The Demo­c­ra­t­ic Fed­er­a­tion of North­ern Syr­ia has grown thanks to the addi­tion of a new dis­trict : Shah­ba. This is major news.

Major news even if the time has not yet come when the three dis­tricts of Afrin, Kobanê and Djezireh will be unit­ed, because of the pres­ence of Turk­ish tanks on parts of the ter­ri­to­ry, the region of Idlib being a fief­dom for all the armed fac­tions that have evac­u­at­ed Alep­po and more south­ern sec­tors recently.

These fac­tions, par­tial­ly regrouped under the name of Free Syr­i­an army, sup­port­ed by the Turk­ish regime and the “coali­tion”, no longer have much in com­mon with the 2011 Syr­i­an revolution.

Since Turk­ish tanks burst into the area via Jarablus with the aim of impos­ing, if not a direct Turk­ish pres­ence at the very least an admin­is­tra­tion by its accom­plices, there have been inces­sant attacks against these ter­ri­to­ries (the lat­est occurred in the Dis­trict of Kobanê).

In the zones from which ISIS has retreat­ed, the Turk­ish army’s back-up troops haven’t stopped impos­ing an exo­dus on « unsub­dued » pop­u­la­tions, main­ly Kur­dish speak­ers, using the same meth­ods of cul­tur­al destruc­tion as in Turk­ish Kurdistan.

Declar­ing this new dis­trict is thus a way to offi­cial­ize the Syr­i­an Demo­c­ra­t­ic Forces’ (SDF) inten­tion to dri­ve out the Turk­ish army’s back-up troops and tanks soon­er or lat­er from a bor­der region they should not be occu­py­ing. It rep­re­sents the com­mu­ni­ca­tion counter-offen­sive to the AKP regime’s designs for a shad­owy occu­pa­tion of the so-called « buffer zone ». It is also a sig­nal that, with Rakka’s prob­a­ble total fall and a wider defeat of ISIS in the region, the SDF no longer fear attacks from the rear by the Turk­ish State, and could well be on the offen­sive in the com­ing months.

It is unimag­in­able that this could hap­pen with­out Rus­sia and the Unit­ed States look­ing the oth­er way, while forc­ing Erdoğan to renounce his ambi­tions in the cur­rent dis­cus­sions in Iran. There is nec­es­sar­i­ly a bout of diplo­mat­ic arm-wrestling going on, in which the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Fed­er­a­tion of North­ern Syi­ra is play­ing its own hand so as not to fall as a col­lat­er­al vic­tim in all the ongo­ing region­al and impe­ri­al­is­tic blackmail.

But Idlib has become a pow­der keg into which have flowed all the con­tra­dic­tions in the Syr­i­an civ­il war, dis­fig­ur­ing the Syr­i­an rev­o­lu­tion since Alep’s bloody reclaim­ing by Bachar’s regime.

Now, a map is on the table. Under close obser­va­tion for the future of “Roja­va”, now the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Federation.


Here is a sum­ma­ry of opin­ions found in unaligned Turk­ish medias…

In March 2016, the Kurds of Syr­ia announced the foun­da­tion of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Fed­er­a­tion of North­ern Syr­ia com­prised of three dis­tricts, Afrin, Kobanê and Djezireh.

Fol­low­ing a deci­sion reached on August 6th, a new dis­trict was offi­cial­ly announced on August 8th at the meet­ing held before the Federation’s Admin­is­tra­tive Coun­cil, the Shah­ba Coor­di­na­tion team, the entire Com­mit­tee as well as the Co-pres­i­dents of the munic­i­pal coun­cils. This dis­trict lies in the zone between Afrin and Kobanê, west of the Euphrates. This zone also includes Man­bij, Jarablus, Azaz and Al-Rai, from where, under the guise of fight­ing ISIS, Turkey car­ries out attacks with the Free Syr­i­an Army against the Syr­i­an Demo­c­ra­t­ic Forces (SDF) — the Turk­ish offen­sive known as « Oper­a­tion Euphrates Shield ».

Announc­ing the cre­ation of a dis­trict in a zone Turkey describes as «West of the Euphrates, our red line » can fill the void between Afrin and Kobanê and allow to effect a junc­tion of the districts.

The Admin­is­tra­tive Coun­cil of the Shah­ba regions offi­cial­ized the announce­ment at a press conference :
“Fol­low­ing the dec­la­ra­tion by the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Fed­er­al Sys­tem of North­ern Syr­ia, a dec­la­ra­tion based on fra­ter­ni­ty beween peo­ples and the prin­ci­ple of liv­ing togeth­er, the rep­re­sen­ta­tives from our region of Shah­ba have replaced the found­ing Coun­cil of the Fed­er­a­tion. One part of the Shah­ba region has been cleansed of its gangs and lib­er­at­ed, and the Admin­is­tra­tive Coun­cil of the Shah­ba region has been found­ed. For over one year, the pop­u­la­tion has been admin­is­ter­ing its own region. Fol­low­ing the deci­sion reached at the 3rd meet­ing of the Found­ing Coun­cil of the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Fed­er­a­tion of North­ern Syr­ia, we there­fore declare the foun­da­tion of the Dis­trict of Shahba. »

Munic­i­pal elec­tions will be held next Sep­tem­ber 22 and elec­tions to the North­ern Syr­ia Peo­ples Demo­c­ra­t­ic Con­gress and to the Fed­er­al Dis­trict Peo­ples Coun­cil will be held on Jan­u­ary 19 2018. A Supe­ri­or Elec­toral Coun­cil will be set up to admin­is­ter the elec­tions in the Dis­trict of Shahba.

READ ALSO : Document • Constitution • Rojava’s Social Contract

French ver­sion : Une avancée pour le Roja­va • Un nou­veau can­ton : Shehba

For Kur­dish speakers…

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