AANES calls for international action against Turkey's threats to attack North-East Syria

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria warns of the humanitarian consequences of Turkish attacks on infrastructure in the region and calls on the US, Russia, the UN and the international community to act.

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) released a statement about the Turkish government's announcement of imminent attacks on the infrastructure in the region after the attack that targeted the Security General Directorate of the Ministry of Internal Affairs near the Parliament in Ankara on 1 October. The action was carried out on the day when MPs met in parliament for the first time after the summer recess. The sacrificial action was carried out by a team affiliated with the Brigade of the Immortals, according to the People’s Defense Center (HSM) Headquarters Command.

Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan held a press conference on 4 October, claiming that the attackers came from Syria. “Through the work of our security forces, it has become clear that the two terrorists came from Syria and were trained there,” Fidan said, vowing to carry out attacks on the autonomous region of northern and eastern Syria and declared the entire infrastructure and energy supply of the "PKK/YPG in Iraq and Syria" as a legitimate target. "I advise third parties to stay away from PKK/YPG facilities and people," said the Turkish foreign minister.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) General Commander Mazlum Abdi denied the allegations and said: "The perpetrators of the Ankara attack did not pass through our regions as Turkish officials claimed. We are not a party to the civil conflict in Turkey and we do not encourage the escalation of this conflict. Turkey's search for excuses to legitimize its ongoing attacks on our regions and launch a new military offensive increases our deep concern. Targeting the infrastructure and economic resources of the region and its populated cities is a war crime. Therefore, we call on the guarantor parties and the international community to take appropriate positions against these recurring threats and ensure peace and stability in the region."

The People's Defence Forces (HPG) also said today that the Turkish government is using this unsubstantiated and false statement to justify repression and massacres of civilians.

In a statement on Thursday, AANES said that Turkey was constantly looking for a pretext to attack the north-eastern Syrian autonomous region.

“Once again, with insistence on targeting our regions, the Turkish state officials are using threatening and menacing language against our regions, seeking to legitimize their attacks against our people by declaring these areas and the institutions of their people as legitimate targets for Turkey. This threatening language comes after our people’s frustration of dirty plans and schemes by regional and local forces, including by Turkey and the Syrian regime in the areas of our people, mainly in Deir ez-Zor,” AANES said.

“It seems that our region is targeted whenever Turkey has a problem or an issue. Turkey conveniently forgets about the extreme tightening of its borders with Syria. We do not understand how border crossings should be possible when Turkey itself is tightening its own procedures and erecting high barriers on its borders with Syria," said AANES and stressed that Turkey was trying to divert the attention of the public in Turkey from its own internal issues, including the Kurdish question, by implicating AANES in the attack.

The statement pointed out that attacks on vital facilities and infrastructure would have serious humanitarian consequences on the living conditions of the population, defining it as aggressive behaviour that amounts to a war crime.

AANES stressed that these threats and the targeting of their regions had a vengeful aspect after the failure of Turkey's project and its clear agendas in Syria.

“These threats directed against our regions negatively affect the activity and efforts of our people and the international coalition against ISIS and its cells. There will be no one to benefit from these threats at all. Perpetuating the state of chaos is a kind of obstruction of stability and Syrian national consensus and this is a major goal of Turkey. Targeting vital facilities in particular will have negative consequences on the general and humanitarian living situation, which is an aggressive behavior that amounts to war crimes. All the parties involved in Syria must have clear positions and limit these threats. Apart from the dilemmas that already exist inside Syria, Turkey wants to target the livelihoods of our people in northern and eastern Syria, and increase human suffering, and this creates many problems with it. We demand that the international community, the international coalition, the UN, human rights and humanitarian institutions, as well as Russia, adopt effective and deterrent positions against Turkey’s audacity to impose new balances on Syria, across our regions,” the statement said.