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Arab parliamentary union slams incessant attacks by Turkish forces, militants on Syrian civilians

In this January 28, 2018 file photo, Takfiri militants and Turkish troops are seen atop the Bursayah hill, which at the time separated the Kurdish-held enclave of Afrin from the Turkey-controlled town of Azaz, Syria. (Photo by AP)

The Arab Inter-Parliamentary Union (AIPU) has condemned in the strongest terms the inhumane practices and relentless attacks by Turkish military forces and their allied militants against Syrian people in the northern part of the war-ravaged country.

“The AIPU follows with grave concern the inhuman acts being perpetrated by Turkey and its associated terrorist groups against brotherly Syrian people, and their constant attacks on Syrian soil under false pretexts that only expose their desire for an unjustified and flagrant military aggression,” it said in a statement released on Thursday.

The union then called on the Ankara government to “respect the rights of neighbors and the relations that bind Turkey with the Arab world. The AIPU underlines that such practices would not foster stability in the region, but would rather provoke more conflicts.”

It called on the international community and the United Nations to intervene immediately and put an end to violations being committed by Turkish forces and their allied militants against Syrian people and territories.

The AIPU also called on “Arab councils and parliaments to issue statements in rejection of attacks by any party or country on any brotherly Arab country.”

The Arab Inter-parliamentary Union also underscored its “complete support for brotherly Syria as it defends its sovereignty and nation,” noting that it is confident that Damascus can well defend Syria’s sovereignty and territories.

The AIPU is an Arab organization composed of parliamentary groups representing Arab parliaments. It was established in the wake of the 1973 Arab–Israeli War and amid the atmosphere of Arab solidarity, which encouraged Arab cooperation through political, professional and other institutions. The union is based in the Jordanian capital city of Amman.

On October 9, 2019, Turkish forces and Ankara-backed militants launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in a declared attempt to push Kurdish militants affiliated with the so-called People’s Protection Units (YPG) away from border areas.

Ankara views the YPG, which is supported by the White House, as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

Two weeks after the invasion began, Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, signed a memorandum of understanding that asserted YPG militants had to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria within 150 hours, after which Ankara and Moscow would run joint patrols around the area.

The announcement was made hours before a US-brokered five-day truce between Turkish and Kurdish-led forces was due to expire.

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