German gov’t criticizes Turkey’s military offensive in Syria’s Kurdish region

German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivers a speech on Europe at the Bundestag, the German lower house of parliament ahead of a EU summit in Brussels on April 27, 2017 in Berlin. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday told Britain not to have any "illusions" that it would have the same rights as an EU member after it leaves the bloc. / AFP PHOTO / Odd ANDERSEN

The government in Berlin has made unusually specific statements on Turkey’s Syria policy and criticized the invasion of the Kurdish region there, calling it illegitimate, according to the Euractive news website.

In a response to a parliamentary inquiry by the opposition, the German state secretary in the federal development ministry, Maria Flachsbarth (CDU), wrote: “From the perspective of the German government, the Turkish argumentation is not entirely free of doubt.”

With regard to the 2019 Turkish offensive into northeastern Syria known as Operation Peace Spring, the German government has stated that it cannot see any reasons that would legitimize the operation under international law.

The Turkish government had invoked its right of self-defense for its invasions – not only for Operation Peace Spring – as the sister organization of the banned Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK) ruled in Syria’s Kurdish autonomous zone.

On top of that, the German government wants to donate €1 million to support “several humanitarian NGOs working in the health sector” to better deal with COVID-19 measures in the area, which is also called Rojava by the Kurds, Der Tagesspiegel reported.

The Turkish air force recently attacked Kurdish camps in Syria and Iraq. According to various sources, Yazidi activists died in Sinjar and representatives of the opposition Syrian Democratic Council near Kobane, where Kurds had stopped the “Islamic State” (IS) for the first time in 2014.

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