“Turkish invasion against Afrin violates international law”

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“The Turkish attacks and invasion against Afrin, canton of the autonomous Region of Rojava – Northern Syria, part of the sovereign State of Syria, are an aggression violating international law”, said author and economist Thomas Benedikter.

Author and economist Thomas Benedikter spoke to the ANF about the Turkish state’s invasion operation against Afrin that has left one month behind amid intensifying attacks and clashes.

Remarking that Afrin has been one of the most safe and stable regions in Syria during the 7 years of war in Syria, Benedikter recalled that the region has welcomed and accommodated hundreds of thousands of refugees in a number equal to its own population. He said: “Afrin did not bring forward any operations on Turkish territory, but its political leadership along with the leadership of the whole Region of Rojava Northern Syria has repeatedly assured that its military forces are exclusively for self-defence purposes of the democratic federation of Northern Syria.”

Benedikter agrees that the Turkish attacks and invasion against Afrin, canton of the autonomous Region of Rojava – Northern Syria, part of the sovereign State of Syria, are an aggression violating international law. He underlines that; “Bombing civilian population, destroying defence structures, productive areas and public infrastructure is a violation also of the fundamental values and principles of the Council of Europe to which Turkey is a member. Furthermore, Turkey’s aggression against Afrin and Rojava in violation of international law is unacceptable for the alliance of democratic States NATO. Not only should this war of aggression be condemned by the UN, but the Turkish leadership should also be subjected to the International Court of Justice. Turkey, member-state of the Council of Europe, is to be held responsible for crimes and terror under international humanitarian law against the Kurdish people, other ethnic and religious minorities of that region, the Arab population at large and refugees hosted in the Autonomous region.”

Pointing out that the SDF and YPG of Rojava not only have preserved the stability and security of the autonomous Region of Rojava, but have also decisively contributed to defeat Da’esh (IS), Benedikter continued; “As ground forces in cooperation with the alliance fighting Da’esh these forces bore the main burden with heavy losses in lives. Now they are under attack of a State, which has deliberately contributed to the rise and spread of IS-terror-regime in Syria and Iraq. Millions of Europeans, thousands Tyroleans are ashamed that the European governments are not actively supporting and acting in solidarity with Rojava-Northern Syria to put an immediate stop on Turkish terror in Afrin. We deeply regret the silence and passivity in large parts of the public opinion and civil society in Europe, forgetting the Kurdish victims in the war against IS. We call upon the US, Russia and the UN to act immediately to protect the population of Rojava, first of all installing a no-fly-zone over Afrin and the whole area of Northern Syria.”

The Autonomous Province of Bozen – South Tyrol has expressed its solidarity with the population and the democratic experiences in Rojava – Northern Syria with its resolution n.663/206, approved on 15.9.2016 in the local Parliament. The Autonomous Council and Government of South Tyrol will reiterate its solidarity with the Kurds and other minority groups sharing the area of Rojava and Northern Syria in March 2018.

“The local NGOs are pressing these institutions to actively engage with the Italian Parliament and Government in order to preserve and defend the democratic confederalism of Rojava and its free, multicultural, secular, democratic region in a future federal and democratic Syria. We called upon the local autonomous Government, besides its political solidarity, to take all possible steps to ensure active and concrete support for Rojava – Northern Syria, especially on humanitarian basis”, Thomas Benedikter added.

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