Thanks to Arab, Kurdish and Assyrian unity, the terrorist group that calls itself: Islamic State is losing the war. Soldiers from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have almost cleared the city of Raqqa from its grip. Raqqa in Syria is regarded as the capital city of the reactionary group, that follows a far-right Islamic ideology called Wahhabism. Islamic State rose in 2013 as a result of the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars. It defeated the Iraqi army and took control of Mosul and western Iraq. The Syrian city of Raqqa was the prime capital until SDF forces started with the liberation. By 15 October 2017 only a small pocket in the city center remains under IS control!
Western commentators remain rather silent about a important fact. The fact that win-out the ideology of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the SDF would never have been founded. Because the main bulk of the SDF is made up by Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG). This militia was formed in 2004 as the armed wing of the Kurdish: Democratic Union Party, which is the main party of Syrian Kurds. The YPG is build on the same principals as the People’s Defense Forces (HPG) in Turkey, the fighting force of the PKK. This is why the conservative dictatorship of Ergodan is not happy that the YPG is winning in Syria. Ankara is called the Syrian Kurds ”terrorists” and puts them on equal level with Islamic State. Why? Because the Turkish government is ethnic nationalist and does not recognizes the Kurdish people. For the nationalists who rule the Turkish Republic all people must think Turkish, speak Turkish and think Turkish. This is the main reason why the Kurdistan Workers Party took up arms in 1984. Because the Turks systematic oppress any ethnic minority, from Armenians to Kurds!
The Syrian civil war is marked by religious sectarianism. Most rebels who fight the government are Sunni-Islamic fundamentalist. Government forces are led by Shia-Islamic leaders from the Alawite tribe. The Syrian Ba’ath Party is supported by both the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Lebanese: Party of God (Hezbollah). Iran and Hezbollah are Shia-Islamic fundamentalist and support Bashar Assad because his tribe is also Shia-Muslim. The rebels who fight the Ba’ath government are supported by Sunni-Islamic regimes like Saudi-Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. In this mix of fundamentalism and religious intolerance, the western world is unsure who they should support. Revolutionary socialists see only one group that needs support and that is the Syrian Democratic Forces. This secular coalition was created by the YPG to unite both Kurdish, Arabic and Assyrian militias!
Turkey is the main reason why support for the SDF remains minimal. Ankara is part of NATO and a important ally of American imperialism. Washington DC cannot lose Turkish support and therefore turns a blind eye to the crimes Erdogan is committing against his own people. By now Turkey is only a democracy in name. The state has silent almost all critical newspapers and jailed leftist opposition politicians. It is clear that Erdogan is building a conservative dictatorship that is using the Turkish-Kurdish conflict to silence all internal opposition. Some brave man and woman from western countries have not waited and traveled to Syria to join the YPG. They are a strange mixture of leftists, anti-capitalists, anarchists, communists, adventurers and idealists. What they all share however is the desire to fight Islamic State and its terrorists who kill innocents. That foreigners join the YPG is not hailed by Ankara as the Turks consider anybody who fights for the Kurds a ”terrorist”!
The battle for Raqqa started on 4 June 2017. 35.000 SDF forces attacked the capital city of IS which is defended by 4.000 fighters. Although the terrorists are at a disadvantage they are masters of bobby traps and are using the local population as a shield. The city was completely encircled at the end of June, preventing any IS militant from escaping. Then a brutal city battle started which is not over yet. SDF forces have to fight house by house to defeat the Islamic State. 50% of Raqqa has been destroyed and over 1.000 civilians have died. 10.000 were forced to flee the city when the fighting began. It is reported that 1.300 IS militants have been killed and another 1.200 surrendered. The remaining 1.500 defenders are holding up in the city center and are cut off. It remains to be seen how long they will keep up the fight!
Islamic State is known for enslaving women and using them as sex objects. The Yazidi were targeted by the brutality of the reactionary Islamists, because their religion is not pure Sunni-Islam. Yazidi combine aspects of Zoroastrianism, Islam, Christianity and Judaism. For this they are hated by IS who decided to kill the men and enslave the females. After the YPG/SDF liberated the Yazidi women they were trained to fight back. The Êzîdxan Women’s Units was founded in 2015 to protect the Yazidi community against attacks from IS. Now this all women militia is fighting alongside the YPG in Raqqa against the terrorists who once enslaved them. Thanks to the leftist ideology of the YPG and their support for female soldiers, women of the Yazidi are now fighters. Ready to destroy Islamic State and its reactionary leaders!
After the liberation of Mosul by Iraqi forces in July 2017, the so called ”Caliphate” has lost all major cities. What remains are a few towns in south east Syria. The Iraqi border town of Al-Qa’im is now the capital of the Islamic State. Al-Qa’im has around 150.000 people and is under IS control since August 2014. The struggle to liberate this last bastion of Islamic fundamentalism will be difficult as many towns lay between SDF force and the Syrian-Iraqi border. Al-Qa’im may have to wait until mid to late 2018 before it can be liberated. It is not the numbers that is preventing a quick victory, it is the lack of weapons and ammunition. SDF forces take most of their armament from death IS militants. Syrian Democratic Forces leaders have often asked for more guns from the west, but Washington DC and Brussels are not willing to fully aid the only group capable of defeating IS. We know why and who is preventing massive western support for the SDF. Turkey is the rotten reason why NATO is not fully helping the armed forces of the Federation of Northern Syria!
Update: 17 October 2017, the capital of Islamic State has fallen. The Syrian Democratic Forces are now in full control of Raqqa. Three years of terror and oppression are over for the people of this city!