SOHR exclusive | Residents express their concern about the latest Turkish threats
In light of the latest threats by Turkey to launch a new military operation in north and east Syria, as well as the noticeable military escalation, including ground bombardment and drone attacks in SDF-controlled areas in north Syria region and areas where Kurdish forces are deployed in north Aleppo countryside, residents in Al-Qamishli city have expressed their fear and concern. The residents have demanded the international community stop its timid press releases and exert serious efforts to stop Turkish offenses, hoping that the same scenario in Afrin, Tel Abyad (Keri Sibi) and Ras Al-Ain (Seri Kaniye) will not repeat.
With the intention of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to establish a 30-kilometer depth “safe zone” inside Syria along its border with Turkey, SOHR activists have monitored residents’ opinions regarding the latest threats.
Speaking to SOHR, a civilian known by his initials as A. M. from Helaliyah neighbourhood in Al-Qamishli said that Turkey’s latest threats have raised concerns and fear among the region’s residents. The man has said, “Turkey has had a rich tradition of genocides and demographic change, like it has done in Afrin, Ras Al-Ain and Tel Abyad. I do not rule out a new incursion to be carried out by Turkish forces into our areas, as Turkey is seeking to revive the ‘glory’ of the Ottoman Empire and impose the map of Al-Milli Charter, which include the entire border line between Turkey on one hand, and north Syria and Iraq on the other. Turkey exerts all possible efforts in order to be granted a green light by major powers engaged into the Syrian conflict, particularly Russia and the USA, in order to achieve its objectives.” The man expressed his concern about the international community silence and inaction in the case that Turkey invades Syrian territory.
On the other hand, a student in Rojava University known by her initials as R. H. who has been displaced from Afrin to Al-Qamishli in 2018 said that the war and displacement made her lose normal lifestyle. She called upon the international community to interfere immediately and put an end to Turkish threats to launch a new military operation in Syria and to work on securing a safe return to the residents who have been forced to displace due to Turkey’s greediness.
Another civilian known as A. R. from Qadour Bek in Al-Malikiyah (Dayrek) told SOHR “all segments Syrian society in this region, including Kurdish, Arab, Syriac and Armenian residents, express their rejection of the latest Turkish attacks. The demonstrations and protests which have been staged since the beginning of Turkey’s threats about a new military operation in Syria aim at highlighting their plight and draw attention of the international community which has neither taken any actions nor adopted a clear stance yet regarding the Turkish intervention in Syria.”
Also, a civilian known as A. A. from Arbawiyah neighbourhood in Al-Qamishli city has told SOHR that the intentions of the greedy Turkey have threatened the region, while the war and its scourges have forced two thirds of the region’s residents to displace, noting that the latest Turkish statements about launching a new military operation in north Syria have raised concerns among residents, especially since the international community has not adopted a clear stance regarding these threats so far. The man has added, “there are thousands of ISIS members detained in Ghuwayran prison, What will the situation of the region’s residents be like in the case that an attack is unleashed? Will the international community protect the residents from the Turkish attacks on their areas and the threats imposed by ISIS members if they managed to escape?”