Germany admits Turkish presence in Rojava "not legitimate"

For the first time, two years after the invasion of Northern and Eastern Syria carried out by Turkey, the German Federal Government admitted that the "occupation is not justified under international law."

The Federal Government replied to a question from Evrim Sommer (Die Linke) about the invasion of north-east Syria carried out by Turkey: "From the Federal Government's perspective, the Turkish argument is not beyond doubt. With regard to the "Operation Peace Spring", the Federal Government has announced that it cannot identify any reasons that would legitimize the operation under international law."

With this reasoning, the Federal Government is following the findings of the Bundestag's scientific services that the invasion of northern Syria is not covered by international law.

In October 2019, they had determined: "In the absence of a self-defense situation, the establishment of a Turkish 'security zone' in northern Syria does not constitute an act of self-defense permitted under international law. Even in the (hypothetical) case of self-defense, there is no doubt about the inappropriateness of the Turkish military operation.”

In addition, the Federal Government pledged the support of several health non-governmental organizations in Rojava with one million euros for measures against the Covid-19 pandemic. So far, the Federal Government had only financially supported forces that actively oppose the self-government of the region.

Commenting on the Federal Goevrnment’s reply, deputy Evrim Sommer said: “We welcome that the Federal Government is officially announcing for the first time that it recognizes no reasons that legitimize Turkey's attacks against the democratic self-government in Northeast Syria under international law. It is a diplomatically wrapped but resounding slap in the face for the regime of Recep Tayyip Erdogan."