Sinn Féin have released this press statement condemning Turkey's war on Afrin with comments from Chris Hazzard MP, who spoke at our parliamentary meeting on Afrin
Failure to check Turkish aggression in Afrin is unacceptable - Hazzard
Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard MP has condemned Turkey’s ongoing attack on Afrin as ‘an illegal assault on humanity’ as the Turkish state continues to target the civilian population.
Following the defeat of Daesh in Syria and the liberation of Raqqa in October 2017, the Turkish state intensified its aggressive threats and attacks on the Democratic Confederation of Northern Syria. These aggressive threats have since escalated to a military assault on the people of Afrin.
The South Down MP said:
“Since the beginning of the Turkish assault on Afrin in January nearly 200 civilians have been killed and 500 injured, including many women and children.
“More than 30 schools, health clinics - including the Kurdish Red Crescent Health Centre - mosques, cemeteries and hundreds of residential areas have become the targets of the Turkish artillery in an attack that clearly disregards any notions of international law.
"Along with direct attacks on civilian settlements various water purification plants, bakeries and market places have been targeted by air-strikes. Historical heritage like the ancient Palace of Betal Aga in Jeleme has also been heavily damaged.
"Despite the horrendous situation that the people of Afrin are living in, they are not giving up. Solidarity and mutual aid have become the biggest weapons against Turkish aggression. People in the city center have opened their homes to shelter families displaced due to the attacks. Many people have been donating blood to cover the needs of the wounded and the Kurdish Red Crescent has distributed milk for the children.
Mr Hazzard added:
The Turkish government has been escalating its policies of repression inside and outside the fascist state day by day. Any voice against the war within Turkey is answered with imprisonment, with censorship and oppression by the state.
"What President Erdogan is trying to accomplish in Afrin is nothing short of ethnic cleansing. However the EU, the UN, and most of the western world have so far failed to take clear measures to stop Turkey's attack on Afrin which is breaking international and humanitarian law.
“It is time for solidarity in the face of such attacks; there can be no place for fascism in the world today."