What follows is a letter, written by an anarchist comrade in Rojava.
Originally published by Barrikade Info.
I think it is important now that our voices of Rojava, out of the heart of that battle, are being heard. A fight for the life, for an existance in dignity, for real democracy and for the freedom of all women. I want to tell how the resistance of Serekaniye went on, how the beginning was, how the end was and also what happened in between. Serekaniye right now is in the hands of jihadist groups that are being supported by Turkey, upon approval by the United States. At a time they said there would be a five-day firearm rest…. we didn’t believe it for one second. And that’s how it was – the attackings didn’t stop, maybe
they’ve been reduced, but they continued attacking us with heavy artillery, bombings and airplanes. When there are bombings, there is not much that can be done; hide behind a tree and hope, that they
didn’t see you running or that they found your place.
Those five days of supposed firearm rest actually have been decisive for the United States and Turkey, to redefine the conflict, to realign the situation of war, confrontation and resistance against our forced withdrawal that no one expected. No one could believe it, after 11 days of resistance, beautiful and very hard at the same time. Leaving the city. The turkish invasion of Serekaniye did start some days before, 8th of October, with a bombing of our military post that hasn’t been answered, for not to unleash what happened later anyway. It was an attempt of the friends to protect the people and the society. But the next day, about 3 to 4 pm, another bombing of a post of the YPG took place, where 5 friends have fallen, and since then they bombed the whole border.
The first days have been very chaotic. We tried to keep calm and to prepare for the invasion. Yes, the last months of the preparation made sense, it became reality. To realise despite all fear, what war actually means, the bravery to assure oneself of a made decision, and at the same time, there are the doubts, that everything will be silenced, that no one in this world will hear about that barbarism. When war arrives, it is a distant war, with a lot of unexpected bombings, that you’ll only hear at the very last moment. When the bombs fall, they fall, when it happens, it happens. After days you learn to acknowledge them, and at the same time when the wounded friends start to arrive, along with the feelings they awake in us; sadness at one hand, because the war machinery is monstrous, and at the other hand the strength to also fight for them. All the defending units, those that already have been here and those that arrived when the turkish aggression intensified, kept the city safe despite movements of the jihadist groups and enabled the transfer of the wounded to the city Til Temir. Until Turkey cut that road and it wasn’t possible anymore to bring them there.
That was really hard for all of us, because we couldn’t give them the necessary medical care. For some of them, their health deteriorated rapidly and one friend died waiting for the treatment. And more anger
reached our hearts. The more attacks came, the bigger our courage became. At the same time we knew that we have to deal with the second biggest army of the NATO – and when we fall, who is gonna tell this
story of barbarism and resistance? We did protect te city with the thought to do so with all the consequences, and no one did expect we would leave the city as we did. In our talks in the moments of a break, we were determined and convinced that Serekaniye belongs to us and also would continue to do so. For me it was unbelievable to have these friends by my side, to see how the fought, to learn from them, becausetheir battle comes from the heart and when they have been wounded, they only wanted to get a bandage, medicaments and go back to the front. Those people fight for the life. Because they believe, and that belief is such a strong value that I never have been feeling it with such an intensity.
Serekaniye did see war before, and maybe that is why our withdrawal was that hard.
And now we are in other parts of the region, and war isn’t over yet, there’s a lot to lose and a lot to win. It is our task to defend the resistance, to make it public, to continue fighting, as all of you do, over here and there. In Serekaniye, no one did stop until today, no one sat down, the fight and the life continues. We can not forget that every step is a step forward, for the martyrs, for the destroyed houses, for that they become beautiful again, such as the life they harbour. When we left, I could see the city burning through the window, and I couldn’t hold back the tears, I couldn’t bear the bombed outside districts, the ruins, but do you know what? We will win them back and free them and make them even more beautiful, free and without any trace of that barbarism. We’ll do it for the expelled mothers and girls, for the martyrs, for the brave friends, for this earth that produces life even under bombs. If I wouldn’t have been at the side of the friends that are part of the movement here since many years, I wouldn’t have been able to feel all that courage and love. And I think, “if we would have that, not a militia, not an army, only that, a simple feeling” – to believe in that future that we imagine – we wouldn’t need anything else. When we left the city with the convoy, we saw the turkish flag that already has been installed at the checkpoint at the city entrance, we saw the faces of our enemies, that until that point hid within the buildings for to shoot us. They went on the streets, gathered on the balkonies…
We won’t stop, and everyone needs to know what happens here. And I know that I shouldn’t thank you for all your solidarity, because solidarity is a part of us, a part of the battle, but you have no idea what every
picture meant, every text you sent us, everything we could see, how on a thousand places people came together and put aside all their differences for an internationalist solidarity. You can’t stop, because here, it only starts now. Because it is not only a military operation but an attempt to destroy a culture, ideas, a dream. As long as there is only one tank or only one turkish soldier, we won’t stop. It may take years, but we won’t allow fascism to take only one step further. When they want to defeat Rojava, they will meet the hate of the new generation that they create themselves, if necessary for a thousand of generations that will follow the resistance. Let’s not stop to keep an eye on here, the war is not only a few month of the conflict, it is something that has consequences that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Russia and Assad’s troops are expanding on the territory. ISIS reorganizes itself, especially around Til Temir, and restores an ideological and military organisation that has never fully diappeared. A lot of families that went from Serekaniye to Til Temir are forced now to move away again, to Qamishlo or even Başur. The war continues, it is not over yet. The meaning of your support is enormous, I would say deciding, and not even in the context of propaganda but in the simple fact that I feel close to you, to have the feeling that we’re not alone, to know that a lot of people are behind us. That solidarity gives us even more courage.
Our moral is high, we will continue defending all of that, learning with every step, take every single friend with us, with every smile, every drop of sweat, in every moment of loneliness or fear.
Everything is so beautiful and great, that I can’t describe it.
Let’s go forward, friends, us here will continue.
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