SDF: 89 civilians killed by Turkish attacks in 2021
SDF published a report on attacks by Turkey and allied militias against northern and eastern Syria in 2021. According to the report, at least 89 civilians have been killed and 139 others injured.
SDF announced the outcome of Turkish crimes and aggressions against the people in North and East Syria in 2021.
In the past year, at least 89 civilians have been killed in the autonomous areas of northern and eastern Syria and neighbouring regions in attacks by Turkey and jihadist allies, according to a balance sheet of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Another 139 civilians were injured by attacks by Turkish and Islamist occupation forces during the same period.
The SDF report, which describes 2021 as "a year of escalating Turkish war crimes and human rights violations" against the peoples of northern and eastern Syria, includes the following:
“Since they set foot in Syrian territory in 2011, the crimes of the Turkish occupation and its terrorist mercenaries against the Syrian people have not stopped. However, our areas liberated from Daesh (ISIS) and al-Nasra terrorism in north and eastern Syria, were the most affected by these crimes, including intimidation and systematic destruction. They take advantage of the international adaptation and approaches based on political interest and blackmail between many regional and international states and military and intelligence occupation institutions.
Despite the international consensus to recognize the demographic change as a genocide crime according to International law, the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries continue their crimes and violations in the occupied areas of Afrin, Tal Abyad, and Seri Kaney/ Ras al-Ain, such as replacing one group with another, forcing indigenous peoples by mass murder to migrate leaving their home country, and subjecting the remaining population to harsh security and living conditions to destroy them. These systematic scheme-based crimes represent the hostile mentality of Turkey, and unfortunately, went unheeded by the global conscience and the concerned human rights organizations, which has increased the desire of the occupation and its mercenaries to commit further crimes and attacks attempting to occupy other areas.
The year 2021 was a year of escalation of Turkish crimes against our people, whether in the occupied parts or other areas in the north and eastern Syria, where the occupation has repeatedly tried to escalate ground and air attacks, incursion attempts, and recruit agents to displace populations again.
The direct material and immaterial evidence for the breach of international humanitarian law in the occupied areas prove the involvement of the Turkish army and its mercenaries in crimes against humanity. Any impartial international investigation will help prevent Turkey from hiding evidence. Notably, these crimes were and are still committed by Turkey in public.
In 2021, the occupation tried to wage war again by provoking our forces on many occasions, so its intelligence services falsified facts and fabricated many mock military attacks to accuse our fighters and create justifications for its aggression against civilians who were the most affected physically and materially by the terrorism of Turkey and its mercenaries. Some of them were forced to abandon their land, farms, and homes due to repeated and systematic attacks aiming at primarily emptying the area of its indigenous population to form a population-free area to house terrorists from the various remnants of Daesh and al-Qaeda organizations. It is no longer a secret the geographical position of Daesh elements and associated groups in those occupied areas.
The various Turkish crimes amount to war crimes against humanity, like ground and air attacks and incursions, assassinations, shelling the populated towns and villages, looting public and private properties, targeting cemeteries, places of worship, schools, and service institutions, kidnapping and forced disappearance of the remaining populations in the occupied areas and pressuring and blackmailing their families to remain silent, indiscriminate killings, imposing the policy of Turkification and demographic change, and intimidating the population by harboring Daesh elements and leaders in those occupied areas.
The following is the outcome of the Turkish attacks and their consequences and effects, which targeted north and eastern Syria from Derek to occupied Afrin via the Shahba areas.
-The number of ground attacks and incursions: 47
-The number of heavy weapons attacks: 1,300 attacks using 7,000 artillery, tanks, and mortar shells.
Drone attacks: 89
– The number of villages and towns directly shelled: 58 villages and 3 towns, (Zarkan, Ain Issa, and Tal Rifaat), in addition to some civilian areas in Qamishlo, Kobane, Tal Tamr, and Gel Agha.
– Sniping crimes at civilians to prevent them from reaching their farms: 52
-The number of civilian martyrs: 89 martyrs
– Field execution: Turkish-backed terrorists executed the 35-year-old Abdul Majid al-Awad, on September 22, 2021, during an infiltration attempt on al-Debs village, northwest of Ain Issa.
-The number of civilians injured: 134
– The number of civilians kidnapped by the occupation and its mercenaries in the occupied areas of “Afrin, Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain”: more than 700 civilian abductees.
– The archaeological sites destroyed and looted: 22 sites
The invading Turkish forces committed sacrilege against Afrin’s cemetery of civilian and military martyrs by bulldozing it and transferring the martyrs’ bodies to another unknown area, following earlier destroying and bulldozing several cemeteries in the villages of Metina, Qazkli, and Avesta Khabur on the road to Kafer Shel village, turning them into a sheep market. They also shelled the cemeteries of the Assyrian martyrs in the villages of Tal Shanan and Tal Jouma, Tal Tamir countryside. The terrorist faction “Faylaq al-Rahman” bulldozed the martyrs’ cemetery in SeriKanih /Ras al-Ain city, turning it into a military center, and Turkey-backed terrorists dug up the Tal Abyad cemetery in search of antiquities. The occupation also directly shelled the mosque of the town of Zarkan, killing many civilians who were hiding from the shelling and causing damage to parts of the mosque. In addition to the shelling of the school of al-Fatsa village, east of Ain Issa and other schools in the villages of Tal Tamir, (Kuzlieh, Al-Dardara, Bab al-Khair, Abosh, Tal Jouma, Kozalia, and Um al-Kaif) and the municipality and the Civil Council of al-Dardara village, in addition to more than 19 electricity center.
The deliberate assassination of civilians, primarily the Kello family members, is one of the most serious crimes through which the Turkish occupation has tried to strike stability, spread fear among the people to prevent them from actively participating in the processes of building and protecting society.
In facing the Turkish threats and terrorist attacks, our forces have used their right to legitimate defense to protect and defend the population and the region against Turkish attacks. Our forces managed to foil and thwart dozens of incursions and infiltration attempts by terrorists, and we reiterate our commitment to national and moral values to protect people and provide them with a safe and stable life in the face of all attacks either by Turkey, Daesh, and other parties, as well as to continue working to liberate the occupied areas and expel the occupation.
During our struggle against Turkish attacks and the pursuit of Daesh terrorist cells in 2021, 148 of our fighters were martyred.
The majority of Turkey’s crimes against northern and eastern Syria are not only for military purposes, but also to pressure the population, paving the way for demographic change and the excision of Syrian territory, and they are amount to unjustifiable war crimes, and no international or regional party can provide legal and political cover for Turkey to occupy large areas of Syria, notably the areas of “Seri Kaney, Tel Abyad, and Afrin”, and from this point of view, we reiterate our call for international parties, especially the guarantor states, to implement their commitments to put an end to the Turkish crimes and put pressure on Turkey to get out of the occupied territories and return the displaced to their homes and lands. We also call on international human rights organizations and institutions to form an impartial international commission to investigate crimes committed by the Turkish army and Ankara’s terrorist factions against the people and territories of the occupied areas and to bring the perpetrators to court.
At the same time, we reiterate our commitment to our people in all its components that our forces are ready to make more sacrifices to protect them, prevent terrorist militias from achieving their objectives in occupying the region, displacing the population to provide a safe environment for the resurgence of the terrorist cells associated with the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries.”