Hediye Yusif: We have mobilized all our means

In Rojava, the people have to defend themselves against the continuing attacks of the Turkish state and at the same time fight against the Corona pandemic. PYD politician Hediye Yusif explains the situation on the ground.

PYD (Democratic Union Party) official Hediye Yusif spoke to ANF about Turkey's attacks on Rojava and the threat posed by the corona virus. She is currently in Shehba, a canton east of Afrin, where hundreds of thousands of displaced people have sought refuge after the Turkish invasion two years ago.

"There is an ongoing war in the Middle East. Together with the death, looting and flight caused by the war, the virus is crippling virtually all public life. As the virus spreads in the Middle East, many countries will be further weakened. In these countries, everything was previously stood against the capitalist system will now be paralysed.

Iran, for example, is under an economic embargo. Now it is also fighting the virus. We had foreseen that there would be a social explosion because of the military, political and social blockade of Iran. A social revolution in Iran would be possible because there was massive social pressure. Now the virus has paralysed all politics in Iran and the country will be massively weakened.

Turkey has exacerbated the problems of the Middle East

Turkey believed it could realize its neo-Ottoman project by deepening the problems of the Middle East. In this way it has aggravated the Syrian crisis. It has encouraged terror in its own country and trained jihadists. These have been sent to Syria and other countries. They have officially entered Libya. Turkey is currently experiencing a major crisis, which will continue to deepen. How will it pretend to be powerful now? Of course it will continue to try to overcome the crisis through war and violence. However, the corona virus has spread throughout Turkey, in Syria it is at an impasse, in Idlib it has massive problems and in Libya it has also suffered a loss. That is why Turkey is also very weak at the moment.

Yet Turkey is attacking northern and eastern Syria. It is attacking the civilian population of Girê Spî, Serêkaniyê and Afrin. The expulsion and the targeted change of the demographic structure are continuing. The attacks on Shehba continue. In North Kurdistan, the elected local governments are attacked. The AKP tries to stay in power by force. While the whole world is fighting against the corona virus, Turkey is fighting against its own people and has them imprisoned. Turkey is at the end in Libya, Syria and the Middle East. The AKP is ruining Turkey on the Middle East stage. The world appeals to Turkey to stop the war in Libya, Syria and against the SDF, but the Turkish state continues its attacks in an attempt to remain in power.

We're in the middle of World War III

As peoples of North and East Syria, we are in the middle of the Third World War. For nine years we have been building the model of the democratic nation and have achieved great success in this struggle. Our solution-oriented policy is well known. But the Turkish state is still bombing our country on the orders of the AKP and murdering the people living here, children are killed. We are facing the Turkish attack and the Corona crisis at the same time.

The regime hasn't done anything in Northern Syria

A few days ago the first corona case became known in Syria and the Syrian regime has taken initial measures. Six health stations have been set up in Syria with the support of the World Health Organisation. However, north-east Syria has never been treated as part of the country by the central government. The region has always been a bargaining chip in relations with Turkey.

We are in a rural area of Aleppo. The measures taken in Aleppo must also include this region. But there is no question of that. So far, absolutely nothing has been done for North and East Syria. We are trying to implement the measures that have been decided in North-East Syria with our limited possibilities also in Shehba. We have tried to control the entry and exit points in the region. But the borders are under the control of the regime, in some places they are also monitored by Iranian troops. Shehba is besieged and its borders are open to everyone. Only after laborious negotiations with the military forces at the checkpoints on these borders could we ensure the deployment of health teams there.

For three days there has been a curfew in Shehba. But our possibilities are very limited and we could only bring a few goods to Shehba. To supply the region, we have to pay high customs duties to the regime. This makes it difficult to supply the people with the necessities of life. Since the state does not control the prices, everything has become incredibly expensive. Nevertheless, we have mobilized all our means to protect the health of the people.

The Kurdish people must support the people in Shehba

We have set up three health centres for Coranavirus cases and distributed cleaning and disinfection products to the people. But these measures are completely inadequate. This region was a war zone and is a good breeding ground for every disease. There are chemicals in the soil, corpses lie under ruins. To reduce this risk, we are also trying to disinfect the area.

We have crisis intervention teams everywhere. However, we have five large refugee camps here. There is a high risk of infection.

As refugees in Shehba we appeal to all international health organisations to support the people here and provide support. We also appeal to the Kurdish people to help the people here.