Aldar Khalil, co-president of the ruling coalition in Rojava (TEV-DEM). Photo: PYD
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A senior Kurdish official from Rojava accused the world of having double standards as is evident by their response to Turkey’s military takeover of Afrin and the Skripal case.
"In Afrin also chemical weapons were used, but everyone remained silent. But when an agent from Britain was poisoned by Russia, 20 countries cut their diplomatic relations with Russia instantly. This behavior shows us double standards,” Aldar Khalil, co-president of the ruling coalition in Rojava (TEV-DEM), told Firat News Agency (ANF).
Turkey launched its Operation Olive Branch on January 20, framing it as a counter-terror offensive against the Kurdish YPG forces that controlled Afrin. Ankara considers the YPG and the political party PYD branches of the PKK, a named terror organization. The Kurdish groups deny the charge.
After two months of military operations, Turkey and its allied Syrian militias announced they were in full control of the canton.
More than 137,000 civilians remain displaced from Afrin.
The global response to the military offensive was tepid – most countries said they understood Turkey’s security concerns but urged Ankara to limit its operation, protect civilians, and not detract from the war against ISIS.
"When the invasion attacks against Afrin began, international institutions, especially the United Nations, remained silent in the face of the behavior of Russia and Turkey and did not have a stance. It became clear to everyone that it has become a symbolic institution,” Khalil said.
It is widely believed by Rojava officials that Russia gave Turkey the green light to use Syrian airspace freely in its attack on Afrin.
"Unfortunately, those speaking about human rights and international law see the tragedy of Afrin without making a move. Our resistance will push them to open their eyes and we will make them hear our voices,” said Khalil.
Khalil said that through their diplomatic efforts, many representatives of social groups and countries have expressed their disapproval of Turkey’s operation in Afrin, "but unfortunately the deals at the expense of Afrin were far from these words."
Khalil vowed that their resistance will continue and will change the political equations on the ground in Afrin.
The YPG launched a guerrilla-style campaign against Turkish forces and Syria militias in Afrin, accusing them of an “occupation.” Ankara has repeatedly denied that occupation is a goal. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said they will hand the canton over to its real owners.