“The autonomous region of Rojava, as it exists today, is one of few bright spots – albeit a very bright one – to emerge from the tragedy of the Syrian revolution. Having driven out agents of the Assad regime in 2011, and despite the hostility of almost all of its neighbours, Rojava has not only maintained its independence, but is a remarkable democratic experiment. Popular assemblies have been created as the ultimate decision-making bodies, councils selected with careful ethnic balance in each municipality, for instance, the top three officers have to include one Kurd, one Arab and one Assyrian or Armenian Christian, and at least one of the three has to be a woman, there are women’s and youth councils, and, in a remarkable echo of the armed Mujeres Libres Free Women of Spain, a feminist army, the “YJA Star” militia the “Union of Free Women”, the star here referring to the ancient Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, that has carried out a large proportion of the combat operations against the forces of Islamic State.
How can something like this happen and still be almost entirely ignored by the international community, even, largely, by the International left? Mainly, it seems, because the Rojavan revolutionary party, the PYD, works in alliance with Turkey’s Kurdish Worker’s Party PKK, a Marxist guerilla movement that has since the 1970s been engaged in a long war against the Turkish state. Nato, the US and EU officially classify them as a “terrorist” organisation. Meanwhile, leftists largely write them off as Stalinists.”