Since the Rojava revolution of 2012, the Turkish military has tried to destabilise the Kurds.

In 2014 Turkish tanks lined the border between Turkey and Kobane as ISIS besieged the city – preventing the Kurds from receiving help.

The dramatic sweep of Kurdish victories from Kobane to the fall of the ISIS capital Raqqa in 2017 left Erdogan facing a successful, democratic Kurdish society.

Knowing such a society would inspire Kurds within Turkey and undermine his own dictatorship, Erdogan turned to overt military action.

The fall of Afrin was immediately followed by ethnic cleansing, which Kurdish defence units continue to resist.

In January 2018 the Turkish military launched an illegal invasion of the Kurdish canton of Afrin.6,000 Turkish troops and 10,000 jihadists were supported by armour and airstrikes as President Erdogan escalated his war on the Kurds into Syria.

Defending Afrin: solidarity

The invasion and ethnic cleansing of Afrin sparked protests around the world. In the UK the protests have been led by the Kurdish community with support from trade unionists, socialists and feminists.

The invasion of Afrin is not only an attempt to crush Kurdish hopes of freedom. It is an alliance of dictators and jihadists, backed up by Western arms, who are desperate to crush hopes of Kurdish freedom.

For the Left, the attack on Afrin and Rojava echo the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s.

Then as now, it is a moment which calls on us to defend our ideas and beliefs when they are under attack.

The Turkish regime’s links to terror

The Kurdish people’s protection units – known as the YPG and YPJ – have led the fight against ISIS. In contrast, the Turkish regime of President Erdogan has supported jihadist groups since the start of the Syrian Civil War.

This has ranged from supporting the oil smuggling which allowed the ISIS to fund its terror operations, to directly arming and funding jihadists.

The invasion of Afrin saw this support turn to open collaboration as the Turkish army fought alongside 10,000 jihadist fighters to occupy and then ethnically cleanse the Kurdish canton.

“Turkey tried to delude people by saying it is fighting ISIS, but actually they are training ISIS members and sending them to Afrin.”

‘Faraj’, an ex-ISIS member in conversation with journalist Patrick Cockburn. Independent, February 2018

Isis and Turkish Intelligence

Adil Musa Abduljazar (AKA Abu Kerem) is a notorious senior ISIS terrorist who was captured by the Kurdish YPG in August 2018.

After taking part in terrorist atrocities in Libya, Kerem claims that the Turkish intelligence agency MIT aided his move to Syria.

Once in Raqqa, the ISIS capital, Kerem claims that MIT helped him set up the terror group’s intelligence network and training camps.

He claims MIT gave a safe passage for ISIS sympathisers to join the terror group, and for suicide bombers to leave for their murderous missions to Europe.