Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement about Turkey’s resettlement of Syrian refugees in territory formerly inhabited by the country’s Kurdish population:
"Turkish President Erdogan conducted a bloody ethnic cleansing campaign against the Syrian Kurds in Northeast Syria. Now, he’s forcing Arab and Turkmen Syrian refugees to resettle in the Kurds’ ancestral homeland, where security conditions will put their lives at risk. This is immoral and unjust—and goes against international humanitarian law that calls for the safe, dignified, and voluntary returns of displaced people.
"This action makes it even clearer what a destabilizing actor Erdogan is in the region—and why it’s so appalling that President Trump has cozied up to this thug and empowered him to spread bloodshed and terror.
"We cannot stand by and watch while Erdogan ethnically cleanses Northeast Syria of its Kurdish minorities, and we must continue to support Syrian refugees and their rights. I call on President Erdogan to halt these resettlements immediately. I hope President Trump will finally demonstrate some moral courage and American leadership by joining me in doing so."