Stop the Turkish Invasion of South Kurdistan (Iraqi Kurdistan)

Kurdistan National Kongress (KNK) Statement:

The Kurds in Iraq and Syria have been engaged in an epic battle against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, an organisation that stands in opposition not only to the Kurds, but also to the region as a whole, in its attempts to create a Salafist system. This attempt poses an immense threat to humanitarian values, beliefs and democratic norms. In the war against this barbaric gang the Kurds have played a deeply significant role, opening the path for their final defeat. Today, ISIS is losing ground and their capacity to threaten the West, especially the EU countries, has been significantly reduced.

However, the AKP government, which has been complicit with ISIS in its barbaric attacks, is not satisfied and having realised that it could not neutralise the Kurdish Freedom Movement with ISIS, has begun a more direct attack. It now aims to destroy all the gains and progressive developments made by the Kurds in both the South and West of Kurdistan.

The Turkish state’s illegal bombing and invasion of Afrin in Northern Syria

The Turkish state has illegally bombed and invaded Afrin, a Kurdish-majority region which had been a peaceful oasis in a war-torn country, a site of refuge, and stronghold of the democratic confederal project. This criminal invasion has led to hundreds of deaths and a further wave of mass displacement. Most alarming are the indications of plans for full-scale ethnic cleansing of Kurds.

Turkey’s potential invasion of Iraqi Kurdish territory

There are increasing signs of an imminent full-scale invasion of Iraqi Kurdish territory, including the mountainous Qandil region of northern Iraq, in an attempt to further encircle and strangle the only place of freedom in the region. Turkish warplanes have carried out frequent bombing campaigns in the Kurdish areas ( Metina, Avasin, Zap, Basyan, Gare, Xakurk and Kandil) in Kurdistan- northern Iraq and have killed many civilians.

Representatives of the Kurdish people have repeatedly raised their fears and called upon all governments and international organisations (the UN, NATO, the EU and the Arab League) to prevent Turkey’s military border incursions and violations of Iraqi sovereignty.

As yet there has been no international response, and the state of Turkey is emboldened to make further incursions and to attempt to take control of the region by deploying additional troops and establishing new military bases ( in addition to the 18 bases already established) and intelligence outposts in the region. With the Turkish Gendarmerie engaging in military parades in the villages within the Sidekan district of the province of Diyana, region of Hewler (the capital of KRG) governorate, it is clear they are treating the occupied land as their own territory.

Break the silence against Turkey’s invasion of Kurdistan

We call on all relevant bodies (political parties, human rights organisations, trade unionists and activists) to stand with us and take action against this violation of international law, to unambiguously condemn this crime of aggression, and to demand that Turkey withdraws its troops from Kurdistan.

We call upon all governments and international organisations (the UN, NATO, the EU and the Arab League) as well as the world’s democratic peoples, to oppose this Turkish aggression.

Kurdistan National Kongress (KNK)

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