To help you understand the recent military attacks against the Kurdish population at the Syrian border, STAND News takes a look back at the history of the Islamic ethnic group.

It is difficult to underestimate the bitter history of the Kurds, an Irianian ethnic group of approximately 36 million people living mostly in various regions of the Middle East – namely Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria. About 25% of the Kurd population currently live in western Turkey, while up to 15% live in northern Syria. This Islamic minority have once more held front pages across the world after Trump’s White House stood back to allow Turkey to launch attacks on their former allies at the Syrian border, displacing over 130,000 Kurds in just a few days. 

The Kurdish people have been stateless since the 1800s, with the closest resemblance of Kurdistan borders being considered after World War I. Since then, Kurdish kingdoms have been crushed by Iraqi, British and French forces. They faced genocide from Iranian forces in the 1980s during Reagan’s office, and fought for thirty-five years in a guerrilla war against Turkey. 

Since 2014, Kurdish fighters took control of key cities in Syria to defend them from a rising Islamic State. The Kurdish population of Syria have long been vocal about their infringed human rights in the country, staging the Rojava revolution to establish the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria in 2016 – an area deemed to have a social revolution of democratic confederalism. In doing so, they have fostered a growing allyship with the United States, which alarmed Turkey, 

By standing back and allowing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to send his army into northern Syria, Trump has bitterly betrayed those who were once the US’s most purposeful allies in the fight against the Islamic State. Rallies have taken place across Europe over the weekend – including in Dublin – to protest against Trump’s action, and to encourage alliance with Sweden’s plans to embargo weapons with Turkey at an upcoming EU summit. 

 

 

Photo by Hilary Ellary on Twitter

 

 

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