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Syria Five-day protest highlights Turkish aggression in Afrin

A FIVE-DAY protest outside Downing Street organised by Defend Afrin Platform has come to an end.

The platform, consisting of various Turkish and Kurdish community groups and activists, staged the demo for nine hours each day before it ended yesterday.

Campaigners aimed to inform members of the public about Turkey’s invasion of Afrin region in north-west Syria.

A spokesman for Defend Afrin, who is originally from Syria, said the Kurdish-administered region was “peaceful, democratic and has equality rights” and that is why it had been targeted by the Turkish military.

Henry, a protester and a young member of the Kurdish community in London, said the demonstrations had been “effective" but they were “not being loud enough.”

He said: “We were out here every day but to the government it’s nothing, just random civilians shouting.”

Another young activist, Gulizar, called for the public to join them in future protests to be a “voice” for the many civilians in Afrin.

She said the demos were important as “there’s so many people in London who don’t know what’s going on.”

On January 20, the Turkish government launched an unprovoked invasion against the people of Afrin in violation of international law.

Its invasion, including widespread air strikes and shelling, have killed hundreds and forced thousands to flee.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has repeatedly said he would “cleanse” the region, has also been accused of recruiting al-Qaida-linked fighters who have indiscriminately killed, looted and terrorised the civilian population.

The British government supports Turkey’s attack, claiming it has the right to defend its borders. Theresa May recently signed a major arms deal with the Turkish government, despite evidence of its use of weapons against civilians.

The Defend Afrin Platform are calling for an end to Turkey’s invasion of Syria and for the government to stop the arms trade to Turkey and other bloody regimes in the Middle East.

Campaigners also want an independent investigation into war crimes in the region and for humanitarian support for civilians in Syria.

A London demonstration will be held on March31 at 2pm. Protesters will gather outside Marble Arch station before marching to Parliament Square.


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