Thousands of Syrian Kurds rally against Turkey amid bombing campaign
Thousands of Kurds in the Syrian city of Qamishli are protesting against days of deadly Turkish cross-border strikes targeting Kurdish groups in the country’s northeast.
Turkey announced last Sunday it had carried out airstrikes against semi-autonomous Kurdish zones in north and northeastern Syria, and across the border in Iraq. It has also threatened a ground offensive in those areas of Syria.
Demonstrators in Kurdish-controlled Qamishli, in Hasakeh province, brandish photos of people killed during recent strikes in the semi-autonomous region, an AFP correspondent says. They also chant in favor of the resistance in “Rojava” — the name Kurds in Syria give to the area they administer.
Some protesters carry Kurdish flags alongside photos of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan — jailed in Turkey since 1999 — and shout slogans against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
“Only the will of the Kurdish people remains,” says protester Siham Sleiman, 49. “It will not be broken and we remain ready. We will not leave our historic land.”
After a three-day lull, Turkish fighter jets heavily bombed Kurdish-controlled areas north of Aleppo early today, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor.
A separate Turkish drone strike killed five Syrian government soldiers near Tal Rifaat, also north of Aleppo, the Observatory adds, reporting an exchange of shelling between Kurdish combatants and Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies.