The Turkish offensive in north-east Syria has started. Villages and cities alongside the border have been bombed and are under fire of artillery. Turkish troops are entering Syria to fight, with the help of mainly Arab loyal militias, mainly Kurdish forces. Reportedly one aim is to create a “safe zone”, to be emptied for the “resettlement” of 2 million Syrian refugees that are now residing in Turkey.
Terrified civilians are fleeing towards the south. Our Syrian partners and friends are working and preparing for providing shelter for refugees from the war zones; they warn of the consequences of the military action and call for international solidarity with the civilians and international action to stop the military offensive immediately.
PAX fully supports their call. We express our solidarity with all civilians in the war zones in Syria: the people in north-east who are currently being attacked, and the 3 million people in Idlib who are under attack. We also express our solidarity with Syrian refugees in Turkey who are in danger of being deported to Syria. We especially express solidarity with our brave partners and friends in North East Syria who are doing everything they can to help civilians in need and to prevent further tensions between the different groups.
PAX especially warns for the fate of Kurdish civilians in the North East of Syria. Like last year in Afrin, the Turkish offensive is carried out with the help of some Arab militias that have been very clear about their intentions toward Kurdish fighters and civilians. On social media videos are being spread that call for the “killing of infidels”. This kind of hate speech and potential targeted violence is clearly dangerous and unacceptable.
PAX calls furthermore for:
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