Firat New:YPG halts all military operations
The military forces of West Kurdistan, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), have announced a halt to all military actions and operations in the cantons of Cizîre, Kobani and Afrin and in Aleppo and Rakka (al-Rakkah), where Kurds also live.
The General Command of the YPG issued a written statement, saying they will act on the basis of legitimate defence, responding in the event of an attack taking place. Read more
- People’s Protection Units (YPG)
- Human rights organization: ISIS, Al Nusra front and Ahrar Al Sham groups have violated code of combat
- Muslim brotherhood classified as a terrorist organization in Syria
- Foreign relation body of Rojava in Qandil
- The Self-rule administration of Rojava a topic at Stockholm University
- Educational and Cultural activities Read more
Firat News: Afrin Canton VP: There is freedom in this model
Mustafa is a member of the Arab Amirati tribe. He was born in the village of Babelüta in the Cindires district and has been living in Afrin for forty years. He graduated from the Production Enginnering department of the Technical Highschool, is married and is a father of five.
The people of Rojava have chosen the canton model as its model of government. Why did you chose such a system and government?
The Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Assyrians, Syriacs, Turkmen, Chechens and other peoples and minorities living in our region and throughout Syria are confronting a great danger. Because the hegemons will reach their goals in Syria by playing the peoples, cultures and faith groups against each other. For that reason they wanted to distort the developments that began in the name of the Syrian revolut?on and to bring them to this point. This is why they supported the gangs and because of th?s all of the people living in Rojava and in Syria are in great danger. Our proclamation of our autonomous Cantons was to put an end to this danger. It was to show that it still possible within Syria for different peoples, cultures and faith groups to live together democratically in peace and in brotherhood. Despite just very short period it is becoming more obvious every passing day that this is the most correct and necessary way. It is being proven. We have a claim to protect all the peoples living in our cantons and in Syria from this danger. And we believe that we will succeed.
With this model what kind of message did you want to send to regional and international powers?
We want to show a good picture of Syria’s reality. Because in our cantons are people of every faith, people and culture. This picture represents the reality of Syria. The autonomous canton government which we have proclaimed is to defend a democratic and unified Syria. For that reason we believe that this system will not only have its borders in Afrin, Kobanê and Cizîrê and will be a model for a solution in the other regions of Syria. And we are seeing signs that we will see developments in this direction with a short time. We believe that in keeping with our success in Rojava it will be successful within a short time. Because we do not believe that anything but this can solve the problem in Syria. This project is the project of a future Syria. It is the project of a democratic and free Syria. It is a project that will replace the mutual denial of peoples, faiths and cultures with respect and a living-together.
Only a short time has passed since you proclaimed the autonomous canton governments. What reactions have you encountered in this short time?
International powers are in a state of confusion. Some are confused about how this happened and others are looking suspiciously wondering if such a thing could work in a country in the Middle East. Actually with their approaches and confusion they are demonstrating their views of our region. According to them our region is very backwards, it cannot govern itself and there is a contemptuous approach that says the people are ignorant how could they accomplish such a thing? But the peoples of the region will show who is more progressive and who is more backwards. Even our first step was greeted with great enthusiasm in the region. And many countries and similar formations have begun to prepare themselves in this direction. For example a short time before us Yemen, a country of the region, announced that it would organize itself into six cantons and would transition to canton government, thinking that only by taking this road could they solve the problems they have been experiencing for different reasons over many years. We are saying that certainly Yemen took strength from our courage in taking this step in the Syria where the violence and conflict is multi-edged and it implemented such a decision. Moreover that is the right thing. If we had not taken this step I do not think that Yemen would have proclaimed such a form of government. Because within this kind of government peoples have self-government. This is a government that will address the foundation of the problems experienced in the countries of this region. This will not remain within the borders of a few countries. Within a short period this will be the model of the all the countries in the region. Because within this model there is freedom, there is democracy, there is brotherhood, and there is respect for faiths, cultures, ethnic groups and peoples.
What things did you want to put an end to and to go beyond with your government model and your system?
The proclamation of the autonomous canton governments was a decision toward breaking the capitalist system which is founded on the forcing of the peoples of the region into a nation-state model by international powers and their exploitation by family sovereigns. They are a decision to cheat the death that the capitalist system had prepared for the people and to begin a life of freedom. The oppressive and denialist sovereignty of a people, faith, culture or nation over another is ending. It is a system in which all will be partners and govern themselves. For that reason this system will win. The peoples of the region have begun to say no to the century of slavery which they have experienced. All peoples, nations, and cultures will live with their own languages, identities and histories.
What can you say about your government president being a woman?
No one can now deny that women are at the vanguard of the revolution being carried out in Rojava. The affect they had and their active role has shown and will continue to show to everyone how women are moving toward freedom in the region. That the president of our canton government is a woman is also proof of this. And in fact this is not something culturally or historically unknown to us. Because we have many examples of this in our recent history. Zenubya, Belk?s, and Nefertiti are examples of this. There is the example of Dayfa Hatun, the niece of Selahattin Eyyübi whose government in the Aleppo Castle continued for years in our recent history. However in our region and among the Kurds it is rare example in a period of wild capitalism. Actually this has proven that the Kurdish woman is at the women’s vanguard in the region and globally.
You are an Arab. How do you evaluate [this system] from the perspective of peoples’ representation?
Yes. As Arabs we have taken a place in this government with our own language, culture, identity, and community values. In the area of Cizîrê Chechens, Turkmens, Assyrians, Syriacs, and Armenians have also taken a place with their languages, cultures, histories and identities. This also holds a mirror to our reality in a region of many peoples, cultures, languages and nations. And it shows that such a life is within the bounds of possibility. For that reason we are calling on all those fighting and being forced to fight with one another on this earth to make peace so that the spilling of blood does not increase. Let us live in a free and democratic world. Let us shut all doors to the spilling of blood. Let us found a new Syria of the future together, where everyone will be equal and there will be justice for everyone. We have taken a step toward this and we will continue taking such steps no matter what the danger. Because we have no other road. We will struggle for this. It will also be us who wins. Because nothing comes to people from pain except death, blood and tears. We are trying to lesson these pains.
Translation by the Rojava Report
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Final death toll for Tuesday 25/02/2014, approximately 193 people killed in Syria.The dead : 17 civilians ( 3 women ), 45 rebels, 18 non-Syrian ISIS, 17 ISIS, 25 NDF, 49 Regular forces, 13 unknown rebels, 3 fighters from Abo Al-Fadel Al-Abbas brigade .
– a woman died due to the lack of medicine, food, and poor life conditions, which the Yarmouk camp was suffering of, before entering the food aids .
– a dissident soldier from Idlib, tortured to death in regime prisons .
– a rebel battalion executed a Kurdish man, it said that it detained him yesterday and he was fighting with the regime forces against the rebel battalion, other sources said that the corpse belongs to a fighter from the regime forces, and it was pulled out by the rebel battalion in the airport front, and was buried in Salah Al-Den neighborhood, Aleppo.
– 5 fighters ( including 2 ISIS fighters ) killed by clashes against YPG near Tal Brak town, between Hasakah and Qamishli.
– a man detonated himself a Jabhat Al-Nusra HQ, in Al-Shmetia town, Der-Ezzor countryside.
– ISIS executed a man from Raqqa city, in the charge of dealing with the regime forces .
– an IED exploded in a car belongs to man who is a relative to Restom Ghazali the famous Syrian officer, in Qerfa town in Der’a countryside, what led to his death .
– a military commander in ISIS died by wounds sustained by clashes against Islamic battalions in Raqqa city one month ago.
– 12 fighters from Jabhat AL-Nusra, rebel and Islamic battalions were killed by clashes against ISIS in Hasakah, Aleppo, and Der-Ezzor .
– 14 ISIS were killed by clashes against rebel and Islamic battalions in, Hasakah, Aleppo and Der-Ezzor.
– 13 unknown rebels killed by clashes against regime forces, bombardment, and targeting their checkpoints .
– 25 National Defense Forces militiamen were killed by clashes and attacks on their checkpoints around Syria.
– 49 regular forces were killed by clashes, snipers, IEDs, and attacks on their checkpoints and vehicles: Damascus and Reef Dimashq 7, Hama 3, Homs 3, Aleppo 11, Idlib3 , Quneitra 8, Der-Ezzor 9, Der’a 1.
– 18 non-Syrian fighters from ISIS and Jabhat Al-Nusra were killed by clashes, targeted bombardment.
– 3 fighters from Abo A-Fadel Al-Abbas brigade were killed by clashes against Jabhat AL-Nusra and Islamic battalions in Reef Dimashq .
A pregnant woman and her husband are still, as of the beginning of this month, detained by Syrian security forces in the city of Baniyas. They are being held as hostages under accusations that the woman has been in contact with her brother (a rebel fighter). Sources from Baniyas city have reported to the Observatory that the woman gave birth inside the detention centre and that security authorities have stripped the new-born infant from his mother and have handed him over to his mother’s family.
BEIRUT – The head of al Qaeda’s Syrian arm has given rival Islamist militants five days to accept mediation to end their infighting or face a war which will “eradicate” them, according to an audio recording posted on Tuesday.
Abu Mohammed al-Golani, leader of the Nusra Front, called on the Islamic State in Iraqand the Levant (ISIL) to agree to arbitration by religious scholars to end more than a year of feuding which has turned violent.
Golani’s ultimatum comes two days after senior al Qaeda member Abu Khaled al-Soury was killed in a suicide attack in Syria. Nusra accused ISIL of killing him, a charge sources close to the splinter group have denied.
Sources on both sides said Golani’s statement, the first since tensions between the two groups erupted, was a declaration of war.”We will wait for five days from the date of this recording for your formal reply,” Golani said in the audio tape, posted on an Islamist web site.
“By God, if you reject God’s ruling again and do not put an end to your plague against the Umma (Muslim nation), then the Umma will launch an assault against this ignorant ideology and will eradicate it, even from Iraq,” he said.
ISIL, which has attracted many foreign militants to its ranks, is a small but powerful force that emerged from the Sunni Islamist insurgency in neighbouring Iraq.
Al-Soury, a friend of the late al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden, had been appointed by the group’s current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, to mediate between Nusra and ISIL.
After the mediation failed, his Salafi group Ahrar al-Sham joined other Islamists brigades in rebel-held northern and eastern Syria to fight ISIL.
Hundreds of fighters have been killed in two months of infighting that has undermined the wider rebel campaign against President Bashar al-Assad.
Golani’s Nusra Front, which has sworn allegiance to Zawahri, had avoided openly confronting ISIL, with which it shares a radical jihadi ideology, despite deep rivalry and tensions between the two groups.
Al Qaeda dissociated itself from ISIL after its leader al-Baghdadi, of Iraqi origin, rejected an order by Zawahri last year to dismantle the group and return to Iraq.
In his statement, Golani differentiated between ISIL and Western-backed groups the Supreme Military Command and the National Coalition of exiled political opponents of Assad, both of which he described as infidels.
Sources from Nusra said that the decision had already been made to fight ISIL.
“This ultimatum is just words. The decision has been taken. Nusra will fight,” one of the sources told Reuters.
A source from ISIL denied the group’s responsibility for the killing of Abu Khaled al-Soury and said his death had been used as an excuse to declare war against ISIL for the benefit of the United States.
“Sheikh Abu Khaled’s killing was tragic to all of us. I tell you the State (ISIL) has nothing to do with it until our Emir al-Baghdadi says otherwise. And there is no evidence that the State did it,” he told Reuters.
“Golani is doing a big favour to the Americans. His group is becoming a tool in the hands of Saudi intelligence too.”
(Editing by Robin Pomeroy)
AMMAN – Air raids on rebel-held towns across Syria killed 26 people on Monday, activists said, two days after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution demanding an end to indiscriminate shelling and aerial attacks.
Syria’s almost three-year-old conflict has raged on despite peace talks that began in Geneva last month and the passage of the U.N. resolution, a rare moment of unity between the West and Russia, President Bashar al-Assad’s strongest backer.
Two women and 10 children were among the dead in government air raids on the town of al-Neshabieh, in the eastern outskirts of Damascus, near a railway marking the frontline between Islamist fighters and Assad’s forces backed by Lebanese Hezbollah militants, and in the province of Homs to the north.
“Two simultaneous raids hit Neshabieh first. People were pulling the bodies of a women and her two children from one house when the planes came back and hit the crowed, killing another nine,” activist Abu Sakr told Reuters from the area.
He said artillery fire from a battalion based at Damascus airport and the nearby town of Mleiha then hit the town. Fifty people were wounded in the combined bombardment, he said.
Photos taken by activists, purportedly at a field hospital in the area, showed a girl’s body covered in a white shroud, and the decapitated bodies of several men. Reuters could not independently verify the pictures.
“We barely managed to take the bodies before the artillery hit,” said Abu Abdo, a rescue worker at the field hospital.
In Homs province, activists reported air raids on al-Hosn, a Sunni town near the Crusader castle of Crac des Chevaliers in a valley mostly inhabited by Christians, who have mostly stayed on the sidelines in the conflict between Assad and rebels.
The Syrian Revolution General Commission, a grassroots opposition group, said six people were killed in the attack on al-Hosn. Footage showed the bodies of two people amid the rubble, one of whom was identified as a woman.
Another video showed a rocket hitting the densely built-up town, with smoke rising as the sound of a warplane is heard.
In the town of Talbiseh, on Syria’s main north-south highway, opposition activists said an air raid killed four children. Footage showed relatives gathered around the bodies, which were wrapped in white and laid on a tiled floor. One man was shown holding the bloodied head of one child and weeping.
The initial text was weakened during negotiations, with references to the International Criminal Court and targeted sanctions removed. But a call for an end to shelling and air raids in populated areas, a demand for cross-border humanitarian access and the naming of besieged areas were included.
The resolution also condemned “terrorist” attacks by al-Qaeda affiliated groups, which have emerged as some of the most formidable anti-Assad groups, and specifically referred to the Syrian military’s use of barrel bombs, which human rights groups say are indiscriminate weapons that mainly target civilians.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based pro-opposition monitoring group, said four children had been killed on Monday by barrel bombs that hit the contested northern city of Aleppo, scene of heavy fighting in the last two days.
More than 130,000 people have been killed and millions made homeless since the Syrian conflict began in March 2011 with peaceful anti-Assad protests whose violent suppression ignited an armed insurgency. The civil war has drawn in foreign fighters on both sides and threatens to destabilize Syria’s neighbors.
In Damascus, security forces released leftist dissident Akram al-Bunni after abducting him in the city center on Saturday and questioning him about recent articles he had written on politics in Syria, his brother Anwar said.
Akram al-Bunni spent 20 years as a political prisoner under the rule of Assad and his late father Hafez al-Assad.
(Editing by Alistair Lyon)
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Final death toll for Monday 24/02/2014, approximately 222 people killed in Syria. The dead : 46 civilians (10 children, 3 women,1 teenager ), 48 rebels, 23 non-Syrian ISIS, 12 ISIS, 34 NDF, 41 Regular forces, 9 unknown rebels, 3 Hezbollah fighters, 6 Abo Al-Fadel Al-Abbas brigade fighters
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Final death toll for Saturday 22/02/2014, approximately 226 people killed in Syria. The dead : 35 civilians (4 children, 3 women ), 44 rebels, 24 non-Syrian ISIS, 36 ISIS, 29 NDF, 41 Regular forces, 14 unknown rebels, YPG 3 .
By province : Aleppo ( 16 civilians, 10 rebels ), Reef Dimashq (1 civilian, 7 rebels ), Dera’a ( 5 civilians, 1 rebel ), Hama( 2 civilians, 2 rebels ), Idlib ( 1 civilian, 1 rebel ), Homs ( 4 rebels ) ,Damascus ( 7 rebels ) , Quneitra( 1 rebels ), Hasakah ( 2 civilians ) , Der-Ezzor ( 1 civilian ), Suwaydaa ( 1 civilian ) Read more
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Final death toll for Friday 21/02/2014, approximately 239 people killed in Syria. The dead : 55 civilians (13 children, 6 women, 1 teenager ), 59 rebels, 19 non-Syrian ISIS, 21 ISIS, 26 NDF, 43 Regular forces, 13 unknown rebels, 2 Hezbollah fighters .
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: Final death toll for Thursday 20/02/2014, approximately 249 people killed in Syria. the dead : 45 civilians ( 4 children, 3 women ), 70 rebels, 25 non-Syrian ISIS, 21 ISIS, 31 NDF, 49 Regular forces, 8 unknown rebels .
Firat News: Rojava-Iraq border post officially opened
The border post at Til Koçer (Ya’rubiyya) between West Kurdistan and Iraq has been officially opened following talks with the Iraqi government.
Spokesperson for the Cizîre Canton administration, Ciwan Mihemed, announced that agreement had been reached with the Iraqi government. According to this agreement, the first between West Kurdistan and a neighbour, priority will be given to the movement of daily necessities through the border crossing. Representatives of the Cizîre Canton administration went to Federal Kurdistan on 12 February and from there to Baghdad. All the major parties in South Kurdistan, apart from Massoud Barzani’s KDP, recognise the democratic autonomous administrations set up in the three cantons, Cizîre, Kobani and Afrin, of West Kurdistan in January this year. Read more