European Interest

Europe’s bishops call on Turkey to stop attack in North Syria

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Demonstration in Afrin to support the YPG and the YPJ against the Turkish military operation, 19 January 2018.

The Turkish invasion of the northern Syrian district of Afrin, which is one of the last undamaged regions in the war-ravaged country, must end immediately, according to the Executive Committee of Justice and Peace Europe.

A European network of 31 national Justice and Peace Commissions, working for the promotion of justice, peace, respect for human dignity and the care of creation, is headed by Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich from Luxembourg.

In a statement, it said the attack by the Turkish military forces, with the support of some radical Muslim groups, was a violation of international law. “It has had unforeseeable consequences for the entire region, in which various ethnic and religious minorities are now threatened. Many civilian casualties and dead as well as massive devastation are already to be lamented.”

Justice and Peace Europe called for the immediate establishment of a no-fly zone, an immediate ceasefire, the establishment of humanitarian corridors for medical supplies, and diplomatic action by the European Union and its member states on Turkey for a negotiated solution to the conflict.

The statement was supported by the Secretaries General of 20 European Justice and Peace commissions who had recently gathered in the Drumalis retreat centre in Northern Ireland.

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