Former chair of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Nadine Maenza said on Thursday that Turkey’s practices in the Syrian northeast are similar to the Islamic State Organization (ISIS) policy.
“Turkey is trying to invade here, takes the land, pushes out all the religious minorities this is kind of similar to the ISIS caliphate,” said Maenza in an interview with North Press.
Maenza arrived in northeast Syria on Monday. Her visit coincided with the Turkish president’s announcement about completing new steps regarding the incomplete parts of the project, which he started on the 30km deep safe zone along Turkey’s southern border.
“Northeast Syria has the best religious conditions in the Middle East,” Maenza stressed.
She added, “It is not about having feeling of worship, but also every ethnic Syrian religion is part of life, part of government.”
“They built the government where they have these remarkable conditions and accept of tolerance. So it’s really the rest of the world can learn from,” she noted.
She Resembled the Turkish practices in areas it runs including Afrin Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) and Tel Abyad to ISIS policy in term of curtailing religious freedom.
ISIS “have taken away freedom of religion, they have arrested people who have converted, they committed atrocities like murder, kidnapping and even destruction of religious sites is really horrifically freedom violations,” she added.
She noted that Turkey’s aspiration in this region is “very disappointing and we hope that the world will pay attention.”
She hoped that the international community and the UN stand against these threats, saying “the US did through a statement against the potential invasion.”
She also hoped the international community stands with them.
The Turkish president has threatened to invade the areas northeast Syria seven times between October 2019 and May 2022, according to a statistic released by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) held areas in northeast Syria.
The Autonomous Administration was first formed in 2014 in the Kurdish-majority regions of Afrin, Kobani and Jazira in northern Syria following the withdrawal of the government forces. Later, it was expanded to Manbij, Tabqa, Raqqa, Hasakah and Deir ez-Zor after the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) defeated ISIS militarily.
Source: North Press