Today is the fourth anniversary of the day the Turkish state launched its invasion of Afrin (Efrîn). The YPG International released a statement and paid tribute to the resistance of Afrin and the fallen fighters, including international martyrs, Şehîd Hêlîn Qerecox, Şehîd Kendal Breizh, Şehîd Baran Galicia, Şehîd Şahîn Huseynî.
The statement reminds that Afrin is "a region which local comrades call ‘the heart of the revolution’. Together with its jihadist mercenaries (many affiliated with Daesh or Al Qaeda) the Turkish army began its campaign of terror and occupation against the people of Efrîn and the democratic revolution being built by the people of Rojava. For two months the brave fighters of the Women’s protection units (YPJ) and the people’s protection units (YPG) defended the freedom of their homeland with an immense resistance.
Shoulder to shoulder with the people of Efrîn were our Internationalist comrades, participating in the defence against the fascist attacks. The hope which the revolution in Rojava represents makes the building of a truly free society worth all sacrifices. A revolution in which genuine democracy, ecology and the liberation of women are the foundations which our comrades strive towards. As internationalists, we join in the struggle against fascism and for an alternative way of life to capitalist modernity."
The statement added: "YPG International has been present since the war of liberation against Daesh and the aggression of the Turkish state and its Islamic gangs. We continue to defend Rojava against all threats and play our role in the growth and success of the revolution. Shining examples and sources of constant inspiration are the comrades who gave their lives in the defence of Efrîn. Our international martyrs, Şehîd Hêlîn Qerecox, Şehîd Kendal Breizh, Şehîd Baran Galicia, Şehîd Şahîn Huseynî are amongst the many brave comrades who sacrificed everything. Their willingness to fight far from home against a ruthless and highly equipped enemy for our common ideals is still today, four years later, a huge source of motivation for all comrades here in Rojava, and abroad. We follow the path that our martyrs have paved for us; continuing our struggle is the way in which we remember and honour our fallen friends."
The statement continued: "Now, after four years of occupation by the Fascist Turkish state and its jihadist gangs, the people of Efrîn still face atrocities on a daily basis. A system of ethnic cleansing of the region is being carried out, alongside disappearances, tortures, rapes, and the destruction of the graveyards of our martyrs. The Fascist Turkish state acts as a colonising power, forbidding and destroying the Kurdish culture, plundering resources, displacing the local population, and politically and economically annexing the region. Despite acknowledging the crimes against humanity being carried out by the occupiers, the international state community refuses to act. With new threats of invasion from the Fascist Turkish state, the freedom of Rojava is once again in danger today."
This is why, said the statement, "we as an internationalist force place our trust and effort in solidarity and comradeship from people across the globe to assist in our fight, whether that means coming and joining the struggle here in Rojava, or supporting it from afar – there are many frontlines in the fight for a free society. The revolution in Rojava represents more than just the freedom of North and Eastern Syria, but is an example of hope and inspiration for all oppressed and exploited people across the world. All comrades of YPG International are dedicated to put action behind our words, and will remain a fighting force to defend the revolution from fascist attacks in all its spheres. Whilst the states do not act when confronted with the crimes in Efrîn, it is the people of the world who take action, sacrifice their lives, and make a difference in the defence of freedom."
The statement concluded: "The anniversary of the war on Efrîn is for us once more a reminder of what misery and pain such an occupation brings to the people. We especially also remember and seek strength from our fallen friends – as we say in Kurdish, Şehîd namirin (Martyrs never die). As YPG International we make a promise to the people of North and Eastern Syria and to all of our comrades across the globe – We will defend the success of the Rojava revolution at all costs."