The details are sketchy. And in our era of Apple, we don’t have time for things on the screen that we cannot manipulate.
For those who care, more than by shedding crocodile tears, Arin Mirkan, pictured above with two children, was a Kurd soldier. She died on October 5th, defending her town of Kobanê, in Syria, a town that has been under siege since July 2014, and the centre of resistance against the horrific Isis faction, determined to break the Kurd stronghold and thus turn the tide in their favour.
Who knows what geopolitical games are being played, or who initially armed Isis, but the Turkish army is standing by on the other side of the border, literarily looking through a barbed wire fence, which makes them accessories to murder. The bombs that U.S. jets and perhaps Royal Air Force jets drop in predictably ineficient effort to keep Isis away from Kobanê have been exactly that: predictably inefficient.
The murderous cult of Isis are the ones who are beheading U.S. and British citizens — and, though not reported, citizens of Lebanon and surrounding countries. And Kurds, especially Kurds, and of the Kurds, especially Kurdish women.
“No friends but the mountains,” goes the Kurd saying. They are right. We have let them down so many times over the last century, the last decade and the last year that one can only shudder to think about it.
But this is not about the Kurd people, those brave people who were never given a country when everyone else was. This is about Arin Mirkan, who died defending Kurdistan.
The normally fair Independent newspaper in GB wrote in their headline that she had blown herself up, as a suicide bomber. That was alarmingly unfair. Arin was a professional soldier, who was part of the Kurdish Women’s Protection Unit (#YPJ), who often say they do not only represent women of Kurdistan but all women in this world.
Actually the represent more than that. They represent democracy, women’s rights, and you and me. They are the ones fighting our war. They have been subjected to the worst kind of treatment as a minority in Irak, Iran and Turkey, and were never given the ‘Kurdistan’ by the British and French governments they were promised when the Middle East was being carved up. Since then have shown themselves to be the only democratic people in the region—yet our sport is to continually let them down, usually with false promises first, in the Gulf wars, and in-between. Who can forget the massacres and then the refugees when they rose up against Sadam Hussain as encouraged to do by the U.S. government, only for that same government to turn their backs on them when crucial help in arnaments and food was needed? No wonder only the mountains are their friends.
Arin Mirkan was surrounded by Isis soldiers during battle in Kobanê on October the 5th. Rather than surrender she set off explosives, taking ten Isis thugs with her.
Arin was Kurd, and a Muslem, as nearly all Kurds are. She fought for her friends, for Kurdistan, her town, for women and for us. I for one will always keep a place in my heart for her. What a lovely woman.
I know Kobanê well, and have been researching the area for my latest book, which initially had a better outcome than the one the Kurds are facing right now; heavily outnumbered, they are on the verge of losing their city. They will not flee. That is not what the Kurds do. They will go down fighting, while the Turks watch on the other side of the fence, and we barely give it a thought.