Simon Coveney condemns Turkey military action against Kurds in Syria
Tánaiste Simon Coveney has issued a rebuke of Turkey's military operation in Northern Syria.
Following an announcement by Donald Trump that US troops would not oppose Turkey's intentions against the Kurds, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that a military incursion had been authorised.
The Kurdish peshmerga troops, who were crucial in the defeat of ISIS, had been allies of the United States, and many have described Trump's latest policy on the matter as a betrayal.
Pray for our Kurdish allies who have been shamelessly abandoned by the Trump Administration. This move ensures the reemergence of ISIS.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 9, 2019
Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has also issued a statement condemning the move.
"I am deeply troubled by Turkey’s announcement earlier today of the launching of a military operation in north-eastern Syria," Coveney said on Wednesday evening.
"The fight against ISIS made decisive progress earlier this year. Any unilateral military action against those groups which played a decisive frontline role in the fight against ISIS risks undermining this progress. Such action could also lead to further protracted instability and have serious humanitarian consequences. We urge Turkey to refrain from this action.
"While we understand Turkey’s security concerns about its own territory, unilateral military action cannot be condoned.
"The protection of civilians and respect for international humanitarian law must be paramount and any refugee returns must be voluntary, safe and dignified."
The Kurdish people are native to Kurdistan, a region which includes parts of Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. While Iraqi Kurdistan has been granted autonomy in Iraq, neither the Turkish nor Syrian Kurdish regions are self-governed.