Life Returning to Normal in Serêkaniyê

A new report by Aziz Köylüo?lu speaks to the situation of the city after the recent advances made by the YPG in the region. Below is a translation of the article in its entirety.

Life is returning to normal following the complete clearing of Al-Qaeda affiliated groups from around the Serêkaniyê  region of Western Kurdistan that resulted from the revolutionary operations undertaken between 1st and 5th of November.  In the towns of Til Xelef and Menacir in particular farmers are returning to the fields and cotton workers are back on the job. Women can for the first time in a long time go out on the streets without fear.

The portion of the goods stolen and plundered by armed militias that YPG forces were able to recover in the course of their operations has been returned to their owners. Those who were forced to leave their homes because of attack are slowly returning.

The expulsion of the militias from the region most affected women. One Arab woman, who explains that she was afraid to bring her daughters anywhere for a year because of the armed groups present in the region, says that their minds are now at ease.

YPG forces took complete control of Serêkaniyê’s city center on July 16th. However a large number of mostly Arab villages and towns in the surrounding area remained in the hands of armed groups. While local residents lived in fear of severe oppression, kidnapping, torture, execution and threats, the armed groups were using these places – in particular the town of Til Xelef and those on the border – as a base to launch their attacks. After the border crossing in Serêkaniyê fell to YPG forces these groups  received reinforcements, weapons, and logistical aid from Turkey through Til Xelef and the village of Eziziye.

An Arab woman who did not want to give her name says that “for a year these groups were in the area and from the day they arrived women and their daughters could not go anywhere alone. It was like we were in prison for a year.”

In the course of the revolutionary operations which began in Serêkaniyê and encompassed the Til Temir region of Qami?lo a total of three towns and over forty villages were liberated. The YPG victories against the foreign-backed forces of al-Qaeda are providing for a return to normal in the region. In the liberated regions where peace has returned, fields, and village and city streets are once again full of life. Owing to the presence of gangs the cotton harvest began late. However difficulties are not at an end. Land owners are complaining that they cannot find workers.

Goods that had been stolen are making some residents in the region smile. The goods belonging to the people which was recovered from the forces of al-Qaeda during the YPG operations are being returned to their owners. One of these people is Mihemed Emin from the village of Mala Etiyan who managed to get back his motorized water pump which the gangs had stolen. Emed says “the water pump which we had used for a long time to water our fields was stolen by the gangs by a person named Hemad. Our water pump was recovered during the capture of the village of Xirbe Binate by YPG forces, it was found in their center and we got it back from them.”

Bread was distributed by the People’s Parliament to those regions which had been exposed to oppression after the expulsion of the gangs. The residents of the villages, the majority of which are populated by Arabs, expressed their happiness with slogans of “Long Live the YPG.” Children looking around them and putting bread to their mouths were once again seen to smile.

One of the most violent clashes in the region occurred in the village of Mi?rafa. A number of houses in the village were destroyed by shelling and many of the electric poles have fallen over. The armed gangs used a tank and heavy weapons in the battle but within 24 hours had sucumb to defeat.

Translation by The Rojava Report

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