Call for urgent steps and action to prevent further crimes against humanity by the Turkish army in North and East Syria
Qamishlo, 10 October 2019
Dear General Secretary,
Dear members of the UNSC,
Since yesterday, 9 Oct 2019 the Turkish state has started its invasion and occupation war on the territory of Northern Syria. All night until now settlement places in the 460-kilometer boarder region between Giresipi (Tilebyat ) and Derik (Al-Malikiye) have been under continuing attacks of Turkish airstrikes and mortar shelling by the Turkish army. According to figures published by the Kurdish Red Crescent only during the first hours of the attacks at least 5 civilians were killed and 25 wounded – among them many women and children. At the present the Turkish army forces together with jihadist mercenary troops also try to invade on the ground while SDF forces are fighting to protect the people from massacres and other war crimes. At the same time IS sleeper cells got encouraged to start new attacks in Syria.
People from all different ethnic and religious communities living in this region are confronted with life threats. Families are fleeing to seek refuge without having a safe place to go as the attacks are spreading. Beside mainly Kurdish and Arab populated villages, especially the Christian neighborhoods of Qamishlo have been targeted. It is obvious that these attacks are carried out with the aim of ethnic cleansing and demographic change in the region. The Turkish occupation and war crimes in Afrin starting in the beginning of 2018 have been condoned by the international community until today. Therefore, Turkey strives now to expand its territory and impose its rule on further regions of North and East Syria breaching international law and the sovereignty of Syria.
Hereby, at the same time Turkey neglects the will of the peoples in the region that have been living peacefully together under democratic self-administration acknowledging especially will and rights of women. During 8 years of continuing crisis and war in Syria and being under prior attacks by the IS terror, the regions of the Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria have succeeded in ensuring human needs and democratic rights for all people in this region. Therefore hundred of thousands of war refugees from different regions of Syria found refugee here. Without any noteworthy support of UN organisations these refugees have been welcomed, protected and supported by the structures of the Autonomous Administration.
Against this background we clearly have to stress that the pretexts used by the Turkish state to legitimate its illegal war against our territory are not more than an open hypocrisy:
- The so-called “security doubts” of Turkey at the boarder-line were met by a joint security mechanism of the US, allied forces and Turkey on one side and the SDF, US and allied forces on the other side. Without any reason Turkey and the US annihilated this mechanism.
- The so-called “return of Syrian war refugees” in fact comprises the plan of ethnic cleansing by settling members of IS and other jihadist groups under Turkish influence in the boarder region.
While the Erdogan government openly announced its war and occupation plans the international community – including UN bodies – have failed to take adequate measures to prevent break of international law and protect the legitimate rights of the people in our region. The genocides of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians and Suryoye people in 1915 and the massacres against the Kurdish people in Dersim, Halebje, Nussaybin, Cizire, Afrin… are still in our minds.
Although the preparations for these crimes against humanity were carried out openly, the international community turned a blind eye and therefore became accomplices.
To prevent new genocides in the 21st century and crimes against humanity we call upon the UNSC and all relevant bodies of the international community to take urgent actions to
- Stop Turkey‘s invasion and occupation in North and Eastern Syria immediately
- Establish a No-Fly-Zone for the protection of the people’s lives in North and East Syria.
- Prevent further war crimes and ethnic cleansing by Turkish army forces, the IS, El Nusra and other jihadist terror organisations
- Stop weapon trade with Turkey
- Implement political and economical sanctions against Turkey
- Acknowledge the democratic Autonomous Administration of the people of North and East Syria
- Take immediate steps for a political solution of the crisis in Syria with the representation and participation of all different national, cultural and religious communities in Syria
Spokeswomen of Kongra Star