The Tel Tamer district of al-Hasakah canton is known for its multiplicity of coexisting components since ancient times, "Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, and Syriacs", making it an integrated mosaic known as "Little Syria".
With the start of the Syrian crisis, the small area north of Al-Hasakah has become the focus of the attention of many forces, due to its important strategic location, between many cities and towns, and a bridge to cross into Syria through the M4 international highway.
On February 23, 2015, the district witnessed the most violent attack by ISIS mercenaries, who committed crimes in the late hours of the night against the people of the district from the Assyrians, as they kidnapped about 250 Assyrians, after the attack from two axes in a planned and coordinated manner with the Turkish occupation state which supported it in separating the center of the district from its villages, by pumping the Khabur River that night.
How did the attack on Tal Tamr begin?
Speaking about that event, the leader of the Tal Tamr Military Council, Khabur Akkad, said, "ISIS attacked the district from several axes; its starting point was Jabal Kazwan. It aimed to besiege the city from the southern side of the district to the western and eastern sides with the aim of cutting off the road of the district that connects it to the city of Hasaka in the south, and cutting the road of the district that connects it to the city of Qamishlo in the east.”
He added, "The aim was also to cut off the road of the district leading to Aleppo in the west, to later besiege it after reaching the northern side of the district and to cut off the road of the district that connects it to the districts of Serêkaniyê and Zarkan."
He stressed that with the start of the attack, the Turkish occupation state pumped the waters of the Khabur River, dividing the area into two parts, east and west of Khabour, to impede the movement of the military forces defending the district, which led to the kidnapping of more than 250 citizens by ISIS mercenaries.
The fighter Suwar Rojdam, one of the fighters and defenders of the district during that attack, said: "The Turkish occupation state pumped water in the evening to a large extent, hours before the attack, followed by the attack of ISIS mercenaries on the district and its villages, after the river became a dam in front of our forces, so that we no longer could reach the other side."
He added, "The mercenaries had previously prepared for this attack. After the attack, their snipers were stationed on the opposite side of the bridge, which we have only left to reach the other bank, the bridge connecting the center of the district and the village of Ghaibish to the west."
The People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), the Syriac Military Council, and the Assyrian Khabur Guards, along with its residents chose to resist despite the massive attack which lasted three months.
Three months of attacks... How did they fail?
Regarding the most important thing that contributed to the failure of the attack and the defeat of ISIS, the leader Khabur Akkad said, “We are the peoples of Tal Tamr with its Kurds, Assyrians, Syriacs and Arabs, coexisting for hundreds of years, and the beginning of the strong attack on the region and the beginning of danger. Because our goal is one and our enemy is one.
Stressing that the resistance of the components at that time and sacrificing 108 martyrs, was able to break the attacks of ISIS mercenaries on the district, and said: "The solidarity of the components and the resistance limited the mercenaries' desecration of our sacred areas, and it was the nucleus of the resistance against the ISIS."
He added, "We were moving to repel the attack with the Assyrian and Syriac, we were aiming to liberate the area together, there was no difference between the components, we were one hand in the face of ISIS mercenaries who were aiming to completely destroy the area as they did in the Assyrian churches."
For his part, the co-chair of the Tel Tamer district council, Juan Mullah Ayoub, recalls that period, saying, "On the 23rd of February, the people of Tal Tamr district and all components began to support their military forces and their children, each according to his capabilities, while others went out to protect the center and its villages."
Likewise, the Commander-in-Chief of the Natura Forces, Robert Aisho, who is affiliated with the Internal Security Forces in northern and eastern Syria, said, "No one can describe those days except those who lived them. The people of the area were united then.”
How do eyewitnesses and resistance fighters see the 23 February?
"the painful history of the Khabur Basin and the components of Tal Tamr," referring to the attack launched by ISIS mercenaries, with the support of the Turkish occupation state, on the district, starting with the Assyrian villages in the south, and their villages in the west." The Commander-in-Chief said.
"The residents of Tel Tamr with all the components are at the gates of a painful memory, which is the ISIS attack on the area with its heavy weapons and violently, which led to the martyrdom of a large number of military forces and civilians, who defended the city and its people at the time," The co-chair of the Tel Tamer district council said.
For her part, the Assyrian citizen from Tal Tamr district, Jamila Kaku, considered that attack a genocide against the citizens, and an attempt to end the presence of the components of the region through the destruction of churches and burning of villages by ISIS mercenaries.
Meanwhile, the leader of the Tel Tamer Military Council, Khabur Akkad, sees on February 23, the date of the peoples' proof of their existence and their ability with their forces to protect the area, in the face of ISIS, which then planned to occupy the district.
The difference between the Turkish state and ISIS occupation of the region
After five years of defeating ISIS mercenaries, Tal Tamr district witnessed the same attacks by the Turkish occupation state, after its occupation of the city of Serêkaniyê and Girê Spî / Tal Abyad and its arrival to the outskirts of Tal Tamr district in late 2019.
For more than two years, the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries have continued to launch daily attacks on the district, and commit crimes against its people, using different methods, amid the continued resistance of the people of the district in the spirit of resistance shown by the people against ISIS mercenaries in 2015.
The co-chair of the Tel Tamer district council, Juan Mullah Ayoub, confirms that since the Turkish occupation army directly intervened in 2019, and reached the outskirts of the district, Tal Tamr has been witnessing daily ground bombardment with shells and missiles, targeting the places of worship as well as infrastructure.
The Assyrian citizen from Tal Tamr district, Jamila Kaku, sees that there is no difference between the attacks of the Turkish occupation army and the attacks of ISIS mercenaries in 2015, saying: "The Turkish occupation repeats the same history, in the same ways, by targeting an area inhabited Assyrian villages, as ISIS did."
While the leader, Khabur Akkad, considered that the direct entry of the Turkish occupation army into the Syrian lands and its occupation, and its continuation of attacking the Tal Tamr district, is a continuation of what it failed and what ISIS mercenaries were seeking in 2015, saying, "Its intervention is a continuation of the ISIS scheme."
He stressed the transformation of many villages on the outskirts of Tel Tamer district occupied by the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries, through the occupation of the Turkish state, into sources of terrorism against the district and the region.
After seven years of victory and more than two years of resistance against the attacks of the Turkish occupation army, Tal Tamr to where?
The commander, Khabur Akkad, indicated that the components of the region and their military forces continued to defend the region, saying: "We provided 108 fighters from the components of the region, martyrs in 2015, to undermine ISIS and thwart its attack on the district, and today, after seven years, we find that the same military forces and the same components are standing firm. against the Turkish occupation.
He pledged to continue the path and limit any forces' manipulation of the fate of the components of the district, sending a message to the peoples of the region, in which he said, "We, through our solidarity in 2015, were able to undermine the strongest terrorist organizations, and our solidarity today and our unity will be the nucleus of victory over the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries, and securing the region." As before, and to liberate the occupied territories, we must move as we were in 2015.”
The fighter, Siwar Rojdam, sees the unity of the components witnessing in the district of Tal Tamr as a force that will be able to deter any kind of attacks on the district and the region, saying: "We are strong with our unity and our friendship. Thanks to our martyrs, the sacrifices of our fighters, and our solidarity.”
At the end of his speech, he called on the people of Tal Tamr district to think about the people of Tal Tamr who sacrificed in order to protect this district, and consider them the source of strength, faith and the path to victory.