The West’s Inconsistent Approach To Foreign Fighters in Syria

By Kyle Orton (@KyleWOrton) on 10 April 2017

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Turkey-based Kurdish Marxist-nationalist insurgent group, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Britain, the United States, NATO, and Turkey, created a new foreign fighter unit in Syria on 31 March. In Syria, the PKK uses the name People’s Protection Units (YPG), and the new organization, mostly composed of Europeans, is called the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF). In addition to underlining some interesting points about the PKK and Western strategy in the fight against the Islamic State (IS), the IRPGF also underlines the different approach the West has taken to foreign fighters flowing to various groups during the Syrian war.

The video announcing the IRPGF featured a masked Western man, who sounds American, reading a statement amid various explosions and scenes of fighting:

Today, the revolution in Rojava is under attack. Like the Paris Commune and at so many other points in history, the revolutionary forces face the leviathan of capitalist hegemony, which has come to devour the new world and enslave us all once again. This is our Stalingrad. The revolution must be defended. Therefore, we announce the creation of the International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces to defend the revolution in Rojava.

The International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces is a militant, armed, self-organized, and horizontal collective, working to defend social revolutions around the world, to directly confront capital and the state, and advance the cause of anarchism.

We are committed anti-fascists, anti-capitalists, anti-imperialists, and against all forms of patriarchy and kyriarchy. We announce our membership in the International Freedom Battalion and declare our support and alliance with the YPJ, the YPG, the PKK, the Antifascist International Tabur, and the International Freedom Battalion’s member organizations. We declare our open struggle with all imperialist, fascist and counterrevolutionary forces.

Victory to the revolution in Rojava! Victory to the barricades, the social insurrection, and the commune! Militant, horizontal, self-organized collectives, and communities for the revolution and anarchism

The startling language—at once a throwback to a world where the Soviet Union, the PKK’s main sponsor for a long time, existed, and just very slightly farcical—should not distract from a host of real issues raised by this announcement.

Read the rest at the Henry Jackson Society

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