Declaration of YPG International about the arrest of the family members of their volunteers in the United Kingdom:
“In 2011 and 2012, the Syrian Civil War was in full swing and the Assad regime withdrew its forces from Northern Syria to fight elsewhere, abandoning the various peoples of Northern Syria to the barbarism of the Jihadists.
IN 2014 and 2015, the whole world watched as the city of Kobani came under siege and resisted the attempts of Daesh (ISIS) jihadists to perpetrate a genocide against the different ethnic groups of Northern Syria. Thanks to the weaponised resistance of the peoples of Northern Syria, this attempt to desecrate humanity failed. Since then, the Syrian Democratic Forces and YPG have operated within the framework of the International Coalition (which is headed by the US, Britain, France and Germany). Coalition troops from the US, Britain, France, Germany and other member states of the International Coalition have fought by side by side with the SDF and YPG to rid not only Rojava, but the whole world of the evils of Daesh. Even now as we write this, coalition soldiers are actively participating in counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations against Daesh cells. Since the Turkish led invasion of Northern Syria we have seen an increase in the number and frequency of attacks launched by Daesh and Turkey’s jihadist proxy forces. We have witnessed the forcible displacement of people, the destruction of civilian infrastructure and property, civilians being beaten and murdered and civilian politicians being summarily executed. Recently Turkey has begun to solidify the annexation of the territories of the peoples of Northern Syria by starting construction of a wall. We are seeing war crimes being carried out on a grand scale, rivaling those committed by Turkey’s other proxy army, Daesh. The ceasefire agreed to is a ceasefire in name only as Turkey and its proxies still launch attacks by land and air.
The crimes being committed here by Turkey including the use of chemical weapons and change in demographic of the region are tantamount to ethnic cleansing, which by the UN definition is a genocide.
For years, Internationalist volunteers from all over the world have been invited to Northern Syria/Rojava to help defend the people of the region. At first from Daesh and now the genocide perpetrated by Turkey with its Daesh remnants and other jihadist allies.
On December 10th the father of a British Internationalist YPG volunteer was arrested in Britain under the ‘Terrorism Act 2001’ on suspicion of ‘Supporting a terrorist group’ and ‘providing financial support for terrorism’. His mother and brother were both also questioned for over 12 hours (after being threatened with arrest) and had all of their electronics and other personal property seized. The father has since been granted bail and will have to attend court to answer the charges. The targeting of the families of those doing the moral thing, in order to appease executors of a genocide is cowardly and hypocritical and shows how wrongly Western governments approach the whole issue of Rojava.
British soldiers are here in Rojava as part of the international coalition fighting alongside the groups that the British state punishes its citizens for fighting alongside. YPG is not on Britain’s list of proscribed organisations. YPG was the force that rescued tens of thousands of innocent Yazidi people in Sinjar when various governments failed to act. YPG was the force that destroyed Daesh’s smuggling routes into Europe through Turkey, that were used to commit various terror attacks across Europe. YPG was the force that helped create stability and equality amongst the peoples of Northern Syria. To insinuate that the YPG is a terrorist organisation nullifies the sacrifices of the British citizens that fell in the war against Daesh on behalf of all of humanity. Last week Erdogan attended a NATO summit in London, UK. It is abundantly clear that this act of hypocrisy by the British state is designed to appease the Erdogan regime. This is reminiscent of the appeasement of the Nazi party in the 1930’s by the British government. There are many other acts of psychological warfare and oppression aimed at internationalist volunteers all across Europe. Volunteers have their freedom of movement restricted by the confiscation of their passports, are constantly harassed by the security services in their respective countries and are also imprisoned, forcibly stripping them of their liberty and freedom. We have seen this not only in Britain, but also, Germany, France, Denmark, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Poland, Greece and many other countries.
We are YPG International. We come from many countries worldwide. We condemn in the strongest possible terms the way in which governments worldwide have turned a blind eye to the crimes being committed here. Ignorance is complicity. Inaction is what enables heinous acts like this to be carried out. Genocide is something that should be fought against at every opportunity, no matter whom it is perpetrated by or against. The way we are treated by the governments of our native countries, when those governments are actively fighting alongside us in Rojava is disgusting. We call on these governments to stop their ignorance and mimicry of Turkeys interior policies. When the Turkish state fails to apprehend people, they too target the families of those that fight for the democratisation of Turkey.
We are fighting for the self proclaimed values of Europe and America, Liberty, Freedom, Equality and democracy. To attack our families is a contradiction of these values and shows that these values are just empty words without conviction. It raises the question, that if you can claim to be fighting for these values in the middle east, and are willing to treat your own citizens in this way, what are your real aims in this conflict and the middle east as a whole?
We want our governments to know that if they are unwilling to do the moral thing, then we the people will. You can imprison us, confiscate our passports, harass us and our families. But no matter what you do or say. We will always do the moral and just thing.
Fighting against a genocide is not an act of terrorism, it is an act of humanity and is necessary.
We send our greetings and regards to the former volunteers and their families, the families of the internationalists that fell in the struggle for freedom and liberation. We wish you strength and courage in these dark times. Just know, that we are with you. Always be aware that the cruel methods, used to attack the families, are the methods of cowards.
To Boris and Sajid,
The struggle continues!
An Serkfetin An Serkeftin.
The Fighters of YPG International”
Original posted 16/12/2019