American Anarchist and Wobbly killed by Turkey while fighting ISIS in Rojava
mashriq / arabia / iraq |
Saturday December 03, 2016 16:14 by Various
Selection of articles on the murder of anarchist Michael Israel, together with volunteer Anton Leschek, while fighting with the YPG against ISIS fascists in Rojava. They were bombed by Turkish airplanes.
AMERICAN ANARCHIST KILLED FIGHTING ISIS IN ROJAVA
The US volunteer with the YPG militia who fell fighting ISIS in Rojava this week was an anarchist and a member of the Industrial Workers of the World. He fell victim to a Turkish airstrike which was directed at Kurdish fighters who have been beating back the religious fascists of ISIS.
Last August, shortly after retuning to Rojava, Mike Israel had posted
"With Manbîc liberated, YPG and YPJ are one step closer to cutting off ISIS from their ability to transporting supplies and people from their support base across the Turkish border. Once this supply route for them has been cut off, ISIS will be completely isolated.
For those of you in the West, this means they will no longer be able to transfer their personal with ease into the European states.
Rojava has taken the lead in making the lives of those of you far beyond their borders safe from these fascists. Please don't forget the sacrifices Rojava has made in fighting back and containing ISIS gangs."
Two weeks later he wrote
"Nice one USA. After YPG push ISIS out of Manbîc and liberate the area, you stand by while the Turkish state makes an incursion into Syria and make demands that Rojava's forces now withdraw from all ground they've freed from the enemy."
Mike is on the left in the top photo and wearing blue in the centre of the bottom photo. The red booklet in his hand is his IWW membership card.
International YPG Volunteers Fighting ISIS Killed by Turkish Warplanes - Updated
People's Protection Units (YPG) volunteers, American Michael Israel (Robin Agiri, 27) from California and German Anton Leschek (Zana Ciwan), were killed by Turkish warplanes on 24 November according to another international volunteer fighting alongside the pair against the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS/ISIL), west of Manbij. [updated].
On his Facebook page, the international volunteer, who was amongst the group killed by Turkish warplanes wrote:
"We were taking a small village when we got hit by Turkish jets in the night. Two of my friends, Anton and Michael were killed among many others. I'm staying to finish out my six months. Fuck Erdogan and Fuck Turkey.
The YPG have informed both men's families.
Another of Micheal Israel's comrades posted the following message on his Facebook page:
"It's with a heavy heart that I learn today heval [friend] Michael Israel has passed away fighting ISIS as a volunteer with the YPG in Rojava. Michael was a man of extremely powerful convictions; an inspiring, idealistic fighter who struggled unlike any other for a better world, not just for a better Kurdistan and a better America. He spent his whole life fighting systems of injustice that deny peace, and trekked the states spreading awareness against the Iraq war. He conferred his experiences and lessons from both Syria and the states with everyone. He died the very way he lived, and his legacy is an example of how a true revolutionary should be. History will exalt him as one of the greatest of our generation, like many others. He taught me a lot, I'll never forget him. Rest in power heval
According to reports Michael Israel was a socialist (updated) and member of IWW (Industrial Workers of the World).
In a Facebook post on 11 August 2016, Israel, who had spent two stints in Rojava wrote:
"I am back in Rojava again and will be here for the next several months to do my part in defending the revolution.
The Rojava struggle is the most dynamic and ground breaking revolutionary movement of our time. I am determined that it is the job of leftist allies and internationalists to rally behind this movement, to help build it up and learn from it. Things that we may have only dreamed of in theoretical writing are acted upon in Rojava, modified and adapted to their struggle and made real. Rojava is doing this all and reorganizing society despite the chaos and destruction of 5 years of civil war. The gains of the revolution under such austere and harsh conditions is truly remarkable.
Now that I am back in Rojava, I know all my needs will be met. Here I will never be in want of basic necessities for lack of money. I, like all others in Rojava, will never go without food and water, clothing or a place to rest my head at night. The movement takes care of people here.
That is not to say though that Rojava and the rest of Syria do not need help though.
I’m calling on all of my friends and comrades to learn about the Rojava revolution and how they have been leading the charge in the war against ISIS fascists. I’m calling on all of you who are able, to do your part in helping or sending donations so that this revolution may become stronger with the aid of the international community."
Michael Israel becomes the 5th American YPG volunteer to be killed in battle against the Islamic State in Rojava but the first to be killed by Turkish fire.
Anton Leschek is the 4th German to be killed in the ranks of the Kurdish forces.
It is not known how many other fighters of the YPG, a leading force in the multi-ethnic SDF which launched the 'Wrath of Euphrates' operation to liberate Raqqa from IS, were killed in the aerial attack.
MMC Statement on Michael Israel and Anton Leschek, Killed in Turkish Airstrikes in Syria
The Manbij Military Council has made a statement about the two internationalist volunteers who died in Turkish airstrikes recently.
Michael Isreal (Robin Agiri) from the U.S. and Anton Leschek (Zana Ciwan) from Germany were killed by Turkish airstrikes on 24 November 2016.
The statement said both men had remained in Manbij following the liberation of the city from the Islamic State group on 15 August to "assist local Manbij units defending the region. Especially when an occupying actor had entered the scene of the Syrian war, these volunteers who had not tolerated terror and oppression, could not accept Turkish occupation threatening Manbij and northern Syria.
The statement said Michael Israel had joined the revolution in July 2016 with the motivation "to protect the peoples' revolution of Rojava and fight the enemies of the struggle.
Anton Leschek was described as a "fearless youth from Germany
" who had joined the Manbij Military Council in September 2016.
Leschek is quoted as saying, "It's a true fight in Rojava for me, because here people neither surrender to tyranny nor to terror. I will support this democratic revolution to the end.
The statement confirms that both men were killed in Turkish airstrikes in western Manbij on 24 November where "the council continues to put up a fierce resistance against occupying Turkish army and its affiliated terrorists.
Turkey, alongside Islamist Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups, launched the Euphrates Shield Operation 10 days after the liberation of Manbij from the IS, on 24 August.
Although the operation was allegedly launched to oust the Islamic State group from the area it is has increasingly targeted Syrian Democratic Forces' positions, which the MMC is a part of.
Commentators have said Turkey wants to prevent Kurdish gains in the region as well as weaken the democratic system being created in northern Syria.
Kurdish military figures have claimed Turkey aims to create a mini Sunni state in the areas it has occupied.
Recently Turkey President Erdogan stated they had entered Syria to "end Assad's rule."