Kurds blame Russia for massacres in Afrin

Top Stories - The Levant - Mesopotamia

by Wladimir van Wilgenburg


ERBIL, Iraq – The General Command of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Wednesday released a statement, blaming Russia for the Turkish attacks that killed over 200 civilians in the last 47 days.

“For more than 47 days, the Turkish state and its terrorist factions of ISIS and Al-Nusra Front have launched an aggression and open warfare on Afrin enclave, using various types of weapon and troops,” the YPG said.

“As everyone knows, Afrin's sky was protected by the Russian Federation air forces, and if it hadn't been the Russian approval, the Turkish air forces would not be able to penetrate the Syrian space and carry out their airstrikes and aggression,” the YPG statement said.

“It is clear now that the Russian Federation complicit with the Turkish state by opening her airspace for the Turkish state allowing her to commit massacre against the civilians in Afrin. The Russian complicity came after many failure attempts by the Russian to extort People's Protection Units and the political administration in Afrin, and impose Russian private agendas which have no benefits for the Syrian people,” the YPG statement said.

“Because of the Russian Federation agreement with the Turkish state by allowing her to carry out ethnic cleansing and force the people in Afrin to displacement, it is obvious now that the Russian Federation is a partner with the Turkish state in shedding the blood of the Kurdish innocent people,” the YPG concluded.

The General Command of the YPG called on the Russian Federation to stop the Turkish invasion.

“We are in the General Command of YPG, call the Russian Federation government to undo its decision of allowing the Turkey's invasion on Afrin and stop participating in killing the people in Afrin and destroying its towns and villages. Also we call the Russian people to put pressure on their government to prevent it from proceed in this scheme which does not serve Russian people and urged their government to retreat the scheme at once,” the YPG said.

Although in late February, pro-Syrian government forces entered Afrin, Turkish strikes continue and Russia haven’t made any attempts to stop the attacks. Despite the fact Russia supports the Syrian government in its fight against Syrian opposition rebels in other areas of Syria.

“Small groups send by the Syrian army who have been joining the fight against Turkey did not make any difference,” Gabriel Kino, a spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) told the Region. “They were attacked and killed by Turkey and the Turkish invasion is ongoing,” he said.

“What we like from the Turkish government and Russia to stop this invasion that violates the sovereignty of Syria. They always ask for protecting the sovereignty of Syria, so we are asking them to do, what they are asking others to do,” he said.
Political and economical relations between Russia and Turkey has improved the last two years, after a brief period of tensions after Turkey shut down a Russian jet near the Syrian border in 2015.

On March 14, the sixth meeting of the Russia-Turkey Joint Strategic Planning Group headed by Russian FM Sergey Lavrov and Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu will take place in Moscow.

“The ministers will discuss the implementation of strategic bilateral energy projects (the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant and the Turkish Stream gas project), as well as the possibilities for further promoting bilateral trade,” Russian FM Spokesperson Maria Zakharova, told reporters on 2 March.