Members of the European Parliament proposed a no-fly zone in North and East Syria while discussing the Turkish airstrikes and possible ground offensive in the region on 13 December.
The MEPs and European Commission representatives discussed the recent Turkish attacks in north Syria and the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) yesterday, urging the European Union to increase pressure on Turkey to “end its attacks”.
“A possible ground attack on Syria would risk undermining the fight against ISIS, with unacceptable humanitarian disasters and disastrous consequences for international security,” said Helena Dalli, the Commissioner for Equality in the EU.
“The EU must demand a no-fly zone over the Rojava region and act to end the Turkish aggression against the Kurds in the different parts before it’s too late,” said the Swedish MP Evin Incir, with mention to the fight against ISIS.
Turkey’s indiscriminate use of violence against Kurds goes against international law.
No one can attack a sovereign state. This applies to Russia and it also applies to Turkey.
— S&D Group (@TheProgressives) December 13, 2022
“We must block the possibility of bombing northern Syria with impunity by deciding to establish a no-fly zone, as was done in the past, under the aegis of the UN, for Iraqi Kurdistan,” said French EFA MEP, François Alfonsi.
Alfonsi also called out the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the Commission, Josep Borrell and the international community on their lack of support and silence to the Rojava Community. “Where is Mr Borrell? Can’t he see anything? Has he lost his voice? Has the High Representative of the European Union’s External Action Service not understood that Mr Erdogan is trying to start a war in northern Syria?” the MEP said, adding “Doesn’t Europe have anything to say to prevent Turkey’s planned invasion of northern Syria?”
Another French MP, Oetjen Jan-Christoph, said that the military strikes that were subsequently carried out by Turkey in Syria and northern Iraq in retaliation to the Istanbul bomb explosion must be condemned, because these military strikes hit the Kurdish civilian population in particular, which he said was unacceptable.
The Socialists and Democrats Group and The Left in the European Parliament also mentioned the attacks and asked the EU to prevent the possible Turkish attacks on the regions.
“One of the Christmas carols in Germany is: 'Every year again'. Children love to sing it. I think of the children in Syria. They are not singing happy songs at the moment, but songs of mourning”-@OezlemADemirel in #EPlenary
“Because 'Every year again' bombs fall on their heads.” pic.twitter.com/YEe3PGjTnW
— The Left in the European Parliament (@Left_EU) December 13, 2022
Spanish MEP, Antoni Comín i Oliveres, said that Turkey presents itself to the Union as a necessary mediator between Russia and Ukraine, but it poses serious threats to Europe’s security, reminding them of Turkey’s help to Russia and its recent threats against Greece.
If #Syria is not safe, we are not safe!
— Katrin Langensiepen MEP/GreensEFA (@k_langensiepen) December 14, 2022
Following the blast in Istanbul on 13 November, the Turkish authorities accused Kurdish forces of organising the attack and started a military operation in response on 19 November.
Although US and Russia called on Turkey not to launch a ground operation in North and East Syria, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on 13 December that Turkey made a decision together with Russia regarding the ground operation against North and East Syria and asked for support from Russia for its implementation.