Kongreya Neteweyî ya Kurdistan Kurdistan National Congress
Congrès National du Kurdistan, Rue Jean Stas 41 1060 Bruxelles tel: 00 32 2 647 30 84 fax: 00 32 2 647 68 49
Turkish army and Al-Qaeda in action after Erdogan’s orders
Hayet Al-Tahrir (previously known as Al-Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda) in Idlib opened artillery fire against the Kurdish city of Afrin right after Erdogan’s statements on Saturday. The extremist groups targeted Iska and Celeme villages in the south of the canton of Afrin.
The Turkish army also bombarded YPG (Kurdish defence forces fighting with the International Coalition against ISIS) positions in Dir Belot village near Siye.
Late on Saturday the extremist groups and theTurkish army attacked Qere Baba, Ferferke and Pira Hesrekiya villages close to the Turkish border.
Local sources stated that the Turkish army, stationed in the Azaz area in the western countryside of Aleppo, targeted the villages of Shera district in Afrin canton with mortars. Till now, seven mortars have been fired, one of them fell among the civilians’ houses in Kafar Jannah village, while the other mortars fell among the olive trees and the road between Qetma and Kafar Jannah villages in the district that resulted in material damage.
The bombardment has been ongoing intermittently till today. Locals also reported new tank deployments in the area by the Turkish army.
Turkish troops entered Idlib three months ago after an agreement with Russia and Iran for the three countries to try to reduce fighting between pro-Syrian government forces and rebel fighters in the largest remaining insurgent-held part of Syria. But the few observation posts which the Turkish army says it has established are close to the dividing line between Arab rebel-held land and the Kurdish-controlled region of Afrin.
In 2016 Turkey launched its Euphrates Shield military offensive in northern Syria to push back Islamic State from the border and drive a wedge between the Kurdish controlled regions.
“With the Euphrates Shield operation, we cut the terror corridor right in the middle. We hit them one night suddenly. With the İdlib operation, we are collapsing the western wing,” Erdogan said, referring to Afrin.
He also said Turkey could drive Kurds out of Manbij, which lies west of the Euphrates.
People of Manbij protest Turkish invasion
People of Manbij organized a protest against Turkey and other foreign powers that want to create turmoil in the region.
Several hundred people took to the streets in Manbij on Sunday to protest Turkish policies in the region.
Protestors gathered together in El-Beta junction and marched on the streets of the city with banners that read “No to Turkish occupation”, “Rise up for the sake of love of Syria and peace”, “No to oppression, yes to peace and brotherhood of the people”.
Protestors carried flags of the Syrian Democratic Forces and chanted slogans that condemned Turkey.
Manbij was liberated from ISIS back in 2016 by the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Our call and demands to the international community:
- Afrin has been one of the most stable and secure regions in Syria over the past five years. With this in mind, the city has taken in as much as its original population in IDPs. The UN and the International Coalition must ensure the continuation of Afrin’s stability and security. Afrin must be protected against external attacks.
- Afrin is not a threat to Turkey and has not attacked anyone. The Turkish state is attacking Afrin because it is against the Kurds and Kurdish gains. This reality must not be neglected and the Turkish state’s attacks must be prevented.
- Russia, who is responsible for Afrin’s air space, must not be a spectator to Turkey’s attacks and must prevent any such show of aggression.
- The attacks of the Turkish state against Afrin, Rojava and north Syria as a whole is beneficial for ISIS and other Salafist groups. The International Coalition Against ISIS must take precautions against this and must prevent the Turkish army’s attacks.
- The Turkish state is an occupying force in Syria. The international community must not be a spectator to this situation and the Turkish army must be made to leave Syrian soil.