Naharnet

Lebanon Kurds Protest Turkey's Syria Op near U.S. Embassy

Hundreds of Kurds protested in Lebanon on Monday against Turkey's military offensive in Syria's Kurdish enclave of Afrin.

Several demonstrations in support of Syria's Kurds have taken place in the Lebanese capital and across the world since Ankara launched its operation last month.

The demonstrators, some of them refugees and others members of Lebanon's long-established Kurdish community, held their protest near the U.S. embassy on the outskirts of Beirut.

They described feeling abandoned by Washington.

"We brought an end to the Islamic State group in the world and now the entire world is against us," said one demonstrator, who gave his name as Rida and who was originally from Afrin.

The Kurds in Syria were the main partner on the ground for the U.S.-led coalition that has carried out thousands of air strikes against the jihadists since 2014.

They spearheaded a massive offensive that last year expelled IS from Raqa, the city that was the inner sanctum of its now-defunct "caliphate."

Now many feel the United States and its allies in the coalition are doing little to protect them from neighboring Turkey, which is alarmed by the consolidation of Kurdish-held territory along its border with Syria.

Turkey has carried out air strikes and used its Syrian rebel allies to attack the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a group Ankara considers a terrorist organization linked to the Kurdish insurgency active on its own soil.

Several of the protesters at the demonstration, which passed without any incident, were carrying olive branches and waving YPG posters.

Some of them also held portraits of a Kurdish female combatant, Barin Kobani, whose corpse appeared in a shocking video last week.

Her family and Kurdish officials have accused Turkish-backed rebels of "defiling" her body.

Source: Agence France Presse


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