Syrian Kurds say Germany should establish no-fly zone

The best steps EU countries could take is to create a no-fly zone, to give serious support to end IS, and to find a political solution to stop Syrian bloodshed.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Ibrahim Murad, the representative of the self-administration of North and East Syria in Germany, told Kurdistan 24 on Wednesday that Germany should establish a no-fly zone to protect Syria’s Kurds and welcomed a proposal to establish a UN buffer-zone to prevent a Turkish attack.

Murad said the best steps EU countries could take is to create a no-fly zone, to give serious support to end IS, and to find a political solution to stop Syrian bloodshed.

The chair of the German parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Roderich Kiesewetter, argued on Wednesday that a UN buffer zone should be created to protect Syria’s Kurds. Furthermore, he said, Turkey should be pressured not to launch a third operation, east of the Euphrates.

Kiesewetter suggested that France and Germany could propose this buffer zone idea in a UN Security Council meeting scheduled for March and April.

Last week, Sweden called for an emergency Security Council meeting after Turkey threatened to attack Kurds following the US’ sudden decision to withdraw.

Murad told Kurdistan 24 that the Syrian Kurds are happy with Kiesewetter’s proposal, but added this should actually be carried out.

“The German government should act to establish this no-fly zone. Why Germany? Because it is big and has its influence in the EU and world,” he explained.

Murad said Germany could play a role in ending the civil war in Syria.

“The German government should take [the proposal] seriously and we hope that it will use its relationship with the US and others to achieve this,” he said.

The official warned that any Turkish attack would not only be a disaster for Syrian Kurds but for all of Syria and the world.

“There are thousands of [IS] terrorists imprisoned in the self-administration’s jails and any attack will destabilize the situation and give them chance to run away,” he asserted.

Among those prisoners are also jihadists from European nations, including France and Germany.

He added that, should Turkey attack, the Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) leading component, the People’s Protection Units (YPG) would be forced to withdraw their “forces from the frontline with ISIS to protect our borders and this could give those terrorists a chance to breathe again, regain power, and resume their activities.”

Until now, the SDF is actively fighting IS in the last pocket of Deir al-Zor.

Murad also suggested a Turkish attack would create a new wave of refugees, with over 4 million civilians living in the north and east of Syria.

“So, if there is any barbaric and brutal attack, it will be a question of what will happen to those people and where will they go,” he noted.

Humanitarian organizations have also expressed concerns that thousands of people might be forced to flee their homes again.

Nadim Houry, Human Rights Watch’s director of its terrorism and counterterrorism program, said there is a concern about “new waves of displacement in light of any potential future fights,” stating “We have seen displacement from Afrin,” in reference to a previous Turkish attack on the northwestern Kurdish canton. 

“No one knows what will happen, but the protection of civilians is a key concern for us,” he told Kurdistan 24.

Ibrahim Murad argued that a new conflict could lead to the death and displacement of thousands of civilians. “This will prolong the Syrian civil war and lead to more deaths, oppression, destruction, and destabilization,” he lamented.

“We hope the international states like the US, France, Germany, and the UK will prevent this and create a no-fly zone area for the people. This would help us eradicate IS and find a solution to the Syrian conflict,” he concluded.

Editing by Nadia Riva