The father of a fallen anti-terror fighter has a powerful message for the government
The father of the first UK citizen killed in Syria fighting against Daesh (Isis/Isil) has just sent a message to Britain. In it, he slams the government’s foreign policy as “confused and wrong”.
Konstandinos Erik Scurfield from Barnsley was 25 when he died in northern Syria. In 2015, his mother Vasiliki called him a “humanitarian” who had fought for the “fundamental rights of every human being”.
Both MPs and citizens have criticised the British government for its lack of action regarding current attacks by NATO ally Turkey on the anti-Daesh militias that Scurfield fought alongside. Critics have even warned of “ethnic cleansing”.
Addressing the government about Turkish attacks on the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, Chris Scurfield said:
Please develop a Syrian policy based on British democratic values – not on profit… involving the supply of weapons.
And he insisted:
The government policy is confused and wrong. Please sort it out.
In an urgent parliamentary debate on 12 March, minister for international development Alistair Burt simply insisted:
The Government have called for de-escalation and the protection of civilians, while recognising Turkey’s legitimate interest in the security of its borders.
The YPG has received the open backing of the US and UK in the fight against Daesh since late 2014. Only months ago, the YPG and its allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) defeated Daesh in its de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa. Turkey is now seeking to defeat the YPG in the Syrian region of Afrin. But even US officials insisted at the start of the current Turkish invasion that there was no evidence that the YPG had attacked Turkey. And in reality, there were consistent reports in the preceding months of the opposite – of Turkish forces attacking northern Syria.
A message to the British people
On 11 March, Kurdish protesters in Britain occupied Manchester Piccadilly and London’s Kings Cross train stations to highlight government and media silence over the Turkish invasion of Afrin. It took such a protest to get the media to listen and for some British citizens to ask about what was going on.
Chris Scurfield also implored people in Britain to learn more about the progressive political system that Turkey is currently attacking in northern Syria. And he asked citizens to demand better coverage from the media. Speaking of the suffering of Kurdish people at the hands of Daesh and Turkey, he insisted:
Their stories must be told, so the public can be better informed.
– Write to Theresa May and your MP. Ask them to urge Turkey to stop its war on Afrin, to resume peace talks with its internal opponents, and to release all political prisoners.
– Read more Canary articles on Turkey and Afrin. Also, watch our recent interviews with people who have witnessed the current situation in Turkey and northern Syria first hand.
– Support Peace in Kurdistan, support the Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign, and attend one of the emergency protests.
– Say no to UK arms deals with Turkey and support Campaign Against Arms Trade.
Featured image via screenshot
We know everyone is suffering under the Tories - but the Canary is a vital weapon in our fight back, and we need your support
The Canary Workers’ Co-op knows life is hard. The Tories are waging a class war against us we’re all having to fight. But like trade unions and community organising, truly independent working-class media is a vital weapon in our armoury.
The Canary doesn’t have the budget of the corporate media. In fact, our income is over 1,000 times less than the Guardian’s. What we do have is a radical agenda that disrupts power and amplifies marginalised communities. But we can only do this with our readers’ support.
So please, help us continue to spread messages of resistance and hope. Even the smallest donation would mean the world to us.