Kurdish Official Calls for Int’l Pressure on Turkey to Stop Shelling Syria

The international community and the UN Security Council should exert pressure on Turkey to stop its military offensive against Kurds in northern Syria, Senam Mohamed, co-chair of the People’s Council of Western Kurdistan (the governing body of the autonomous region) told Sputnik on Tuesday.

WASHINGTON — Over the recent days, Turkey has intensified artillery shelling of Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria.

“We are the Kurds who are fighting against Islamic State [or Daesh], we are those who want democracy and freedom for our people,” Mohamed stated. “I am asking the international community and the Security Council to press on Turkey to stop shelling our people.”

Ankara claims that Syrian Kurds have links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which fights for the independence of Kurdistan from Turkey.

The UN Security Council is scheduled to consider the issue of Turkish artillery attacks on Tuesday.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry has said the shelling represents direct Turkish support for terrorists operating inside the country, and called on the United Nations to take measures to end the crimes conducted by what it terms is the Turkish regime.

Mohamad explained that from the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the international community has only asked Turkey to join the coalition against the Daesh, but Ankara took its time to decide.

“Now [that] they joined, they are not fighting against the Daesh, but instead they are shelling the civilian people,” Mohamed stated.

Apart from shelling the Kurdish positions in Syria, Turkey is also calling for a ground operation there.
Earlier on Tuesday, a senior Turkish official reportedly called for a joint ground operation with the international allies from the global coalition against the Islamic State, primarily the United States and the Persian Gulf states, in order to end the war in Syria.

“It is not clear what the Turkish government seeks, calling for a ground operation in Syria. It is our land. Turkey has been threatening to come to the Syrian land before, but until now, it has been just smoke without fire.”

The possibility of a ground operation raises concerns over the relations between NATO and Russia, as Turkey is a NATO ally, and Russia has stated is against any ground operations in Syria.

Moscow has repeatedly dismissed the possibility of expanding its own aerial campaign in Syria to ground operations. On Sunday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said a ground operation in Syria would lead to a prolonged war.

By Anastasia Levchenko
Source: Sputnik News