Statement by Mary Glindon MP, the Chair of the APPG on the Kurdistan Region in Iraq
The Turkish attack on the largely Kurdish area of northern Syria is a humanitarian disaster and Turkey should withdraw immediately before more innocent people are killed.
The action is also a clear and present danger to the people, security, economy, and even existence of the neighbouring Kurdistan Region in Iraq.
As was the case at the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011 it is certain that hundreds of thousands of Syrian civilians will seek safety in the Kurdistan Region.
They will be welcomed as their predecessors were and as were Sunni Arabs and Ezedi who fled from Daesh in 2014.
The exodus will put further major strains on the Kurdistan Region and we will ask the UK and others to help mitigate the cost. It seems likely that Syrian refugees will stay in Iraqi Kurdistan for the long term.
The loss of SDF control in northern Syria/Rojava will help revive Daesh which will also present a renewed threat to security in the Kurdistan Region and countering any fresh dangers requires concerted assistance from the UK and others.
Turkish actions could permanently Arabise Kurdish areas in Rojava and there are profound fears in Erbil the Kurdistan Region will be a target in the future.
The APPG on the Kurdistan Region, which has sent 16 delegations there in the last decade, is seeking an urgent meeting with the Middle East minister.
The precipitate US withdrawal is a disaster and efforts to halt Turkish attacks is the priority.
That the Kurds have been cruelly betrayed is obvious to many. The Kurds have been and remain vital allies in resistance to Daesh fascism and for common values of democracy, tolerance, and pluralism whose defence in the Kurdistan Region needs to be a major UK priority.