MEP’s from the Kurdish Friendship Group were joined by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria’s (AANES’) representative in France, Khaled Issa, for a press conference in the European Parliament on Wednesday.
The focus of the discussion was Turkey’s drone assassinations which have been killing and terrorising civilians, and targeting Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters who are leading the war against Daesh (the Islamic State/ISIS).
Issa outlined how the attacks are part of Turkey’s continuing war against the autonomous region, which includes cutting off the water of the Tigris and Euphrates, bombardment of villages and of the vital M4 highway, and active support for terrorists.
French MEP François Alfonsi called for diplomatic and economic sanctions as he highlighted the impact of the attacks on regional stability – and thus the risk of a resurgence of Daesh – as well as their devastating impact on the Kurdish population.
Nikolaj Villumsen, an MEP from Denmark, emphasised that Turkey is carrying out ethnic cleansing and other war crimes, and that this war against civilians cannot be accepted.
Andreas Schieder, an MEP from Austria, recalled his visit to the region in 2019, before pointing out that the EU is well aware of Turkey’s breaking of basic rights and laws and stressing the need for EU action and increasing sanctions against Turkey.
With so much EU debate centring on ‘refugees and migrants’ trying to come to Europe, the press conference ended by discussing how Turkish aggression risks forcing hundreds of thousands more people onto the refugee trail.
Despite some seriously engaged and concerned MEPs – including the members of the Friendship Group – the EU is guided by its own self interests. Stopping refugee flows is likely to have more resonance with the EU as an institution than concerns over human rights or even the resurgence of Daesh.