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Montreal demonstrators protest Turkish military invasion in northern Syria

Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
October 12, 2019 - 4:30 PM

MONTREAL - Demonstrators in Montreal are planning a midday protest against Turkey's incursion into northeast Syria, warning of humanitarian disaster and U.S. strategic folly.

Members of the Kurdish-Canadian community say the Turkish assault could upend the stability of a fragile region and roll back progress against militants affiliated with the Islamic State group.

Turkey’s military offensive targeting Kurdish militia comes after U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly decided Sunday that American troops would not interfere in it — a radical shift in American foreign policy.

Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria, which has drawn widespread condemnation internationally and across party lines within the U.S., is widely seen as an abandonment of the Syrian Kurdish fighters who have been America's sole allies in Syria fighting Islamic State.

Beritan Oerde, an organizer with the Kurdish Foundation of Quebec, says she hopes the downtown demonstration will help put pressure on governments and international institutions to take stronger action.

Oerde, whose extended family fled Syria in 2013 after the civil war broke out, says she feels far away from her ancestral homeland, but that it could easily have been her staring down the threat of Turkish troops at her doorstep.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 12, 2019.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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