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Efrîn– Newsletter No. 1

ICOR, Main Coordinator, February 20, 2018

1. The Solidarity Pact of ICOR with the Kurdish liberation struggle

The Solidarity Pact of ICOR adopted in March 2015 constituted a self-commitment to develop intensive practical solidarity work with Rojava, liberated from the IS, to support the construction of Rojava, and to link the Kurdish liberation struggle with the international revolutionary and working-class movement. It was signed by 37 organizations. A shining example of this was the ICOR solidarity brigades with 177 brigadists from ten countries to build the health center in Kobane. It has now been completed and operates as a maternity hospital which has already handled more than 4,000 births. After the fascist Turkish regime launched a campaign to destroy the Kurdish liberation struggle and the democratic autonomy structures in Rojava, the Solidarity Pact was developed further in October 2016. In the event of a further escalation of the attacks on Rojava it was declared that, if necessary, a call would be issued for a worldwide day of action. This was unanimously confirmed by the Third ICOR World Conference! This acute situation has now materialized with the imperialist war for the partitioning of Syria.

 

2. The attack of the fascist Turkish government on Efrîn

On 20 January 2018 the fascist Turkish Erdogan regime launched a military attack on the Canton Efrîn in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria/Rojava. The fascist IS (DAIS) was largely defeated by the military alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria, led by the Kurdish self-defense forces YPG and YPJ. An important factor in this was the bond with the globally organized solidarity, in which the ICOR also played a major part.

A declaration by the ICOR organization MLKP, which has been entrusted with the construction of ICOR in the Middle East, states: “To prevent demoralizing of the population, they [Turkey] spread massive propaganda. The media work at top speed to churn out lies. Despite all their losses they still dream of bringing parts of Rojava under their control and destroying the liberation movement. What the fascists and counterrevolutionaries in the region forget, however, is that the people have a will of their own! They have won freedom in Rojava and live an honorable life. They have a fighting vanguard, and they are organized. The working people, women, youth and oppressed have gained the sympathies of the peoples of this world.” (International Bulletin, 2/2018)

The military invasion by Turkey took place with the acquiescence of US imperialism and in collaboration with the Russian Putin regime.

On 10 February the Syrian air defense forces shot down an Israeli F-16 fighter plane near the border to Israel. Israel’s air force previously had attacked targets in Syria on a number of occasions. It justified its current attacks as a reaction to an “Iranian” drone that had supposedly entered Israel’s air space.

Last year the USA and Russia agreed on their zones of influence. West of the Euphrates, accordingly, Russia and Syria stake their claim, east of the Euphrates the USA. At present the contradictions between the USA and Russia are intensifying.

Turkish President Erdogan threatens US imperialism with an “Ottoman slap” should it continue to cooperate with the military forces of the SDF. Fascist Islamist forces from Iran have been active on Syrian territory for some time.

German imperialism is indirectly, but now also directly involved in Turkey’s war and the invasion of Efrîn through the delivery of tanks and the participation in reconnaissance flights in collaboration with the USA. In addition, German imperialism works together very closely with the Turkish fascist Erdogan regime. And it is trying to expand relations with the Iraqi regime with an offer of military training in order to gain further influence in the Middle East.

To date the various imperialists mostly have relied on mercenary forces or proxy forces. Now a development is taking place that can result in a clash between the imperialists themselves, especially the USA and Russia. This creates a dangerous new threat to world peace.

As the crisis of the imperialist system deepens, the fear of revolutionary developments grows among those in power. They have not forgotten the democratic movement of uprisings in North Africa and the Arab world that emerged in late 2010/early 2011. With repression, concessions and the temporary installation of pro-imperialist Islamist governments the movement was brought to an impasse after overthrowing the dictatorships.

The USA as main warmonger in the world has been the chief initiator of the developments in Syria in its struggle for influence in Syria and the Middle East. Russia aggressively tries to maintain its strategic access to the Mediterranean and works together with the anti-people Assad regime.

It is very important in this situation that the Kurdish forces and their allies from all groups of the population of Northern Syria explicitly fight independently of all imperialist forces. Riza Altun, Executive Council member of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK), stated in the article, “The struggle for freedom follows its own line” (https://anfdeutsch.com, 28 Jan. 2018): “Maintaining the regime in Syria is very important for Russia. But the Russian approach extends beyond the regime in Syria and Assad. Not Assad, but the dominance and hegemony of Russia in Syria are deemed absolute. While on the one hand the USA builds relations with the YPG, on the other hand it threatens and blackmails in order to get the YPG on a nationalist and nation-state course. … The USA, that is, an imperialist force that wants to build its own world system, tries to exploit the values that were brought forth by a society’s struggle for freedom. … We are engaged in an anti-imperialist struggle. … The strategic partners of our line are the global democratic forces, the social forces and the anti-system forces.”

The ICOR draws a clear dividing line to the revisionist, neorevisionist and Trotskyite forces who now openly stab the liberation struggle in Rojava and the resistance against the fascist aggression of Turkey in the back. That is a trump card of the revolutionary world organization ICOR and its resolute anti-imperialist standpoint.

 

3. The international working-class and revolutionary movement is challenged

Efrîn fights – Efrîn lives!

Despite the aggression of the Turkish armed forces and fascist gangs veiled as Islamists, which has been going on for one month, the Kurdish defense lines of the people’s and women’s defense units are still unbroken and standing firm. The multi-ethnic fighters very courageously resist, and the progress of the invading Turkish forces of the second-biggest army (land forces) in NATO, is extremely slow and encounters fierce resistance.

In Rojava, a broad mass mobilization is taking place. Hundreds of thousands demonstrated in Efrîn against the Turkish invasion. Tens of thousands joined in a march through Rojava to Efrîn.

In Rojava, thousands from the other cantons are arriving in Canton Efrîn to fight against Turkey’s invasion. For the past week, tens of thousands of women have been demonstrating in the center of Efrîn despite the aerial bombing.

An important signal in the struggle against division between Arabs and Kurds is the statement of Leila Khaled from the leadership of the PFLP (Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine). At the Third Congress of the HDP (Peoples’ Democratic Party – Turkey) she said: “I have brought you greetings from the Palestinian people. … Today in Ankara I saw two different scenes. On the one hand all the policemen who surrounded the congress hall and filled the streets. The same picture we see in Palestine. But on the other hand I have seen here the peoples of Turkey and Kurdistan. The voices that rise in this room will drown out the shackles of all prisons and become the echo of the voices of all peoples. … We also raise our voice against the war in Efrîn. … The peoples build up life and the future. From this room I greet all the resisting peoples.” (ANF-News, 13 Feb. 2018)

The world over, millions of people already have taken to the streets out of solidarity with Efrîn, and protests take place every day. In many countries we also witness a strong polarization, in particular between Kurdish and Turkish people. The ICOR does very important educational work here in the spirit of proletarian internationalism!

The Third World Conference of ICOR in autumn 2017 decided to develop the initiative for an anti-imperialist, anti-fascist united front, also against the aggravated danger of war, the shift to the right by governments, and the fascistization of the state apparatuses.

The ICOR is challenged to defend the democratic revolution in Efrîn/Rojava against the military invasion of the Turkish regime, to defend the struggle of the Syrian people for its liberation against the Assad regime and against the intervention of any imperialist forces, and in the struggle against the danger of a world war too.

A worldwide day of action would be suitable for the solidarity with the struggle for democracy and freedom, for demanding the immediate withdrawal of all Turkish troops from Efrîn, the withdrawal of all imperialist troops from Syria, and for peace, freedom and socialism.

The current development helps to make the character of imperialism clearer and to show that there can be no liberation from exploitation and oppression with the help of the imperialists or in alliance with them. Only the struggle for a socialist future offers a way out. For that it is necessary to strengthen the ICOR itself as well as all its member organizations.

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