Rojava: resistance as the only alternative

Every day, people in northern Syria are attacked by Turkish border guards. The agriculture in the border area lies idle and schools had to be closed for security reasons.

Turkey wants to set up a "peace corridor" in the border area in northern Syria for alleged security concerns. President Erdoğan has repeatedly announced an imminent invasion operation against the region aimed at destroying the self-government of northern and eastern Syria, built up over many years of work. But even without a cross-border invasion of the Turkish army, the inhabitants of the border area in Rojava have been attacked for years by the Turkish forces. The fields are dormant because of daily attacks over the border.

Osman Mehmûd lives in the village of Sûsikê in Girê Spî (Tal Abyad). The 69-year-old man has always made his living as a farmer. For two years, however, he has not set foot on his fields. His brother Ezedîn was shot dead on the way to his field by Turkish soldiers on 24 December 2017.

Schools closed

Three village schools in the border region had to be closed for safety reasons. "As soon as the Turkish border guards notice a movement, even at the schoold, they open fire immediately. That's why the children cannot go to school anymore," tells Mehmûd. The villagers have now organized lessons in homes to provide at least a minimum of education for the children.

The situation is the same in all villages on the border with Turkey, Mehmûd says: "No one here is involved in border smuggling or jeopardizes the security of Turkey in any way. We are still attacked. Almost all families have stories that testify to painful experiences.”

"We will not allow an occupation"

Osman Mehmûd points to the recently increased Turkish threats and deployment of troops along the border and says, "No one in the region advocates a Turkish invasion. Should an invasion begin, we will all resist to the last drop of blood. We will not allow an occupation."

Recalling the inhumane acts committed in the Turkish occupied Afrin city, Mehmûd continues: "Turkey wants to rob us of our land and drive us out of here. That's why resistance is our only alternative.”