The World Council of Churches condemns the Turkish offensive against the Kurds
The WCC general secretary expresses "great concern" over the fate of the civilian population. A nation "subject to too many conflicts". It is time "for peace, truce and dialogue". At least 100,000 civilians flee the violence. Attacks by the ISIS, which has acquired new vigor, are added to the Turkish offensive.
Damascus (AsiaNews) - Alarmed by the violence linked to the offensive by the Turkish army against the Kurds in the north-east of Syria, which has already caused hundreds of deaths and 100,000 displaced people, the World Council of Churches (WCC) expresses a "firm condemnation" and "great concern". The body, which brings together 348 Protestant, Lutheran, Anglican and Orthodox Churches and is the main point of reference for the dialogue between the different realities, speaks of a strong "humanitarian" impact on the populations of the region.
"The Syrian people have already been subjected to too much conflict, and far too much bloodshed, destruction and displacement”, said WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit. “The churches of the world demand an end to it – an end to the suffering of the people. Enough fighting, chaos and death.”
For Christian leaders "it is time for peace, for respite, for dialogue, and for justice for the victims of atrocities perpetrated through these catastrophic years of violence". In addition to the displaced people in the fighting, there will be at least two million people who will suffer because of the consequences of military operations on infrastructure, on basic services for daily life ".
The areas of the offensive theater, including mostly in the autonomous administration area of Northeast Syria (Sanes), include Christians, Kurds, Arabs and several other groups that have suffered greatly during these years of conflict. Many have experienced the experience of displacement several times, before taking refuge in an area that, until now, had been relatively safe. "The [Turkish] incursions - concludes the message - will have highly negative consequences on the UN-led political process, and on the recently agreed resumption of national dialogue in Syria through the Constitutional Committee".
Meanwhile, Qamishli and other towns in northern Syria experienced another night of war and violence. UN sources speak of at least 100,000 people who have already left their homes, while Turkish pressure increases on the fourth day of the offensive, regardless of the (however timid) appeals of the international community and Western governments.
Many found makeshift shelters in schools and other buildings in the city of Hassaké and Tal Tamer. In this context of violence and confusion, fears are rising about the fate of thousands of fighters of the Islamic State (IS, ex Isis), many of whom are of foreign nationality, locked up in prisons or in prisons of fortune controlled by the Kurds. Yesterday the jihadists detonated a bomb in Qamishli, killing six civilians and members of the security forces.
In these hours the United States and France are strengthening diplomatic pressure in an attempt to slow down, if not stop, the Turkish military operation. However, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that despite the attacks coming "from the right and from the left" the offensive continues until the goal is reached. Words confirmed by the intensification of the attacks launched by the Ankara military against the Kurds, to which the attacks and jihadist violence are added.