Kurdish-led federal body asks for ‘no-fly zone’ over northern Syria

Executive body of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria met on 26 April 2017.

The executive body of the Kurdish-led Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS) has issued a statement calling on the US-led international coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) to declare a no-fly zone over areas it controls in northern Syria.

In a statement on Thursday – after Turkish airstrikes targeting Kurdish forces in northeast Syria had killed 18 fighters – the DFNS said the US-led coalition needed to “put an end to Turkish attacks… that are disruptive to the war against [IS] terrorism.”

“A no-fly zone is more important today to ensure security and stability for our peoples and for all refugees and displaced persons who have come to our areas in northern Syria,” the statement read.

The body accused the Turkish government of supporting what it said are “terrorist groups” in Syria and said the airstrikes aimed to “break the will of the people.”

The executive body, made up of Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian and Turkmen members, approved a blueprint for autonomy in areas under the control of its armed force, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in December 2016.

The statement concluded by appealing to international bodies and human rights organisations to investigate the Turkish airstrikes.

Clashes between the Turkish army and Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) have continued on the border between Turkey and Syria’s autonomous region for three days since the airstrikes on Tuesday. Both sides have reported casualties for the other side, however these have not been verified.