The Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration of Northeast Syria has signed an agreement with an American oil company, well-placed sources with close knowledge of the deal told Al-Monitor. One of the sources said the agreement to market oil in territory controlled by the US-backed entity and to develop and modernize existing fields was inked last week “with the knowledge and encouragement of the White House.” The sources named the company as Delta Crescent Energy LLC, a corporation organized under the laws of the state of Delaware. The sources gave no further details about the company but would only say they had been in talks for “a long time” and that it had received an OFAC license to operate in Syria. Oil is a politically radioactive topic, with the central government in Damascus accusing the United States of stealing its oil after Trump declared last year in the wake of Turkey’s October incursion against the SDF that he was keeping some 500 US Special Forces in the Kurdish governed space “for the oil.” Despite steadily tightening sanctions on the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the United States has turned a blind eye to ongoing oil trade between the Kurds and Damascus. A fair amount of the oil is also sold at cut-rate prices to the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
The revolution in the Kurdish region of Syria called Rojava has generated significant enthusiasm among broad segments of the left in Europe and North America. The heroic resistance by Kurdish forces in Kobane, Syria during the siege by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in late 2014 and into early 2015 proved to be a pivotal moment. Images of revolutionary fighters, and particularly of armed women, engaged in a life-and-death struggle, bravely resisting the vicious onslaught by Islamist thugs, caught the attention and imagination of many on the so-called international left.
Despite the odds stacked against it, the women’s movement is determined to continue the struggle. In response to the Turkish invasions, hundreds of thousands of women from the different communities in Northern Syria have taken to the streets. On the International Day against Violence against Women, all the women’s organizations in Northern Syria organized large rallies across the region with the slogan ‘Occupation is Violence’. These local actions were echoed by feminist actions around the world under the campaign ‘Women Defend Rojava’. ‘Day and night, we engage in efforts to struggle against the occupation,’ Evîn says. ‘Our aim is for these areas to be liberated and for our people to see a dignified return. Both things must be led by the organized, free woman.’
Report Back From Atlanta On Occupation Of Train Tracks Outside Of Arms Manufacturer Tied To The Turkish State. Around 4:00 pm a crowd of mostly costumed people gathered together for a “Halloween Isn’t Dead” potluck at Whittier Mill Park in the North West part of Atlanta, GA. They ate, played football, and explored the woods. Around them children swung on a swing set and teens relentlessly threw a frisbee. The parents split their time between nervously watching their kids and being deep in conversation with one another.
As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan flew into Washington, D.C., on November 14, to meet with Donald Trump, anti-fascist and international solidarity activists were flooding into the streets in protest. “The protest is in opposition to Turkey’s aggression toward North Syria,” says Flint Arthur, vice president of the American Rojava Center for Democracy. Arthur participated in the D.C. protests to “oppose Turkey’s ongoing attacks, invasion and occupation of North Syria,” a region known as Rojava.
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Foreign Relations Committee wrote a letter addressed to the American people and President Donald J. Trump responding to the comparisons made between the Kurdish movement and ISIS amid the genocidal campaign of the Turkish state against the Kurdish people. The letter reads as follows; “To the American people and President Donald J. Trump, We refuse comparisons being made between our movement and the inhumane thugs of ISIS. Our response is as follows: There are more than 40 million Kurds living in the Middle East today. At the end of the First World War, outside powers divided them among four autocratic states: Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, where our movement began.
When forces in U.S. ruling circles contend with and denounce each other to justify foreign intervention — as is currently happening in reaction to the announced U.S. pullback from the Kurdish area of Syria — this generates speculation, analysis and confusion in the population, including among anti-war activists. It demands a clear political response. This confusion takes place because U.S. apologists invent pretexts for the government’s military interventions. They falsely claim it sends troops to defend democracy or to protect the human rights for some group. Rather, U.S. troops are sent to intervene only to protect and expand the strategic or economic interests of U.S. imperialism. U.S. forces in Syria have brought nothing but misery to that country’s people, including its Kurdish population.
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Foreign Relations Committee wrote a letter addressing to the American people and President Donald J. Trump responding to the comparisons made between the Kurdish movement and ISIS amid the genocidal campaign of the Turkish state against the Kurdish people. The letter reads as follows; “To the American people and President Donald J. Trump, We refuse comparisons being made between our movement and the inhumane thugs of ISIS. Our response is as follows...
President Trump recently announced he was withdrawing US troops from northeastern Syria where they had fought and imprisoned ISIS members with the Kurds. This move gave the green light for Turkey to invade and try to push the Kurds out ostensibly to replace them with the three million Syrian refugees from the western region currently living in Turkey. Democrats and Republicans are criticizing Trump for withdrawing and abandoning the Kurds. This has created a dilemma for peace activists - should the troops stay or go? We speak with Ajamu Baraka of Black Alliance for Peace who has spent time in the Middle East, most recently in Syria, to clarify what is going on and how best to advocate for peace in the region.
Current events concerning Turkey and the Kurds in Syria remind me of a conversation I had with a US Air Force colonel almost 17 years ago in a courtroom in Des Moines. To refresh my memory, I dug deep into my closet and dusted off the transcript of the case, “STATE OF IOWA, plaintiff vs. CHRISTINE GAUNT et al.,” in which I was a defendant, heard in February, 2003, the month before the US invasion of Iraq. The following quotes from that dialogue are verbatim per the transcript. The case concerned an alleged trespass at the headquarters of the 132nd Tactical Fighter Wing of the Iowa Air National Guard, based at Des Moines International civilian airport, on October 26, 2002. Activists from around Iowa blocked the gates of the base in protest of the 132nd’s participation in Operation Northern Watch, the no-fly zone over northern Iraq imposed by the US after the Gulf War that lasted until the Iraq War in 2003.
By Nauman Sadiq. the ethnic and sectarian conflict in Syria and Iraq is actually a three-way conflict between the Sunni Arabs, the Shi’a Arabs and the Kurds. Although after the declaration of war against a faction of Sunni Arab militants, the Islamic State, the US has also lent its support to the Shi’a-led government in Iraq, but the Shi’a Arabs of Iraq are not the trustworthy allies of the United States because they are under the influence of Iran. Therefore, the US was left with no other choice but to make the Kurds the centerpiece of its policy in Syria after a group of Sunni Arab jihadists overstepped their mandate in Syria and overran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in early 2014, from where, the United States had withdrawn its troops only a couple of years ago in December 2011.
By Steve Rushton for Occupy.com. While our supposed "democracy" is dominated by the 1%, this alternative uses local participative councils to direct society from the bottom up. While across the world regimes are building walls against people of color, as women remain oppressed, this liberated place is undergoing a radical process of female empowerment and has set in law the principle that every refugee is welcome. And while modern capitalism is driving the world toward ecological meltdown, this society is gearing toward a new ecological harmony. It is the story of Rojava, the autonomous, predominantly Kurdish non-state that has arisen out of the ashes of northern Syria, and defiantly shown that another world is not only possible, but that it is happening. The book Revolution in Rojava: Democratic Autonomy and Women's Liberation in Syrian Kurdistan is the first full-length account of this remarkable recent history that began July 19, 2012, with the liberation of Rojava from the oppressive Syrian Ba’ath regime.
By Debbie Bookchin for The Nation. Turkey - Right now, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is undertaking a massive assault on Kurdish communities in southeastern Turkey in an effort to wipe out the only truly democratic movement in the Middle East. In December, he unleashed a force of 10,000 soldiers, armed with tanks and mortars, who have cut water and electricity supplies, imposed draconian curfews, and razed buildings; they are following shoot-to-kill orders against local residents who venture from their homes to seek food, first aid, or alternative shelter. Already more than 200 Kurdish defenders, and 198 civilians, including children, teenagers, and the elderly, have been murdered. In photos, the areas under siege look like war zones, comparable in destruction to Syria and Bosnia.
By Janet Biehl and Zanyar Omrani for ROAR Magazine - In this interview, independent filmmaker and journalist Zanyar Omrani talks to Janet Biehl about her late companion Murray Bookchin, her trips to Rojava and the important question of how to build bottom-up power structures without risking the reversal of the process over time. Janet Biehl has traveled to Rojava twice in the past year and has written extensively about her experiences and observations while visiting the autonomous cantons in northern Syria. She is the author of the book Ecology or Catastrophe: The Life of Murray Bookchin.
By Jack Balkwill for Dissident Voice. There have been many victories and we need to celebrate them. Among the victories was stopping the northern portion of the KXL pipeline, various new laws in 24 states to prevent police violence and an increase inprosecutions of police who commit violence, and the increase in wages across the country and winning the critically important battle for net neutrality. These were people-powered victories that showed when we act together we have the power to defeat corporate interests. Another ongoing series of victories is seeing local people, who have not been involved in activism, working along with experienced, often young, energy activists, taking on big energy companies in an aggressive way. This is a victory.