As Ukrainians face a brutal and ongoing Russian siege, NATO’s July summit has endangered and betrayed Kurdish people, cruelly trading the fate of one occupied and repressed group for another.

The most celebrated news out of the summit was the fact that the last hurdles had been removed to Sweden joining the alliance, with Finland having joined just months before. But these two states are admitted on the basis that they are breaking with their historical practice of providing safe haven for Kurds — particularly those fleeing Turkey’s repression.

The Kurdish people have been rooted in Kurdistan for centuries, a region that stretches across the Middle East and overlaps with the contemporary nation-states of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. The creation of those states and the drawing of their borders have been part of a history of violence against the Kurds — which continues to this day. Turkey has waged violent campaigns within and beyond its borders against Kurdish communities and organizations, such as the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) — which exists throughout Kurdistan — and the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is based in Syria.

Read the rest at Truthout.

Khury Petersen-Smith is the Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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