On June 6, the U.S. State Department announced that the U.S. and Turkey have planned an enforced evacuation of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the city of Manbij. Until recently, the U.S. has supported the YPG as one of the few forces successful in fighting ISIS in Syria.
This decision is in the wake of Turkey’s recent attack on Afrin, a city just south of Turkey’s southern border. Although the YPG and the Kurds are and continue to be critical for the fight against ISIS, Turkey has oppressed the Kurdish minority for many years and views all Kurds as part of the PKK Terrorist organization. In January, President Erdogan sent the Free Syrian Army (FSA) – a rebel militia group with ties to Islamic extremism – into the city of Afrin to forcibly evacuate the Kurds and Yazidis residing there. The FSA committed horrible atrocities: they targeted and killed anyone who resisted their advances, looted Christian homes, vandalized the local church, attacked and raped women, and shot children in the streets. A group of FSA militants allegedly filmed as they attacked a young woman, raped her, and sent the video footage to her husband.
As the U.S. collaborates with Turkey to evacuate YPG, we are pushing the Kurds even further into the landlocked east – where they are vulnerable to more attacks like that in Afrin and potentially the severing of all food supplies.
You can do something! Contact your congressman and urge them to address this on Capitol Hill. Together we can bring attention to our leaders and end U.S. support for Turkey’s wrongful oppression of the Kurds.