Parliamentarians from the Kurdistan Region returned from Afrin and Kobane on February 15, 2017. Photo: Rudaw TV
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — The Kurdistan Region’s delegation of MPs who visited Afrin in a show of solidarity is set to submit a report to Kurdistan’s parliament on their observations of understaffed, overwhelmed hospitals in the Rojava canton.
"Unfortunately, the sound of artillery and tank shelling can be heard throughout the day. A lot of villagers, especially those on the border, have been displaced,” Ali Halo, head of the delegation and a KDP MP, said at a press conference on Thursday in the Kurdistan Region’s capital of Erbil.
He added that morale
was high in Afrin, despite the shelling and attacks against the canton by Turkey and its Syrian proxies.
All the MPs who visited the region echoed calls for the Kurdish political parties and authorities to strengthen their national unity.
“This visit demonstrated the national unity of the Kurdish nation,” Sherko Hama Amin, a Gorran MP, told journalists.
He added that the model implemented at Rojava merits support and backing, and that such a model can be implemented for the rest of Syria in the future. Authorities in the self-autonomous region of northern Syria have instituted a system of democratic confederalism.
The KRG visit was the first by any official delegation to the canton and broke the siege imposed on the Kurdish enclave.
The delegation is set to submit a report to the Kurdish parliament following their visits to hospitals in Afrin and other places to be informed of what was happening on the ground, according to MP Bave Karwan of the Communist Party of Kurdistan.
“We had two tasks. One of them was sending messages [to Afrin]. The other was being informed about the situation,” Suhrab Mikael, the Kurdistan Islamic Union MP, told journalists.
The MPs said they visited hospitals in Afrin and witnessed hundreds of injured people, while the hospital staff performed surgeries with very basic equipment.
They dismissed criticism of their visit from Turkey’s consulate general in Erbil.
“We are not members of the Turkish parliament to be questioned by Turkey. We are the representatives of the Kurdish people,” said Abbas Fatah, a PUK MP.
The Kurdish delegation, before returning to the Kurdistan Region, also visited the town of Kobane on Wednesday.
“The necessity of doing such visits was highlighted by the co-chair and officials of Kobane and the historic decision of the [Kurdistan] parliament in sending the Peshmerga to Kobani for fighting against Daesh terrorists,” read an official statement by the Kurdistan parliament on Thursday.
The Kurdish MPs visited a number of places around Kobane. The delegation was sent to Rojava by an official request of the Kurdish parliament.