Kurdistan Parliament condemns Turkish offensive in Syria

Kurdistan Parliament building in Erbil (File)

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SULAIMANI — The Kurdistan Parliament met on Tuesday (October 15) for a meeting to discuss the situation in northeastern Syria and the crisis facing the civilian population there.

During remarks from the Parliamentary leadership and individual lawmakers, there was a unity of concern and solidarity for those affected by the offensive being carried by Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies.

During the session, the Parliament voted to endorse a twelve-point resolution on the issue.

In the text, it stated its opposition to war and concern that the intervention would cause regional instability and encourage the resurgence of Islamic State. It called on the international community to intervene immediately and for all military forces to withdraw immediately for the sake and welfare of civilians.

Additionally, it called on the UN, European Union, and regional organizations to enter into dialogue to end the intervention, demanded that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and international humanitarian organizations prepare to support an expected influx of refugees, and called on the Iraqi government to devote funds to meet the needs of the displaced.

It also asserted that the Kurdistan Parliament’s lawmakers and people saw it as a “national duty” to welcome refugees from northeastern Syria and expressed its concern that the human rights abuses that took place in Afrin would be repeated.

The resolution said that the Kurdistan Region President Nechirvan Barzani should work with officials in Baghdad, the Region’s parties, and diplomatic partners to bring about peace.

Given recent developments where the Syrian regime began to take over some security responsibilities along the border and in other areas of northeastern Syria, the Parliament’s resolution also called for the rights of “Kurds and other nations” to be preserved within the framework of the Geneva and Astana processes and under the new Syrian constitution.

The resolution also referenced persistent tension between some Kurdish parties in Syrian Kurdistan and the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP).

“[The resolution] asks all Kurdish forces in Rojava to turn their backs on narrow party politics [and] ideologies, to enter new era of cooperation for greater interests of Kurdistani people in Rojava on foundations of peace democracy coexistence [and] standing against terrorism [and] to start a new chapter,” the Parliament said in a tweet summarizing the text.

Ninety-seven of Parliament’s 111 MPs were present during the session and all but one voted in favor of the resolution. There was one abstention.

Last week Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies launched an offensive into northeastern Syria, killing dozens and displacing upwards of 160,000.

The Turkish offensive was widely condemned with the US preparing to institute sanctions and many European states halting weapons sales to their NATO ally.

(NRT Digital Media)

This story was updated at 3:11 p.m. EBL