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ASO and 157 Syrian Organizations Condemn the Turkish Targeting of Civilian Infrastructure in North and East Syria

2023-12-28
ASO and 157 Syrian Organizations Condemn the Turkish Targeting of Civilian Infrastructure in North and East Syria
The signatories of this statement call on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to protect civilians and their livelihoods, as well as to cease the targeting of vital infrastructure necessary for the survival of the population

Coinciding with Christmas and New Year celebrations, as well as the war in Gaza, the areas of north and east Syria, inhabited by diverse ethnic and religious groups, are witnessing destructive Turkish military escalation. This escalation includes targeting vital infrastructure, oil and energy sources, and essential facilities necessary for the survival of the civilian population, including Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, and hundreds of thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDPs), mostly women and children, who have come from various Syrian regions.
The Turkish airstrikes began on December 24th, 2023, targeting several oil and energy facilities, including an oil station near Al-Kahef (Bana Shikfatiyah) Village Derik (Al-Malikiyah) and the Awda and Al-Saeeda oil fields in the countryside of Qamishli. The bombardment led to the shutdown of the aforementioned stations, depriving the residents of the region of electricity due to the interruption of gas supplies provided by these stations.
On December 25th, 2023, the Turkish army continued its attacks. Drones returned to bomb factories, service facilities, and civilian properties in Kobani (Ain al-Arab), Amuda, Qamishli, and Derik. Among the targeted sites were a medical facility, an olive oil factory, a sewing workshop, livestock feed facilities, a cement plant, a wedding hall, and the only oxygen cylinder manufacturing laboratory in the region. The most brutal attack was carried out against the workers of a printing press, resulting in the death of four employees, including a young woman.
The Turkish Ministry of Defense, in a statement, officially acknowledged responsibility for these strikes, confirming the deliberate intent behind these targeted attacks. The attacks resulted in the killing of eight people, including two young women, and injured over 14 others, as a preliminary toll, spreading panic among the local population.
The repeated Turkish attacks on infrastructure and energy sources destabilize the already fragile stability in the regions of north and east Syria, which has become a haven for hundreds of thousands of IDPs from across the country. This is not the first time that the infrastructure in the region has been destroyed, all in plain sight and view of the international community. The organizations undersigned in this statement demand the cessation of targeting infrastructure, civilian populations, and civilian properties in north and east Syria, where the residents continue to suffer from the ongoing repercussions of the bloody conflict since 2011. These organizations also remind the Turkish government that the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) imposes a strict and continuous obligation to distinguish between civilian properties and military targets. Infrastructure that provides essential services to civilian populations or which is indispensable for their survival enjoys additional protection under IHL, which explicitly prohibits "attacking objects and materials indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, or their destruction, removal, or impairment."
The signatories strongly condemn the Turkish military escalation in north and east Syria, demanding an immediate cessation of attacks on civilians, infrastructure, vital facilities, and the respect of IHL. They also affirm that the deliberate targeting carried out by the Turkish government amounts to war crimes under the provisions of International Criminal Law (ICL). They request the following:
1. UNSC/UN/EU: Take immediate measures to protect civilians and their fundamental rights in north and east Syria and exert pressure on the Turkish government to abide by IHL and cease exporting its internal issues to Syrian territories.
2. International Coalition/USA: Immediately intervene to halt the Turkish attacks on north and east Syria, close the airspace to drones and warplanes targeting infrastructure, civilian properties, and populated areas, and reject the destabilization and undermining of efforts to combat ISIS.
3. The International, Impartial, Independent Mechanism (IIIM): Intensify the collection of evidence regarding grave human rights violations committed by all parties to the conflict against civilians and civilian properties throughout Syria, including the repeated Turkish violations in north and east Syria. As well as issue a special report on the targeting of infrastructure in 2023 and its impact on civilian populations.
4. War Crimes Units in countries whose laws allow for trials based on the principle of universal jurisdiction: Expand structural investigations into international crimes in Syria to include those occurring in the northern Syrian regions by all parties to the conflict.

The Signatory Organizations:
1. Accountability Advocates Organization
2. ACES
3. Adil Center for Human Rights
4. Afrin Platform
5. Al Aseel Development Association
6. Al Diyar Society
7. Al Khaboor Association
8. Almasa Center for Studies, Research, Consulting, arbitration and training
9. Alseeraj Charity Association
10. Al-Snabl Al-Khyryh
11. Amal al-Furat
12. Amal For Development
13. Ambassadors Association for People with Disabilities
14. Analysis and Strategic Studies Organization (ASO)
15. Anoar al-Ghad
16. ARAS Association
17. Areej Organisation
18. ASHNA for Development
19. Ashti Center
20. Aso News Network
21. Association Culturelle Kurde de Genève
22. Assyrian Society for Helping and Development
23. Ataa Al-Baghouz Organization
24. Awda For Development
25. Bader Development and Community Development Organization
26. Baghooz Hope for Development
27. Baladna Organization
28. Baladna Organization for Civil Society
29. Balsam Center for Health Education
30. Bedaya Org
31. Better Hope for Al-Tabqa
32. Better Tomorrow organization
33. Bridge NGO
34. Bukra Ahla Association for Relief and Development
35. Center for Research and Protection of Women's Rights
36. Center Of Befense
37. Chaushka Women's Association
38. Civil Society Youth Organization
39. Cloud
40. DAN for Relief and Development
41. DAR Association for Victims of Forced Displacement
42. Das Leben e.v
43. Degla Organization for Development and Environment
44. Democratik Woman Network
45. DemoS
46. Derina Organization
47. Development Seeds Center
48. Dya al-Aml
49. Ebdaa Organization for Development
50. Emaar Almansura
51. Engineering for Services
52. Enlil Center
53. Enma Aljazera
54. Ensaf for Development
55. Environmental Protection
56. Euphrates NGO
57. European & American Solidarity Committee for Afrin - “Espoir Afrin”
58. Fajr
59. Fayd Organization for Development
60. FDO
61. For Them Organisation
62. Friends Association for Relief and Development
63. Future Makers Team
64. Green Tress
65. Hajein Technology Organization
66. HDC Organisation
67. Hevy for relief and development
68. Hope Makers
69. Hope Smile Organization
70. Human Rights Organization In Jazeera
71. Human Rights Organizations Afrin - Syria
72. Inaash Org
73. Ishtar Development Organization
74. Jasmine Society
75. Jiyan Charity Association
76. Jiyan foundation for human rights
77. Jsor Al-amal
78. Khutwa Association
79. Kobani for Relief and Development
80. Lamsat Al Khier Association for Relief and Development
81. Lelun Association For Victims
82. Lights For Development And Construction
83. Lotus Assocaition
84. Makkum for Development and Peace
85. Malva Organization for Arts, Culture and Education
86. Mari Development Organization
87. Mary For Culcher
88. Mitan Center for Civil Society Revival
89. Moltka al-Nhren
90. Nasmet Amal Organising
91. Nawras Development Organization
92. NES-MAC
93. Noon for development and support for women and children
94. North Press agency
95. Nudem Organization
96. Nujin Society for Community Development
97. Okaz
98. Oxygen Shabab
99. Peace Land Organization
100. PEACE SHE LEADERS NET WORK
101. PÊL- Civil Waves
102. Pioneers of Peace
103. Proposal The Civil Cooperation Team Organization
104. Publsh Path
105. Purity
106. Qadar Organization
107. Quality Research and Development
108. Radiance of Hope
109. Rahma Organization for Studies and Development
110. Raja Organization for Relief and Development
111. Ras al-Ain/Serê Kaniyê Platform
112. RÊ for Rehabilitation and Development
113. Reng for Development
114. Restore Hope Association
115. Rights Defense Initiative- RDI
116. Roj Kar for Relif and Development
117. Rojava Association for Kurdish Culture and Literature
118. Rojava Relief and Development Organizatiin
119. Rose for Support and Empowerment
120. Safe Land
121. Sahem Organization for Cooperation and Development
122. Salam Organization
123. Sanabel Al-Furat
124. Sanad Humanitarian Organization
125. Sawaeed Organization for Development
126. SCSD
127. Shamal Charity Association
128. Shams Al-Ghad organization
129. Shaqayiq al-Khayr Org
130. SHARE FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
131. Shilan Association For Relief and Development
132. Sighted Hands Organisation
133. Slav Organization for Civil Activities
134. Society for Threatened Peoples
135. Stability Support Centre
136. Swaedna Organization for Relief and Development
137. Synergy Association for Victims
138. Syria Help Organization
139. Syriac Cross Organization for Relief and Development
140. Syrians For Truth and Judtice
141. Taa Marbouta
142. Tall Abyed for Civil Society
143. Tara Development Organization
144. Tayif Humanitarian Organization
145. The Committee of Displaced People of Serê kaniyê/Ras Al-Ain
146. Together for Jarnya
147. Totol Foundation for Relief and Development
148. Tree of Life Organization
149. Warshin Association Of Environment
150. Weqaya Association
151. Wheat & Olive Platform
152. White Hope Organization
153. White Human Organization
154. Women For Peace
155. Youth for Change
156. Zameen Org
157. Zin Center for Development
158. ZIREK (SMART) Organization for Development

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