Open Letter: We Stand with the Kurdish People of Syria!
October 29, 2019

We are writing as scholars and citizens of the world to express our concern for the Kurdish people of Syria, whose fate has been dramatically altered by events that started with a phone call between President Donald Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on October 6, 2019. Since then, the United States has started pulling out most of its military forces from the area, and Turkish forces have moved in and have invited the Free Syrian Army to join them. In the Northern corridor that Turkey currently controls, and in the nearly two weeks that have passed, Amnesty International already documented “a shameful disregard for civilian life, carrying out serious violations and war crimes, including summary killings and unlawful attacks that have killed and injured civilians.” Schools were bombed, living behind children buried under the rubble. Convoys of civilians trying desperately to flee to safety were struck, resulting in what one journalist described as “an absolute massacre.”

We stand with the civilian population of this region to demand accountability for the actions taken by the political leaders of these countries. We condemn the complete disregard for the lives of so many innocent people. Already embroiled in a war for over seven years, these communities are being uprooted again, their lives upended, and their hopes shattered. Another generation is being disrupted in fundamental ways, whose bitter fruit we won’t be able to see until years from now.

This is not a victory. This is not how countries that purport to care about the human rights of all people should behave. This is not how stability comes about in the region. This is not how a great power treats its allies. The Kurdish communities in Syria need and amply deserve our support. If we stand idly, the international community becomes a tacit bystander in this unfolding humanitarian crisis. This crisis is both about the Kurds, and also about what the larger international community is willing to do in the face of the devaluing of our humanity.

We urge you to sign the letter.
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