Thousands protest Turkish strikes on Kurdish teams in Syria


Thousands of Kurds protested on Sunday within the Syrian metropolis of Qamishli towards Turkish cross-border strikes focusing on Kurdish teams within the nation’s northeast, an AFP photojournalist mentioned.

One week in the past Turkey started a barrage of air strikes towards the semi-autonomous Kurdish zones in north and northeastern Syria, and throughout the border in Iraq.

It has additionally threatened a floor offensive in these areas of Syria.

The strikes got here after a November 13 bombing in Istanbul that killed six individuals and wounded 81 and that Ankara blamed on the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which it and its Western allies take into account a terrorist group.

The PKK has waged an insurgency towards the Turkish state since 1984. Turkey alleges that Syrian Kurdish fighters are the PKK’s allies.

Kurdish teams denied any involvement within the Ankara blast.

Demonstrators in Kurdish-controlled Qamishli in Hasakeh province on Sunday brandished photographs of individuals killed over the past strikes within the semi-autonomous area, the AFP photojournalist mentioned.

They carried Kurdish flags alongside photographs of PKK chief Abdullah Ocalan — jailed in Turkey since 1999 — and protesters shouted slogans towards Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

They additionally chanted in favour of the resistance in “Rojava” — the identify Kurds in Syria give to the realm they administer.

“Only the will of the Kurdish people remains,” protester Siham Sleiman, 49, instructed AFP. “It will not be broken and we remain ready. We will not leave our historic land.”

Another demonstrator, Salah el-Dine Hamou, 55, mentioned: “The message that we want to convey to the world is that we are victims of eradication.

“How lengthy will we proceed to die whereas different nations watch?”

The Turkish raids have killed at least 58 Kurdish fighters and Syrian soldiers, as well as a Kurdish journalist, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has an extensive network of sources in Syria.

Turkey’s military has conducted three offensives against Kurdish fighters and jihadists since 2016 and already captured territory in northern Syria, held by Ankara-backed Syrian proxies.

US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), now the Kurds’ de facto army in the area, led the battle that dislodged Islamic State group jihadist fighters from the last scraps of their Syrian territory in 2019.