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2019.10.18 14:53

Rally planned in Vilnius to support Kurds in northern Syria

LRT.lt2019.10.18 14:53

Several Lithuanian organsiations are calling a rally next week to express support to the Kurds in northern Syria and condemn Turkey's military action in the wake of US withdrawal.

The protest rally is planned on Tuesday night in front of the European Commission representation office in central Vilnius.

“By holding a public action in front of the European Commission office in Lithuania, we want to express solidarity with the Kurds and demand that the European Union and NATO countries accept their responsibility, institute a no-fly zone over Syria and take any other measures to stop Turkey's aggression,” organisers said in their call.

The action is organised by Kurdish Solidarity Lithuania, Gegužės 1-osios profesinė sąjunga (G1PS, May 1 Labour Union), Fridays For Future (FFF) Lithuania, Gyvenimas per brangus and Rhythms of Resistance Vilnius.

Amnesty International said on Friday it has collected "damning evidence" on possible war crimes committed by Turkish forces and Turkish-backed Syrian militant groups during the ongoing military operation in northern Syria.

The human rights NGO claimed it the witness testimonies point to "war crimes, including summary killings and unlawful attacks that have killed and injured civilians".

"The information gathered provides damning evidence of indiscriminate attacks in residential areas, including attacks on a home, a bakery and a school, carried out by Turkey and allied Syrian armed groups," Amnesty International said in a statement.

"It also reveals gruesome details of a summary killing [...] of a prominent Syrian-Kurdish female politician, Hevrin Khalaf, by members of Ahrar Al-Sharqiya, part of the Syrian National Army, a coalition of Syrian armed groups equipped and supported by Turkey."

Turkey has claimed hat the operation aims to push Kurdish forces, which Ankara considers to be an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) it considers to be a terrorist organisation, 30 kilometers away from the border, and establish a so-called 'safe zone' to resettle Syrian refugees.