ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – United Nations representatives in Syria on Tuesday called for a stop to all conflicts throughout the country, especially the recent Turkish military campaign in Syrian Kurdistan’s (Rojava) Afrin region.
A joint statement from the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and the UN Representatives in Syria urged an end to violence in the country to ensure civilians caught in the cross-fire can receive proper aid.
The organization called on warring parties to end their conflict for at least one month “to enable the delivery of humanitarian aid and services, evacuation of the critically sick and wounded, and alleviation of people’s suffering.”
“The United Nations humanitarian team in Syria warns of the dire consequences of the compounded humanitarian crisis in several parts of the country,” the statement continued.
The organization highlighted the ongoing military operations by Turkey against Syrian Kurds in Afrin, noting that “as the fighting escalates, the number of civilians affected by the violence is bound to increase.”
In a similar call for an end of violence in Afrin, and Syria in general, Oxfam stressed that thousands of refugees and residents in the Kurdish region are in desperate need of proper medical and humanitarian services.
The agency, an international confederation of charitable organizations, called for “safe access for humanitarian relief” as recent fighting in the area has left over 140 people dead and hundreds more injured.
Turkish warplanes began striking Afrin on Jan. 20, as dozens of civilians, including children and women, were reported to have been killed by air raids and shelling.
The campaign dubbed “Operation Olive Branch” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is meant to clear Syria’s Kurdish-held northwest district of People’s Protection Units (YPG) fighters who Turkey claims are an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Ankara has labeled the US-backed Kurdish forces a “terrorist organization” and has been infuriated by Washington’s support for the YPG.
The US, which is backing the Kurds in the ongoing battle against IS in Syria, said it was concerned and has called on Turkey to limit its military offensive in the Kurdish region.
Kurdistan 24 correspondent Akram Salih, who is covering developments in Afrin, said the bombing has targeted villages which the Turkish army is seeking to move toward but have not made any progress.