the rights of the PKK.

There is not much time. Kobani and, thus, the largest Kurdish district in Syria, is about to fall. The city may fall shortly after we have published these lines.
An ISIS victory would be a disaster not only for the thousands of remaining residents and fighters, who face a massacre, but for the whole Kurdish people. Hundreds of thousands have already been made ​​refugees. The self-government structures in Kobani would be destroyed.

The height of cynicism of the NATO powers would be achieved if, after the fall of Kobani, and possibly with the connivance of the Assad regime, Turkey were to “liberate” the city from the ISIS and so establish its own position in the reorganisation of the Middle East.

In any event, a defeat of the Kurds would be a brutal blow to the remaining progressive, democratic forces of the Syrian revolution and the Arab Spring.

The heroic resistance in Kobani and Rojava, therefore, needs our support NOW. But the heroism of the martyrs, the people's defence units, YPG and YPJ, also proves something: the liberation struggle of the oppressed peoples and of the workers and peasants is alive. Even if they succumb to the greater firepower of their enemies, the pogromists of the IS, and the cynical policy of regional powers, especially Turkey, and the imperialist powers, especially the United States, their struggle is our warning and an example we should resolve to copy!

Stand fast, Free Kobani!
Lift the blockade! Material aid and weapons for the Kurdish resistance!
Get rid of the PKK ban!
Open borders for refugees!
No to any imperialist intervention!