Turkish strikes exacerbate humanitarian crisis in northeast Syria: HRW
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish airstrikes since November 20, 2022, are inflicting damage on densely populated areas and critical infrastructure across north and northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Thursday.
Syrians are already enduring a humanitarian catastrophe, a growing displacement crisis, and an economy in free fall.— Human Rights Watch (@hrw) December 7, 2022
Turkey’s military strikes risk making an already unbearable situation much worse for Kurds, Arabs, and other communities. https://t.co/Q2MgvYtPqq pic.twitter.com/RGdWTfQbui
Moreover, HRW said they are exacerbating an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis for Kurds, Arabs, and other communities in the region, Human Rights Watch said today.
The strikes have displaced families, caused significant power cuts and fuel shortages, forced aid organizations to temporarily suspend certain activities, and led to school and work disruptions, international humanitarian workers and local residents told Human Rights Watch.
An attack near the Swedieh power plant in the district of Derik on November 23 led to significant power and internet cuts in Derik city and Derik and al-Hasakeh sub-districts, residents and aid workers told Human Rights Watch.
Moreover, HRW said targeting oil and gas facilities has also exacerbated the severe fuel shortages that have already afflicted northeast Syria, leaving civilians struggling to find cooking and heating fuel for the winter.
“People are living in fear,” a man told HRW who lives with his family near the city of Kobani. “There is a general sense of panic and terror. People are not going to work, children are not going to school.”
His own daughters, ages 5 and 7, have gone to school just 1 day since November 20, he said. “They ran home crying when they heard blasts near their school that day.”
“Turkey’s attacks on populated areas and critical infrastructure across north and northeast Syria is putting civilians’ basic rights further at risk,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch.
“Syrians are already enduring a humanitarian catastrophe, a growing displacement crisis, and an economy in free fall. Turkey’s military strikes risk making an already unbearable situation much worse for Kurds, Arabs, and other communities.”
At least 11 civilians, including a journalist, were killed in northeast Syria during Turkish airstrikes that were launched on Nov 20. The strikes also targeted electricity infrastructure and oil and gas facilities, causing electricity blackouts.
Moreover, a number of Syrian soldiers and SDF fighters were killed, including 8 SDF guards near al-Hol camp.
Turkey has also threatened to carry out a new ground offensive in northern Syria, spreading fear among locals in border towns.
187 Syrian organizations in a statement on Nov. 26 called on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting regarding the recent Turkish attacks, exert pressure to stop them, and protect civilians and infrastructure.
"The attacks rendered several of the targeted facilities inoperable, straining the infrastructure already dilapidated by the conflict, which has been ongoing since 2011," the statement said.