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Kurds appeal for support as Turkey threatens invasion

KURDISH groups have warned Turkey’s authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan against attacking their forces in northern Syria and called for support from the international community.

The People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and other organisations, mostly based in Turkey, issued a joint statement today after Mr Erdogan threatened to strike against the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia on the pretext of creating a “safety buffer zone” in Syria.

Turkey’s plans for an incursion into the semi-autonomous region known as Rojava have nothing to do with border security but would constitute an “occupation,” they said.

Mr Erdogan has long threatened an attack, but he has been dissuaded by the United States agreeing to create a safe zone in north-eastern Syria, which would entail clearing the area of YPG forces.

However, Ankara has become frustrated at the lack of progress and Mr Erdogan announced on Sunday that he would send troops across the River Euphrates.

The parties, which also included the Kurdistan Communist Party, warned:  “Turkey is planning for a permanent occupation in Afrin, Qamishlo and Shengal. These are not ‘operations,’ this is an occupation.

“The planning, the stockpiling along the border and beyond, the outposts they set up and their practice in Afrin, Shehba and Xakurke are serious signs of a permanent occupation.”

With Turkey’s border security already guaranteed by Nato, the parties warned that the plans are driven by fears of Rojava evolving into a Kurdish state and Turkey’s Kurds gaining autonomy.

They insisted “war and occupation” will not solve the Kurdish issue and called for a “peaceful solution of issues on a democratic basis through dialogue with Kurdistan constituents.”

The groups called for people in Turkey to take a public stand against war.

“We are calling on the UN, Nato, Council of Europe, EU Council and international bodies to warn those who target with armed interventions and invasions … and contribute to the solution by saying political, democratic, peaceful solutions to issues are possible,” their statement said.

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