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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: “Nous sommes l’unique bouclier humaniste face à la barbarie”

by Stéphane Aubouard

Syrian Democratic Party (PYD) Leader: "We Are the Only Humanist Shield Against Barbarity"

Translated Thursday 9 October 2014, by Isabelle Métral

Gharib Hassou is representative in Iraki Kurdistan of the (Syrian) PYD’s, the main force of Kurdish resistance in Syria. In an interview with l’Humanité he accuses Turkey of militarily supporting DAESH and buying oil from the Jihadists, whose organization he says is a real “mafia”.

From our special correspondent in Erbil (Iraki Kurdistan)

HUMA: Why is the conquest of Kobane so important a stake for DAESH?

HASSOU: Because the town’s position is strategic. If DAESH succeeded in seizing it, it would divide the two other Syrian Kurdish districts of Afrin and Jesire, which would weaken our resistance while enlarging their own borders. But beyond that strategic dimension, there is a symbolic aspect too, for it was in Kobane that we started the revolution in 2012. So DAESH wants to demoralize the Syrian Kurds by getting hold of that important symbol. In the last year they have tried to take hold of it ten times and each time with our forces alone we succeeded in fighting them back. The problem is that their fire power is now much more important since they have taken tanks and heavy weaponry from the Iraki army. And add to this the secret forces of some States that actively support the Jihadists in their conquest.

HUMA: Do you mean Turkey?

HASSOU: Actively, yes and I do mean Turkey. Joe Biden (Editor’s Note: the US diplomacy boss) has just confirmed this from a financial point of view. Not only did Ankara support DAESH militarily, but Turkey’s financial contribution is paramount. There are direct agreements between Turkey and DAESH who functions like a mafia with the money it receives. That money comes notably from the oilfields that Jihadists control all along the border. They sell the oil to Turkey( rumour puts the price at forty dollars a barrel instead of the current price of 100 dollars). Turkey is calling the shots in the region these days, but nevertheless says it might join the coalition…

HUMA: But Turkey’s Parliament has just voted for an intervention, if not a military intervention, at least for humanitarian assistance to the town of Kobane…

HASSOU: I don’t believe a word of it. The Turks have fought the Kurds for thousands of years, so they know who their enemy is. And it is not DAESH. The truth is that Turkey does not want a democratic state to be set up in our region, it wants n Islamist state. Erdogan is an Islamist. So the West should be aware that this war concerns them as much as it does us, Syrian Kurds, and the YPG, and the PKK (Turkish Kurds,) who are the only ones to fight on the battlefield. We are the only brotherly, humanist, shield against barbarity. We are the only people in the region to be organized democratically. With us it is the people that rules. In each of the three States, there is a male and a female governor. All the communities have a legal right to exist. We did not conquer Kobane by cutting off heads and after raping women!

So I call on the civilized world to come to our help. If Kobane falls, the symbol of a people’s fraternity will fall. And today we are the only bastion against the creation of the Islamist State Our fall might result in a domino effect. For the whole of Syria, Turkey and even the confines of Europe, Romania, Bulgaria might fall. And yet the whole world is merely watching us being massacred without stirring as much as a finger.

HUMA: Still, the US is dropping bombs near Kobane…

HASSOU: It is but we are beginning to doubt the objective of these strikes. I just cannot understand how it is that the most powerful army in the world, who can target a single man hiding in the desert, is now unable to hit a single IS tank. Kurdish fighters were even killed last week when a US strike missed its target. These attacks were aimed at pushing DAESH back but they had the opposite effect. There was besides not the slightest contact between Kurdish fighters and the US staff. But our Iraki Kurdish brothers have been trying to help us, notably by attacking the Jihadists around Sinjar where the Yezidi have taken refuge, which enabled to release the DAESH vice around Kobane somewhat, as DAESH was forced to send supply forces into Irak.

But unfortunately all this is not enough. Instead of carrying out air strikes that are very costly, we would rather they sent us heavy weaponry. That is the only thing we need to push DAESH back. Unfortunately there are agreements between Turkey and Western States that do not really want things to change in the Middle-East. We are paying a heavy price for the Lausanne agreements signed by the big powers in 1923 in order to divide up our country.

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