On the 26th of January, DC area Kurds and their supporters marched on the White House to demand that the US not support Turkey’s offensive against Rojava and instead impose a no-fly zone.
For a week US ally Turkey has been bombing and shelling the Kurdish town of Afrin, even though the Kurdish YPG was the main fighting force in the regional war against Daesh(ISIS). Turkey’s theocratic President Erdogan may of course prefer Daesh to autonomous Kurds.
The protest in DC began with a rally at the State Dept, then marched past the IMF and World Bank to finish with a protest at the White House. This was one of many protests held around the world against Erdogen’s terror bombing and invasion of Kurdish lands. The US is theoretically opposed to Turkey’s offensive but so far has done nothing to control their ally’s aggression.
Of course, Donald Trump has a theocrat of his own (Mike Pence) as his VP, and far from cutting off Turkey’s access to shells and bombs to shoot at the Kurds has instead threatened to cut off US arms to Kurdish YPG fighters. Erdogen is generally regarded as both a theocrat and a fascist, sort of like Trump and Pence in one man. This “birds of a feather” aspect may be why the Turkish diplomatic security goons that beat and kicked protesters on US soil back on May 16, 2017 have never been punished. DC issued arrest warrants, but the US Dept of State never took tough measures to demand extradition, such as threatening to declare Erdogan himself “persona non grata,” not allowed to return to the US.
War is always brutal, nasty and diffcult, but the YPG is holding out, and Turkey is already losing their tanks to RPG rockets fired by Kurdish YPG fighters. Erdogen told the Turkish public he would crush Afrin in three days, instead he has seen no progress after a week of war. His troops are being cut down in some reported cases just 200-300 meters from the Turkish border as Kurdish YPG freedom fighters defend every square inch of their homeland. The war goes poorly for Erdogan and is being called a humiliation of NATO as a whole. On the Kurdish side of the war, another continetent of international volunteers has just joined the fight, much as so many did in the victorious defense of Kobane from Daesh. This has been compared in such forums as Anarchist News to the Spanish Civil War, which had a similar level of international participation.
Turkey’s planes are bombing and their tanks are shelling civilian apartment buildings, while Kurdish fighters are destroying the actual weapons of Turkish occupation, such as these tanks. Of course, this means the YPG has to fight a two-front war, against both Turkey and the remnants of Daesh. While the YPG will probably suceed in defeating Turkey, it may require protracted insurgent warfare to do so, and when it is over Afrin could easily look like Kobane did after the successful defense of that down against Daesh.Speaking of Daesh, their almost totally defeated remnants may well succeed in retaking territory and reconstituting their army while Kurdish YPG fighters are busy elsewhere fighting Turkish troops.
The message the US is sending by allowing one of its NATO allies to bomb and shell YPG fighters who did the hard work against Daesh is this: If you fight our wars for us, we’ll promise you the moon and the stars, then throw you away when we are done with you. Enouch of this and the US will fight their next war alone.
Video of the Kurdish march and rallies raw clips by Lacy Macauley
Photo by Noflyzone4Afrin
Stand with the YPG in solidarity against fascism! (Photo By Lacy Macauley)
Marching past the World Bank, then the IMF(Photo by Lacy Macauley)
At the White House (Photo by Lacy Macauley)
THIS is what Turkey is doing: an obvious apartment building (balconies) hit by a Turkish bomb or shell, two units burning. Uncertain if this is from one explosion or two. (Photo from Tommaso Cacciara Twitter account.)