A year passes after another without result, as the Syrian scene is witnessing nothing but more complications with each passing day of the events in Syria, and the feature of the last year, which started from the ninth of October 2019 until the ninth of October 2020, is the new Turkish intervention under The name “Peace Spring”, and it is the military operation launched by Turkey in the company of the so-called “Syrian National Army” in the north and northeastern regions of Syria against the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The military operation, which was launched after an American withdrawal from the Syrian-Turkish borders by a decision of US President Donald Trump, caused the Syrian Democratic Forces to lose several areas that were under their control, and also caused a change in the map of the conflict in the regions of north and northeastern Syria, after the SDF sought refuge. To Russia to conclude agreements to prevent Turkey from further incursion into the territories controlled by the “SDF.”
Since the start of the Turkish military operation in northern Syria on October 9, the Turkish forces and their loyal factions have advanced with intense air and ground cover over a total area estimated at 4,875 km2 (9.2% of the total area of the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces), which is more than On a quarter of the area of Lebanon. At the same time, the regime forces entered, according to an agreement between the “SDF” and the “regime” with Russian mediation, to an area estimated at 18821 km2 (35.6% of the total area of control of the Syrian Democratic Forces), which means that the SDF lost control of 23,641 km2. After it controlled an area of 52,916 km2 (28.6% of the total area of Syria) before the start of the military operation “Peace Spring,” which means that the “SDF” no longer controls only 15.7% of the area of Syria.
A humanitarian disaster
The Turkish military operation has caused another humanitarian catastrophe to be added to the series of crises Syrians have been suffering from for 10 years. The number of displaced people as a result of that military operation exceeded 300,000 civilians displaced from their towns, cities and villages in Tal Abyad, Ras al-Ain, Darbasiyah, Ain al-Arab, Ain Issa and other areas east of the Euphrates. At the border strip with Turkey, in the midst of the difficult humanitarian conditions in the region, due to the great increase in the numbers and destination of the displaced.
The repercussions of the Turkish intervention did not stop at the point of displacement, but rather caused a number of deaths and martyrs without separating those who are civilians and those who are not civilians, as the number of civilian martyrs who have fallen since the start of the Turkish military operation reached 146 martyrs, including 7 women and 4 children, while the number reached More than 510 have been killed in the ranks of the Syrian Democratic Forces, military councils and internal security forces as a result of Turkish air and ground bombardment and clashes with the Turkish forces and the factions loyal to them since the start of the Turkish military operation, in addition to the killing of 28 members of the regime forces and the injury of others as a result of missile targeting carried out by the Turkish forces and the loyal factions It is located on the northwest axes of Manbij and east of the town of Ain Issa, where the regime forces are deployed. The death toll from the Syrian factions loyal to “Ankara” and the deaths of the pro-Turkish cells during the targeting and clashes with the “SDF” during the same period reached 279, among them 21 of the cells loyal to “Ankara” were killed in clashes with the “SDF”, in addition to the killing of 10 soldiers Turks.
At the level of internal dealing, the areas that came under the control of the “Peace Spring” factions witnessed widespread violations, from theft of houses to the kidnapping of citizens to request sums of money for their release to the most horrific forms of torture against Syrians under the pretext of dealing with the Autonomous Administration that previously ruled the region. On the 25th of September, trucks belonging to the Turkish-backed factions transported the stolen materials from the homes of the people, such as firewood and fodder materials, in the villages of Rehana, Qasimiyya, Qasimiyyah Aziza, Qasimia Sharabiyyin and Qasimiya Samaila to Ras al-Ain.
In addition to stealing the belongings of the citizens and their property, the so-called “Syrian National Army” factions launched raids and arrests in the villages of Asadiya, Asadia Al Sharqiya, Fahfah, Peace Alyik, Tal Khanghir and Dhama within the “Peace Spring”, in addition to stealing mobile phones from citizens under the pretext that they are used to communicate with “Qasd”, and those factions deliberately raided houses in the village of Qatouf in the southern countryside of Ras al-Ain (Sari Kaniyeh) in the areas of “Peace Spring” in al-Hasakah countryside, and arrested 5 young men on charges of dealing and communicating with “Qasd”.
Among the violations also, the armed men of the “Hamzat Division” loyal to Ankara forced the owners of a number of shops to close them at gunpoint, in the city of Ras al-Ain, after they distributed paper leaflets in the city calling for a strike against the local council in the city. In a related context, the “Hamzat” gunmen assaulted a citizen after he refused to close his shop and severely beat him, as the “Hamzat Division” tries to force the people of “Ras al-Ain” to stage demonstrations against the Civil Council in “Ras al-Ain” due to the council’s rejection of the domination of a brother The Hamzat Division at the border crossing with Turkey.
The Turkish-backed factions continue to impose royalties on citizens passing through their checkpoints, as the checkpoint of Tal Halaf town of the Hamza Division imposed sums amounting to 3 thousand Syrian pounds, on cars and motorcycles passing to and from the city of Ras al-Ain. They also threaten bystanders to target them with live bullets and imprison them on charges of collaborating with the “SDF”, to force them to pay.
Likewise, the pro-Turkish factions continue to steal and export wheat from the “Peace Spring” to Ankara under the cover of its purchase by the Turkish Grain Corporation in Turkish lira through the Tal Abyad border gate with Turkey, where dozens of trucks and thousands of tons gather near the crossing, in preparation for their transfer to Turkey. The local councils in Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain had set the price of buying grain at 1,300 Turkish liras per tonne of wheat. The Turkish-backed factions have also acquired agricultural crops for the people in the “Peace Spring” in the Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad countryside.
In an attempt to put pressure on the population, the Turkish forces deliberately stopped the “Alouk” station that feeds the city of Hasakah from operating for more than 25 days, which caused widespread public discontent due to the cutoff of drinking water, and this is the eighth time that water has been cut off from the area, after it The Turkish forces have stopped the operation of the drinking water pump in “Alouk”, which has been feeding these areas completely since the beginning of August 2020 under the pretext of maintenance. The Turkish forces have also requested an increase in the electrical capacity to supply the “Peace Spring” with electric power, which was rejected by the “Administration” This led to the complete interruption of drinking water.
Turkey continues the process of demographic change within the areas it controlled in northern Syria during Operation Peace Spring, where a large number of people were resettled in Ras al-Ain (Sri Kanye), most of them from Idlib Governorate. In the context of demographic change as well, the pro-Ankara factions continue their efforts to force those who remained in the areas they controlled in northern Syria to leave and not allow the people of the regions to return. Reliable sources confirmed that a number of residents of northern Syria are being transferred to the cities of “Tal Abyad” and “Ras al-Ain”, which were subject to the control of the Turkish forces and the factions loyal to them as part of the Turkish military operation “Peace Spring”.
Fighting, demonstrations and violence
Over the past few months, internal disputes between the “Peace Spring” factions have exacerbated, causing internal fighting between those factions, the most recent of which was clashes inside the city of Ras al-Ain (Sere Kaniye) between the pro-Turkey factions, due to their disagreement over the appointment of the director of the Ras al-Ain crossing. Where clashes took place between the Al-Hasakah Shield and the Al-Mawali clan, which is supported by the Hamza Division, resulting in 3 deaths and 5 wounded on both sides.
The city of Ras al-Ain and its countryside witnessed anger and disapproval from the people, due to the Turkish factions and forces attempting to exclude them from managing their areas, after the so-called “Ahmed Polat”, son of the city of Bazaa in the northern countryside of Aleppo, with the support of his brother, the leader of the pro-Turkish Hamza Division, was appointed as director of the Ras al-Ain commercial crossing. Citizens gathered at the border gate between Syria and Turkey in the town of Ras al-Ain (Sri Kanye) within the areas of Operation Peace Spring in the northern countryside of Hasakah, where the demonstrators demanded the Turkish side to intervene to curb the ongoing violations of the factions against them.
The violations that took place over a whole year would not have been possible without the international community turning a blind eye to the Turkish violations and the violations of the factions loyal to it, beginning with turning a blind eye to the Turkish military operation and waiting for several days until the start of the ceasefire mediation negotiations, passing through silence on the daily violations that are taking place against Citizens, and up to the assaults, internal fighting and administrative failure of the areas that were under the control of the so-called “Syrian National Army”. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, while commemorating the first anniversary of the military operation that overturned the balance of power and alliances in northeastern Syria, affirms that the international community bears the moral burden to stop the Turkish violations and atrocities committed by the pro-Turkey factions under the eyes and ears of the Turkish authorities, which clearly seem to be overlooking. And he directed the implementation of those violations with the aim of forcing the remaining residents to leave, to complete the process of demographic change that Turkey is seeking to end quickly.
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