Foza Yûsif: The war has entered a new phase

PYD politician Foza Yûsif criticized the international powers for their silence regarding the Turkish attacks and warned the Syrian regime against a new agreement with Turkey.

Parallel to its military defeat in the Zap region in South Kurdistan, the Turkish state has expanded its attacks on Northern and Eastern Syria. The Turkish state seems to have negotiated with Russia and Iran to be allowed to use the airspace over Rojava for drone attacks. However, these forces did not agree to a ground operation. In recent weeks there has been repeated talk of a rapprochement between Ankara and Damascus. This indicates a reorientation of Turkey's plans. In an interview with the newspaper Yeni Özgür Politika, Foza Yûsif, board member of the Democratic Unity Party (PYD), commented on these current developments.

How do you assess the current Turkish attacks and Erdoğan's threats, especially against the background of the talks with Russia and Iran?

The attacks and threats by the Turkish state are nothing new to us. The Turkish state has long wanted to use its war policy to position itself in the region and settle down permanently in Syria. This situation has taken a new direction after the NATO summit in Madrid and the summits in Tehran and Sochi. The attacks and threats against our region cannot be separated from these negotiations. The attacks on leading figures of the Rojava revolution are meant to weaken the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). From our point of view, we assess the attacks as follows: The Turkish state has started a war and this war has reached a new stage. Therefore, no one should be under the illusion that war has not yet been declared or has not yet begun. Every day there are attacks, every day people are massacred, villages are looted, the demographic structure is changed, women's dignity is attacked, rapes occur. The region is being set on fire and the Turkish state is using all kinds of dirty warfare against the peoples of our region.

Turkish attacks on the existence of Rojava, especially on the civilian population, have intensified. Every day there is news about the fallen. Why have these attacks increased now?

There are many reasons for attacks on civilians: the main one is to create instability in the region and force people to flee by instilling fear in the population. The Kurdish regions in particular are under attack. It's about driving people away from their land. Just as cultural destruction and massacres are being carried out in the occupied territories today, there is also a policy of expulsion. In many border regions, the walls between Turkey and Syria have been removed in preparation for a major attack. The most important point is that ruthless attacks on civilians are trying to undermine the people's trust in the self-government and the Democratic Forces of Syria. With the help of special psychological warfare methods, the population has to be scared and the self-government liquidated.

For some time, assassinations of leading personalities of the revolution have been organized by MIT agents. Many people fell as martyrs. What is the attitude of the population on this issue?

Recently, numerous MIT agents have been arrested by the security forces (Asayiş) and the SDF's intelligence units. The arrest of these traitors caused great public relief. Whoever throws himself, his dignity and his honour on the market for a few euros will not get away with it unpunished. People are very angry with traitors, the desire for revenge is great. They also isolate the families of these individuals. The population demands that the traitors be brought to justice and that their trials be held in public. There is already a decision taken by the Autonomous Administration in this direction. These procedures will also represent a kind of further education for the people. They will lead to an awakening. The vigilance of the population is great. All see themselves as part of the defense of the region. The people are ready to protect the achievements of the revolution.

It is noticeable that the attacks have increased after a conference of Kurdish women. Is it a coincidence that so many attacks are actually targeting women?

Not only the project of the democratic nation, but also free life with equal rights is threatened today. The conference served to develop a female awakening. In particular, it also took place to strengthen the fight against sexist policies towards women. Our aim is to advance the attitude of women against Turkish fascism and against the sexist ideology of the AKP regime. Today, the women's revolution is under severe attack. Therefore, all women must discuss this issue and show solidarity with the revolution. The women's revolution is not only on the agenda in Kurdistan, but is also seen as an achievement for women's movements around the world. In order not to lose these achievements, all women should be vigilant and see themselves as responsible and fight together and in a coordinated manner against the Turkish state and AKP fascism. This regime is as much an enemy of women as it is of the people. Women have an important role in defending themselves against this storm of attacks. We will not allow these power-oriented, colonialist and patriarchal forces to stifle and destroy our revolution.

Attacks have increased especially on the Ain Issa, Manbij, Shehba and Serêkaniyê lines. What is it about? Is it about the 30 km occupation zone?

The Turkish state’s policy is not just about 30 kilometers. The attacks have nothing to do with border security. That's a big lie. The invaders speak this way to hide their true ambitions. In fact, Turkey is trying to restore its former hegemony in the Middle East and make Syria a province under its control. These aspirations of Turkey are not independent of the political developments in the world. The Turkish state would like to tie some areas of the neighbouring countries to itself. To this end, it attacks the neighbouring countries under various pretexts.

In addition, Turkey is historically a state that built its existence on the genocide of the Kurds. It has declared the Kurdish areas to be enemy territory and is attacking them on all levels. In this way, it believes it can control the Kurdish question. However, this approach has been disclosed, as have the current ambitions of the Turkish state. Turkey can no longer pretend to anyone that it has a security problem. No initiative other than self-defense by Rojava against Turkey was taken. Every time Turkey has attacked, we have exercised, and still do, our right to self-defense. In this regard, it would be a wrong and narrow-minded approach to view Turkey's goals as a 30-kilometer strip. Their goal is to silence the protests and opposition to the Turkish government by invading and occupying new regions. On the other hand, the Turkish government is trying to maintain its power by getting votes with a false victory.

All of this is taking place before the eyes of the international coalition, the allies of the Autonomous Administration in the fight against ISIS. In their half-hearted criticism of the attacks, the coalition and the US do not even name the perpetrator. How do you assess this attitude?

The vast majority of the forces involved in the coalition are NATO forces. Against the background of the Madrid summit, it became known that concessions were made to the Turkish state for the expansion of NATO. One of those concessions is that the airspace will always remain open for Turkey to use whenever it chooses. It can be said that the states and powers in the coalition are pursuing mendacious policies. Our people know very well that the coalition states are responsible for the Turkish state's attacks in the region. And as far as we can gather from previous statements, there is such an agreement. What is happening has been agreed. We know what is going on and we have informed them that we do not accept the position of the coalition forces in the face of this situation. We criticize this policy of the coalition and fight for its change. We are fighting for her to take a clear stance.

Attacks are also taking place in Shehba, where both Russian and Syrian forces are present. Russia is also present in the Kobanê and Ain Issa regions. Erdoğan claims he is acting in concert with Russia. What do you think about this?

Russia has a presence in the region both east and west of the Euphrates. It is obvious that at the talks in Tehran and Sochi it was agreed that Turkey could fly airstrikes. So far, the attitude of Russia on this issue has been negative. But Russia is now silent and takes no position. That is, an agreement was reached on this issue. The states present in Syria have clearly made concessions in the interests of their own at the expense of the people of Syria and the region. This was clearly shown in their attitude and behavior.

The Turkish state and Syria have started a new round of talks. It is suspected that anti-Kurdish cooperation could be behind this. How do you assess this?

The plans being made in talks between Turkey and Syria are a very dangerous and dirty game. Because the Turkish state has been pursuing the policy of bringing Syria under its control since the Adana Agreement, when it began relations with Syria. For this, it uses all means. The Turkish state has not given up this strategy. Its aim is either to bind Syria to itself or to destroy it politically and militarily in its entirety. In this context, such an alliance will not only be directed against the Kurdish people, but against all peoples of Syria. Since the Turkish state has a fascist character, far from helping to solve the problems, it is itself the source of the problems. The Turkish state has increased the chaos in Syria. It diverted the revolution of the peoples of Syria from its goal and made it serve its own nefarious interests.

Erdoğan was defeated. The project and the strategy that Erdoğan wanted to implement in Syria and in the region have failed. That is why Erdoğan wants to restore relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Syria and many other Arab countries. He wants to change his tactics and adapt his chauvinist, colonialist and aggressive policies. So the danger is not only for the Kurdish people, but also for the future of all peoples of Syria. Failure to develop a democratic solution and an alliance based on anti-Kurdish sentiment will further deepen Syria's fragmentation. Something like this could even worsen the chaos and civil war in Syria. Nobody in Syria should stay out of this situation. Erdoğan says he will bring democracy, brotherhood and stability to Syria. How can Erdoğan, who cannot bring stability to his own country, bring stability to Syria? The government in Damascus has a great responsibility to avoid this dangerous game. Just as the first Adana Accords led to the collapse of Syria and opened Syria to foreign intervention, the second Adana Accords will deepen fragmentation and division, and spark civil war. This deal will darken Syria's future and lead to its destruction.

Can you tell us about your military, political and diplomatic efforts to preserve existing achievements and liberate the occupied territories?

Today, a policy of massacre and liquidation is being pursued against our people. We are facing a comprehensive attack on our values, our future and our very existence. This war is not only directed against Rojava, but is also a danger for the Kurds in all other parts. The Turkish state wants to create a subjugated, collaborating Kurd. The political movements in all four parts of Kurdistan carry on their shoulders the historical duty and burden of defending their identity, existence and dignity.

Important historical achievements for the peoples and women were reached in Rojava and North and East Syria. However, a major attack is taking place to eliminate these democratic and libertarian values. But there is also historical resistance to it. Both the population and the SDF, the internal security forces and the women's bodies are waging this fight with all forms of mobilization. In the face of attacks in diplomatic, military and vital areas, we organize ourselves according to reality. We are preparing for the revolutionary people's war. We believe that the achievements of the peoples, women and the Revolution can only be protected by unlimited resistance.

We are aware of the extent of the danger. Therefore, the resistance must be great enough to overcome this threat. The resistance in the Zap is a source of inspiration for all the peoples of this region, the Middle East and the four parts of Kurdistan. The resistance of young men and women against chemical weapons and highly developed war technology should be a role model for all of Kurdistan and humanity.

The peoples of North and East Syria and the entire region must be aware of the dirty games and that our destiny depends on each other. As long as we protect each other and strengthen our unity, we can live together peacefully. In this conviction we say that total attack requires total resistance. With this conviction and determination, a great work is being done here and a great struggle is being waged. The struggle is shared by many sections of society. We are not weak and powerless; our fighters are strong. We have the power to thwart the enemy's plans. Our belief in ourselves is important. We must continue our struggle with great perseverance and determination and take a stand together. Just as we have thwarted many schemes and plots, we have the power to thwart this one as well.

There are reports of negotiations between the regime in Damascus and the Autonomous Administration. At what stage are these negotiations?

Relations between the Syrian government and the Autonomous Administration have existed since 2011 and have always been marked by struggle and dialogue. Unfortunately, these talks have not yet resulted in a lasting solution. All the people of Syria need to come together, talk and solve this problem. The international powers have played no role other than to complicate the problems. These powers continue to do dirty business at the expense of the peoples of Syria on a daily basis, sacrificing the region for their own interests. In order to clean up this mess and achieve a lasting and just solution, we as the peoples of Syria must recognize each other as Syrian forces.

Is it possible that the negotiations will lead to a solution? Yes, that is possible. Why not? We have a lot in common. There are many common themes that we can agree on. Syria's stability is important to all of us, unity is important to all of us. Cooperation in the fight against colonialism and occupation is a common point for all of us, including the government in Damascus.

Here, too, a democratic solution and partnership are very important to ensure that foreign troops leave Syria. If we want to talk about a solution, the points on which we agree are much more important than the points on which we divide.

Ultimately, we are all in the same boat in Syria. No one should think that some will lose and others will win. A careful look at the past twelve years makes it clear that every development in Damascus has a direct impact on other regions. If we fail to solve our problems among ourselves, it will lead to Syria's disintegration and greater tragedy. There is only one solution: democratic principles and a democratic constitution that guarantees the rights of everyone in Syria.

* Source: Yeni Özgür Politika