ANF – RABIA 07.08.2014
Arab youths from the Shammar tribe have been fighting in the front line with the YPG in clashes with ISIS gangs in the town of Rabia on the border of West Kurdistan (Rojava) since the beginning of August.

After the YPG liberated the town of Til Kocher from ISIS gangs on the West Kurdistan-Mosul border on 26 November 2013, the Arab and Kurdish population returning to the town have played an active role in defending the town in the YPG, YPJ and Asayish (police) forces.

Many youths from the Arab Shammar tribe represented in Til Kocher by Ehmedi Deham are in the ranks of the YPG. These young people received around 9 months training, and have since 2 August been in the front line in Rabia fighting against ISIS gangs.

Salim Mizel: I’m fighting for the first time

Shammar members of the YPG fighting for the first time spoke to ANF. Salim Mizel from Til Kocher said: “I have been a member of the YPG for about 9 months. I have received extensive military and ideological training. After joining the YPG I felt like a human being. In particular after reading President Apo’s defence I feel how unfortunate it is I have not met him.”

Mizel emphasised that they were now putting their training into practice, saying: “This is the first time I’ve been involved in combat. It’s very exciting for me. In particular since it is for a sacred goal. I am very happy to be defending Rojava with my comrades in the YPG. They who defend their land also defend their honour. That’s what I’m doing. We are struggling to defend our land against Daish (ISIS). Victory will be ours.”

Rimen: They have absolutely no honour or dignity

A Shammar member of the YPG named Mazlum Rojava said: “We will never allow Daish to carry out its savagery in Rojava. We will do whatever it takes to prevent them coming here.”

Rimen, from the Mesail clan of the Shammar tribe, referring to ISIS, adds: “They have no honour or dignity. I’m very excited to be fighting in the YPG. I’m not frightened, as I know there are honourable people behind me. It’s difficult for me to explain my feelings. I feel powerful, I don’t feel oppression.”

Women fighters

Women fighter Ruken says she too is experiencing combat for the first time, adding: “At first I was a bit scared by the sound of shelling. Then I got used to it. It was difficult seeing comrades wounded and martyred. Then this gave me strength. I was on the front line. With the reinforcements arriving I’m now further back. My comrades are there, I’ll return to the front. Now I feel stronger.”

Another Arab woman in the YPG says: “I could not have imagined that I would go to war with a gun in my hands. I know we are fighting for our honour. ” We have been training for 10 months. Now we are putting it into practice. Daish kills infants and babies and does dishonourable things to women. It is a great honour for me to be protecting the Kurdish, Arab and other peoples, and to fight for this. I’ve seen comrades martyred. After this I will struggle until the last drop of my blood, as this is a struggle of the oppressed against the oppressor.”