The Center for Civil Society and Democracy (CCSD) observes with great concern the recent military developments in the town of Afrin
northwest of Aleppo, following the official announcement by the Government of Turkey to enter Afrin to protect its national security.
CCSD expresses its deep concern as the city of Afrin becomes a new arena of conflict in the north of Syria, and warns of a humanitarian disaster resulting from any military operation in the region. Afrin is considered to be one of the most strategic areas in the north where until now security has largely prevailed. In addition, the town of Afrin has been, and remains, a safe haven for Syrians from different backgrounds who have fled as IDPs from other conflict-affected areas. Afrin has an estimated population of one million people in a geographical area of just 3,850 kilometers. Any military operation in the region may also increase the social rift between Arabs and Kurds, and the prospect of a long-term civil war between fellow countrymen, which threatens the stability of the region.
CCSD calls on the Turkish government to take into consideration the interests of Syrian civilians; to take immediate measures to stop the shelling, to reduce violence, to resort to non-military means to protect its national security, and to protect the lives of Syrian civilians who have been worn down by the years of war.
We also call upon Syrians to address the recently escalating hate speech, which negatively affects the social fabric in Syria and may pave the way for an ethnic civil war.
We call upon all regional and international parties as well as the United Nations to exert pressure on the various parties to resolve their issues by peaceful means, to promote peace and the protection of civilians. Today, Syrians are waiting for political, rather than military, solutions to guarantee their lives, as well as their aspirations for freedom and democracy.