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Paris terrorist attack survivors call on international community to defend the Kurds

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Paris terrorist attack survivors call on international community to defend the Kurds
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REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
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Survivors of the Paris attacks on November 13, 2015, are calling on the international community to protect the Kurds.

"As survivors of terrorism, it is impossible for us to remain silent and indifferent to the constant attack of these populations, to whom we owe an inestimable debt," 44 survivors wrote in a letter published in the French newspaper, Le Parisien.

The call comes ahead of the fourth anniversary of the horrific attacks that resulted in the death of 131 people and wounded hundreds.

These survivors are now coming to the defence of Kurdish fighters in Syria who have been the primary targets of Turkey's incursion into northern Syria that began earlier this month.

"When in 2015 we were attacked, in our cities and in our streets, when we counted our dead, these Kurds, Arabs, Yazidis, Turkmen, Assyrians, fought together against Daesh [the so-called Islamic State], enemy of humanity," the survivors wrote, declaring their support and solidarity with the people of northern Syria.

"Our peace, whatever it is, we owe to their fight," the survivors wrote.

'Attacked and invaded'

The authors condemned Turkey's incursion into northern Syria and attacks against Western-backed Kurdish fighters and their allies. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were key partners in the fight against IS.

The Turkish operation has resulted in hundreds of deaths, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

"All these years of fighting and relentless efforts against terrorism are now at risk," the Paris survivors write, citing reports from Kurdish forces that as a result of the Turkish offensive, IS fighters have escaped detention.

"Passivity has allowed the escape of hundreds of terrorists and among them, we fear the most dangerous French jihadists," the survivors wrote in their letter.

"How long will it take them to hit again?"

Obscure situation

The situation in Syria remains obscure after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan struck a deal with Russia on October 22 deal to remove Kurdish fighters from the Turkish-Syrian border.

The French National Assembly unanimously condemned the Turkish offensive on Wednesday and confirmed their support for the Kurdish forces.

"This operation, in addition to causing a major humanitarian disaster, may contribute to a resurgence of Daesh [IS] in the region. Turkey must immediately renounce this offensive that threatens international solidarity and collective security," the National Assembly resolution states.

French President Emmanuel Macron previously called the offensive "madness" and criticised NATO for failing to prevent the conflict.

France's Senate adopted a resolution last week condemning the incursion and supporting any international or European engagement to end the offensive.

It comes after the United States announced this week that a US special forces operation resulted in the death of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's death. Kurdish forces said that they had helped to track the terrorist leader.

Yet the 44 survivors say the status quo cannot continue:

"We call on all the heads of state in Europe and the world, who in 2015 together said 'Never Again', to come together again with the greatest discernment, to take responsibility in the face of history, which will neither forgive nor forget."

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