A delegation of Prime Ministers from Kurdish Regional Government has just concluded their tour of Rojava’s (northern Syrian Kurdistan) hospitals. They found that the hospitals were all heavily understaffed and overwhelmed with patients or casualties from the conflict in Afrin. Head of the delegation, Alio Halo, said, “Unfortunately, the sound of artillery and tank shelling can be heard throughout the day. A lot of villagers, especially those on the border, have been displaced,” during a press conference held in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan’s capital city. He also pointed out that despite the harsh conditions, staff and residents were maintaining a high state of morale in the face of conflict.

A Prime Minister for the Gorran politic party, Sherko Hama Amin, told press, “This visit demonstrated the national unity of the Kurdish nation.” He went on to claim that Rojava and its philosophy deserved support and backing. He posed that the model of democratic confederalism was an example for the rest the region to follow. The delegation was the first of its kind and successfully broke the siege that looms over the canton.

According to the Communist Party of Kurdistan’s Prime Minister, Bave Karwan, the delegation will be submitting a lengthy report to Kurdistan’s parliament on their findings in Afrin hospitals. Prime Minister Suhrab Mikael, of the Kurdistan Islamic Union, told press, “We had two tasks. One of them was sending messages [to Afrin]. The other was being informed about the situation.” The delegation said had witnessed first hand the hundreds of injured while visiting the hospitals and that the staff were routinely attempting complex treatment out of necessity with limited resources.

Their visit received heavy criticism from the Turkish government, but made the trip regardless. Abbas Fatah, Prime Minister for the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan), stated that, “We are not members of the Turkish parliament to be questioned by Turkey. We are the representatives of the Kurdish people.” Turkish military forces began attacking the Kurdish territory of Afrin on January 20th under the banner of “Operation Olive Branch,” an ironic title to say the least.

An official statement released post trip released by Kurdistan’s Parliament read, “The necessity of doing such visits was highlighted by the co-chair and officials of Kobane and the historic decision of the [Kurdistan] parliament in sending the Peshmerga to Kobani for fighting against Daesh terrorists.” The delegation arranged and made the trip under an official request by the Kurdish Regional Government.