The International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) is a non-governmental organization of human rights lawyers founded in 1946, with member associations throughout the world and with consultative status in ECOSOC. IADL is dedicated to upholding international law and promoting the tenants of the UN charter in furtherance of peace and justice.

The IADL strongly condemns the October 2019 invasion of North East Syria by Turkey, a clear violation of the prohibition of the use of force set out in Article 2(4) of the Charter of the United Nations.

The IADL understands this invasion and prior acts of aggression in Syria by Turkey as motivated by Turkey’s persistent and illegal campaign of repression and ethnic cleansing against the Kurdish people. It is vital for the global community supporting peace, justice and the rule of law, to exercise the necessary pressure on Turkey to end its aggression in Syria and to halt all attacks against the Kurdish people in Syria and elsewhere.[1]

The IADL also views Turkey’s recent invasion of North East Syria, which was facilitated by the United States, as part of ongoing violations of the sovereignty, the independence and the territorial integrity of the Syrian state by the United States and its allies.

Since 2012 the IADL has published numerous statements (https://iadllaw.org/?s=syria) condemning ongoing infringement on Syrian sovereignty by the U.S. and its allies. The U.S. led coalition, including but not limited to Israel, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia have been engaging and supporting both military attacks and destabilization of the Syrian state and its infrastructure, including financing and training of fighters claiming allegiance to the Islamic State of Syria.

For the restoration of international law and the tenants of the UN Charter, the complete withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Syria must happen immediately.

Under international law the U.S. and its allies have no right to keep troops in Syria or to occupy Syrian airspace in violation of international agreements. If the Syrian government does choose to enlist support from another country, that is their right.

Only days ago the U.S. announced an expanded military mission in Syria. The U.S. Secretary of Defense told a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Oct. 25 that the U.S. Pentagon is  “considering repositioning forces” to “secure the oil fields,”(defenseone.com, Oct. 25) What was described was a serious escalation under the pretext of securing oil from “terrorists”. However, U.S. leaders made it clear that their motivation is securing U.S. profits and “strategic value”. (NYT Oct. 25)

IADL reiterates that supporting the tenets of the UN Charter also means engaging in diplomatic efforts to end the war of aggression against Syria Arab Republic, including the end of the Israel illegal occupation of the Syrian Golan Heights, with the aim of restoring peace and stability for all people. It also means using a fair international legal system to ensure that all who ordered the invasion in Syria and the bombardment of its cities and villages are held accountable.

[1]                      (ELDH’s statement https://eldh.eu/en/2019/10/12/eldh-statement-condemning-turkeys-invasion-of-rojava-north-eastern-syria/ is a useful document to expand on the specific violations against Rojava.)