Return to Rojava

By Giacomo Sini

This article appeared in the April issue of VICE magazine. Click HERE to subscribe.
During a ten-month siege that began in 2014, ISIS destroyed 70 percent of the buildings in Kobani, a city in the region of northern Syria called Rojava. Kurdish militias eventually expelled the group, and on March 17, 2016, Kurdish authorities and their allies declared Kobani and other cities in Rojava semi-autonomous "federal regions," which Syria's Foreign Ministry described as "unconstitutional and worthless." Nonetheless, despite ongoing attacks by ISIS and threats from President Bashar al-Assad, as many as 100,000 Kurdish Syrian civilians have returned, like the three mothers and their children (pictured above), who spent five months in a refugee camp in Turkey before coming home.