The letter by Muslim addresses to the international community, to the members of the United Nations, and to all international aid organisations.
Muslim first remarked that the purpose of the letter is not to describe the tragic events that have occurred in Syria over the past three years, but to appeal to the mentioned circles to take responsibility to make an end to this tragedy. Muslüm said he also wanted to tell how they are trying to live up to their responsibilities.
Muslim reminded that in March 2011, the population of Syria for the first time went to the streets to express their legitimate demands concerning the Assad regime, and that they attempted to revolt against a system that has for decades suppressed and tormented their population. The PYD co-chairman remarked that they drove the regime forces from the Kurdish majority settlement areas in the north of the country and were determined, as an ethnic group, including the young people, the women and the men from Rojava, to shape their future themselves from then on.
He noted that both the regime and various Islamic groups had objections to their decision, starting to attack them, in the face of which -he added- they made use of their legitimate right to self-defence as there was no other choice open to them.
Pointing out that initially Islamist militant of the Al-Nusra front, and later the ISIS (or the IS) have taken the leading role in the fight against Kurds in the last two years, Muslim said; “We didn’t only have to deal with Islamists from Syria or Iraq, but also with insurgents who have come, and continue to come, from various regions and countries such as Chechenia, Egypt, also from Europe or even Australia, after getting organised in many countries and often using Turkey as a transit country. Muslim said that they had to counter the attacks of these people and that they needed, and still need, to defend themselves.
“But for the people of Rojava, one thing is certain, namely that nothing will be as it was before the outbreak of the civil war. But what will the situation be then? To find answers to these questions, we have developed solutions and initiated related projects. And this right to self-determination is to us, the population of Rojava, paramount”, Muslim stressed.
PYD Co-chairman recalled that their understanding of revolution is not to do with dividing people and groups, but concerns bringing them together, adding that the revolution in Rojava has resulted with the building of Democratic Autonomy; a project in which Syriacs, Armenians, Arabs, Turkmen and Kurds from Rojava all take part on an equal basis and more than 50 parties and organisations take are involved. He noted that those supporting the Democratic Autonomy project adopted a social contract and enabled the implementation of this system (with the consent of the population) in the cantons of Afrin, Kobanê and Cizîrê in January 2014.
Muslim pointed out that Rojava currently seems the last glimmer of hope for the Syrian revolution while the rest of the country is dominated by war and violence, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people being forced to flee from their homes. “In Rojava at least many of the suffering people from the rest of Syria, are being provided with a safe haven. This is also a result of our conception of revolution. What happens in Rojava, is not a “national revolution”, it is the expression of the constant insistence on the principle of the brotherhood of nations, quite contrary to the philosophy of all of the ethnically and religiously fuelled conflicts in the region”, he stressed.
Muslim said he also has to say that they have been abandoned by the international community and received neither the necessary political support nor sufficient humanitarian aid.
The PYD Co-chairman said they currently find themselves confronted with an even greater flow of refugees into Rojava after hundreds of thousands of Kurds from Sinjar, Turkmens from Tal Afar and Syriacs from Karakos had to leave their homes in northern Iraq.
“Also, they were, and are in fact still, exposed to the attacks of the inhuman “Islamic State” organisation. Since these groups had no self-defence units, they had, and have, little chance to oppose their attackers. So they had (and have) no choice but to flee or to expose themselves to the danger of being massacred”, Muslim said.
PYD Co-chair also underlined that had the fighters of the YPG and YPJ- forces responsible for the defense of Rojava for two years, not hurried over the Iraqi border into Sinjar, possibly as well as thousands of Turkomans and Syriacs, 200,000 Yezidi Kurds from the city would have not survived the advance of the IS.
Muslim pointed out that the YPG and YPJ succeeded in rescuing these people, despite dozens of losses in their own ranks, by providing a flight corridor over the mountains and down again so as to bring tens of thousands of them to safety in Rojava.
Muslim also said that; “Although Rojava looks on the map barely larger than a small, inconspicuous spot, the social system that we are putting together in this area currently represents the other face of this region. This little spot on the map has again played in recent days a vital role in that tens of thousands of people have been provided with refuge and offered protection from inhuman organisations such as the IS.”
Muslim stressed that they were convinced that with this system they not only give themselves protection and shelter but also have much to offer to the hundreds of thousands who have fled to Rojava. “We are currently exposed to a life and death situation. Not a day passes without war, without reports of new deaths, of flight and “ethnic cleansing”, he added.
PYD Co-chair continued by calling upon the world public to finally break down the wall of silence completely regarding the humanitarian tragedy in Syria and Iraq, warning that the mass killing of people in the two countries will steadily increase as long as there is silence outside them.
Muslim further stated that murderous groups of the IS are advancing and destroying the lives of many more people and families while possible aid is being debated in the UN, in the EU and elsewhere. “While you remain silent, more chapters of a tragedy are being written, in which the victims are the peoples of the Near and Middle East”, he added.
“For us it is has long been far too much, that in New York, Geneva, Brussels, London, Berlin, Paris and Istanbul, discussions do not result in more than a show of apparent sympathy for the suffering of the people. If you are in fact genuinely concerned about the sufferings of the people, then we urge you to act. Together, let us help the people who are affected by flight and expulsion. To limit the aid alone to Iraq, stopping at the gates of Rojava, would be fatal. These artificial boundaries have long lost any significance in the region”, Muslim stressed.
Muslim underlined that despite all attacks, the aspiration in Rojava for a democratic Syria is still very much alive, as it tries with its very limited resources to provide for tens of thousands of people in need of protection and shelter.
PYD co-chair added that “The German Bundestag member Jan van Aken, who visited the region early 2014, stated that Rojava provided a glimmer of hope in the Middle East. We share the opinion of Mr. van Aken and are fully convinced that it is high time that the international community recognises the autonomy of Democratic Rojava.”
1 September 2014