Sorxwîn Mako: How Kobanê was liberated - Part Two

Sorxwîn Mako spoke about the liberation of Kobanê.

Sorxwîn Mako spoke to ANF about the liberation of Kobanê. She was front commander of Kaniya Kurda during the defense of Kobanê against the Islamic State in 2014 and lost an eye there. 

Part one of this interview can be read here.

Death or freedom

I don't think the strength and morale we had in Kaniya Kurda existed anywhere else in the world. Every day there were wounded and fallen, every day we collected the mutilated bodies of our fallen friends. The calls for revenge were never in vain. In Kaniya Kurda, 80 percent of our troops were women. The commanders were also women. We had a four-story building. It was a position. We listened to the ISIS gangs' conversations over the radio. They had broken down psychologically. Even when we didn't fire at them, they told their emirs that they were under heavy fire and couldn't even raise their heads because of the bullets. They suffered from exhaustion. Well, we fired bullets, but not like hail. It was a psychological breakdown.

The resistance of the female fighters in the Kobanê War has left its mark on history. They would either take the position or die in that position. That was the slogan of all fallen friends: Either we take them or we die! There was no leaving the position. We had the young Nefel who said: either death or the liberation of Kobanê, either death or freedom.

Xwînda from Korikê village, a symbol of Rojava's youth, was wounded in the feet. She had bandaged her wounds in her place by her own means and shouted: Either death or the freedom of Kobanê! They were people who were fixated on freedom. One can cite the names of hundreds of such young people. Hundreds of them can be listed, like little Çekdar, like Egîd. They wrote a heroic epic with their small bodies but big hearts. They were young, perhaps not even old enough to fight, but they did not want to leave their country. They came from Kobanê; they did not stop until Kobanê was freed.

Çekdar was very small, but his heart was strong. As ISIS approached, Çekdar was the first to give strength and morale over the radio: 'Don't be afraid, we will win, no matter how many there are," he said. Çekdar was fixated on victory. His words were history, philosophy. Heval Egîd ran towards the position and said: 'Leaving the position is a great betrayal of our people, of the families of the fallen. There is no way back.' He pulled the pin on his hand grenade and detonated it on himself. It was an epic of heroism.

People from all parts of Kurdistan came to Kobanê

Kobanê was a bloodbath, but it also won the crown of victory. We have lost hundreds of people, young and old. If I listed the names of the fathers who fell alongside me, it would be endless. They were fathers who had children and they never left our side for a second. Dozens of fathers, mothers and elderly people loading bullets into magazines, cleaning qilêş, distributing water and keeping watch. They said: Serving is dignity and honor.

People from all parts of Kurdistan came to Kobanê. They crossed borders and fences, came from Amed, Mêrdîn, Dersim... from everywhere. Women, men, old people, mothers, fathers... None of them had ever fired a bullet. This influx was there to do whatever they could. We said: 'We are at war, there are dead people on this path, we have to take your names.' A father said: 'My daughter, let us be among the nameless fallen.' They didn't want to waste any time with it.

The Battle of Miştenûr

We had reached the outer area of Miştenûr Hill. All of the friends wrapped YPG or YPJ flags around their waists. Whoever reached Miştenûr Hill was supposed to wave the flag. Everyone was determined. But even if we liberated Miştenûr, we wouldn't even have enough people to secure the hill. Because it was time to liberate the villages from the ISIS gangs.

We were waiting for the arrival of two battalions from the Cizîrê region and had already begun preparations even before they arrived. Evening came, Heval Masîro's group arrived and the preparations were completed. We were divided into four groups. There was a rocket attack on the area we were in from the upper building opposite me and the rocket hit right next to the garden of our house. With the explosion of the rocket, the area was covered with dust and smoke. At this point, I was concentrating on my friend Dijwar who was wounded in the head. I looked for him but couldn't find him, only saw his rifle. Later I realized that Dijwar had gone behind the wall but his feet were on that side. When I saw Dijwar in this state, I started laughing. I asked, 'You couldn't move, how did you get here?' Dijwar said, 'Really, how did I get here?' and we started laughing together.

We only had one motorcycle in the combat zone. This motorcycle was used to transport the fallen and wounded. At six in the morning, I called Mahmud Kobanê to pick up the martyrs and the wounded. I had a serious wound on my shoulder. I had been wounded before, but I had never experienced such a serious injury. In this condition, I remained in the position from six in the morning to seven in the evening. We tried to support ourselves with our own resources. Imagine that in the evening. On the one hand, the doctor stitched up my wound, and on the other hand, we coordinated the front, via radio. The others asked me to rest for a few days, but I put on my vest and returned to the front.

The liberation of Kobanê

Twelve ISIS suicide attacks failed, and then there were fierce battles. As we did some quick planning, hell cannons, mortars and howitzers were fired. There was a big explosion in Kobanê and a grenade exploded right in front of our eyes. When I came to my senses, my head was on someone's chest. I heard someone crying and I couldn't open my eyes. It was Hamza who came with the group from Aleppo; he died later. When I woke up again, I was in a hospital in Bakur. I wanted to open my eyes, but they were blindfolded. I wanted to see light. Too much light could be harmful, so they opened the bandage a little. A few days later, I was released from the intensive care unit. Both my feet and both my hands were in casts. The television was on. The first news I heard was the death of Hebûn Kobanê, then I heard the news that Viyan Peyman had fallen, and finally I heard that Kobanê had been liberated. I screamed like a crazy person. Then I thought of the fallen friends and said: 'Kobanê has been liberated!' I wasn't myself, I was crying.

I followed the developments on television and only wanted to go to Kobanê. After a while, I returned. My first stop was a YPG point. It was full of girlfriends in YPJ uniforms, there were so many! There was now life in Kobanê. In the morning, I went to Kaniya Kurda, and when I reached the front of Kaniya Kurda, the voices of friends echoed in my ears like a film. The experiences came to life in my eyes, one after the other. The smiles of the fallen and their cries of resistance echoed in the destroyed buildings. It was like a dream: the fallen were shouting 'Heval Sorxwîn!' and came towards me. For a moment, my knees went weak and I crouched on the floor. My first return to Kaniya Kurda took place in an emotional atmosphere. I couldn't stay there for long. I left immediately, but if today we still resist, fight, show morale and take a strong stance, then we owe it to the martyrs who gave their lives in Kaniya Kurda.

World Kobanê Day declared

ISIS brutality was defeated by the YPJ and YPG in Kobanê. Kurdistan, Turkey and Europe took part in the resistance in Kobanê. The national spirit in Kobanê has left its mark on history. ISIS was defeated. The peoples of the world have seen this heroism. November 1st was declared World Kobanê Day. One of those who contributed to the defeat of ISIS was Heval Rêvan from Kobanê. He had joined only six months earlier and trained through a difficult process. Heval Rêvan, after rescuing his wounded comrades, carried out a sacrifice at ISIS headquarters. It was people like Arîn Mîrkan, Rûken Rojhilat, Egîd, Şoreş, Zozan Kobanê who enlightened Kobanê. They drove away through the dark clouds. These people drove away the brutality and fear by sacrificing their own bodies. The whole world could see it, and so World Kobanê Day was declared.