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Boris Johnson: Defend the Kurds

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Dear Boris,

The region of Afrin – now under bombardment by Turkey – has been an oasis of peace and tolerance in Syria’s civil war. But it’s an oasis created by Kurds. For this, it is being attacked.

Like their cousins in Iraq, these Kurds have fought valiantly to free their country from ISIS. Like their cousins in Iraq, they’ve provided a haven to refugees. Like their cousins in Iraq, they’ve been steadfast allies in the name of democracy and women’s rights.

When the Kurds were attacked in Iraq, you said it would be ‘an utter tragedy’ if we did not defend them. [1]

Turkey is supposed to be a UK ally. Yet its government is pursuing a self‐destructive path. It is undoing the struggle against ISIS. [2]  It is bombing an ethnic minority in Syria to avoid granting rights to the same minority at home.

The Kurds are saying: ‘We’d rather have had Turkey as an ally, not an enemy.’ [3]

We ask that you speak out to urge Ankara to change course.  Our German allies are calling its invasion ‘contrary to international law’. [4] It would be disgraceful not to voice our clear opposition.

As you know, the British helped create the region's borders which have proved so unstable. The Kurds are responding with an inclusive, multi‐ethnic vision.

Before you’ve said: ‘We have a moral duty to that part of the world.’ Those were noble words. Now is the time to act on them.


1. It would be an utter tragedy if we did not defend the Kurds‐would‐be‐an‐utter‐tragedy‐if‐we‐did‐not‐defend‐the‐Kurds.html

2.  Turkey accused of recruiting ex-Isis fighters in their thousands to attack Kurds in Syria

3. We Fought for Our Democracy. Now Turkey Wants to Destroy It.

4. German parties in parliament condemn Turkey’s Afrin operation

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