S&D Group vice-president Victor Boştinaru said:

“The European Union and the International community cannot turn a blind eye on the humanitarian crisis and the escalation of violence that is taking place in and around Afrin, in Syria. Syrian people who already fled their homes are trapped, once again, between warring parties without any protection or proper medical supplies. The legitimate Turkish right to ensure security of its border must not turn into an excuse for an indiscriminate targeting of civilians, including women and children, and further deteriorate the already dreadful situation in the region. The People´s Protection Units (YPG) assured a great contribution in the fight against Daesh, but portraying all its fighters as terrorists is an oversimplification. The European Union can no longer remain silent and still in front of what, it now seems, is as an attack against the entire Kurdish population of Afrin.

“We urge all parties to respect the humanitarian law, and call for full access of humanitarian aid to the belligerent areas.

Knut Fleckenstein, S&D MEP and spokesperson on foreign affairs, added:

“What the Turkish army is doing in Syria is against any rules of the international law. Furthermore, the military operation against the Kurdish-majority enclave of Afrin risks jeopardising the peace talks in Geneva, which remain the only possible way forward for a sustainable and lasting peace in Syria. All efforts should concentrate on combating Daesh and other UN-designated terrorist groups in Syria.”

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