Home Press releases & statements 158 Syrian Organizations Condemn the Turkish Targeting of Civilian Infrastructure in North and East Syria

158 Syrian Organizations Condemn the Turkish Targeting of Civilian Infrastructure in North and East Syria

The signatories of this statement call on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to protect civilians and their livelihoods, as well as to cease the targeting of vital infrastructure necessary for the survival of the population

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Turkish drone attack sets ablaze the al-Awda Oil Filed in al-Qahtaniyah/Terbasbiyah suburbs in northeastern Syria on 24 December 2023. Credit: STJ.

Coinciding with Christmas and New Year celebrations, as well as the war in Gaza, the areas of north and east Syria, inhabited by diverse ethnic and religious groups, are witnessing destructive Turkish military escalation. This escalation includes targeting vital infrastructure, oil and energy sources, and essential facilities necessary for the survival of the civilian population, including Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, and hundreds of thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs), mostly women and children, who have come from various Syrian regions.

The Turkish airstrikes began on December 24th, 2023, targeting several oil and energy facilities, including an oil station near Al-Kahef (Bana Shikfatiyah) Village Derik (Al-Malikiyah) and the Awda and Al-Saeeda oil fields in the countryside of Qamishli. The bombardment led to the shutdown of the aforementioned stations, depriving the residents of the region of electricity due to the interruption of gas supplies provided by these stations.

On December 25th, 2023, the Turkish army continued its attacks. Drones returned to bomb factories, service facilities, and civilian properties in Kobani (Ain al-Arab), Amuda, Qamishli, and Derik. Among the targeted sites were a medical facility, an olive oil factory, a sewing workshop, livestock feed facilities, a cement plant, a wedding hall, and the only oxygen cylinder manufacturing laboratory in the region. The most brutal attack was carried out against the workers of a printing press, resulting in the death of four employees, including a young woman.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense, in a statement, officially acknowledged responsibility for these strikes, confirming the deliberate intent behind these targeted attacks. The attacks resulted in the killing of eight people, including two young women, and injured over 14 others, as a preliminary toll, spreading panic among the local population.

The repeated Turkish attacks on infrastructure and energy sources destabilize the already fragile stability in the regions of north and east Syria, which has become a haven for hundreds of thousands of IDPs from across the country. This is not the first time that the infrastructure in the region has been destroyed, all in plain sight and view of the international community. The organizations undersigned in this statement demand the cessation of targeting infrastructure, civilian populations, and civilian properties in north and east Syria, where the residents continue to suffer from the ongoing repercussions of the bloody conflict since 2011. These organizations also remind the Turkish government that the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) imposes a strict and continuous obligation to distinguish between civilian properties and military targets. Infrastructure that provides essential services to civilian populations or which is indispensable for their survival enjoys additional protection under IHL, which explicitly prohibits “attacking objects and materials indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, or their destruction, removal, or impairment.”

The signatories strongly condemn the Turkish military escalation in north and east Syria, demanding an immediate cessation of attacks on civilians, infrastructure, vital facilities, and the respect of IHL. They also affirm that the deliberate targeting carried out by the Turkish government amounts to war crimes under the provisions of International Criminal Law (ICL). They request the following:

  1. UNSC/UN/EU: Take immediate measures to protect civilians and their fundamental rights in north and east Syria and exert pressure on the Turkish government to abide by IHL and cease exporting its internal issues to Syrian territories.
  2. International Coalition/USA: Immediately intervene to halt the Turkish attacks on north and east Syria, close the airspace to drones and warplanes targeting infrastructure, civilian properties, and populated areas, and reject the destabilization and undermining of efforts to combat ISIS.
  3. The International, Impartial, Independent Mechanism (IIIM): Intensify the collection of evidence regarding grave human rights violations committed by all parties to the conflict against civilians and civilian properties throughout Syria, including the repeated Turkish violations in north and east Syria. As well as issue a special report on the targeting of infrastructure in 2023 and its impact on civilian populations.
  4. War Crimes Units in countries whose laws allow for trials based on the principle of universal jurisdiction: Expand structural investigations into international crimes in Syria to include those occurring in the northern Syrian regions by all parties to the conflict.

The Signatory Organizations:

  1. Accountability Advocates Organization
  2. ACES
  3. Adil Center for Human Rights
  4. Afrin Platform
  5. Al Aseel Development Association
  6. Al Diyar Society
  7. Al Khaboor Association
  8. Almasa Center for Studies, Research, Consulting, arbitration and training
  9. Alseeraj Charity Association
  10. Al-Snabl Al-Khyryh
  11. Amal al-Furat
  12. Amal For Development
  13. Ambassadors Association for People with Disabilities
  14. Analysis and Strategic Studies Organization (ASO)
  15. Anoar al-Ghad
  16. ARAS Association
  17. Areej Organisation
  18. ASHNA for Development
  19. Ashti Center
  20. Aso News Network
  21. Association Culturelle Kurde de Genève
  22. Assyrian Society for Helping and Development
  23. Ataa Al-Baghouz Organization
  24. Awda For Development
  25. Bader Development and Community Development Organization
  26. Baghooz Hope for Development
  27. Baladna Organization
  28. Baladna Organization for Civil Society
  29. Balsam Center for Health Education
  30. Bedaya Org
  31. Better Hope for Al-Tabqa
  32. Better Tomorrow organization
  33. Bridge NGO
  34. Bukra Ahla Association for Relief and Development
  35. Center for Research and Protection of Women’s Rights
  36. Center Of Befense
  37. Chaushka Women’s Association
  38. Civil Society Youth Organization
  39. Cloud
  40. DAN for Relief and Development
  41. DAR Association for Victims of Forced Displacement
  42. Das Leben e.v
  43. Degla Organization for Development and Environment
  44. Democratik Woman Network
  45. DemoS
  46. Derina Organization
  47. Development Seeds Center
  48. Dya al-Aml
  49. Ebdaa Organization for Development
  50. Emaar Almansura
  51. Engineering for Services
  52. Enlil Center
  53. Enma Aljazera
  54. Ensaf for Development
  55. Environmental Protection
  56. Euphrates NGO
  57. European & American Solidarity Committee for Afrin – “Espoir Afrin”
  58. Fajr
  59. Fayd Organization for Development
  60. FDO
  61. For Them Organisation
  62. Friends Association for Relief and Development
  63. Future Makers Team
  64. Green Tress
  65. Hajein Technology Organization
  66. HDC Organisation
  67. Hevy for relief and development
  68. Hope Makers
  69. Hope Smile Organization
  70. Human Rights Organization In Jazeera
  71. Human Rights Organizations Afrin – Syria
  72. Inaash Org
  73. Ishtar Development Organization
  74. Jasmine Society
  75. Jiyan Charity Association
  76. Jiyan foundation for human rights
  77. Jsor Al-amal
  78. Khutwa Association
  79. Kobani for Relief and Development
  80. Lamsat Al Khier Association for Relief and Development
  81. Lelun Association For Victims
  82. Lights For Development And Construction
  83. Lotus Assocaition
  84. Makkum for Development and Peace
  85. Malva Organization for Arts, Culture and Education
  86. Mari Development Organization
  87. Mary For Culcher
  88. Mitan Center for Civil Society Revival
  89. Moltka al-Nhren
  90. Nasmet Amal Organising
  91. Nawras Development Organization
  92. NES-MAC
  93. Noon for development and support for women and children
  94. North Press agency
  95. Nudem Organization
  96. Nujin Society for Community Development
  97. Okaz
  98. Oxygen Shabab
  99. Peace Land Organization
  100. PEACE SHE LEADERS NET WORK
  101. PÊL- Civil Waves
  102. Pioneers of Peace
  103. Proposal The Civil Cooperation Team Organization
  104. Publsh Path
  105. Purity
  106. Qadar Organization
  107. Quality Research and Development
  108. Radiance of Hope
  109. Rahma Organization for Studies and Development
  110. Raja Organization for Relief and Development
  111. Ras al-Ain/Serê Kaniyê Platform
  112. RÊ for Rehabilitation and Development
  113. Reng for Development
  114. Restore Hope Association
  115. Rights Defense Initiative- RDI
  116. Roj Kar for Relif and Development
  117. Rojava Association for Kurdish Culture and Literature
  118. Rojava Relief and Development Organizatiin
  119. Rose for Support and Empowerment
  120. Safe Land
  121. Sahem Organization for Cooperation and Development
  122. Salam Organization
  123. Sanabel Al-Furat
  124. Sanad Humanitarian Organization
  125. Sawaeed Organization for Development
  126. SCSD
  127. Shamal Charity Association
  128. Shams Al-Ghad organization
  129. Shaqayiq al-Khayr Org
  130. SHARE FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
  131. Shilan Association For Relief and Development
  132. Sighted Hands Organisation
  133. Slav Organization for Civil Activities
  134. Society for Threatened Peoples
  135. Stability Support Centre
  136. Swaedna Organization for Relief and Development
  137. Synergy Association for Victims
  138. Syria Help Organization
  139. Syriac Cross Organization for Relief and Development
  140. Syrians For Truth and Judtice
  141. Taa Marbouta
  142. Tall Abyed for Civil Society
  143. Tara Development Organization
  144. Tayif Humanitarian Organization
  145. The Committee of Displaced People of Serê kaniyê/Ras Al-Ain
  146. Together for Jarnya
  147. Totol Foundation for Relief and Development
  148. Tree of Life Organization
  149. Warshin Association Of Environment
  150. Weqaya Association
  151. Wheat & Olive Platform
  152. White Hope Organization
  153. White Human Organization
  154. Women For Peace
  155. Youth for Change
  156. Zameen Org
  157. Zin Center for Development
  158. ZIREK (SMART) Organization for Developme

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