Civilians should not pay the price of looming war in Idlib

We now see that social and political breakdown has deepened with the involvement of foreign gangs/fighter groups and states in the Syrian war which has continued since 2011 and caused great damage, especially to the civilian population.

The military build-up that the Assad Regime has recently increased around Idlib indicates that the region will witness the most violent clashes in recent years. According to UN reports, the civilian population has faced the worse damage in the Syrian civil war, where nearly 400 thousand people have died to date. None of the sides involved in the war is taking responsibility for these major losses. And yet, it is clear that none of the sides exerts adequate effort to evacuate the civilians in Idlib to safe zones.

As HDP, we regard the security of civilians as a principal issue, and we expect all parties, especially the UN, to deal with this issue with the same sensitivity. We insist that international forces should take necessary measures to initiate a process in Syria to protect civilians.

The Syrian civil war can only end with the participation of all local parties, and with no influence and pressure of foreign powers. In order to rebuild a democratic and pluralistic Syria, the international community, especially the UN, must fulfil its responsibilities on the basis of sustainable peace. However, the statements and apparent positions regarding Idlib of all parties have raised the tension and continue to threaten the lives of civilians.

Thus, we demand from all parties to adopt an approach that prioritizes the safety of civilians. It is necessary for an independent observation force to step in to conduct the evacuation of the civilians from the region, and all parties to the conflict should focus on diplomatic methods. All parties should cooperate in order to neutralize the groups in Idlib which are responsible for numerous war crimes and crimes against humanity. As HDP, we;

– emphasize once again: Instead of restraining the Syrian peoples within new borders, we support the rebuilding of the Syria under a new constitution which will be truly unifying, democratic and autonomous.

– support every step which will ensure the safe and peaceful return of forcibly displaced Syrians.

– emphasize once again that international forces should adopt a positive approach in order to create an inhabitable Syria with sustainable social peace.

We urge all the neighbours of Syria including Turkey to refrain from attempts that will cause ethnic and sectarian discrimination and thus interfere with Syria’s internal affairs. We call upon all the parties in the conflict, and especially the AKP government, to drop all attempts that will deepen the destruction by transferring foreign fighters in Syria and providing logistics support. We demand that the UN should investigate war crimes caused by the AKP government such as enforced displacements, looting of cities and civilian massacres in the Syrian territories including Afrin, Jarabulus, Al Bab and Azaz.

Pervin Buldan & Sezai Temelli 
HDP Co-Chairs
September 7, 2018