Guerrilla commander Avesta: "The enemy is locked up in Zap”

Commander Sorxwîn Avesta speaks of the successful struggle of the guerrillas in the Zap region of southern Kurdistan and underlines that the guerrillas have outmanoeuvred the technology of the Turkish army.

Sorxwîn Avesta is one of the commanders of the revolutionary offensive "Cenga Xabûrê Şehîd Savaş Maraş", which was launched by guerrilla forces against the Turkish air and ground invasion in the Medya Defense Zones in southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) that began in April. The commander spoke to Stêrk TV about the developments and perspectives of the struggle in the region. Highlights from the in-depth interview are as follows:

"Fascism can only be chased away"

"The guerrillas have no doubts, their conviction is very clear and concrete. With their will and determination to win, they stand against the occupation and fascism of the Turkish state. Whether this war lasts ten years or a hundred years, we will not stop until we liberate our country and drive fascism out of Kurdistan.

The Turkish army's whole hope lies in its technology. But this technology no longer has any meaning for the guerrillas. As guerrillas, we are at war and at the same time in a phase of permanent reconstruction. We are overcoming any shortcomings we find, perfecting ourselves and developing new tactics and methods. Last year, the guerrillas resisted in the tunnels until the end, no one surrendered to the enemy, but there was also one shortcoming and that was the war in the field. It would have been very different if the mobile units in the field, like the comrades in the tunnels, could have intervened and proceeded in a coordinated manner based on joint planning. These shortcomings were analysed and reorganised accordingly. In addition to the preparation of the tunnels, the preparation in the field was also strengthened. The tunnel battles represent a new tactical offensive in our history. Defending the areas in this way and not leaving them to the enemy created great fear among the Turkish army.

Linking the tactics

The Medya Defense Zones are very important for us as well as for the enemy. The resistance put up physically and mentally befits this importance. No matter what the enemy may do, this ground is ours, this land is ours. The Turkish state is attacking to occupy the whole of Kurdistan. There is a very hard struggle against it and it will intensify.

The war that has been taking place this year has clearly showed the consequences of this. For example, we saw what happened on Girê FM. The comrades in the field watched the enemy forces approaching the tunnels and took up positions. When they advanced slowly and were within range, the comrades in the tunnels were informed and told: 'We are attacking now. Come out while we are firing.' Two groups struck from the outside. The enemy was on the defensive. Then the comrades came out of the tunnels, killed the occupiers from two to three metres away and took their weapons. The comrades outside covered them with fire and they were able to return to the tunnels. We are not only fighting from a distance, but we are also going into close range and will continue to appear and strike in the midst of the enemy.   

"Will the Turkish army come out of the Zap again?"

The invasion has a very interesting name: 'Claw Lock’ (Pençe-Kilit). When we heard about this name, we were in the war zone watching the enemy. With a group of comrades, we were monitoring the movements of the invading forces. At that time, we said: 'It's true, they have launched Operation Claw Lock, but we will lock them up in the Zap! I wonder if they will be able to open that lock and get out of the Zap?' That is the situation the enemy is in today. We have locked them in Zap.

There are some shortcomings in communicating the scale of guerrilla actions. Let me give you an example; the enemy airdropped troops on the rear of the Girê FM. The enemy was advancing from the rear and from the front. Three groups of comrades were waiting for the enemy who had airdropped the troops at the rear so that the comrades would not notice them. When the Sikorsky helicopter opened its tailboard, the comrades were already waiting. Three groups were airdropped. The enemy was approaching, and the distance was 50 metres. The comrades decided to wait a little longer until the distance was 20 metres. Then they struck with different weapons from 20 metres away. Fifteen soldiers were killed from the enemy's 30-strong group.   

"We will not give them one day of peace"

As I said, we had prepared ourselves according to last year's experience. The scale of the resistance will increase even more. The current struggle in Zap will bring real results. It is an end point. The Turkish military will experience such a defeat that they will never set foot in the Zap region again. All from 20 metres away are determined to do this. We will not let the enemy out again. We will hold them, strike them every day and not give them one day of peace. They will not be able to sleep peacefully for one night.

"Under the command of Martyr Savaş Maraş”

We also give names to our operations, but we live up to those names, unlike the Turkish army. When the attack on Zagros began, we called our counter-offensive "Falcons of Zagros" (Bazên Zagrosê). In Metîna, we launched the Cenga Xabûrê (Battle of Khabur) offensive. We named our offensive west of the Zap River after Şehîd Savaş Maraş (Mehmet Soysüren). I knew comrade Savaş for a long time and worked with him. Comrade Savaş was always determined to win. He was dedicated and did not allow himself any sleep because he wanted to defeat the enemy. He became one of our commanders. Most of us were trained by him. Then he was martyred in an air raid. We named this offensive after him because we take his qualities as an example. We have made all our comrades in this offensive his fighters. His name and his qualities are orders for us. We have received our orders and we are acting accordingly. We are fighting this war under the command of Martyr Savaş Maraş and we will be victorious. We owe it to him.

"Every female guerrilla strikes like a hawk"

The leadership role of YJA Star (Free Women’s Troops) in the war and in life was understood and accepted by all. When the attack started on 17 April, there was an immediate response under the leadership of YJA Star. All the fighters of YJA Star are very strong Kurdish guards. Each one is able to strike like a hawk and tear pieces out of the enemy. We have no choice but to live free. Of this we are convinced. The enemy's plan against the Kurdish guerrillas will be foiled under the leadership of YJA Star. It is the enemy who will end up like the 'Claw Lock’. The Turkish occupation will be defeated. Kurdistan will be their grave.

"The enemy will regret in the final battle in Zap"

Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan] did not say for nothing that the PKK is a women's party. We have the claim to win under the leadership of the YJA Star, like at Girê FM, where the women guerrillas overran the enemy. They came and took away weapons and equipment from the enemy. They shouted at the occupiers: 'This is Kurdistan, you can come in here, but you will never come out. You will suffer and die.' This slogan is our guideline. We know all the difficulties and are aware of all the problems, and we act in this awareness. The enemy will regret in the final battle in Zap."