International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces

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International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces
Participant in Rojava conflict and the Syrian Civil War
IRPGF Emblem.svg
Emblem of the IRPGF
Active31 March 2017 – 24 September 2018
StatusInactive
IdeologyAnarcho-communism[1]
Anarcha-feminism[2]
Queer anarchism
Political positionFar-left
Motive(s)Support and defend Rojava and Social revolutions around the world towards the realization of world revolution, to directly confront capital and the state and advance the cause of anarchism [sic].[3]
Group(s) TQILA[4][5]
LeadersNo leader (non-hierarchical organisation)
Area of operations Rojava
SizeUnknown
Colours
  Black
  Red
Part of International Freedom Battalion
Allies Syrian Democratic Forces

RUIS
MKP
MLKP
TKEP/L
TKP/ML TİKKO[6]
THKP-C/MLSPB
United Freedom Forces

  • Women's Freedom Forces

Kurdistan Workers' Party

Opponent(s) Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant  Turkey[7]
Battles and war(s)Syrian Civil War
WebsiteTwitter
Flag
IRPGF Flag.svg
Insignia
International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces insignia.svg

The International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF) was a collective of anarchist fighters from around the world. Its formation was announced on 31 March 2017.[9] According to the group, their goals were to defend the social revolution in Rojava in northern Syria, and spread anarchism. The group announced its dissolution on 24 September 2018.[10]

The IRPGF are part of the International Freedom Battalion since April 2017.[11][12] Turkish media have described them as a terrorist organization and part of the network of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party.[13][14]

Formation[edit]

The IRPGF were created on 31 March 2017 with the purpose of defending the Revolution of Rojava and collaborating with the People's Protection Units and the Kurdistan Workers' Party against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. They also intend to advance anarchism in the Syrian region of Rojava and, according to them, to defend "social revolutions and social struggles" all over the world.[15]

The announcement was broadcast on video by the IRPGF in social networks along with a written statement specifying their objectives. In the video one can see several guerrilla fighters with their faces covered, carrying AK-47 rifles, RPG-7 rocket launchers, Soviet PK machine guns and explosives.[3] In the same video a fighter reads a statement; behind him are flags of the IFB. A black flag with the enclosed A, an Antifascist Action flag and the Red and Black flag.[16]

Ideology[edit]

The guerrillas' ideology was anarchist communism. Among its objectives was to defend the Rojava Revolution against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, the different jihadist groups of the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, and the Turkish occupation in Syria. The fighters say that their objectives are not constrained to Rojava, but they also have intentions to help in the struggles and social revolutions around the world. They also adhere to horizontal principles in their organization and "the struggle against all kinds of oppression" such as sexism, racism and classism, abolition of the State, capitalism and patriarchy.[17]

Affiliation[edit]

The group was a part of the International Freedom Battalion since April 2017, and they are the second anarchist group to join after the Greek unit RUIS. They participate frequently in the campaign activities of the brigade in social networks.

On 29 May, the IRPGF issued a statement in tribute to the commander of the United Freedom Forces Mehmet Kurnaz (Ulaş Bayraktaroglu), who was killed in combat on the Raqqa Front while fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. They define him as a true friend of IRPGF. On the 31st of the same month, the IRPGF sent representatives and speakers to the City of Derek (Canton of Cizîrê) at the funeral ceremony to four martyrs of the International Freedom Battalion and the People's Protection Units, Mehmet Kurnaz (Ulaş Bayraktaroglu) commander of the United Freedom Forces, Muzaffer Kandemir (fighter) of the United Freedom Forces, Elî Mihemed Mizil (Şêr Zagros) and Nimet Tûrûg (Baran Cudi) of the People's Protection Units.

Armed struggle and involvement in the Syrian Civil War[edit]

Their public presence has also been confirmed at multiple martyr ceremonies in Rojava over the past few months. Having fought alongside with the three most recent martyrs of the International Freedom Battalion, they were present at the funeral ceremonies for DKP leader and United Freedom Forces (BÖG) commander Ulaş Bayraktaroğlu, Tufan Eroğluer (Hasan Ali) from BÖG and Ayşe Deniz Karacagil (Destan Temmuz) from MLKP.[18][19][20]

The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army[edit]

The flag of the TQILA.

On 24 July 2017, the IRPGF announced from Raqqa City the formation of The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army (TQILA),[21] along with a statement explaining the purposes of its formation in which the response to persecution of LGBT persons by ISIL is highlighted as one of the main motivations of the group. The testimonial image of its formation, in which fighters posed alongside a sign with the motto "These faggots kill fascists" and two flags – one belonging to the recent group and an LGBT flag – that was quickly made viral by several western media that, surprised by the unit's creation, echoed the event with large repercussions.[29]

The recent unit, like the rest of the IRPGF, was a member of the International Freedom Battalion, in one of the testimonial photos is sighted Heval Mahirnota,[31] commander of the International Freedom Battalion, and the Marxist-Leninist guerrilla TKP/ML TİKKO, holding the LGBT flag. Despite being part of the International Freedom Battalion several media erroneously reported that TQILA could be an official unit of the Syrian Democratic Forces which caused confusion. Following the impact of this mistaken information Mustafa Bali, media director of the SDF, denied such information alleging that there is an LGBT brigade within the coalition, but does not deny the existence of the same which, indeed, belongs to the International Freedom Battalion.[32]

Interviews[edit]

The IRPGF has conducted major interviews with Middle East Eye,[33] CrimethInc.,[34] Enough is Enough, Insurrection News and Rojava Solidarity NYC

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview with the International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces". Kurdish Question. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  2. ^ "From #Raqqa to #LatinAmerica & those fighting #femicide: Without a woman's revolution, there is no revolution! #NiUnaMenos #JinJiyanAzadîpic.twitter.com/0DlZNfiA1r". IRPGF on Twitter. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Anarchists Fighting ISIS in Rojava Announce New Formation – It's Going Down". It's Going Down. 31 March 2017. Retrieved 5 July 2017. Today we announce the formation of the International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces, an explicitly anarchist, militant group in Rojava seeking to defend the Revolution and advance the cause of anarchism. The International Revolutionary People's Guerrilla Forces (IRPGF) 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.
  4. ^ Moore, Jack (25 July 2017). "First LGBT unit created to fight ISIS in Syria. Its name? The Queer Insurrection". Newsweek. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  5. ^ Kentish, Ben (25 July 2017). "'The Queer Insurrection': Coalition forces fighting Isis in Syria form first LGBT unit". The Independent. Retrieved 25 July 2017.
  6. ^ Rojava, TİKKO (13 June 2017). "Rojava'dan Kaypakkaya mesajlarıhttps://youtu.be/oguh1otMUj8". @RojavaTikko. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Nueva unidad kurda en Siria promete revolución en Turquía y EEUU - - HispanTV.com". HispanTV. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 5 June 2017.
  8. ^ "In #Tabqa we helped liberate a society imprisoned & controlled by fear & violence. But this tactic isn't unique to DAîŞ – it is used (1)pic.twitter.com/ufFAlT2xSG". @IRPGF. 11 June 2017. Retrieved 15 June 2017.
  9. ^ Vice Staff (June 2, 2017). "Greek Anarchists Are Helping Kurdish Forces Fight ISIS". Vice. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
  10. ^ https://twitter.com/IRPGF/status/1044124788833353728
  11. ^ "Siria, quei ragazzi venuti da mezzo mondo a combattere l'Isis". la Repubblica (in Italian). 2 June 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  12. ^ "В Рожаве создана новая организация партизан-анархистов | Новости Курдистана". kurdistan.today (in Russian). Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Bumerang etkisi: BATI'nın beslediği anarşistler PKK çatısı altında terörize oluyor". EHA MEDYA. 3 April 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Batı'nın karşısındaki terör tehdidi – Son Dakika Dünya Haberleri | STAR". Star.com.tr (in Turkish). Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  15. ^ "Nueva unidad kurda en Siria promete revolución en Turquía y EEUU - - HispanTV.com". HispanTV. 11 May 2017. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Nace la guerrilla anarquista "IRPGF" en Rojava para luchar por la revolución en Kurdistán y el mundo – Ruptura Colectiva (RC)". Ruptura Colectiva (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Nace la guerrilla anarquista "IRPGF" en Rojava para luchar por la revolución en Kurdistán y el mundo – Kaos en la red |Kaos en la red". kaosenlared.net (in Spanish). Retrieved 10 July 2017. Estamos comprometidos antifascistas, anticapitalistas, antiimperialistas, contra todas las formas del patriarcado y las jerarquías.
  18. ^ Four martyrs of Raqqa operation laid to rest, Derik, Cizire, ANF News, 1 June 2017, retrieved 6 June 2017, (Multimedia—Photography and video in which the IRPGF flag is observed in the formation of the IFB)
  19. ^ Ajansı, Etkin Haber (1 June 2017). "Bayraktaroğlu ve Rakka şehitleri son yolculuğuna uğurlandı Haber Detay". ETHA. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  20. ^ @TheBaseBK (2 June 2017). "Four martyrs of Raqqa operation laid to rest". Retrieved 8 June 2017. "Four martyrs of #Raqqa operation laid to rest." @IRPGF and other groups paying homage.
  21. ^ Pronounced About this sound[teˈkila]  like the word Tequila.
  22. ^ Esteban, Nacho (27 July 2017). "TQILA, un mal trago para la homofobia". HuffPost. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  23. ^ Wilkinson, Matt (25 July 2017). "Armed militia of gay men named The Queer Insurrection and Liberation Army are fighting homophobic Isis in Syria". The Sun. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  24. ^ Moore, Jack (25 July 2017). "First LGBT Unit 'Created to Fight ISIS' in Syria". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  25. ^ "Meet the LGBT anarchists who've gone to Syria to fight Isis". The Independent. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  26. ^ Lapin, Tamar (25 July 2017). "LGBT soldiers are going after ISIS in Syria". New York Post. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  27. ^ "LGBT army unit established to take on ISIL". Euronews. 25 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  28. ^ Borja, Rodrigo (27 July 2017). "La milicia LGTB que desafía al ISIS en Siria: "Estos maricas asesinan fascistas"". El Confidencial. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  29. ^ Newspapers both digital and physical, echoed the news such as HuffPost,[22] The Sun,[23] Newsweek,[24] The Independent,[25] New York Post,[26] Euronews,[27] El Confidencial[28] among others.
  30. ^ "Twitter de las IRPGF". 25 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017. TİKKO guerrilla & new IFB commander Heval Mahir is a dear friend of the IRPGF and supporter of Queer liberation.
  31. ^ Apparent nom de guerre[30]
  32. ^ "LGBT unit not officially part of SDF, says Kurdish official". Middle East Eye. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 28 July 2017. TQILA, which announced on Twitter its acronym name is pronounced "tequila", is a part of the IRPGF, an anarchist unit and a sub-group of the International Freedom Battalion of foreign fighters formed to assist the SDF.
  33. ^ "Anarchy in the YPG: Foreign volunteers vow Turkish 'revolution'". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 30 June 2017.
  34. ^ "IRPGF "The Struggle Is not for Martyrdom but for Life": A Critical Discussion about Armed Struggle with Anarchist Guerrillas in Rojava". CrimethInc.

External links[edit]