Serekaniye Fighters Speak: Interview with International Freedom Battalion

Published October 28, 2019

Serekaniye Fighters Speak: Interview with International Freedom Battalion

TKP-ML TİKKO fighters describe the 12-day history of resistance, against the Turkish state’s invasion of Rojava on October 9, 2019.

Could you please introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Munzur Piran. I came to Rojava in 2015. I am a TKP-ML TİKKO and International Freedom Battalion fighter.

How do you assess the 12-day resistance against the technology and the armed forces across the border, that is, the 9th “biggest” army in the world?

The occupation of Rojava by Turkish state, on the 3rd day of the Serekaniye resistance we and other TİKKO comrades joined the front. Already before the invasion, the comrades had gone through the expedition, and we also joined them. Until the retreat, we took part in the fronts. It is a fact that the enemy is technically and numerically in the top ranking compared to the world average. Despite the “big” size of the army, there was enormous resistance for 12 days.

All the clashes took place, from balcony to balcony, street to street, house to house breaking the walls and clashes was within range of grenades. The clashes spread to the outskirts of Serekaniye. Inland, there were intense clashes at the southern entrance, as well as the Til Halef region, the Industry region and Havarna neighborhood.

On the 4th and 5h days of the resistance, they started circling. While circling, the reinforcements and ammunition transfer from the enemy forces became a problem for us. To take out our injured friends after the circling there was an enormous clash to break the circle. The enemy was mainly attacking in the day light. Sometimes they made progress. They took some streets but when it was dark, we were starting operations as they were afraid of us when its dark. They had fear in general, but it was clear that they were afraid to stop the operation in the evening. They even left guards and went to other places. Despite the technical and numerical outnumbering, with a small number of people, we defended a small place with great resistance for 12 days. Despite the ceasefire, there were attacks and clashes continued occasionally.

Were you feeling mass support from the people in Rojava and in many other countries about the resistance you demonstrated on the Serekaniye front?

The place we were in, the networks were down. We couldn’t use our phones due to the Turkish state cutting down the network in the area. The access to the internet was very limited. Despite this, we were getting news from friends who were attending. We knew that there were support actions in many parts of the world and of course this was creating good morale. Of course, these were very important and valuable, but the most important source of the morale was the times when we have recaptured the lost territory from the enemy.

What can you say about the Turkish state’s nonsense which claims to end “terror” while building up military concentration near the border and starting the invasion by bombardments; news has spread that the Turkish state put forward mercenaries in the war?

We and our people know very well that; the Turkish state’s “safe zone” discourses is a cover for hostility to the Kurdish people. “First, we cleared the region from ISIS. Now we have cleared the YPG/YPG over the FSA and at the end using the regime, the plan is to clear the FSA, everyone is trying to clean their own garden. For us communist, the attitude of the USA or other imperialist states was not surprising. I didn’t see a single Turkish soldier until the 12th day in this war. The mercensaries and FSA fighters fought instead of Turkish soldiers but on the other hand the Turkish news has mentioned that Turkish soldiers came and positioned in the region. They were fighting in crowded groups, and they were obviously trained. These trained mercenaries were supported with panzer, tank, air support and UCAV, there were big clashes.

They attacked intensely one day before the “ceasefire.” The Turkish state closed the wall blocks back to avoid their fighters running away. They held the walls up again, so their fighters couldn’t escape to force them to fight. This 12 day of resistance would have continued despite all the low number and ammunition. This matter of ceasefire came up after the resistance to these very intense attacks. They didn’t put forward the Turkish soldiers, and mercenaries couldn’t fulfill what they wanted.

We were living miracles all the time, we were barely surviving the massive bombardments. I think the 12-day Serekaniye resistance was life itself. Everything from removing of the wounded to the reinforcement, from the use of tunnels to attacks was enormous. Especially the friends in the coordination, Heval Şervan’s stance, morale, patience became a great example to everyone in that field.

Heval Şervan’s stance and bravery combined with fighting skill would be one of the moments I will never forget in my life. He will remain one of the people I’ll never forget.

Thank you.

Me too.

12 days of the Serkaniye Resistance from TEKOŞER PARTİZAN

Could you please introduce yourself?

Hello my name is Tekoşer Partizan. I came to Rojava in 2016. I am a TKP-ML TİKKO and International Freedom Battalion (IFB) fighter.

How do you assess the 12-day resistance against the technology and the armed forces across the border, that is, the 9th “biggest” army in the world?

I would like to emphasize briefly the International Freedom Battalion (MLKP, DKP/BÖG, MKP, TKEP/L etc.) before we talk abouth the resistance against the “big” army. Because the International Freedom Battalion has a special relationship with Serekaniye. Because when IFB first arrived in Cizire canton in 2015, they had settled in Serekaniye and this relationship continued since then. IFB established its first headquarters there and stayed in those regions for at least 2 years. Than we have established a strong connection with the people in the region. Therefore, Serekaniye is a region where we have a strong emotional relationship. I think this feelings strenghens our will and resistance.

At the same time, during the Rojava revolution in 2012, there were mercenaries in Serekaniye as it is now, and these people organized themselves under the leadership of a few friends. Serekaniye is a place where people who have fought against the mercenaries to defend their lands. So, we could not leave this city very easily because this city was important both for the Kurdish National Freedom Movement and for the International Freedom Battalion. As we know that the Serekaniye people are strong-willed for organizing. The fact that withdrawal is not the first choice because of these two important reasons. Therefore, we resisted with all of our will for 12 days.

Were you feeling mass support from the people in Rojava and in many other countries about the resistance you demonstrated on the Serekaniye front?

In fact, we were a little unaware of the word in the middle of the war. There was no internet at all, we used the phone to talk to friends in different position when we had a signal. Even if you’re a very good warrior, in battle, you can sometimes feel little demoralized. İn this sort of situation moral disorder very normal. For example, I had little morale disorder on the 7th day. Then I was positively impressed that when I talked to the comrades outside when they told me that there were actions in many parts of the world, that everyone’s eye was on the Serekaniye resistance. This was very effective on all of us me and other comrades. We know that the actions in the world had already begun, but even though we learned later, it gave great moral and motivation. Knowing you’re not alone, feeling supported, affects our mood in the resistance. It even reminds me what we’re fighting for. When we had information about the actions and felt supported by comrades, it gave us strength.

What can you say about the Turkish state’s nonsense which claims to end “terror” while building up military concentration near the border and starting the invasion by bombardments; news has spread that the Turkish state put forward mercenaries in the war?

We didn’t hear the news, but we have experienced it personally. It was said that the Turkish state had sent its troops in some important places, but personally I didn’t see any Turkish soldiers. If there were any Turkish soldiers who crossed the border they didn’t clash, but rather fired mortars or reconnaissance flights etc. For 12 days I haven’t seen any other fighters then gangs. It was obvious that these gangs were organized in Turkey. According to the comrades who fought during Rojava revolution, comparing the gangs they mentioned that these gangs in Serekaniye were trained. They were fighting in a more qualified and combative way.

Thank you.

Me too.

12 days of the Serkaniye Resistance from Delil Qamışlo

Could you please introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Delil Qamışlo. I have been here as an internationalist fighter for two years. I fight with enemy but mostly with myself. Lastly, i confronted the enemy on the Serekaniye front.

How do you assess the 12-day resistance against the technology and the armed forces across the border, that is, the 9th “biggest” army in the world?

This is an important question. Because we have faced a significant number of strategically equipped manpower besides a high technology. In this context, i can say that it was not easy to resist against thermal and laser technology. I was a small part of this great resistance, even though i was a small part, i was highly energetic. We were aware of our impact and what we do. These are the reasons for the good progress of this resistance. Overall, i can say that; with very few people, we resisted the army which equipped with serious high tech guns. To this i would also like to add something about the strategy of the revolutionaries; Every revolutionary fought alone in empty buildings. The majority of the people were not there, but the revolutionaries resist with little force but high morale to save the city.

Were you feeling mass support from the people in Rojava and in many other countries about the resistance you demonstrated on the Serekaniye front?

First of all, we had no great connection with the outside world due to no internet access in the area. But when civilians from outside tried to come in with a convoy, it had a serious impact on us. Everyone started dancing, it was a beautiful feeling. These things are very important for the continuation of the resistance. The support of journalist and civilians was very effective in keeping the morale of revolutionary fighters high. I also joined the dancing and it was just beautiful. Beautiful is a simple word to express this feeling. As i said, the ways to create communication with outside word especially at the front were very limited. To keep the morale high, you need to trust yourself on the front. Trust is very important and really matters. Trusting comrades you fight with is as important as trusting yourself. Trusting your comrades knowing that they will be there when you need them, really keeps your morale high in battle.

What can you say about the Turkish state’s nonsense which claims to end “terror” while building up military concentration near the border and starting the invasion by bombardments; news has spread that the Turkish state put forward mercenaries in the war?

I was more of a sniper. I have faced dozens of attacks in the east and north of the city. Through out the resistance i have come across so many gang elements in these attacks. For 4 days i didn’t sleep very well and also didn’t see any Turkish soldiers. The Turkish soldier were mainly attacking using bombers and reconnaissance but it was the gangs were who were attacking on ground. We resisted against thousands of gangs. I could see from the scope that thousands of gangs were coming to attack us. It seemed like they have carried mercenaries from Idlib to here. These are the gangs that claim to fight for Islam but are actually here for money and spoils of war. I dont feel right to call these human, these people can make genocide for money.

It is said that war creates a striden state of emotion, but even under war, our life continues at same time. Would you like to say something about the war and resistance and life in front?

My war experience was fantastic. Fantastic word as you know is used to express emotions that are too incredible to be true. On the other of course, we lost our comrades, whom we shared so much during the war. However, for days we had to fight only by eating what we could find, these were the heavy condition which we faced. But when i had the opportunity to have shower and brush my teeth days later, i felt like i was reborn. Also, at a time ate a dessert(!) that claimed to be peanut but there wasn’t any peanut in it! Instead, there was something made with eggplant and parsley, but it was delicious. Human relations in the front also unforgettable. People who are very alien to each other in the first moments establish close and comrade relations in a short time. I can say that these relations between comrades are the most unforgettable moments.

Thank you.

Me too.