Turkish state’s aggression against North & East Syria will cause humanitarian disaster and resurgence of ISIS
Since the establishment of the democratic autonomous self-administration in North and East Syria, the border between Turkey and North and East Syria has been highly secured, and the no armed actions against Turkey have originated from this territory. It is clear that the Turkish state’s accusations of its borders with North and East Syria being threatened are not truthful. In talks mediated by the US administration between the democratic autonomous self-administration of North and East Syria and the Turkish state, the self-administration and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have demonstrated their willingness to work with all in the region for lasting peace. The self-administration has complied with the implementation of the Security Mechanism Agreement that coordinated efforts by US and Turkish forces around the border regions with the purpose of allowing the US-led coalition and SDF to remain focused on defeating ISIS.
As we have seen in yesterday’s statement released by the White House, US President Donald Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have violated the agreement negotiated between the democratic autonomous self-administration of North and East Syria and the Turkish state. This statement demonstrates that the US has seemingly abandoned the role of mediator and forsaken the North and East Syria, allowing an oasis of stability and coexistence in Syria to enter into another period of bloody conflict. Furthermore, the idea of handing over the responsibility for imprisoned ISIS fighters captured in North and East Syria over the past few years to the Turkish state is both ironic and ridiculous, as many of these fighters came from Turkey and were backed by the Turkish state in the first place. These 70,000 ISIS prisoners currently in the custody of the self-administration authorities, pose an immediate regional and international security risk as there is great danger of these prisoner populations acting as an incubator for the resurgence of the so-called Islamic State (ISIS).
A Turkish invasion and resultant security crisis will lay the groundwork for a revived ISIS which will target the democratic autonomous self-administration established by the peoples of the region and aim to replace it with a so-called Islamic state by means of genocide, feminicide and ethnocide, not only of the Kurds but also other ethnic and religious groups indigenous to the region, including Arabs, Christians (Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and Syriacs), Turkmens, Chechens, Alevites, and Yazidis. Many of these groups have, for the first time, been given a voice in their own affairs by the establishment of the democratic autonomous self-administration, and now face massacres at the hands of the Turkish military and their jihadist allies.
Erdogan has made his intentions regarding the Kurds of Syria clear to both US President Trump and the rest of the world. In June 2019 at a press conference following the conclusion of the G20 summit in Osaka, US President Trump stated, “[Erdogan] had a 65,000-man army at the border, and he was going to wipe out the Kurds, who helped us with ISIS,” and later continued, “And I called him and I asked him not to do it… And he didn’t do it.” The Turkish state under Erdogan’s leadership has openly pursued internal and external political strategies aimed at the elimination of the Kurdish people. Erdogan and his authoritarian regime represent totalitarian dictatorship, militarism and violent persecution of minorities, and the Kurds and their allies in North and East Syria stand for a democratic mindset and the promotion of gender equality and peaceful coexistence of all peoples and religions. More than 11,000 men and women from the security forces of North and East Syria gave their lives to liberate this region from ISIS, protect the peoples of North and East Syria and provide them with a better future, and over 22,000 more were wounded in this hard-fought campaign.
An invasion of the region by Turkish forces will create circumstances in which ISIS can be revived and commit crimes against humanity, once again becoming a threat to the entire Middle East, Europe and the world causing untold death and destruction and compelling millions to flee their homes and become refugees.
Therefore, we call upon the United Nations, European Union, Council of Europe, other members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, and the US Congress to take a clear stance against the Turkish state’s aspirations to invade and occupy North and East Syria.
We also call upon the international communities and civil society organizations worldwide to take action immediately against the threat of the revival of ISIS and the annihilation of the peoples of North and East Syria by the Turkish state.
Executive Council of KNK
8 October 2019