2 November 2019: Leicester Stand in support with Kurds in Rojava/Syria

We stand with the Kurdish people in Rojava, 22.10.2019 5.30pm, Clocktower Leicester UK

Kurds in northern Syria, Rojava, are under attack from NATO member the Turkish government, with weapons and reportedly chemical weapons. Turkey is determined to clear the Kurds out of their homelands in Syria along the border between Syria and Turkey, while the international community stands by.

UK stopped new contracts for the sale of weapons but those already made will continue, and these weapons will potentially kill Kurds in Syria.

Urgent action is necessary to stop further Turkish invasion of the Kurdish area in Syria; and to take back responsibility for British fighters with ISIS connections currently held captive by the Kurds in Syria.

Background information:
The Government of Turkey took over Afrin in the Kurdish area of Syria in 2018 and relocated their allies from Idlib who are fighters with ISIS and related organisations, into Afrin causing the Kurdish population to be uprooted from their homelands, kidnapping and torturing them, and destroying their cultural icons.

Turkey is now further invading the Kurdish areas in Syria forcing Kurds to move from their homelands or face potential genocide.

ISIS-related foreign fighters are held captive by the Kurds in northern Syria because the Kurds have been organised and on the ground, fighting the takeover by Turkey’s allies in ISIS and its related groups, as a result of which the Kurds have been left holding many foreign fighters at the Kurds’ expense because the countries these people come from will not take them back, UK included.

We call for the UK Parliament to speak out with an urgent and loud voice:
• To condemn the actions of the Turkish Government and the threats to further invade the Kurdish areas in northern Syria,
• to take non-violent but persuasive economic and other political action including withholding intelligence information and preventing any sales of weapons, to ensure that Erdogan and his Government know it will not be in their interests to take further action against the Kurds in Syria.
• To engage with the Syrian Democratic Council to ask what support may be needed to encourage stability in the area .
• To instruct the Foreign Office to take urgent steps to bring back to UK the British Citizens currently held captive as a result of their attachment to ISIS and thereby relieve Kurds of the burden of managing their confinement

Erdogan threatened to crush the heads of what he called Kurdish fighters on Tuesday 22.10.2019 if they do not leave Sere Kaniye (also known as Ras al-Ayn). The SDF plans to leave the area to protect the lives of those who live there. Civilians have already been attacked, and medical support was initially prevented from entering the area.
Erdogan’s forces were indiscriminate in their attacks on Kurds in Afrin last year. There is no reason to expect that Sere Kaniye will be any different on Tuesday.

There needs to be an international inquiry into the treatment of Kurds in Rojava.

Any donations should be given to Heyva Sor, the Kurdish Red Crescent who provide humanitarian support on the ground: http://www.heyvasoruk.org/donations/donate-to-heyva-sor-a-kurdistane-e-v