PKK commander Murat Karayilan (foreground) / ANF
The leading commander of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) military wing, Murat Karayilan, has commented on the Turkish state's invasion plans for Rojava's most western canton Afrin and said it would bring about the end of the Turkish government.
PKK Executive Committee Member Murat Karayilan’s comments on the Dengê Kurdistan Radio on the matter are as follows:
There is news, especially in the last couple of days, that the Turkish state led by the AKP (Justice and Development Party) will attack Afrin and Shehba. What are your thoughts on this, will there be a war in Afrin and Shehba in the near future?
Yes, there has been some news on this matter and the press is stressing the issue a lot. The Turkish state has failed in their policies regarding Syria, the Middle East and Rojava Kurdistan. If Turkey lays a hand on Afrin, it will mean that Russia, Iran and the Syrian state approve of that move. Otherwise it won’t be possible. Our people should be aware that the Turkish state will carry out such an attack with approval from these states. Russia in particular plays a fundamental role in this issue. Turkey was able to enter Jarablus and Bab on Russia’s permission, and the permission by the international coalition. So, this is a matter between states. The Turkish state makes concessions, and wants to create a path for itself by sacrificing Turkey. They thus hope to gain traction in some parts of Syria. In this framework, there are some diplomatic efforts, and they have indeed gathered some forces in the military sense.
But let’s make one thing clear: When ISIS (Islamic State) attacked Kobane, we said “Kobane will be Stalingrad for ISIS and the beginning of the end for them.” It has been 3 years since. These words have been proven right. Today, the capital of ISIS, Raqqa, is in the process of falling.
Attack on Afrin will signal the beginning of the end for Turkish regime
Now we say the same thing. If the Turkish state attacks Afrin, that will signal the beginning of the end for the AKP-MHP [Turkish] regime. Because the people of Afrin will resist, and there will be a great war there. And in that war, the righteous people of Kurdistan will prevail. That is why it is not that easy to enter Afrin.
Afrin will be Turkish state's Kobane
There already is a war, the Turkish state is engaged in attacks every day with artillery and mortars from Cindires to Shehba. They have some calculations over Shehba. And that is an area in Afrin. These lands are home to mostly Kurds, and then Arabs and Turkmens. It is apparent that they have some calculations over Shehba. They are planning to invade the Shehba region from Til Rifat to Minixe. It is possible that they will attack there. But they can’t attack the whole of Afrin that easily. That is a difficult thing to do for them. That will turn into their Kobane. But it is possible that they will attack from the Shehba side. Of course, there are the Jaysh Al-Thuwar forces there. There are Arabs, Turkmens, Kurds and the YPG/YPJ there. So the war there would be intense. But could they do it, or not? Nobody is defenseless in the face of the Turkish state anymore. It’s no longer like they can just enter whenever they want and invade the area. That will come to a tough war.
And, that war won’t be limited to Shehba either. The Turkish state invading yet another Kurdish land could turn into a new Kurdish-Turkish war. In that sense, that would signify a new situation. The Kurds are strong now. The Rojava Revolution is a great force today. The YPG is achieving in Raqqa what great armies have failed to do. If the Turkish army comes, it is clear that there will be a tough resistance in front of them. That is what we think and that is what we believe. The people of Afrin in particular are very patriotic and they resist well. We know our people there very well. They should be prepared for anything that could happen. But they should also know that entering Afrin won’t be that easy. Still, as a possibility, one needs to be prepared for all things.
Turkish state changing demography of region
And one more thing, this is not a completed process, it is still developing. It is like World War III, and it will continue. Such an intervention by the Turkish state will fan the flames of the war. And, Turks are settling in Syria day by day. This will create more chaos in Syria. The Turkish state fighting in the Shehba region is an attack on the will of the peoples of Syria. We believe the Syrian people will take a stand against this. The Turkish state is carrying out an ethnic genocide on the Jarablus line. They have pushed the Arabs aside as well, and they are distributing Kurdish lands to their allies. The Turkish state is playing a very bad role here. They are toying with the demographic makeup of the region. This is a crime. If the Turkish state spreads itself to do the same in other places, there will be a strong resistance and retaliation against that.
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