German parliamentary report: Turkey has already invaded Syria

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An expert report prepared for German parliament said Turkey’s military presence in Syria “fulfills the criteria of an invasion” according to international law, Deutche Welle Turkish reported on Wednesday.

The report, prepared by the parliament’s Research Services at the request of the German Left Party (Die Linke), examined Turkey’s military presence in northern Syria.

Turkey currently controls a large swathe of territory in northwestern Syria consisting of Al-Bab and the border cities of Jarablus and Azaz, captured from the Islamic State (ISIS) in the Euphrates Shield operation launched in August 2016.

Turkey also seized control of the northwestern province of Afrin this year, formerly controlled by the Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey sees as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), an armed group which has been fighting inside Turkey since 1984.

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“When Turkey’s military presence in Afrin, Azaz, Al-Bab, and Jarablus regions in northern Syria is examined, it is seen that it fulfils the criteria of an invasion set in international law,” the report said.

Sevim Dagdelen, deputy chairman of the Left party in the German Bundestag, criticized the German government for declining to evaluate Turkey’s military activities in Syria as a violation of international law.

“It is a scandal that as a NATO ally Turkey entered into some territories in Syria and its invasion is not being recognized as a violation of international law, despite all expert reports and despite all parties’ stance,” she said.