25 January 2018
The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) condemns in the strongest terms the Turkish invasion of Afrin, Northern Syria.
Turkish forces started bombing the Kurdish canton of Afrin, Northern Syria last 20 January 2018. They used aerial bombardment, artillery fire and tanks against the Kurdish people. They targeted 100 areas, many of which were civilian areas. This resulted in many wounded and killed, among them women and children. The advance, which began in earnest in late December, has displaced more than 200,000 civilians, according to the United Nations, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation.
People of Afrin have been on this land for thousands of years. It is a predominantly Kurdish area, one of the most stable and secure regions in Syria. For the last seven years it was considered a safe haven for Syrian refugees so that in the last five years, their population doubled and there are now more than 500,000 persons living in Afrin.
The Turkish forces are attacking Afrin because they want to destroy the Kurdish population living there. But the Kurdish army, the YPG (People’s Protection Units) are bravely fighting and defending Afrin.
Many of the YPG forces are women. They form the YPJ – Women’s Defense Units. They have proven themselves highly capable of defending their land and helping to build a society that is democratic and free.
One of the YPJ fighters said, “Until the last drop of our blood, we will continue to fight and resist. Victory will be ours.”
Another woman said, “We as people of Afrin, we will defend our city and those fascist Turks cannot defeat us. We will be defending to the last drop of blood.”
The International Women’s Alliance (IWA) stands in solidarity with the Kurdish women and men in their fight for self-determination and democracy. IWA calls on all progressive forces, especially women’s organizations to stand with and support the just struggle of the Kurdish people.
IWA Executive Council