Skip to main content

Rojava leader: Turkey cannot stop Kurds from advancing in Syria

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Fawza al-Yusuf, a board member of the Democratic Federal System for Rojava-Northern Syria, spoke about the battle for Raqqa, Turkey's involvement in the conflict and Syria's future.

QAMISHLI, Syria — Fawza al-Yusuf, a Syrian Kurd from a modest family, left northern Syria as a teenager and student in 1991, fearful of arrest for her political activities. She joined the uprising that broke out in the Kurdish areas of southeastern Turkey in 1977 and remains ongoing, calling herself Zakho Zaghrous after Zakho, a city in Iraqi Kurdistan, and Mount Zaghrous, which dominates the mountain range between the Iranian- and Iraqi-ruled Kurdish regions.

Yusuf's family was like many others in Rojava, as Kurds call Syrian Kurdistan. She and her three sisters all joined the Kurdish uprising in Turkey, considering it the only way to stand up to the oppression they faced. Fawza’s older sister, Roza, who took the name of another Kurdistan mountain, Joodi, as her nom de guerre, was killed during the Iraqi-Kurdish civil war in 1995.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.