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Jul 10, 17

American Anarchist Killed in Battle to Liberate Raqqa from ISIS

According to the IRPGF (International Revolutionary People’s Guerrilla Forces), an anarchist militia fighting within the Rojava revolution against ISIS in so-called Syria, an anarchist from the United States, Heval Demhat (nom de guerre) has been killed during the struggle to liberate Raqqa in Syria from ISIS control.

Heval was interviewed by ANF News about his decision to come to Rojava and fight against ISIS and for the Rojava revolution. He stated that he had just started a family and also worked as a wielder. He gave the following statement:

“In 2014, that was when Kobanê was under siege and everybody I knew was kind of watching and waiting. It was a tense sort of moment. But as the fight started to turn, people got hopeful, more people started turning up. I had friends that left and came to help.

And I’d just started a family, so I hadn’t bought the plane ticket just yet, but it was something on my mind. Last year, a buddy of mine, who I was really close with, came out here. And when I saw him out here, I was like ‘That’s it! I got it. I got to go’. I talked with my partner and my family and I’m like, “I’m going to Syria, it’s something I care about”. And I got in contact with the YPG international. I had friends who told me exactly what I need to do, and I started to plan for it. And then I showed up about five months ago and held through it.”

For Demhat, “It’s been the political struggle that’s been going on in the region. Watching it develop over time and seen a real chance to take a hand, take a hand in something. And that’s really important for the region. [For[ me it’s not just important for just the Kurds. It’s important for the Middle East to have something like this take hold and work.”

The American fighter remarks that contributing to the revolution is a very big part of all why he is here, adding: “It’s also about setting an example. I mean, this is a fire that may have started here but it can, you know, kindle elsewhere. There can be other people that learn from the examples, there can be other people that welcome the example and hopefully things develop in an important progressive sort of way towards a better region.”

Demhat points out that most people in America don’t know about Rojava, they don’t know at all about Kurdistan, he continues: “You don’t see Kurdistan on a globe. Anywhere, it doesn’t show up, you know. You have to Google it to really know what it is. And the only way you’d google it is if someone told you, “Oh! Have you heard about the Kurdish liberation movement. Oh! My son is fighting in Kurdistan right now.” My family only knows about this [place] because I told them I’m going. Otherwise, they would have continued on with their lives without knowing about Kurdistan.

According to Demhat, it is always easy to get people motivated for big, drastic actions like war and conflict because it seems important, it seems “some sort of thing that you really have to fight for because there’s a real consequence to not fighting.”

Meanwhile in Raqqa, a bloody battle ensues between various forces, in an attempt to retake the city from ISIS control. Follow IRPGF for more updates.

It is with a great honor and respect that we remember Heval Şehîd Demhat and send our utmost revolutionary respect and solidarity to the IRPGF and the Kurdish liberation movement. His fight is our fight, to learn more about Kurdistan and anarchism in practice check out and an interview Crimethinc did with the IRPGF

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