Girê Spî‎ (Tell Abyad)

Tell Abyad (Arabic: تل أبيض‎, lit. ‘White Hill’, Kurdish: Girê Spî‎, Turkish: TellebyadArmenian: Թել Աբյադ, Classical Syriac: ܬܠ ܐܒܝܕ‎) is a town in the Tel Abyad Canton of the Euphrates Region of the Autonomous Administrations of North and East Syria.

The town was divided when the borders were drawn along the borders of Syria and Turkey. Its northern part is currently Akçakale, a city which lies within Turkey’s borders.

The town was liberated by the Syrian Democratic forces (SDF) on 16 June, 2015.

On the morning of 9 October 2019, Turkish state military forces began to bombard cities of Rojava – and also began incursions across the border, particularly in the region around Girê Spî and Serê Kaniyê, which are now under full occupation by Turkish forces.

Turkey has faced accusations of ethnic cleansing and war crimes, including the use of banned chemical weapons. On top of this, and emboldened by it, ISIS regaining strength in the region and sleeper cell attacks have increased by 48% since the start of the invasion.

The Turkish military and their allied Jihadist militias are attacking civilians, as well as military positions, with aerial bombardment and tanks on the ground; destroying hospitals, houses, electricity and water supplies. The illegal invasion has so far killed over 300 civilians, and around 300,000 people have been displaced.

Shortly before the Turkish invasion of Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad in October 2019, both cities and their surrounding areas were a fertile home for a high concentration of cooperatives. Such initiatives played a pioneering role in the cooperative economy of NES.

Turkey’s October 2019 invasion and ongoing occupation of 5000km2 in the Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad regions destroyed this developing alternative economy. Turkish-backed forces plundered and looted private and public properties, businesses and cooperatives (for more information, see RIC’s December 2019 report: Turkey’s war against civilians). Co-operative agricultural associations have also been plundered. The psychological impact must be considered alongside the material damage: the experience or threat of destruction makes any attempt at building up future projects seem in vain.

Yet cooperatives develop even among those who have fled the war. The cooperatives bureau attempt to spark the creation of new villages by giving arable land to inhabitants who are living in IDP camps.

Translation: Administrative Divisions Law

In preparation for the forthcoming municipal elections in NES, planned for 11th of June [now postponed to 8 August, 2024], the DAANES passed a new law defining the administrative divisions of the NES region. This follows the DAANES’ publication of the new Social Contract in December 2023.

Upcoming elections, the new Social Contract and political system changes – interview with Kobane Autonomous Administration officials.

In Kobane city, RIC spoke with Ferhan Haji Issa, co-chair of the Executive Council of the Euphrates Canton, Rewshan Abdi, co-chair of Kobane Municipality, and Mohamed Hamdan al-Mohamed, co-chair of the People’s Council of the Euphrates Canton, regarding the current situation in Kobane, the system changes contained in the new Social Contract and the upcoming municipal elections.

Interview – Washokani IDP Camp

On the 4th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and subsequent occupation of the ‘M4 Strip,’ RIC interviewed Berzan Abdullah, one of the members of the administration of Washokani camp, near Heseke city, and Souria Mohamed Hussain, a resident of this camp.

Doing Justice to the Mosaic of North East Syria – The Rojava Revolution

How did it all begin? What stages were taken on the way and what danger does Turkey pose to the revolution? On the 10th anniversary of the Rojava Revolution, we talked about these and other questions with Berivan Khaled, co-chair of the Autonomous Administration of North East Syria.

​​​​​​​How did North and East Syria build a Stateless Democracy?

The revolution of North and East Syria is 11 years old. How it was formed and turned into a cornerstone for a democratic autonomous administration system?

Refugees in Girê Spî Camp Set Up Vegetable Co-operative

60 decares of land was allocated to the newly established co-operative.