The great battle for Raqqa’s liberation

In 1917, the October Revolution in Russia took place. Today, one hundred years later in October 2017, the happy news of the liberation of the capital of the Islamic State has spread all over the world. As one hundred years ago the Soviet Revolution saw hope for freedom rise on the horizon, today also the great battle for Raqqa’s liberation sees the hope for freedom bloom again in the hearts of the oppressed people. The victory of Raqqa is the victory of Rêber Apo (Abdullah Öcalan), the victory of the third line in the third world war. The October Revolution was an outcome of the First World War, and as a consequence of the Second World War the Soviet Union reached a level enabling it to threaten the global capitalist dominance, by then under the leadership of the USA. For different reasons, which Abdullah Öcalan evaluated extensively in his legal defense writings, this revolution didn’t succeed and crumbled in 1989.

With the death of ‘real socialism’, many thought the hope for freedom of working people was also buried. Revolutionary movements around the world dwindled in number and became weaker and more divided. Capitalist intellectuals said: “this is the end of history”. What they wanted to say with this phrase was that capitalism succeeded and that there was no alternative for it. But in only a short time these words turned out to be wrong. The problems of the hegemonic capitalist system increased once again. Problems which were masked by the Cold War soon re-emerged and whenever they tried to solve one problem, they either made it worse, or revealed another. The end of real socialism didn’t bring the end of war and chaos. Although humanity experienced a rupture through the defeat of the Soviet Union, the hope of and search for freedom didn’t end. The capitalists didn’t count on Rêber Apo and the PKK. Like most of the socialist movements, the PKK could also have collapsed, but the opposite happened. Why? Because Rêber Apo built this freedom movement from the beginning on its Kurdish and Middle Eastern base. The PKK never fell into the dogmatism of real socialism.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Öcalan reflected anew on its problems, analyzed the situation and as a consequence started with the creation of the new paradigm: the paradigm of a democratic society, ecology, and women’s liberation. Instead of the PKK crumbling, it progressed from the beginning of the 1990s on. Even though most of the revolutionary movements were negatively affected by the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Kurdish liberation movement grew, thanks to the efforts of Rêber Apo and the legendary martyrs. Today the democratic line of the people within the third world war, represented by the Rojava Revolution, the guerrilla struggle, the women’s liberation movement, and the dynamic of the youth, became the hope of all the oppressed people. The project of a federated democratic nation has become known as the fairest solution in the region and the proof for this today are the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The operation for control of Raqqa took 134 days and during this historic battle hundreds of women and men of this country fought with loyalty and heroism, gave their lives, and joined the caravan of şehîd (martyrs). In Raqqa, Syriac, Arab and Kurdish women and men fought shoulder to shoulder and gave of their sweat and blood, to avenge Şengal and for the freedom of the people of the Middle East.

With the rise of ISIS, as its capital, Raqqa became a byword for oppression. The city of Raqqa was the symbol of modern-day fascism, brutality and occupation, but with the beginning of Operation Xezeba Firatê, it became the symbol of the free will of the people. With the good news of the liberation, Raqqa finally became the symbol of brotherhood of the people and the victory of the democratic nation project.

Let everybody know how we reached this moment and how much the forces of the enemy tried to stop this great victory of the people’s third line. Our war against the occupying Turkish state has now been ongoing for six years. It was the Turkish state which allowed the ISIS bandits into Kurdistan. The massacre in Şengal on the 3rd of August 2014 happened under the leadership of Erdogan, the attack on Kobanê with the goal of annihilating the freedom movement and massacring the Kurds happened under the leadership of Erdogan, and the destruction of the nine most patriotic cities in North Kurdistan in 2016 with the same goal also happened under his leadership. Despite this, they were not able to stop the progress of the popular democratic forces. The battle of Kobanê was the beginning of the Islamic State’s downfall. In this context, Raqqa represents cutting off the head of the Islamic State.

But all this while, the fascist Turkish state has continually tried to stop our victory and has remained focused on annihilating our movement. The total isolation of Rêber Apo, the siege of Efrîn, the occupation of Idlib, and the games which are played on Başur (South Kurdistan), like the surrender of Kerkuk, are also happening in this context. For the dissolution of the democratic line of the people, the occupiers joined hands and instructed their collaborators, like Barzanî. The victory of Raqqa is the latest of the heavy blows against the occupying forces, which continually seek to defend their dominance. The project of the Federation of North Syria and the establishment of a democratic Syria brings fear to their hearts. Like a cornered animal, they are panicking and are attacking us viciously.

Because of this, more than any time before we need to be aware and cautious. We are standing by the martyrs of Raqqa’s liberation and the heritage of the great October Revolution as we victoriously create the Federation of North Syria. We as peoples of the region and all revolutionaries of the world hold each other’s hands and march together towards freedom. With revolutionary vengeance we’re going to crash the first line of imperialism and the second line of local occupying forces and until the creation of a free Kurdistan and a democratic Middle East, we’re going to follow the third line. The victory of the great battle for Raqqa’s liberation, and thus the downfall of ISIS, is the most glorious step on this march and for this reason its name is written into history with golden letters.

Şoreş Ronahî

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