Five years ago, the liberation of Kobanê

Five years have passed since the liberation of Kobanê and the importance of that YPG and YPJ victory will never be forgotten. Its legacy grows stronger every passing year.

The strategic battle of Kobanê took place in that important city of Rojava between 15 September 2014 and 26-27 january 2015, when it was liberated.

The defeat of the DAESH mercenaries that had attempted to conquer that locality, was indeed a turning point in the long war being fought in the Middle East and it also marked the loss of the military initiative of the self-proclaimed Caliphate.

Kobanê’s heroic resistance, led by its local self-defense organizations, composed of young men and women alike, hit the headlines for several months.

It has been said that Kobanê is the Gernika (the city Basque country immortalised by Picasso) of the Kurds, and its citizens are committed to remember and honour their martyrs, to sow life in the midst of countless material and human losses.

The battle of Kobanê was certainly won by women, on many levels.

YPJ Commander Meryem Kobanê, told this journalist while fighting on the front: “When the Rojava revolution materialized, we, as women, made a decision: to form a separate organisation aiming at enabling women to take their place in this Revolution as a distinctive force in the Middle East.

A founding committee with five members, including myself, thus founded the YPJ [Women’s Protection Units] in Rojava.

Visiting every single house and street, we organised women until we reached this point of being an army. The women’s army, the YPJ now has a leading role in both the defence of Kobanê and across the entire Rojava territory.”

Meryem Kobanê said of her participation: “I am taking part in this resistance not only as a Kurdish woman named Meryem Kobanê but as an African, Vietnamese, Latin American, European woman, they are all represented here. I am here on behalf of all the women of the world, and I am a part of them.”

Indeed, Meryem and the hundreds of other women who took part in the defence and liberation of Kobanê have been fighting for all women around the world. And we, women around the world, have to thanks the women in Rojava.

Because as Meryem said at the time: “Women fighters have not only waged a fight against DAESH, they have also put up a resistance to the male- dominant mindset inside ourselves, and have thus broken through many taboos. The resistance in Kobanê is now being led by women, who, whilst fighting the DAESH mercenaries, are also demolishing male-dominant values and enabling a new free-bond mindset that will allow women to claim their place in society.”

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