JAFER JAFO - FIDAN ABDULLAH / AFRIN
The people of Afrin living in al-Shahba noted that the Resistance of the Age did not and will not end. After the attacks of January 20th, 2018, demonstrating their revolutionary spirit, the solidarity of the peoples of North and East Syria for 58 days against the Turkish aggression and its terrorist mercenaries by all means, and after the implementation of the international conspiracy that has been waged against the people of the region, the Turkish warplanes' killing of stones, human beings and trees, and the continuation of the international community with silence as if supporting the Turkish aggression, the Autonomous Administration was forced with the people to take the decision to exit from Afrin and head towards al-Shahba in rejection of the Turkish presence on their land.
There is no doubt that the date of March 18th, 2018 was not a passing date for the people of Afrin as the Turkish aggression and mercenary terrorists reached near the center of the canton, increased attacks and bombardment by aircrafts and all heavy weapons on the civilians, and committed many massacres against them until all the people gathered in one road, decided to go out together and create another way to resist instead of surrender to the Turkish occupation.
The road of Jabel al-Ahlam in Sherawa district witnessed the tragedy of Afrin people. For more than two days, hundreds of cars were waiting behind each other amid the continued barbaric shelling against the people.
The people chose the liberated al-Shahba canton because of its approach to Afrin canton. Hence, they formed another way of struggle, the second phase of the Resistance of the Age.
It is known that al-Shahba has been occupied for several years by IS mercenaries and the terrorist gangs belonging to the Turkish occupation army, and was liberated after heroic resistance by the Joint Revolutionary Forces.
Camps carrying slogans of determination and steadfastness
The bloody and violent battles that broke out in al-Shahba along the Syrian crisis between the conflicting forces in the region, all its villages and areas have been subjected to massive destruction of infrastructure and their houses are considered inhabitable.
The people of Afrin did not allow this destruction to be an impediment to their resistance and their determination to withstand. On the other hand, the Democratic Autonomous Administration in northeastern Syria ensured thousands of tents and opened 3 camps in al-Shahba and named their camps , Afrin, al-Moqawama (Resistance)- al-Aser (the Age) and with the continuation of Turkey's violations against civilians al-Awda camp opened in Shirawa district was opened and some families were lived in al-Shahba camp in the village of Kashtar in Shirawa.
Of destruction, they create life
Hundreds of families are living in semi-destructive homes as they were exposed to the burning sun during the summer, and are suffering from many diseases. They are now suffering the harsh winter in the area under the rain and water leaking to their homes preferring that to return to the occupied Afrin.
Destroyed buildings, and schools of tents for Afrin children
Despite the displacement, Afrin's children continue to learn their native language in preparation for returning to Afrin and returning to their destroyed schools. The Democratic Education and Training Committee opened 75 schools in the destroyed buildings and tents for Afrin and al-Shahba students to which more than twelve thousand students flocked, in addition to providing opportunities for the students of Afrin University to enroll in the universities of the Euphrates and Jazeera regions.
A first step to map liberation of Afrin
More than three months after the unjust occupation of Afrin, the institutions of the Democratic Autonomous Administration of Afrin held in the presence of 250 members of the institutions, political currents and various segments of civil society, "Liberation Afrin Conference", on 18/2017 which lasted for three consecutive days.
The conference dealt with all the shortcomings and negatives. Accordingly, the administrators presented their self-criticism to overcome their mistakes and eliminate the negatives. The opinions and proposals were also discussed in order to address the organizational structure through discussion in the spirit of Resistance of the Age with responsibility for the conference to reach a roadmap for Afrin liberation campaign launching from the slogan, "With the Spirit of the Resistance of the Age's Martyrs, We Step Up the Campaign of Revenge for the Liberation of Afrin," stressing to increase the pace of the struggle at the political, popular, diplomatic and military levels, declaring the general alarm to follow the martyrs' steps and the victory for the will of the people to take decisions that make all segments of society in the case of hard work on the local, regional and international arena until the expulsion of the Turkish occupation and the liberation of Afrin.
With communal life and organization, they escalate the pace of resistance
After the people centralized in al-Shahba, they hurried to re-structure their communes and their civil institutions starting from the commune. A series of meetings were held in all the camps, villages and districts for Afrin residents, as 133 communes were formed; 21 communes in Ahdath district, 13 in Babenes district, 18 in Fafin district, 26 in Ahres district 14 communes in Tel Rifat as well 13 communes in Sherawa and 14 communes in each camp in addition to the districts and councils in the canton.
Many committees were formed, including the relief, health, training, municipal and others which play an important role in organizing the management of the people's affairs themselves and their will.
Mohammed Nasso, the co-chair of Afrin Canton Council said that what the people of Afrin have endured during the international conspiracy against the region is not easy. Their strength and solidarity against the international community for 58 days was a historic response that left a mark that will remain in the hearts of humanity and the world.
He continued his speech that the continuation of the international silence and putting an end to the bombing of the Turkish aggression forced the people to get out of Afrin as the people emphasized the strength of their steadfastness and their determination to get Turkey out of their land. They chose al-Shahba and are currently organizing their lives and details of their day on this basis.
Nasso pointed out that the Democratic Autonomous Administration and according to its potentials have opened camps and provided the families living in the destroyed houses with the help of putting windows and doors in addition to distributing relief in an organized manner.
Economic projects confirm the steadfastness
On the other hand, after their arrival to al-Shahba, the parents faced the problem of lack of job opportunities to secure a living which made the Rationalization and Economy Committee to find a solution to the problem of unemployment. The Rationalization and Economy Committee began in mid-May 2018 to support the people of Afrin to open small investment projects to meet the needs of the people through the provision of material loans, during which the people opened shops for the sale of vegetables, fuel, food, cloth and others, and this step was able to reduce the rate of unemployment.
The parents confirmed that their presence and work in al-Shahba are the insistence on the liberation of Afrin.
Activities and events supporting the second phase
The resistant people of Afrin in al-Shahba canton confirm on a daily their insistence to liberate Afrin through the activities and events supporting the second phase of the Resistance of the Age, demonstrations, sit-ins in Sherawa district, and activities for children, demanding the international community to stop silence, and take Turkey out of their land to return. Dozens of delegations from the four parts of Kurdistan, Lebanon and Europe visited al-Shahba canton, providing moral and material support to the people of Afrin.
YPG and YPJ fighters did not give up Afrin one day
In the context of the announcement of the second phase of the Resistance of the Age, they continue carrying out daily military operations from the first day to the present day within Afrin, and they were able to inflict heavy losses to the ranks of the Turkish occupation.
According to the statistics of the People and Women Protection Units (YPG, YPJ), the number of the operations carried out in the second phase of the Resistance of the Age in Afrin which began on 18 March was 147 military operations, where the results of the operations of sniping, ambushes, explosions and surprise by the units killed 350 mercenaries, including 65 Turkish soldiers, and 171 wounded mercenaries among them 18 soldiers Turkish. Moreover, 36 military vehicles, a tank and 3 motorcycles were destroyed.
The fighters also seized 18 Kalashnikovs, 2 guns and a large number of military documents.
In order to highlight the military aspect with the continuation of the operations of the People's and Women's Protection Units, the spokesperson for People's Protection Units in Afrin, Brosk Hasakah who participated in the Resistance of the Age said that the decision to remove Afrin residents from the area and move them towards al-Shahba came to protect the civilians from the genocide which Turkey seeks to amid the silence of the international community.
Hasakah noted during his speech that the removal of the people from Afrin does not mean that we gave up Afrin, but it is exactly the opposite. Our forces are present in every part of Afrin and the center of the canton, and our operation is continuing until this moment. Hasakah pointed out that their presence in Afrin is because they are the owners of right and land.
Brosk Hasakah renewed his pledge to the martyrs of the Resistance of the Age and all the martyrs of freedom to follow their path, be deserved the trust and strength, and free Afrin.