Afrin in northern Syria: One year under Turkish occupation Vigil in front of US embassy
"Kurds and other minorities in northern Syria must be protected from Turkish attacks!" Thursday, January 17, 2019 (from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm) in front of the Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin. (Press Release)
Due to the fact that the Kurdish-administered north-east of Syria is threatened with being invaded by Turkish troops, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) will hold a vigil in front of the US embassy in Berlin on Thursday, to demand US President Donald Trump not to abandon the Kurds. The human rights organization – supported by Kurdish people living in Germany – aims to draw attention to the serious fate of the population of the Afrin region in northwestern Syria, which has been occupied by Turkish troops for one year. The people there are being harassed and persecuted by Islamists. In the course of the vigil, a delegation of STP-representatives and Kurds will take part in a meeting at the embassy, and they will hand over a letter of appeal and a memorandum on the situation in Afrin.
"Ever since NATO partner Turkey launched the attack against Afrin on January 20, 2018, resulting in the occupation of this region, we have been receiving reports of murder, kidnapping, mistreatment of women, arson, and raids in Afrin – almost every day. This must be stopped," stated Kamal Sido, the STP's Middle East correspondent. The international community cannot just stand by and watch these crimes, but must persuade the Turkish government under Recep Tayyib Erdogan to withdraw from Syria as soon as possible. Thousands of Kurds, Yazidi, Alevis, and Christians have lost their lives in the war over Afrin and the subsequent occupation. At least 3,000 people were kidnapped and around 250,000 expelled. Now, the Turkish government is encouraging radical Islamist families to settle in the region, thus changing the demographics of Afrin.
After Erdogan had taken control of the Kurdish region of Afrin in the north-west of Syria a year ago, he announced a new military offensive against the predominantly Kurdish YPG militia in the northeast of the neighboring country a few weeks ago. "The YPG – which mainly consists of Kurds, but also Assyrians/Aramaeans, Yazidis, Christians, and members of other ethnic groups – lost tens of thousands of fighters in the clashes with IS and other radical Islamists. Now, the women and men who, together with the US and the West, fought against IS must now be protected from Erdogan's troops and their Syrian Islamist allies," Sido demanded.
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