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Last update on the text: July 25, 2018

Turkey is currently occupying the Kurdish North Syrian region of Afrin, a democratically self-administrated region governed by locally-elected councils, and temporary home to over 250,000 internally displaces persons (IDPs) from the other Syrian cities.

In January of 2018, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to destroy Afrin Region, with specific threats against the locally elected self-administration, and to eliminate the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is, according to the Global Coalition Against Daesh, the most committed and effective on-the-ground force confronting terrorism in Syria.

Erdogan has on multiple occasions accused the Syrian Kurds, the second biggest ethnicity in Syria, of being “terrorists”, despite Kurdish officials in North Syria having confirmed and reaffirmed on several occasions in recent years that neither the Kurdish component of North Syria, nor any other component present in the region, has any interest in harming or attacking Turkey, and that the Democratic Self-Administration in North Syria fully respects Turkey’s territorial integrity. The Syrian Democratic Forces of North Syria have never practiced any form of threat, aggression, or harm towards the State of Turkey or its borders.

The occupation of Afrin undermines the fight against Daesh, and does not push the region towards internationally desired stability, but rather further into chaos and destruction, serving only the interests of Daesh and those extremists who thrive in conflict.

These ongoing acts of war committed by Turkey are blatant and unwarranted acts of aggression aimed at murdering innocent families and IDPs, displacing the people of Afrin, damaging priceless historical artifacts, bombing civil infrastructure, and destroying a peaceful and democratically governed region by the original residents of it, who never practiced any form of threat or violence towards the Turkey’s territorial integrity.

In recent while, Turkey has taken further steps towards President’s Erdogan’s openly expressed goal of ethnic cleansing. Turkish forces, aided by jihadist mercenary fighters using the banner of the Free Syrian Army, have driven the majority of the population of Afrin out of the main city and surrounding villages. Those displaced have been forced to flee to uninhabited areas of nature, such as the Shabha region, where they now remain with little to no shelter, food, water, medicine, and access to aid. Turkish forces, in the meantime, have begun to forcibly repopulate Afrin City and the surrounding villages with Jihadists families.

It is imperative that the international community stand against these acts of genocide and ethnic cleansing and these violations of international sovereignty and fundamental human rights, in support of what was once the safest and most secure area in all of Syria.


  • Turkish regime’s flagrant violation of the rules of international law. FILE.