International Freedom Battalion
|International Freedom Battalion|
Tabûra Azadî ya Înternasyonal |
Participant in the Rojava conflict and the Syrian Civil War
Banner used by the International Freedom Battalion
|Active||10 June 2015–present|
United Freedom Forces,
Bob Crow Brigade
|Area of operations||Rojava, Syria|
People's Protection Units,|
Women's Protection Units
|Opponents||Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
|Battles and wars|
The International Freedom Battalion (Turkish: Enternasyonalist Özgürlük Taburu, Kurdish: Tabûra Azadî ya Înternasyonal, Arabic: تابور الحرية العالمي), commonly abbreviated as IFB or EÖT, is an armed group consisting of leftist foreign fighters fighting alongside the People's Protection Units in the Syrian Civil War in support of the Rojava Revolution and against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The formation of the International Freedom Battalion was announced on 10 June 2015 in Serê Kaniyê (Ras al-Ayn). The Marxist–Leninist Communist Party (Turkey) had been the main force behind the establishment of the group. Inspiration for the group came from the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War. The political ideologies among many of the fighters include Marxism–Leninism, Hoxhaism, Maoism, and anarchism.
The International Freedom Battalion is made up of fighters from left-wing armed groups (as well as individuals not part of any other groups) most of whom had been fighting with the YPG before the creation of the International Freedom Battalion. These groups include:
Marksist-Leninist Komünist Partisi
Marxist–Leninist Communist Party (Turkish: Marksist-Leninist Komünist Partisi, abbreviated as MLKP) is an underground Hoxhaist communist party from Turkey. MLKP fighters had been reportedly been sent to Syria to fight with the People's Protection Units since 2012. MLKP fighters have also joined Kurdistan Workers' Party fighting in Northern Iraq in defence of the Yezidi minority in Sinjar. In April 2015, it was announced that MLKP founded a permanent military training centre in the PKK-controlled areas of the Iraqi Kurdistan. In March 2015 a 19-year-old German woman, Ivana Hoffmann, was killed whilst fighting ISIL during the battle of Tell Tamer making her the third western fighter, as well as the first female western fighter, to die while fighting alongside the YPG, her death was reported by many mainstream news sources. MLKP's female organisation, Komünist Kadın Örgütü, is also involved in fighting. MLKP was heavily involved in forming the International Freedom Battalion and has the largest amount of fighters in the group.
Liberation Army of the Workers and Peasants of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye İşci ve Köylü Kurtuluş Ordusu, abbreviated as TİKKO) is the armed wing of the Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist–Leninist (Turkish: Türkiye Komünist Partisi/Marksist-Leninist, abbreviated as TKP/ML), a Maoist insurgent organisation in Turkey. On March 25, 2016, the TKP/ML TİKKO headquarters in Serêkaniyê were targeted by a motorcycle bomb causing slight injuries to 2 members and damage to the headquarters, 2 suspects were detained by Asayiş.
Birleşik Özgürlük Güçleri
The United Freedom Forces (Turkish: Birleşik Özgürlük Güçleri, or BÖG), inspired by the International Brigades of the Spanish Civil War, were founded in December 2014 in the town of Kobanê as an organization of foreign leftist fighters of both revolutionary socialist and anarchist convictions. However groups such as the predominant MLKP didn't join, but eventually BÖG and those other groups participated in the formation of the International Freedom Battalion. BÖG also has a female branch named Kadın Özgürlük Gücü in Turkish. Member groups of BÖG include:
- Revolutionary Communard Party (Turkish: Devrimci Komünarlar Partisi, abbreviated as DKP)
- Marxist–Leninist Armed Propaganda Union-Revolutionary Front (Turkish: Marksist Leninist Silahlı Propaganda Birliği-Devrim Cephesi, abbreviated as MLSPB-DC)
- Revolution Party of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Devrim Partisi, abbreviated as TDP)
- Social Insurrection (Turkish: Sosyal İsyan, abbreviated as Sİ)
- Proletariat Revolutionary Liberation Organisation (Turkish: Proleteryanın Devrimci Kurtuluş Örgütü, abbreviated as PDKÖ)
Communist Reconstruction (Spanish: Reconstrucción Comunista, abbreviated as RC) is a Marxist-Leninist group from Spain. The group carries a variant of the Flag of the Second Spanish Republic. RC has strong ties to the MLKP and members fight as part of MLKP formations, even fighting in Sinjar. Two members of the group were arrested by police after their return to Spain and were accused of participating in an armed conflict outside of Spain without authorization from the state, as well as putting national interests at risk and joining groups fighting against ISIL that are considered terrorist organizations by international organizations. In January 2016, 9 individuals were arrested in Spain, 8 Spanish citizens and 1 from Turkey. The Spanish Interior Ministry said in a statement that "The detained, in collaboration with other individuals residing in various European countries, were providing the necessary infrastructure for displaced people to travel abroad and to finally integrate in the ranks of the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) or one of the armed wings of the organization" and that the majority of the arrested belong to the group 'Communist Reconstruction'.
Türkiye Komünist Emek Partisi/Leninist
Communist Labour Party of Turkey/Leninist (Turkish: Türkiye Komünist Emek Partisi/Leninist, abbreviated as TKEP/L) is an illegal Marxist-Leninist party in Turkey. The group have set up their own headquarters in Rojava.
Revolutionary Headquarters (Turkish: Devrimci Karargâh, abbreviated as DK) is a Marxist–Leninist group from Turkey. A battalion was created by DK and MLSPB-DC (part of United Freedom Forces) named after Alper Çakas, an MLSPB-DC fighter killed while fighting in Rojava.
Revolutionary Union for Internationalist Solidarity
Bob Crow Brigade
The Bob Crow Brigade (abbreviated as BCB) is a group of fighters from the United Kingdom and Ireland named after Bob Crow, an English trade union leader and self-described "communist/socialist", who had died of a heart attack in March 2014. The group had expressed solidarity with striking rail workers in the UK. Steve Hedley, senior assistant general secretary of the RMT, said: "Bob would have been honoured that young people from Britain would fight the forces of evil in his name. A great admirer of the international brigades that fought in Spain, Crow would of course have drawn the parallels with the new international brigades fighting clerical fascism and defending Yazhidi, Muslim and Christian workers from slavery and persecution." The group criticized the Labour Party leadership candidate, Owen Smith, for proposing negotiations with ISIL. After Turkey and its allied rebel groups invaded parts of northern Syria and clashed with the Syrian Democratic Forces, Turkish officials stated that they will treat British and other foreign volunteers fighting alongside the YPG as terrorists. On 2 September, the Bob Crow Brigade relocated from the Raqqah front to Manbij and stated "When we came to defend the revolution we meant from all enemies, big or small". On 7 September 2016, the Bob Crow Brigade sent a message of solidarity to the women of Ireland fighting to repeal the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland on the 33rd anniversary of its approval by referendum, as well as striking Irish bus workers the following day.
Henri Krasucki Brigade
The Henri Krasucki Brigade (French: Brigade Henri Krasucki) is a group of fighters from France. Inspired by their English-speaking counterparts of the Bob Crow Brigade they named themselves after the French trade-unionist Henri Krasucki. The group expressed solidarity with the CGT union and the Air France workers on trial for the "shirt-ripping case" over an incident on October 5, 2015, which arose from a dispute over the aviation giant's plans to cut 2,900 jobs.
- List of armed groups in the Syrian Civil War
- People's Protection Units
- International Brigades
- Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement
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- Rodríguez, Jorge A. (7 July 2015). "Two Spaniards arrested on return from fighting ISIS in Syria". El País. Translated by Hunter, Simon. Retrieved 1 October 2015.
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- "Police Arrest Eight Spaniards And One Turk For Recruiting Fighters For PKK-KCK". The Spain Report. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 30 January 2016.
- "TKEP-L Rojava'da merkez açtı". Hawar Haber Ajansı (in Turkish). 22 January 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Alper Çakas Enternasyonalist Özgürlük Taburu kuruldu". Hawar Haber Ajansı (in Turkish). 29 October 2015. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
- "The International Freedom Battalion of Rojava and participation from greece". athens.indymedia.org. Independent Media Center. 7 July 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
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- Pullman, Beth (16 August 2016). "Rojava International Brigaders Honour The Legendary Bob Crow". Morning Star. People's Press Printing Society. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
- Verkaik, Robert (26 August 2016). "'Bob Crow Brigade' attack Labour's Owen Smith over ISIS talks comment". Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
- Sharma, Suraj; MacDonald, Alex (1 September 2016). "British volunteers in Syrian Kurd forces are 'terrorists', Turkey says". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
- Ensor, Josie (1 September 2016). "Turkey warns: we will treat Britons fighting with Kurds as terrorists". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
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- Anderson, Claire (7 September 2016). "Ní Saoirse go Saoirse na mBan: There is no freedom until the freedom of women". BreakingNews.ie. Landmark Digital Ltd. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
- Ó Conghaile, Tomaí (8 September 2016). "Comharthaí Gaeilge á n-ardú ag trodaithe sa Chordastáin". Nós (in Irish). Rua Media. Retrieved 8 September 2016.
- Sekkai, Kahina (28 September 2016). "Syrie : le soutien de la brigade Henri Krasucki aux salariés d'Air France". Paris Match (in French). Lagardère Digital France. Retrieved 28 September 2016.
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