The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) reported on Monday that at least six civilians have been wounded, and several civilian facilities have been destroyed after Turkish shelling and airstrikes in northeast Syria. Since Friday, January 12th, Türkiye has launched 73 attacks, targeting oil stations, electricity plants, control points of the internal security forces, as well as 45 civilian facilities and houses.
The Turkish Ministry of National Defence released a statement claiming the destruction of 23 alleged terrorist targets affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Iraq and Northern Syria. Türkiye claims it conducted its military actions against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, which it views as an extension of the PKK.
Khaled Davrisch, a representative of AANES in Germany, commented that Türkiye does not target military positions but deliberately attacks civilian infrastructure, adding to the existing humanitarian crisis in northeast Syria. The Energy Office of AANES added that the attacks are specifically aimed at disrupting the civilian population’s energy supply.
International humanitarian law requires that all reasonable precautions are taken to avoid or minimise civilian law. Amnesty International has previously accused Türkiye of war crimes in relation to other operations that have killed and injured civilians.
The PKK is designated as a terrorist organisation by Türkiye, the US and the EU. However, the US has provided the YPG with military support in the past within the US-led coalition against Islamic State. The YPG is notably active within the AANES region, particularly in Kurdish areas.
A statement coming from the Taqba province in northern Syria claimed that Türkiye is seeking to violate the stability achieved in the region and open the way for terrorism to revive itself. It called on the international community to intervene against the repeated violations.