Syria

Tue
20
Sep

When Women Lead the Revolution

By Elia Gran
September 19, 2016
The Indypendent, Issue #217

The Syrian civil war has produced a catalogue of horrors – cities bombed into rubble, the rise of ISIS, refugees fleeing across open seas on makeshift rafts– that have been widely covered in the Western media. During this same time, the dissolution of the Syrian state has opened the doors in one corner of the country for a social revolution that is at odds with the political norms not only of the rest of the Middle East but of the wider world beyond.

Sat
27
Aug

Turkey's Syria Incursion Means Perpetual War on Kurds

by Hawzhin Azeez
Kurdish Question
8/27/2016

In the last few hours reports have emerged that the Turkish army is bombing the Til-Emarne (al-Amarne) village of Jarablus with artillery fire and jets and also attacking YPG targets in Ain Diwar (eastern Rojava) and Afrin (western Rojava). Kurdish sources have reported dozens of civilian injuries and deaths. Turkey's incursion into Syria has already confirmed what many thought it was, an act of aggression against Kurds.

Wed
24
Aug

ISIS Hands Over Jarablus to Turkey

by Workers Solidarity Movement (Ireland)

A little over ten hours ago Turkish tanks crossed the Syrian border to supposedly attack ISIS. For the last couple of years Turkish troops and ISIS militants have been exchanging hand waves across the border as month by month hundreds of ISIS recruits have been allowed to cross it.

What changed? Over the last weeks the SDF fought street to street though the town of Manbij, just south of Jarablus. Eventually they forced ISIS out and started to advance towards Jarablus, these advances in effect closing the ISIS supply route across the border. Turkey really didn’t want the SDF which includes the Kurdish YPG and YPJ to capture Jarablus, hence this last minute invasion.

Tue
26
Jul

Against all odds, village republics take hold in Syria

by Robin Yassin-Kassab
The National
July 25, 2016

You may think Syrians are condemned to an unpleasant choice between Bashar Al Assad and the jihadists. But the real choice being fought out by Syrians is between violent authoritarianism on the one hand and grassroots democracy on the other.

Interviewing activists, fighters and refugees for our book Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, we discovered the democratic option is real, even if beleaguered. To the extent that life continues in the liberated but heavilybombed areas – areas independent of both the Assad regime and ISIL – it continues because self-organised local councils are supplying services and aid.

Tue
12
Jul

The 'Rojava Revolution' in Syrian Kurdistan: A Model of Development for the Middle East?

by Can Cemgil and Clemens Hoffmann, first published on IDS Bulletin website
7/8/2016

Kurdish Question

Abstract

Fri
03
Jun

Waiting for the Barbarians

Who are the real barbarians? The refugees or those who caused them to flee?

Jesús Sepúlveda

Fifth Estate #396, Summer 2016, Vol. 51, No. 1, page 25

http://www.fifthestate.org/

In August 2015, as refugees broke through a line of Macedonian police at the border between Greece and Macedonia going toward Western Europe, a phrase from the Greek poet Constantine Cavafy (1863-1933) came forcibly to mind: "the barbarians are coming today." But as in Cavafy's poem, it wasn't clear who the barbarians really were in 2015.

Mon
16
May

Challenging the Nation State in Syria

by Leila Al Shami
Fifth Estate #396, Summer 2016

Syria's current borders were drawn up by imperial map makers a hundred years ago in the midst of World War I as part of a secret accord between France and Britain to divide the Mideast spoils of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. As the colonial state gave way to the post-independence state, power was transferred from Western masters to local elites.

The three major discourses which grew out of the anti-colonial struggle—socialism, Arab nationalism, and Islamism—all fetishized the idea of a strong state as the basis of resistance to Western hegemony. In the case of Syria, it led to the emergence of an ultra-authoritarian regime where power is centralized around one man in Damascus, Bashar al-Assad, bolstered by the state bureaucracy, and security forces. But today, new ways of organizing have emerged which challenge centralized authority and the state framework.

Mon
01
Feb

Our attitude towards Rojava must be critical solidarity

Previously I have written so many articles in Kurdish and English about Rojava but this one is different. In this article I am not talking about the positive sides of Rojava only, in fact, I cover the negative sides as well. And also the article is not just about Rojava, it is also about Bakur ( the Turkey part of Kurdistan) .

I know it is difficult for many people to accept criticisim about both movements Rojava and Bakur for different reason. However, I am trying to assess both fairly and I am happy and open to receive different opinions and criticism.

By Zaher Baher
January 30, 2016

Thu
21
Jan

Noam Chomsky tells Al Jazeera “I’m not an absolute pacifist”

In an interview with Al Jazeera English’s flagship current affairs show, ‘UpFront’, MIT professor emeritus Noam Chomsky a long-standing critic of US foreign policy and overseas interventions, said he supported U.S. air strikes against ISIL.

“I’m not an absolute pacifist,” he said. “I think there are times when the use of military force defensively is legitimate.“

"Defending the Kurds against the ISIL attacks, yes, that’s legitimate,” he added, explaining that the "Kurdish areas of Syria” constitute a “fairly decent society” which “certainly merit support” from the US air force.

Chomsky condemned the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan who in a public address criticised “so-called intellectuals” like Chomsky for supporting Kurdish separatists and invited the MIT professor to visit Turkey.

Thu
21
Jan

This One Small Book Explains the Inspiring Rojava Revolution

by Steve Rushton
Occupy.com

Rojava’s social revolution deserves more global attention and solidarity. The Kurdish autonomous region in Northern Syria is a working experiment creating a society based on direct democracy, with women’s empowerment central in that model. It is being organized beyond and outside a state-centric capitalist system; mutual aid and cooperation are challenging structural exploitation and inequality. Remarkably, all of this emerges out of the Syrian crisis where the predominantly Kurdish Rojava experiment continues despite an existential fight against ISIS, the fascist and genocidal caliphate.

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