Dutch government accepts motions to work against Turkish invasion of Syria

The government of the Netherlands has accepted two motions by Dutch MPs and will seek ways to pressure Turkey not to attack Kurdish militias in northern Syria, journalist Wladimir van Wilgenburg has reported for news site Kurdistan 24.

One of the motions “calls on the government to work with other EU or NATO countries to pressure Turkey to stop a military incursion into the north of Syria,” Van Wilgenburg wrote.

The other calls on the government to enlist support from France and the United Kingdom to dissuade Turkey from its planned offensive.

Preparations for a Turkish offensive against the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and its affiliates have ramped up since December 19, when U.S. President announced plans to withdraw U.S. troops from areas of northern Syria where they are deployed alongside the Kurdish militias.

The YPG and its multi-ethnic sister group, the Syrian Democratic Forces, were a vital ally in the international coalition against the Islamic State. Turkey, however, views the predominantly Kurdish groups as security threats due to their links to Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.

“The motion was accepted by the Minister. The Kurds (SDF) are the most effective ally on the ground against ISIS,” Van Wilgenburg quoted Joel Voordewind, the Dutch Christian Union Party MP who proposed the second amendment, as saying.

Dutch parliamentarians have expressed concerns that a Turkish offensive would put the lives of Kurdish civilians in danger.

Turkey’s ambassador to the Netherlands, Şaban Dişli, met the lawmakers on Thursday, reportedly telling them Turkey aimed to “protect the Kurds” and “fight terrorists.”

Last week Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey should administer a “safe zone” stretching 20 miles south of the Syrian border.