January 21, 2018
The Syrian Coalition expresses its support for the operation being launched with the participation of the Syrian National Army, which incorporates armed groups of the Syrian revolution under the supervision of the Syrian Interim Government, with the aim of freeing a number of towns and villages of the Syrian north from the control of terrorist forces in coordination with Turkey and with support from Turkish air force.
The Syrian Coalition has repeatedly called upon terrorist organizations, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), to withdraw its militants from Syria and pull out of the towns and villages they occupied and from which they displaced their residents as well as to stop using the Syrian people as fuel for its terrorist, reckless wars. Over the past few years, however, cross-border terrorism has expanded in Syria’s north and east, taking advantage of the emergence of the ISIS extremist group and of the Assad regime’s support and its provision of an enabling environment for these groups.
The PKK terrorist group and the front organizations it uses, including the Democratic Unionist Party (PYD), the People's Protection Units (YPG) and the repressive security agencies, are terrorist organizations. They have been carrying out repressive practices against the Syrian people from all affiliations and ethnicities. They imprison many Kurdish activists in particular, while hundred others died under torture in their prisons or in direct attacks targeting them.
The Coalition considers those organizations as hostile to the revolution of the Syrian people with all their components and their aspirations for freedom, justice and equality. It is imperative, therefore, that these organization be eradicated and their danger removed from Syria and the region. The Syrian National Army’s fight against armed terrorist organizations is a fundamental part of its struggle against the tyrannical regime and its allied Iranian terrorist organizations. This fight has won the support and appreciation of all Syrians who want to see security, peace, freedom and dignity prevailing in their country.
The Syrian people are united in their struggle against tyranny and terrorism. They appreciate the high level of coordination and support being provided by Turkish leadership and the Turkish armed forces for the battle to free Afrin and Manbij as well as the rest of towns and villages which are occupied by terrorist groups. All measures are being taken to provide maximum protection for civilians and to prevent terrorist organizations from using them as human shields. The Coalition stresses the importance of taking the necessary measures to protect the civilian population and infrastructure as well as to enable around 250,000 Syrian civilians who were forced out of their homes by the PKK terrorist organization to return to their towns and villages in rural Aleppo after their towns and villages have been liberated. It also stresses the importance of the quick provision of essential services for those areas.
The Syrian Coalition emphasizes that elected local councils will take on the administration of the freed towns and villages away from the authority of terrorist groups and the status quo they sought to establish. The Syrian Interim Government and the Syrian National Army will play a primary role in the administration of these areas and the provision of protection for the civilian population.