‘We were with the people of Kobanê in 2014 and we are with them now!’ Statement by the UEL following attacks on Kobanê

“We were with the people of Kobanê in 2014 and we are with them now!” said UEL chair Katrougalos following bombing on Kurdish towns and villages in Syria and Iraq by Turkish planes. The UEL group issued a statement:

The UEL condemns in the strongest terms Turkey’s cross-border attacks on November 19 and 20 that killed many people in Kurdish regions in Iraq and Syria, including the well-known town of Kobanê, in flagrant violation of international law. Local sources have reported that thirteen civilians, including one journalist, and fifteen Syrian soldiers have been killed so far and many others injured. The airstrikes also destroyed civilian infrastructure, including a hospital, a grains silo, and a power plant. A member of the NATO and the Council of Europe, Turkey is undertaking these attacks using Russia-controlled airspace and in complete violation of international and humanitarian law.

President Erdoğan and his nationalist allies are in tremendous difficulty due to economic crisis and many other structural issues plaguing the country. Mobilizing people around another attack on the Kurds in Syria may help Erdoğan to consolidate his nationalist base in the run up to the upcoming elections, and maybe even increase his votes, but these attacks are further destroying the already fragile stability in Syria and the broader region, also providing the ISIS with fresh air. They are also making peace prospects in the context of the Kurdish issue in Turkey or elsewhere even more difficult to achieve by political means.

The people of Kobane defeated the ISIS in 2014 with the sacrifice of thousands of human lives. Many of those who died in the battle of Kobanê were women, who revolutionized their society with the motto of Jin, Jiyan, Azadi! We understand that Turkey wishes to complete the mission that the ISIS failed to accomplish then. This is utterly unacceptable and should be opposed by the whole of international community. We were with the people of Kobanê in 2014 and we are fully with them now. We will support them in any way we can in their struggle for the values that we also share: freedom, justice, democracy, and dignity.