PES’s statement on Turkish military operation in north-western Syria

The recent operation of the Turkish Army in north-western Syria raises concerns about the fate of the civilian population in the region, and brings up difficult questions. The offensive by the Turkish armed forces may cause yet another wave of displaced civilians. Worse still, it may claim innocent lives.

The PES finds it difficult to answer the question of why Kurds in north-western Syria are currently under attack by the Turkish army, after they fought and gave their lives in the war against ISIS. The positive role of the Kurds in the fight against the armed forces of the so-called Islamic State was recognized by the international community and by the Global Coalition against ISIS.

Moreover, PES fears that this action may hinder the Geneva peace talks led by UN Envoy Staffan De Mistura, and shares the UN’s concern that the current military operation puts an estimated 323,000 civilians in Afrin at risk.