New Turkish military incursion could worsen humanitarian situation in northern Syria: HRW
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Human Rights Watch on Wednesday issued a question-and-answer document that focuses on Turkey’s threatened military incursion to northern Syria held by Kurdish-led forces, and warned a new Turkish incursion could worsen the humanitarian situation in northern Syria.
Since May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been threatening a new offensive in Tal Rifaat and Manbij.
Moreover, Turkey has stepped up drone strikes and shelling in northern Syria.
Human Rights Watch called on parties to the conflict in northern Syria to “minimize civilian harm during ongoing and future military operations there.”
“Turkey and its allies have previously killed and arbitrarily arrested civilians following cross-border military operations in Syria that have resulted in massive displacement,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
“Without taking adequate precautions, Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies risk repeating their abuses. The conflict could only worsen the already devastating humanitarian situation for millions of people in northern Syria.”
The document added that during and in the immediate aftermath of the October 2019 invasion, Turkey and Turkish-backed groups “indiscriminately shelled civilian structures and systematically pillaged private property held by the local Kurdish population.”
Moreover, the document said Turkish-backed groups “arrested hundreds of people, and summarily killed Kurdish forces, political activists, and emergency responders in areas they occupy in northeast Syria.”
Troubling reports of increased drone & other attacks into Northeastern Syria. The U.S. and its SDF partners must continue to ensure ISIS cannot rebuild itself in Syria, a mission that is critical to our interests in the region. https://t.co/DUC5vD970r— Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SFRCdems) August 17, 2022
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee in a tweet on Wednesday said there are “troubling reports of increased drone and other attacks into Northeastern Syria.”
“The U.S. and its SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) partners must continue to ensure ISIS cannot rebuild itself in Syria, a mission that is critical to our interests in the region,” the Committee added.
Nadine Maenza, president of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat and former chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), told Kurdistan 24 that "Turkey’s escalation of violence in NE Syria, especially shelling and drone strikes in civilian areas killing civilians, including children, should be unacceptable to the U.S. and global community."
"Turkey’s goal is to destroy the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) that has created remarkable religious freedom and gender equality conditions, bringing a rare stability to the region. If Turkey invades again, it will empower ISIS and especially threaten Yazidis, Christians, and other religious and ethnic minorities."
Also on Wednesday, a Turkish drone attack targeted a Tel Tamir Military Council member near Tal Tamr, the Syria-based Rojava Information Centre (RIC) said in a tweet.
Especially on Tuesday, Turkish-backed forces escalated and shelled several areas held by the SDF.
At the same time, a Turkish soldier was killed by a mortar attack in Karkamış, a border town in Gaziantep province in southeast Turkey.
Furthermore, Turkey carried out several drone and airstrikes in the area.
Due to one Turkish drone strike five conscripts of SDF-linked forces were killed on Tuesday near Amude, the SDF said.
Moreover, 11 people were killed after Turkish airstrikes hit a Syrian military base west of Kobani.
Also one child was killed by Turkish shelling on Zorava, east of Kobani.
The RIC said that at least 41 people were killed and 77 others were injured in Turkish drone strikes this year.