Turkish airstrikes exacerbate all life aspects in NE Syria – HRW

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – The recent Turkish airstrikes are exacerbating an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis for different communities across north and northeast Syria, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Wednesday.

Since Nov. 20, intense and wide spread aerial operation has been carried out by the Turkish forces against north and northeast Syria which has claimed tens of lives and destroyed facilities and infrastructure along the whole border strip from Aleppo northern countryside in the northwest up to Derik (al-Malikiyah) in the northeast. The attacks also reached the notorious Hawl Camp which is home to tens of thousands of ISIS families.

The Turkish airstrikes displaced people, damaged vital facilities and infrastructure including gas, diesel and power centers, as well as schools were disrupted, activities of some aid organizations were suspended, and market movement were paralyzed, according to international humanitarian workers and local residents whom HRW interviewed.

The NES NGO forum, the lead coordination body for nongovernmental organizations working in northeast Syria, highlighted the effects of these airstrikes on the environment and on the current water crisis in the region.

Areas in northeast Syria have been suffering under the impacts of water shortage that resulted from Turkish seizure of the Euphrates River water and successive water cut offs of Alouk water station in Sere Kaniye that are occupied by Turkey and its affiliated armed Syrian opposition factions in light of the drought that has been sweeping the region for over two years.

“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 HRW.

These Turkish attacks further worsen the already unbearable situation for all communities in the region including the Kurds, Arab, Syrian, Assyrians and others, according to Coogle.

“Turkey can, and should, ensure that its military actions do not further aggravate northeast Syria’s humanitarian and displacement crises,” Coogle said.

“Turkey’s international allies should press the government to ensure that its campaign does not put Syrians’ basic rights at risk,” he stressed.

Violent Turkish strikes have halted service at the natural gas facility and power plant in the vicinity of al-Sawaydiya village in the countryside of Derik, far northeast Syria.

 The bombardment did the same to the power station of Teqil Beqil, also in Derik, and the silos located at the village of Dahr al-Arab in the countryside of Derbasiyah town in the same region.

A water pumping station in the village of Shirik in Derik is no longer serviceable too. Oil pumps in Gerdahol, Leilan, Dicle, al-Saied, Zaraba, Mashouq and Gel Hasanak all went out of commission.

Grain silos located at the village of Dahr al-Arab and the one in the Terbe Spi incurred damage. A school and a hospital under construction in Kobani were destroyed.

Reporting by Shella Abdulhalim