The date on March 18th, 2018, is a renewed wound that makes the Syrians sad, especially the people from Afrin, who have been languishing under the rule of the Turkish occupation for five years, where that occupation is hateful of their identity and existence, and is wreaking havoc on the land of figs, olives, and sumac, and is trying to eliminate people who are clinging to their lands and olives.
The fifth anniversary of the occupation of the Syrian region of Afrin marks with crisis where its people suffer from such as the crises of war, occupation, and displacement in addition to another crisis which is the catastrophe of the earthquake that struck large areas of the country on the sixth of last February, and as a result of which Afrin region and especially Jenderes were destructed largely, and the earthquake caused lives and buildings lost, accompanied by a state of discrimination and racism in helping the affected original residents of the region.
After the heroic resistance of Afrin for fifty-eight days, it turned into a symbol of the resistance in the face of the Turkish killing machine, which used various types including weapons, from deadly modern planes to those internationally prohibited, in order to achieve its goal which is occupying the region and displacing its indigenous population.
Turkey and the terrorist factions loyal to it have resorted to practicing the most brutal and terrorizing methods against the Kurdish population of the region by killing, kidnapping, rape and forced disappearance of people by the Turkish intelligence and its terrorist groups, theft of property, burning of agricultural lands and trees, the destruction of antiquities and historical sites and the theft of their contents in addition to imposing degrading and cruel living conditions.
The most dangerous of these was a systematic and wide demographic change, as more than 250,000 people of the original Kurdish population were displaced, and the families of militants from other provinces were settled within less than two years after the occupation and model settlement villages were built under humanitarian and relief titles and by funding of regional countries involved with Turkey in changing the demography of the region.
After five years of the Turkish occupation of the Afrin region, chaos and insecurity prevails in the region, the phenomenon of possession weapons and their use spreads randomly, and cases of fighting among the pro-Turkish factions, and spread of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Al-Nusra Front) over the region is under the control of the Turkish army and intelligence.
The displaced people of Afrin in the areas and camps of Al-Shahbaa and the city of Aleppo suffer greatly under very difficult living conditions, in which they are trapped by the checkpoints of the regime in Damascus and the checkpoints of the terrorist factions in Ankara, and as the international relief doesn’t reach them as well as the international media doesn’t pay any attention to them, and they are also prevented from returning to their homes due to the absence of minimum conditions for a safe return.
We, as the Syrian Democratic Council, condemn the Turkish occupation and its practices in the Afrin region and the rest of the occupied areas in northern Syria, and we call on the international community represented by the UN Security Council, the European Union and the Arab League, to move and work to end the Turkish occupation, remove the pro-Turkish factions and bring them to international courts, and secure a dignified return for the original Kurdish population and provide a compensation for those affected people.
We call on all Syrian parties that believe in national resolutions to unify their positions and work for the salvation of the Syrian territories from the occupiers and traffickers in Syrian blood, and we affirm that sustainable resolutions do not come through normalization among tyrannical authorities exploiting the pain of their people, but rather through realistic national approaches that take into account the aspirations of peoples to live in dignity and freedom.
on March 18th, 2023
The Syrian Democratic Council