US vice president Mike Pence has said Turkey has agreed to a ‘ceasefire’ in northern Syria (aka Rojava) after a high-level delegation of US officials met with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Ankara, Turkey. Pence said there would be “a pause” in Turkey’s illegal invasion “for 120 hours” to allow Kurdish-led defence forces in the region to withdraw from their own territory. But while Donald Trump called this “great news”, local people and their supporters totally disagreed with that assessment.
Local forces in Rojava suggested the deal looked more like “surrender” than a “ceasefire”:
+++Co-chairman of PYD party, Salih Muslim:
-"Ceasefire is one thing and surrender is another, we are ready to defend ourselves"
-"We welcome the ceasefire, but we will defend ourselves in the event of an attack"
-Our people did not want war but it was imposed on us
Call from Aldar Xelil:They may have had to cease at the moment, but after 5 days they can reorganize and attack more violently.The occupation did not end. We call on our people, the forces of democracy and the world public to be sensitive and to maintain resistance and support🕊
Before Turkey’s invasion, the US had convinced Rojavan forces to lower their guard. It then reportedly colluded with its NATO ally’s assault, with CNNreporting that:
The US also gave Turkey access to airspace and intelligence on the area… . The US said it was working days before Turkey launched the offensive.
Turkey’s invasion has so far killed dozens of civilians, created around 200,000 refugees, and allowed hundreds of Daesh supporters to escape detention. The invaders are also allegedly committing war crimes.
With the above in mind, one critic questioned why Rojavan defence forces in the SDF would trust the US and Turkey now:
What reason would the SDF have to agree to this deal? They already made a deal. The US and Turkey broke it. Why do it again?
The Kurdistan Solidarity Campaign, meanwhile, said:
You can't invade a neighbouring country, attempt to ethnically cleanse their people and then claim that a "ceasefire" entails occupying their land and removing their people. This is a pathetic attempt to paint warcrimes as peacemaking. Classic American imperialism
This deal sounds like a massive crock of shit, including a US tacit assistance of significant forced population movement. Easy to get a ‘ceasefire’ when you grant one side everything it wants and browbeat the other with it’s own vulnerability. https://t.co/NE3hLY2Nfz
Others have stressed that this is simply “ethnic cleansing by international agreement”:
To be totally clear, Turkey and the US are demanding that Kurdish defense forces withdrawn from Kurdistan. That's the effect of a 'safe zone' which covers almost every population centre in Syrian Kurdistan.
Critics have long highlighted evidence of Turkish collaboration with Daesh and other far-rightextremists. And in 2018, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal ruled that Erdoğan and his regime had committed war crimes against Kurdish people at home and abroad.
Now, the US seemingly wants local forces in Rojava to let Turkish-led invaders take over their land. And it seems no one is willing to accept that.
Featured image and additional content via Press Association
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