'We don't deserve to be slaughtered': Kurdish business owner speaks out against Turkish offensive

BURIEN, Wash. – The owner of a restaurant in Burien is speaking out in response to the Turkish offensive against Northeastern Syria.

“I find it very difficult to understand. How can the U.S. betray its allies like that?” said Musa Firat.

Firat is the owner of Marlaina’s Mediterranean Kitchen in Burien. The Kurdish restaurant owner is in disbelief over the war.

“Especially a war for people like us, Kurds without a state, it’s devastating. We live in a geography where one war stops, the other one starts and it looks like there’s no end to it,” said Firat. “It’s very unfortunate and disappointing that the United States has betrayed the Kurds.”

Onur Bakiner, an assistant professor of political science at Seattle University, said he believes the military invasion will deepen the humanitarian crisis.

“It’s disconcerting. Personally, I believe there could’ve been a nonviolent solution to the local entities and the Turkish government,” said Bakiner.

The International Rescue Committee reports it is on a crisis watch and that the Turkish offensive could displace 300,000 Syrians.

Another genuine fear is the potential return of ISIS, or another entity like it.

“As many as 11,000 ISIS fighters are actually in prisons in Northern Syria now that are operated by the political movement,” said Bakiner. “It’s not clear who is going to secure these prisons in the context of this war.”

That's why both Bakiner and Firat say everyone should be paying attention to the violent war taking place on the Turkish-Syrian border.

“I’m urging everyone to write and call the congressmen and senators and to put pressure on Mr. Trump and to reverse this genocide being committed against the Kurds,” said Firat. “We don’t deserve to be slaughtered by the Turkish government like that.”