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A Call to Defend Rojava


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Including signatories such as Judith Bulter, Noam Chomsky, and David Graeber, the New York Review Daily has published an urgent call to defend Rojava again military aggression by Turkey. The call follows a devastating Turkish assault on Afrin, one of the three cantons of Rojava, a Kurdish-controlled region in norther Syria. Check out an excerpt from the call below, and visit DefendRojava.org to learn more and support the campaign.

We, the undersigned, are launching the Emergency Committee for Rojava as part of a global campaign to draw attention to this new crisis and to Afrin’s call for support.

The Turkish attack on Afrin was entirely unprovoked. In fact, Afrin was so peaceful for most of the Syrian war that it became a safe haven for tens of thousands of refugees—some of whom are now refugees for a second time. In the cantons they controlled, the Kurdish-led forces had established an oasis, unique in Syria, of local self-government, women’s rights, and secular rule. Yet the Turkish government cynically claims that it is threatened by Rojava because the people leading it—who have been the US’s leading allies in the fight against ISIS in Syria—are “terrorists.”

While the attack on Afrin is a violation of international law comparable to those of the Assad government, the Trump administration has made only feeble protests against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s depredations. By accepting Turkey’s attack, the US has become complicit in Erdoğan’s ethnic cleansing plan to expel the Kurds once and for all from a part of Syria where they have lived for centuries, and to eradicate the democratic experiment developing in Rojava.

Image: A Syrian man resting amid the rubble of a home in Afrin, March 31, 2018. Via NY Review Daily.