Tribute paid to Delîl Cûdî who died in the fight against Islamists in northern Syria in 2013

Delîl Cûdî died in the fight against Islamists in northern Syria in 2013. He was the first casualty of the Rojava Revolution in Hesekê. His mother Hayfa Mihemed says: “He became a martyr for the brotherhood of peoples.”

With the Rojava Revolution in 2012, Islamist groups began attacks on almost all cities and towns in northern Syria. Countless young people died defending it. One of them is the first casualty of the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Hesekê, Delîl Cûdî.

Musician and fighter

Delîl Cûdî was enthusiastic about music from an early age and became part of the cultural movement in Hesekê at an early age. With the beginning of the revolution, he joined the YPG's predecessor organization, the YXK, to defend the region. He died on 9 April 2013 in battle against mercenary troops. His mother Hayfa Mihemed spoke about her son in an interview with ANF: “As a family, we have been involved in the Kurdish freedom movement since 1988. Children's lifestyle, culture and values are shaped by their family. Delîl has always been a special child. He showed this difference at school, in the neighborhood and among his friends. He wasn't argumentative, but he didn't allow himself to be suppressed. Despite his young age, he has never remained silent in the face of injustice. This character and attitude made him calmer and more balanced as he grew older. He left school in 7th grade. Despite all our urging, he didn't want to continue. He was much more interested in culture and art. Even in his childhood he was very interested in music. When he liked something and set his mind to something, he didn't stop until he achieved it. His goals were always very high. He was active in cultural work for many years. Before the revolution began in 2011, the YXK were founded. Delîl took part in the defense of the revolution. He told us that he participates in activities and sometimes returns late. I told him many times that he should do his job and we won't stop him, but that he has to protect himself.

Five-man unit that was active everywhere

Al-Nusra attacked in Hesekê. Clashes broke out between the YXK and the mercenary groups. At this time, the founding of the YPG was being prepared. He was in a group of five people of the same age. They were active everywhere and worked with great enthusiasm to found the YPG. Delîl brought home fabric for the fighters' vests and we sewed them together.

Against a Kurdish-Arab conflict

In the area now known as Şehîd Delîl, some places had been liberated from the hands of the mercenaries. He worked with his friends in this area. They defended the area. The day before, a friend named Rustem had been shot by mercenary groups in the area. At the time, Syrian regime forces and al-Nusra attempted to foment a Kurdish-Arab conflict in the area. The emergence of such a conflict in the region posed a great danger to the future of the revolution. The organization did not want such a conflict to break out. The movement sought to establish Kurdish and Arab unity in the region and establish common defense. It was explained to everyone that this was not just a fight for the Kurds, but that all peoples of the region were involved. However, there were troublemakers who constantly tried to do the opposite. Both parts of the regime and cells of al-Nusra constantly tried to incite and antagonize the population.

The attack occurred during the talks

There were constant talks to thwart these attempts. Delîl was in a group going to a meeting. During the talks, Islamists blocked the road to cause confusion. The car in which my eldest son was traveling was shot at. There was a battle in which Delîl was killed and my eldest son was captured. I didn't know that Delîl had fallen. My eldest son called me and told me that he had been captured and that the fighting had to stop so that he could be released. The arguments continued for a long time because Delîl had fallen and his friends didn't want to stop. The friends stubbornly tried to stop the fighting, but the fighters were not persuaded. After the fighting stopped, my eldest son was released. When they brought him home, I learned that Delîl had fallen.

“What has been created is worth the sacrifices”

Delîl had insisted on fighting in the defense forces. When I asked why he gave up cultural work, he replied that he had always loved this activity, but now his priority was defense and that, of course, he would return to culture. Delîl sang for Rêber Apo [Abdullah Öcalan]'s birthday and played the saz. Every year on 4 April we celebrate Rêber Apo's birthday. And on 9 April we remember Delîl. Rêber Apo gives us strength. Through him, we learned to defend our country, even if it came at a high price. This country is worth every price. Yes, it hurts, a piece of us is missing. Rêber Apo said: 'To defend your country and your freedom, you must make sacrifices and endure effort.' What does effort mean? It is our children that we give for the sake of the fight. It's the guerrillas in the mountains. Aren't these our children too? Are they not the children of this people?

“We will do justice to Rêber Apo and the martyrs”

Before the revolution happened, we created an army from our own blood and lives. The revolution and this struggle did not develop in a few years. It was created with painstaking detail work. Rêber Apo gave us the ideas and tips on how to free ourselves. This struggle and this work was not just for one people. They apply to all oppressed peoples and humanity. Rêber Apo said that this fight is being fought for all oppressed peoples. I hope that we will continue to live and fight according to the Apoist idea and philosophy. As a family, we have four martyrs, and we will never undo their work, their sacrifice. Rêber Apo has always trusted women and strengthened them. We will prove ourselves worthy of this trust to the end and follow in the footsteps of our fallen. We have a great legacy to inherit.”