HDP statement on the invasion’s threat of Afrin’s canton and the city of Manbij in the Kurdish region.

The AKP government continues to be a threat to stability and democracy inside and outside its borders. While renewing systematically the state of emergency and by adopting decrees of laws that aim to restrict the functioning of Parliament and national institutions to better use these to its advantage, this government openly expresses its hostility towards the kurdish people and leads a general war against elected representatives and all democratic civil associations. This strategy resulted in the imprisonment of 9 MPs and thousands of members of our party.
Along with the intensification of these arbitrary and illegal arrests of our deputies, mayors and representatives of civil society, the AKP regime, in order to receive the support of the Turkish far right, expressed this Saturday its intention to occupy militarily the Kurdish region of Afrin and Manbij in the northern part of Syria.

In Idlib, islamist groups linked to the turkish state opened artillery fire against the Kurdish city of Afrin and targeted villages in the south of the canton of Afrin. The Turkish army also bombarded YPG (Kurdish defence forces fighting with the International Coalition against ISIS) positions in Dir Belot village near Siye. Late on Saturday the extremist groups and the Turkish army attacked Qere Baba, Ferferke and Pira Hesrekiya villages close to the Turkish border. The bombardment has been ongoing intermittently till today. Locals also reported new tank deployments in the area by the Turkish army.

Turkish troops entered Idlib three months ago after an agreement with Russia and Iran for the three countries to try to reduce fighting between pro-Syrian government forces and rebel fighters in the largest remaining insurgent-held part of Syria. But the few observation posts which the Turkish army says it has established are close to the dividing line between Arab rebel-held land and the Kurdish-controlled region of Afrin. Turkish authorities say they could drive Kurds out of Manbij, which lies west of the Euphrates.

Afrin is not a threat to Turkey and has not attacked anyone so far. The Turkish state is attacking Afrin because it is against the democratic forces gains. This reality must not be neglected and we call therefore the international community to prevent the Turkish state’s attacks otherwise it will lead to further civil unrest in Turkey and in Kurdistan and will increase the number of refugees across the region.

Eyyup Doru,

European representative of the HDP in Europe