Kurdish Militia: All Syrian Kurds Must Resist Islamist Rebels

Faction Issues a Call to Arms After Assassination of Key Politician

Northeastern Syria or Western Kurdistan, whichever you want to call it, has not only been sucked into the ongoing Syrian Civil War, but is now the center of another war in the area between Islamist rebels and Kurdish secessionists.

After the assassination of Kurdish opposition figure Issa Hisso yesterday, the Committees for the Protection of the Kurdish People (YPG), the armed wing of the Kurdish Supreme Committee, has issued a call to arms for all able-bodied Kurds in the region to take up arms against Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda linked factions.

Hisso was assassinated outside of his home, near the Syria-Turkish border, by a bomb planted in his car. It has been presumed that the Islamist rebels did so as part of the campaign against Kurdish resistance against their control of the region.

The fighting has erupted from time to time, but seems to have begun again in earnest in mid-July with a battle over Ras al-Ayn. The Kurdish victory in that fight has not only brought the YPG et al to the brink of full-scale war with al-Qaeda, but threatens to drag Turkey into the war as well, since Turkish officials had always backed the rebels specifically on hopes of curbing Kurdish independence bids, and the civil war seems to instead be providing a great opportunity for the Kurds to establish de facto autonomy.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.