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Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:39 am

Syria Kurds killed
by Turkey proxies


Syrian Kurdish mother Shara Sido says the news came to her via a messaging application. She received an image of a bullet-riddled corpse with the instruction: “Come collect your son.”

Sitting inside a modest house in the de-facto Syrian Kurdish capital of Qamishli, the displaced 65-year-old scrolls through her phone to find a picture.

“This is the monster,” she alleged, showing AFP a photograph of the Syrian fighter she said confessed to shooting dead her 38-year-old son.

“They killed my son in cold blood,” she said, blaming Turkey-backed Syrian fighters.

Turkish troops and their Syrian proxies have overrun a swathe of northern Syria since October, after a deadly military campaign against Kurdish forces that caused tens of thousands to flee their homes.

Rights groups and displaced Kurdish families have accused Ankara-backed Syrian rebels of executions, home confiscations and looting in that border strip – charges that Turkey-backed fighters deny.

Sido used to live in the border town of Ras al-Ain, before Turkey and its rebel proxies on October 9 launched an offensive against Kurdish forces they view as “terrorists”.

As soon as the invasion started, the mother of five and her family fled to Qamishli, carrying nothing but a few basic items.

Her son, Rezan, returned to Ras al-Ain one week later to collect personal documents and clothes for his three children, but rebels barred him from entering, she said.

They fired bullets at his vehicle, killing him along with a driver and three of his friends, she told AFP, showing pictures of bullet wounds visible on their corpses.

“I will expose their crimes to the world,” Sido said.

‘Looted everything’

Stories such as Sido’s have instilled fear in a Kurdish minority, who have long accused rival Turkey of seeking to engineer demographic change.

“They are coming to kill the Kurds,” Sido alleged after the latest cross-border incursion.

In the two months since the invasion started, Turkey has established a so-called “safe zone” in a 120-kilometre (70-mile) long strip along its southern border, where it says it wants to resettle Syrian refugees.

Turkish state media last month said around 70 Syrians, including women and children, crossed the border to Ras al-Ain in the first of such returns.

Meanwhile, the United Nations says about half of the 200,000 people displaced by the Turkey-led military operation are starting to return to the area.

But the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, says most of those returning are Arabs, not Kurds.

Mustafa al-Zaim, a Kurdish merchant who fled to Qamishli in October, says there is no way he is going back.

“We wouldn’t even think of returning without international guarantees,” the 44-year-old said.

He said Turkey-backed rebels had seized his home, a supermarket and several other stores he owns in Ras al-Ain.

They also sent him a message asking for $15,000 to “protect” his property and stock – an offer he said he refused.

“They had already robbed and looted everything,” he told AFP.

‘The biggest violation’

In a recent report, Human Rights Watch said Turkey-backed rebels had barred displaced Kurdish families from returning to Turkey’s “safe-zone”, while also looting and occupying property they left behind.

Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW’s Middle East director, accused Turkey of “turning a blind eye to the reprehensible behaviour displayed by the factions it arms”.

She said that, “so long as Turkey is in control of these areas, it has a responsibility to investigate and end these violations”.

The Syrian National Army, an alliance of Turkey-backed rebel groups, on Saturday denied HRW’s accusations.

It called on the rights group to withdraw the “biased” report, saying it “does not reflect reality on the ground”.

Turkey’s October 9 invasion was the latest in a series of such military operations on Syrian soil.

Early last year, pro-Ankara fighters seized the northwestern region of Afrin from Kurdish combatants, with rights groups also reporting similar abuses in that region.

Film director Teymour Afdaki says Turkey is responsible for the gravest abuse of all.

“The occupation itself is the biggest violation,” he said.

His two daughters sitting on his lap, the 42-year-old recounts how rebels burned his home in Ras al-Ain, torching around 500 books he had stored inside.

“These books were an expression of our Kurdish identity,” he told AFP.

But even without a home to go back to, he says he still has hope.

“When we left our homes, we did not close our doors,” he said.

“We will soon return.”

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeas ... /051220192
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 06, 2019 12:41 am

Deadly car bombs target
Western Kurdistan


A car bomb exploded Thursday afternoon in the northern town of Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain), killing at least one civilian and injuring one other. A rights group reported a second explosion in the town – recently taken from Kurdish forces by Turkey and its Syrian proxies

Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu Agency (AA) said one civilian was killed and another injured in the attack, which it blamed on the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The YPG lost control of the Kurdish-majority city to Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies in October.

The pro-Turkey umbrella of militias known as the Syrian National Army (SNA) has launched an investigation to determine who was responsible, AA added.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said that just minutes after the first car bombing, another car exploded. The number of casualties in this second alleged blast is unknown.

Syrian state media outlet SANA said the first explosion took place in Kournich Street where the car was parked.

Located in north of Hasaka province, the town of Sari Kani saw fierce clashes during the Turkish invasion, which began on October 9 and continues despite two ceasefire deals with the US and Russia.

Turkey was able to invade both Sari Kani and Gire Spi (Tal Abyad) in its ‘Operation Peace Spring’ but now threatens to intensify attacks if the US and Russia do not fulfill their pledge to convince the YPG-led Syrian Democratic forces (SDF) to withdraw 32 kilometers south of Turkey’s southern border. Russia says the SDF has withdrawn to this depth.

The SDF has also said it is no longer militarily in control of the northern part of the country, adding that Russian military police have been deployed there. However, the SDF’s political branch, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), is still administering northern towns in the framework of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES).

Turkey considers the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought a decades-long armed struggle against the Turkish state for the cultural and political rights of Kurds in Turkey.

Most of the post-invasion attacks on the town of Sari Kani and Gire Spi have been blamed on the YPG.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeas ... /051220191
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 09, 2019 11:16 pm

Turkey Begins Resettling
Refugees in Western Kurdistan


Turkey has begun shuttling Syrian refugees across the border into northeastern Syria despite dangerous security conditions in the border towns—the first sign Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is moving forward with his plan to resettle some 3 million Syrians living in Turkey into 20 miles of formerly Kurdish-held territory

Local media reports and information provided to Foreign Policy by the northeastern Syria-based Rojava Information Center show that small numbers of Syrian refugees are now trickling across the border into northeastern Syria just two months after Erdogan and his proxy forces invaded the region. The violent military operation has killed hundreds of Kurdish fighters and civilians and displaced 200,000 people.

While the onslaught has largely halted since Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an October cease-fire agreement, residents of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain, the Syrian towns that mark the western and eastern borders of Turkish-occupied territory, live in daily fear of assault, terrorism, and looting. The security conditions on the ground raise concerns about the safety of those who return and call into question whether some of these civilians are being forcibly resettled.

Continued reports of atrocities by the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army that now controls the area also raise fears that Turkish proxies are committing a form of ethnic cleansing by relocating people of Arab descent into the region while preventing the Kurdish population from returning. Information provided to Foreign Policy indicates that the people now being resettled in the region are largely the families of Turkish-backed fighters who are originally from elsewhere in Syria and are primarily Arab and Turkmen.

Experts and U.S. officials worry that resettling large numbers of refugees who are not originally from northeastern Syria will upset the delicate ethnic balance of the region. Before the Turkish incursion, the area between Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain was previously controlled by the Syrian Kurds, and the population was primarily Kurdish and Arab.

“Turkey’s willingness to take so many refugees from Syria and to try and allow them to stay in Turkey and to support them was admirable,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in an interview with a handful of reporters at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, California. “But now for Turkey to say they want to try to relocate 2 to 3 million refugees … we should try to do everything we can in the United States to keep that from happening because of the humanitarian concerns, because of the ongoing conflict in the region.”

The first group of roughly 70 Syrian refugees crossed the border from Turkey into Ras al-Ain on Nov. 22, according to Turkish media reports. Two days later, on Nov. 24, three convoys carrying 600 families were transported from Turkey to Tal Abyad, according to information provided to Foreign Policy by the Rojava Information Center.

Turkey says the convoy was made up of people from the Kurdish-held region, but locals say the refugees are from elsewhere in Syria—Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, and further afield areas such as Idlib, Ghouta, Homs, and even Iraq, said Thomas McClure, a researcher with the group. The majority are likely the families of Turkish-backed fighters, he said, many of whom are defectors from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and have ties to extremist groups such as al Qaeda.

The first lot of refugees was bussed through Turkey from Turkish-held territory in Jarablous, Syria, where there are registration offices open for fighters who want to move their families to Tal Abyad, McClure said.

The border crossing between Turkey and Tal Abyad opened for the first time in five years on Nov. 26, according to McClure, clearing the way for large numbers of Syrians to cross back into Syria. The border was last open when the Islamic State militants controlled Tal Abyad, and it closed when the Kurdish-lead Syrian Democratic Forces took over the area.

The crossing is now being used to ferry Turkish-backed fighters and their families into northeastern Syria and to ferry out looted goods, particularly diesel and grain but also cars, hardware, and machinery, McClure said.

Across the region now controlled by Turkey, human rights groups report that soldiers from the Syrian National Army frequently carry out widespread lootings and summary executions, and soldiers are living unlawfully in residents’ homes. Meanwhile, government services have deteriorated, and arbitrary arrests and car bombings are commonplace.

While U.S. officials say they are not aware of a large-scale forced resettlement into formerly Kurdish-held territory, Amnesty International in October published a damning report accusing Turkey of forcibly deporting hundreds of refugees to Idlib province, an active war zone in northwestern Syria, under the guise of voluntary returns.

“At present, all deportations to Syria are illegal, because of the nature and severity of the human rights risks there, and people who have been returned have indeed been directly exposed to such dangers,” according to the report.

The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern about the treatment of civilians displaced by the military offensive and called on all parties “to facilitate immediate and safe return of displaced civilians who wish to go back to their homes, in accordance with international humanitarian principles.”

Due to the conditions on the ground, it is difficult to get accurate information about the people who have returned, McClure said. Conflicting information is rampant: While human rights watch groups point to degraded security conditions, the Syrian National Army insists that life is returning to normal. According to the United Nations, roughly 120,000 of the 200,000 people displaced by the Turkish operation have returned to their homes, but local reports indicate the number could be far smaller.

Adding to the confusion is that the United Nations has reportedly lost much of its access to on-the-ground information due the conflict and the subsequent flight of international nongovernmental organizations, which it previously relied on for monitoring.

There are also reports that former Islamic State members are living in the region. McClure’s team is working to verify information from a dossier of 70 named individuals provided by the local press.

A State Department official said while the United States has seen a “small number of returns,” the department is not aware of “any significant or coordinated movement of refugees from Turkey to northeast Syria.” The official called on Ankara to work with the U.N. to ensure that refugees return in a “voluntary, safe and dignified manner.”

“The United States does not support forced or coerced relocations of refugees or IDPs to northeast Syria,” the official said. “We are aware that Turkey is engaging with the UNHCR on this matter, and expect Turkey to honor its stated commitment to ensuring any refugees returns are done in accordance with the standards adhered to by UNHCR.”

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/09/tu ... ern-syria/
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 15, 2019 1:32 am

Joint statement from
28 EU member countries:


Turkey must end the occupation operation immediately

In a written statement published by 28 countries, members of the European Union (EU) have been called for an end to the operation in the north of Syria.

European Union countries have been called to end turkey's operation in Syria.

In a written statement published by 28 countries, members of the European Union (EU) have called an end to the operation carried out in the north of Syria.

The statement said: " the EU is calling turkey to end its one-way military operation. It is not possible that the so-called safe zone designed by turkey in the north of Syria will meet the international requirements for the return of refugees.

The EU will not provide help to ensure stability or development in areas where the rights of the local population are being ignored
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Dec 16, 2019 1:03 am

Ethnic Cleansing in Syria

A US Congressman has accused Turkey of conducting an "ethnic cleansing" campaign against the Kurds in northeast of Syria, believing that Ankara's actions in the region will put the security of the area at a great risk

"Turkish President Erdogan conducted a bloody ethnic cleansing campaign against the Syrian Kurds in Northeast Syria. Now, he’s forcing Arab and Turkmen Syrian refugees to resettle in the Kurds’ ancestral homeland, where security conditions will put their lives at risk," Democrat Congressman Eliot Engel, chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, told reporters on Wednesday.

Turkey started an offensive against the Kurdish forces in northeast of Syria in early October before it reached a couple of separate ceasefire deals with Russia and the US.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrian Kurdish people were displaced as a result of the Turkish bombardments.

Turkey has clearly announced its plans to resettle about two million Syrian refugees in the border areas, from where the Kurdish fighters were forced to withdraw.
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Dec 18, 2019 11:52 pm

Plan to Settle 1 Million
in Northern Syria


Turkey has prepared a detailed plan for settling 1 million Syrians in 140 villages in territory it seized along a 20-mile stretch of its border with northern Syria, marking one of the largest public construction projects on foreign-occupied land in modern history, according to the confidential plan Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently presented to the United Nations

The plan has heightened concerns that Turkey may be preparing to pressure Syrian refugees to return to an area that remains unsafe, and that it might intend to alter the demographics of the region, preventing the region’s Kurdish population to return to their traditional lands following Erdogan’s invasion in October.

The building project—which would require more than $26 billion in foreign assistance—was detailed in a glossy six-page document Erdogan shared with U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres at a Nov. 1 meeting in Istanbul. The document—which was reviewed by Foreign Policy—resembles a real estate prospectus for a large residential development project, promising new residents access to schools, hospitals, mosques, and sporting arenas, with some getting an acre of agricultural land.

“I’m not sure in recent history I have ever seen a plan of the ambition of the one that the president of Turkey has put on the table,” said Hardin Lang, a former U.N. peacekeeping official who serves as vice president for programs and policy at Refugees International, and who has been briefed on the plan. “They seem to be engaged in an attempt to ethnically reengineer this sliver of territory along the border in northeast Syria.”

Turkey is hoping to secure financial and political support for its settlement project from the United Nations and key European governments. Erdogan has warned European powers that he will “open the doors” for refugees seeking to cross Turkey’s borders and enter Europe.

During his meeting with Erdogan, Guterres highlighted the importance of “the voluntary, safe, and dignified return of refugees,” according to a U.N. spokesman. He told Erdogan that the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees would establish a task force to study the proposal. The decision has rankled some humanitarian advocates, who believed that the U.N. chief should have rejected the plan outright.

The refugee agency held discussions with Turkey last month in Geneva and Ankara, Turkey, and it has plans for a third round of talks in Geneva early next year. “The discussions were constructive and affirmed the principles for the voluntary and sustainable return of refugees to their places of origin in safety and dignity,” Chris Boian, the spokesperson for the refugee agency, told Foreign Policy in an email.

“UNHCR’s position is clear – refugees have the right to return to their places of origin or of their choosing across Syria and they need and deserve support if they do,” Boian added. “Any return of refugees to Syria has to be voluntary, dignified and at a time when it is safe to return. It is up to refugees to decide if and when they wish to return.”

In early October, Erdogan ordered an invasion—dubbed Operation Peace Spring—of northeast Syria, displacing more than 200,000 civilians and expanding a 20-mile-deep, 300-mile-long buffer zone into Syrian territory. The operation followed a phone call between Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump, in which Trump agreed to withdraw a small contingent of U.S. troops in the way of the invasion, effectively granting a green light.

Turkey has already begun quietly shuttling small numbers of Syrian refugees into northeastern Syria, which has traditionally been home to Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, and Assyrians.

In late November, hundreds of citizens crossed the border from Turkey into the border towns, Foreign Policy reported. Turkey says the convoy was made up of people from the Kurdish-held region, but locals say the refugees are from elsewhere in Syria—Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, and further afield areas such as Idlib, Ghouta, Homs, and even Iraq.

The majority are likely the families of Turkish-backed fighters who have been terrorizing the local population.

In an interview with Foreign Policy, Gen. Mazloum Abdi, the commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, called on Trump and the international community to stop the Turkish proxies’ persecution of the minority Kurds and forced ethnic cleansing of the region.

“Mr. President … the Turks are doing ethnic cleansing inside this area as they did in Afrin,” Abdi said, referring to Turkey’s bloody 2018 invasion of Syria’s majority-Kurdish Afrin district. “America should not allow forced changes in demography and ethnic cleansing in the 21st century.”

“One could safely say there’s been a lot of Kurdish families pushed out,” said Michael Mulroy, who served as deputy assistant secretary of defense until Dec. 1 and is an ABC News analyst. “That is a huge problem.”

Turkey is home to nearly 3.7 million registered Syrian refugees, making it the country with the world’s largest refugee population.

Even before Turkey’s latest military intervention in Syria, Erdogan signaled his intention in September to resettle up to 2 million refugees in the new safe zone, establishing a buffer that Ankara believes will strengthen its hand in its decadeslong war against Kurdish militants.

“If this safe zone can be declared, we can resettle confidently somewhere between 1 to 2 million refugees,” Erdogan told the U.N. General Assembly in late September. “Whether with the U.S. or the coalition forces, Russia and Iran, we can walk shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand so refugees can resettle, saving them from tent camps and container camps.”

For the time being, Turkey’s leader is struggling to secure financial support from foreign governments or financial institutions, according to diplomatic sources. But the plan underscored the scope of Erdogan’s ambitions to convert military gains it has achieved in its October military push into Syria.

The Turkish proposal—which includes a photo of a sample project image with a cluster of more than 100 newly constructed six-story buildings —calls for the construction of 140,000 housing units, 1,000 in each village. Each village will have two mosques, two schools with 16 classrooms, a youth center, and an indoor sports hall and management center.”

The villages would be encompassed by a larger group of 10 districts. Each of the districts would have 6,000 two- and three-bedroom housing units, a central mosque, 10 neighborhood mosques, eight primary schools, one high school, two indoor sports halls, five youth centers, one small stadium, four neighborhood soccer fields, hospitals, industrial sites, and universities.

The move comes as the U.N. Security Council is debating a request by Turkey to open a new humanitarian crossing point from Turkey through the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, which rests at the center of Turkey’s ambitious land program.

The council previously authorized four U.N.-approved crossing points, including two in Turkey and one in Iraq that allow aid organizations to reach more than 4 million people in need of assistance. The fourth crossing point, on the Jordanian border, is currently inactive.

The U.N.’s authorization of border aid crossings is essential in Syria, where millions of needy Syrians live in rebel-controlled territory. U.N. aid agencies and relief organizations maintain they need a U.N. mandate to deliver assistance, because the Syrian government opposes their presence in northwestern and northeastern Syria.

The proposal to establish a fifth crossing was first floated in the council by the United States, according to several diplomats. Two diplomats said that the U.S. special envoy for Syria, Jim Jeffrey, recommended Turkey seek the U.N. involvement in supplying humanitarian aid through Tal Abyad.

In a press conference earlier this month, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Kelly Craft, said “we support Turkey adding the fifth border [crossing]. That is very important in order to access the growing number of humanitarian needs.”

“Millions of people in Syria rely on this U.N. cross-border [aid],” she said. “There is no plan B. So, this has to happen. There is no alternative. We are going to strongly support this aid mandate for the next 12 months.”

A State Department spokesperson declined to discuss confidential discussions in the U.N. Security Council but said that the United States strives to ensure the U.N. takes steps to get humanitarian aid “to every single Syrian who needs it, regardless of who controls the territory.”

“The United States position is that, if and when conditions allow, refugee returns should be done in conjunction with the [U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees] to ensure the refugees return in a voluntary, safe and dignified manner,” the spokesperson added. “The United States does not support forced or coerced relocations of refugees or [internally displaced persons] to northeast Syria, nor does it support Syrian refugees not from the northeast being relocated to that area.”

The spokesperson, who spoke on condition of anonymity, noted that Turkey has committed, along with other members of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, “to refrain from any action that could lead to a change in the democratic structures” in northeastern Syria. “Our European partners have also been clear that they will not financially support any plan that includes forced or coerced repatriations from Turkey into northeast Syria.”

Experts on the region have expressed some concern that a new international crossing route through Tal Abyad could lend greater legitimacy to Turkey’s occupation of Syrian territory and potentially help provide financial and political support for its programs.

Mark Lowcock, the U.N.’s emergency relief coordinator, has informed council members that there is a need to provide humanitarian assistance to some 70,000 to 90,000 people around Tal Abyad who were displaced by the Turkish incursion, a fraction of the more than 3.7 million Syrians who receive aid through two existing Turkish crossing points. But Lowcock, according to several diplomatic sources, did not conduct a formal needs assessment of the plan and did not extensively consult other U.N. agencies that would be responsible for delivering assistance.

“I support the proposal to add the border crossing at Tal Abyad to the crossings mandated for use by the United Nations,” he wrote the council Wednesday. “There are many vulnerable people in and around that area who we could reach through the crossing but who, given recent changes on the ground, we assess the United Nations is otherwise unlikely to be able to help.”

Russia—which wants to shut down existing border crossings—has thrown the council negotiations into turmoil by threatening to veto it. It has proposed its own competing resolution that would shut down two existing border crossings in Jordan, which had not been active, and Iraq, which has served as the key entry point for medical supplies into Syria.

The United States, meanwhile, blocked an effort by the 10 nonpermanent members of the council to put forward a compromise resolution that would keep the existing crossing points but would not add one at Tal Abyad. Lowcock, meanwhile, urged the council to act quickly to renew the U.N. mandate to deliver the cross-border aid before it expires next month.

“Without the cross-border operation, we would see an immediate end of aid supporting millions of civilians,” Lowcock warned the council. “That would cause a rapid increase in hunger and disease, resulting in death, suffering and further displacement – including across borders – for a vulnerable population who have already suffered unspeakable tragedies as a result of almost nine years of conflict.”

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/18/tu ... gan-kurds/

Sadly, nobody cares about the rights of the local inhabitants X(
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Dec 19, 2019 12:02 am

World not supporting Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed frustration that the world did not offer what he saw as sufficient support for his country's invasion of northern Syria, a measure he argued was designed to resettle refugees fleeing the country's eight-year conflict

Erdogan made the remarks Wednesday at the Global Forum for Refugees in Geneva, where he argued Turkey was the "country that hosts the largest number of asylum seekers in the world"—hosting some 3.7 million Syrian refugees at what he said was a cost of $40 billion. In a stated bid to alleviate this burden, Turkey and allied Syrian insurgents launched in October a cross-border offensive against areas held by U.S.-backed, mostly Kurdish fighters in order to establish a so-called "safe zone" that Erdogan said has already allowed the return of 371,000 refugees, a number he hoped would soon reach one million.

The Turkish-led attack was met with criticism not only from the Syrian government, but from the United States, Russia and other powers as well. Reacting to those not supporting his project, Erdogan said even "the giants of the world, the ones with the most money, just smile at us and there is no support for us."

The Turkish leader went on to accuse foreign powers of prioritizing an oil grab in Syria over humanitarian causes, saying "none of the efforts to protect oil wells have been spent on children fleeing barrels bombs." He argued that "when we didn't see the support we wanted from the international community in the face of this sad picture, we had to take care of ourselves."

A convoy of Turkish military vehicles passes through the northern Syrian Kurdish town of Tal Abyad on the border between Syria and Turkey on December 4. Turkey has argued its "safe zone" project was intended to resettle Syrian refugees, but Kurdish forces have accused Ankara of ethnic cleansing in favor of Sunni Arabs in the border region. ZEIN AL RIFAI/AFP/Getty Images

Those comments were a thinly-veiled slight at fellow NATO leader President Donald Trump, who refused to back Turkey's operation against Pentagon-backed Kurdish forces and instead withdrew U.S. troops further east to maintain control of oil fields. The U.S. considers the Syrian Democratic Forces to be a key partner in battling the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), but Turkey views its main component, the People's Protection Units (YPG), as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Washington and Ankara both initially backed the 2011 rebel and jihadi uprising that devolved into clashes and civil war in Syria, but their aims have since diverged. Though still supporting fighters opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Turkey has entered into a trilateral peace process with his top international supporters, Russia and Iran.

These countries too criticized the Turkish incursion, which led the Syrian Democratic Forces to strike a security deal with the Syrian government. The U.S. and Russia struck separate, back-to-back ceasefire deals in an effort to halt the fighting in northern Syria and establish safe zones free of YPG presence, but deadly clashes have persisted throughout the northern border regions.

The Turkish Defense Ministry on Wednesday blamed the YPG for a car bomb that killed one civilian in Ras al-Ayn, Raqqa province and a mine attack that killed two civilians in Tal Abyad, Hasakah province. The official Syrian Arab News Agency placed the death toll for the former attack at five and the latter at four, but did not assign blame, only accusing Turkey and its allies of causing instability in the area.

The pro-opposition, U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported on these explosions without specifying the culprit. The monitor further Wednesday reported on Turkish airstrikes on positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which were said to have destroyed a Turkish tank in northern Raqqa by using a guided missile.

A picture taken on December 16 shows a helicopter of the U.S.-led military coalition in Syria over Washukanni camp, which was recently established on the outskirts of Hasakah city for people displaced from the northeastern Syrian town of Ras Al-Ayn and its surroundings due to the Turkey-backed military offensive. Washington has criticized the Turkish-led attack, but pulled troops out ahead of it. DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/Getty Images

Moscow and Damascus have also campaigned for the resettlement of Syrian refugees, but as a process conducted strictly through Assad's government. The United Nations and Western powers have warned against any plans to forcefully repatriate Syrians that fled to neighboring countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq.

Meanwhile, the U.S. lawmakers voted Tuesday to further sanction Syria and its international backers due to allegations of widespread war crimes. Last week, the Senate also passed legislation intended to impose restrictions against Turkey over its adventurism in northern Syria as well as Ankara's acquisition of Moscow's advanced S-400 Triumf surface-to-air missile system.

Syrian Democratic Forces commander Mazloum Abdi has called on the U.S. to do more to restrict the Turkish-led campaign, arguing Monday on Twitter that "Turkey has turned homes of ordinary Syrians into a political card to pressure the international community & use it for demographic engineering."

"The international community & organisations must stop this & develop a mechanism for the safe return of indigenous people to their homes," he added, claiming that some of the 300,000 that returned to their homes since the Turkish operation "were kidnapped, tortured & killed" by rebels. "

These war crimes by Turkey against our people must stop," Abdi wrote.

https://www.newsweek.com/turkey-frustra ... ?piano_t=1
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:20 am

Who Exactly Is Turkey
Resettling in Syria?


Just two months after the launch of Turkey’s most recent incursion into Syria, dubbed Operation Peace Spring, civilians’ return to areas now occupied by Turkish forces has already begun

Turkey launched its long-anticipated operation in October in order to clear the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from the border region of Syria and Turkey and create a so-called safe zone to settle millions of Syrian refugees who fled to Turkey over the course of the Syrian war. The Turkish government deems the YPG a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has waged a decadeslong and deadly campaign for Kurdish autonomy inside Turkey.

Questions arise as to whether Erdogan’s $26 billion megaproject is intended to clear his border of Kurds

According to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), more than 75,000 people still remain displaced from areas in northeast Syria and are now sheltering in relatives’ homes and camps for internally displaced people after fleeing the Turkish operation. More than 17,000 people have crossed the border to Iraqi Kurdistan to seek safety, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.

Considering the underpinnings of the operation, the return of Syrians to their homes in the northeast is highly politicized.

Various regional groups such as the Internationalist Commune of Rojava and the Rojava Information Center have long argued that Turkey is undertaking ethnic cleansing of Kurds and sees its most recent operation as part of this demographic change along Turkey’s borders.

Turkey, on the other hand, contends that it is paving the way for Syrians who have been sheltering in Turkey to return to their homeland, thereby restoring the population from before the Syrian war. Various media outlets have recently reported cases of Syrian Arabs returning to areas recently cleared of so-called terrorists, particularly the now Turkish-controlled areas of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain—towns that have always had a substantial Kurdish population.

For instance, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported that about 70 Syrians, some of whom had lived in the border town of Sanliurfa for seven years, had crossed into Syria and returned to Ras al-Ain.

The Turkish Defense Ministry also stated that 295 people have recently moved from Jarabulus, a Syrian border town west of the Euphrates River, to Tal Abyad now that “peace and security” has been restored. These Syrians had allegedly fled the YPG an unspecified number of years ago and are returning to their homeland thanks to Turkey.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has deemed this a form of engineered demographic change, noting that civilians only need to register their names with Turkish forces in order to be moved by a car escort that departs twice a day.

    The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has deemed this a form of engineered demographic change, noting that civilians only need to register their names with Turkish forces in order to be moved by a car escort that departs twice a day.
Mahmud Komiteya, a Kurdish community leader from Tal Abyad, fled the city after Turkey launched its operation and is now sheltering in Qamishli, in the far northeast of Syria. He recently spoke to Foreign Policy by phone, which regularly cut out due to poor service.

Komiteya said he was told by his Arab neighbor, who is currently looking after his home in Tal Abyad, that no one has returned to the city besides a few Arabs. “Some people are coming from outside the city … to delete the demographic, put other people there and remove our culture,” Komiteya told Foreign Policy.

U.N. data shows that approximately 123,000 people have returned to their place of origin since the start of the operation. Roughly half of these people have returned to places now controlled by Turkey. As of the start of December, Turkey had captured about 1,900 square miles, stretching from west of Tal Abyad to east of Ras al-Ain.

U.N. spokeswoman Danielle Moylan explained that of the number of people who have already returned—close to 102,000 went back in October—meaning approximately 83 per cent of the displaced who have returned did so in their first month of displacement. Given the deteriorating security situation, those who remain displaced are unlikely to return anytime soon.

Moylan also confirmed reports of approximately 300 families previously displaced from Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain who have recently returned to their areas of origin from Jarabulus, in addition to 200 Syrian families returning from Turkey.

But there is no evidence these Syrian families who were sheltering in Turkey once lived in Syria’s northeast. Furthermore, the return of families who were sheltering in Jarabulus for the last few years ignores the need for the most recent wave of internally displaced people to return, too.

The secretary-general of the Austrian Association for Kurdish Studies, Thomas Schmidinger, sees the transfer of people from other areas, including Jarabulus and Turkey, as a land grab.

“Nearly no one from Ras al-Ain fled to Jarabulus or Turkey [during the most recent operation], so the people going there now come from completely different regions of Syria,” Schmidinger told Foreign Policy. But they are taking over the homes most recently vacated by people who fled in October.

There has been a constant flux and various waves of internally displaced people and refugees in Syria’s northeast since the start of the Syrian war. In 2012, Ras al-Ain became a front line between the Kurdish administration and Turkish-backed opposition forces and militias.

“So the Kurds fled the region west of Ras al-Ain to the region under control by the Kurds in Jazeera,” Schmidinger said, referring to the eastern Syrian region that includes Qamishli.

The demographic makeup of Ras al-Ain has been fairly constant, though the most recent census—conducted in 2004—did not differentiate ethnicity. Schmidinger estimates Ras al-Ain was 70 percent Kurdish, up to 15 percent Arab, and 15 percent Christian Syriacs and other minority groups, such as Chechens and Turkmen. Tal Abyad had an Arab majority before the war. In 2011, 70 percent of the population was Arab and 25 percent Kurdish, according to the Washington Institute.

In 2015, when the Kurds captured the city from the Islamic State, thousands of Arabs fled the city, with many going to Turkey. Schmidinger contends that most of these people worked with or were affiliated with the Islamic State. Further, they may have feared retribution for having forced Kurds and other minorities to flee when the Islamic State took control in 2014.

“There was at least one village called al-Ballou where the Kurds kicked out the Arabs because the village was known for being very pro-ISIS,” Schmidinger said, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “The criteria for kicking people out was definitely not ethnicity, but political support for ISIS,” he added.

Amnesty International accused the Kurdish administration of forced displacement and home demolitions in 2015 and documented cases that had no justification on grounds of security or protection for residents.

According to Moylan at OCHA, at least 750,000 people were already displaced from the region before Oct. 9, when Turkey launched its operation. Now, it appears Turkey is bringing in Arabs who fled from Tal Abyad in 2015, as well as people from other parts of Syria and Arab refugees who had been living in Turkey for several years.

    Now, it appears Turkey is bringing in Arabs who fled from Tal Abyad in 2015, as well as people from other parts of Syria and Arab refugees who had been living in Turkey for several years.
Komiteya, the Kurdish community leader from Tal Abyad, said the people being moved into the city now are originally from Ghouta, Idlib, and Aleppo and doesn’t believe they were once from Tal Abyad.

Indeed, it isn’t safe for anyone to return to areas now controlled by Turkish-backed forces. “The factions ruling over the area are heavily abusive, and in addition to this there are car bombs exploding also on a daily basis in the newly captured areas,” said Elizabeth Tsurkov of the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

She further argued that Kurds and Yazidis are particularly vulnerable to abuses by the Arab-led militias now controlling the area, and many of their houses have been seized by various factions of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA).

“We will [continue to] see the return of Arabs, the Chechens, but most Kurds will be forced not to return to their homes because of the violence and abuse they would suffer if they did,” Tsurkov said.

Komiteya, now sheltering in Qamishli, told Foreign Policy he would most likely move to Raqqa, the former Islamic State capital which is now under Kurdish control, rather than going back to his home in Tal Abyad. “I can’t go back because there are robbers and gangsters there,” Komiteya said.

The marking of property available to loot and confiscate can be seen in video footage and photos taken in places such as Ras al-Ain, where names are painted on house walls. The names further show where some of these people come from, such as “Abu-Waleed al-Homsi,” signaling this person is originally from Homs, Syria.

The relocation of people not originally from areas like Ras al-Ain and Tal Abyad is quite evident from an administrative form distributed by Turkish backed forces, which fighters from any region in Syria can fill out to apply for their families to be relocated to areas now controlled by Turkey.

Tsurkov said the houses appropriated by various factions in the Syrian National Army generally belong to individuals accused of having ties to the YPG.

“[But] often times these people have no ties—they’re impoverished Arabs,” she added. “This is something we’ve been able to verify, both with fighters in the Turkish-backed factions as well as residents of the area who have fled.”

Human Rights Watch released a statement at the end of November detailing abuses carried out by factions in the Syrian National Army, including looting, confiscation of property, as well as preventing the return of Kurdish civilians.

While the premise of Operation Peace Spring was to establish a safe area for refugees to return to, the level of safety enjoyed by those who return appears to be based on their ethnicity—and comes at the discretion of the various factions in control on the ground.

https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/12/19/wh ... -in-syria/
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sun Dec 22, 2019 1:28 am

New health clinic in Kobani

Ukrainian doctor moves to Kobani to help locals affected by war

A Ukrainian doctor has set up a health clinic in the city of Kobani to help civilians affected by Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria.

Turkey launched an offensive in northern Syria on Oct. 9, leading to mass displacements and deaths of civilians. The operation prompted many cross-border humanitarian organizations to leave the area.

There is a lack of humanitarian support in Kobani, especially after the United States withdrew from the area in October, and Syrian soldiers and the Russian Military Police entered the region.

Dr. Eliana Sahin told Kurdistan 24 that her decision to open a clinic in Kobani was influenced by her husband, who relayed to her the shortage of doctors in the city.

“I thought about his suggestion. I moved to Kobani, and I do not regret my decision,” she stated.

Sahin’s clinic has been open for the past three months, despite Turkey’s military offensive.

“The incidents of the past two months have been disastrous. Like any other Syrian here, I am with the people with all my heart, and I hope the ongoing oppression and violence will end soon. I will stay longer since I like it here,” she said.

Just like other foreigners that traveled to Syria to help the Kurds, Sahin showed her appreciation for the Kurdish struggle.

“To support the Kurds, I would like to say, the people here are ready to sacrifice for their homeland and the freedom of their next generations. Therefore, the neighboring states do not support them and cause them troubles.

“The Kurdish people are seeking their rights, they must find real partners to resolve the Kurdish question, stand in solidarity, and support their interests,” she added.

“I am confident that their sacrifices will not be in vain, and Ukraine will support them [the Kurds].”

Sahin said the world “must stand against the atrocities committed by Turkey against the Kurds.”

Having visited the Kurdistan Region in the past, Sahin said she hopes the war in Syria ends soon, and people can live safely like those in the Kurdistan Region, and rebuild their land and prosper economically.

https://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/b77 ... 6661efe0a8
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 24, 2019 4:22 pm

Forget the lies and the propaganda

This is a real photo of real people visiting there home in Kobani after the COALITION had flattened it

Image

Granted, the coalition was fighting ISIS at the time but in so doing they obliterated vast areas of Kobani and, as far as I know, have made no attempt to pay towards the rebuilding

Think of these unfortunate people who are being forced out of their homes once again

In the next few days, much of the world will celebrate Christmas as a time of loving and giving

Unless you happen to be a Kurd who just wants to be left in peace in Kobani and all other parts of Western Kurdistan, as they try to rebuild their homes and their shattered lives

But there are celebrations in Western Kurdistan:

Turkey is celebrating the hundreds of square miles of Western Kurdistan that America and the rest of the world has given him

HAPPY CHRISTMAS ERDOGAN
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:29 am

Idlib is under attack

NOT from rebel forces

But from the Syrian government

The same Syrian government that certain members of the YPG want to join forces with

Heavy rainfall floods IDP camps in Idlib

Syrians fleeing intense clashes between pro-regime forces and jihadists in the northwest province of Idlib now have to struggle to survive heavy rain on Syria-Turkey border, which has flooded the region.

Idlib is the last bastion of the rebels and has been under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a former al-Qaeda affiliate group, since 2017.

Backed by the Russian air force, Damascus has intensified its attacks on the area since mid-December, controlling tens of towns and villages. The clashes have caused the displacement of at least 235,000 people, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Living in makeshift camps in Sarmadā and Kafr Dariyan towns in the north of Idlib province, photos taken this weekend highlight the dire living conditions exacerbated by recent flooding.

Displaced civilians mainly depend on critical cross-border aid but this has come under threat after Russia and China recently vetoed the Resolution 2449 which ensured the safe access of humanitarian aid for Syrians.

As winter approaches, the situation for Syria's displaced will only worsen.

Link to Flooding:

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/30122019

Remember it it NOT Hayat Tahrir al-Sham who are bombing and destroying homes and in some cases, entire villages
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jan 03, 2020 1:28 am

School artillery strike kills nine

The school in Sarmin was being used to shelter people displaced by a government offensive

Syrian government artillery fire killed nine people, including five children, in opposition-held Idlib province on Wednesday, first responders say.

Sixteen others were injured when cluster munitions hit a school in Sarmin which was sheltering displaced people, according to the White Helmets.

It came as pro-government forces continued an offensive to the south.

Idlib is the last major region still held by rebel fighters and jihadists opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.

The United Nations says the hostilities are having devastating consequences for the three million people living there, of whom 76% are women and children.

A ceasefire halted a government assault on Idlib in August that had reportedly left more than 1,000 people dead and displaced an estimated 400,000 others

However, skirmishes and bombardments continued and on 19 December fighting resumed along the frontlines in the south of the province.

The school in Sarmin hit on Wednesday was run by the UK-based humanitarian organisation Syria Relief, which said two of the children who died were six years old. The others were nine, 11 and 13, it added.

Another 12 children were among the injured, as were two teachers, one of whom had to have a leg amputated.

Syria Relief said six of its schools had been damaged by military action since April, and that Wednesday's attack meant another 913 children were out of education.

"Unfortunately, our hopes for 2020 to be the year when the suffering of the Syrian people stops feels like they have already been dashed," said Charles Lawley, the organisation's head of advocacy.

Some 284,000 people have fled their homes, mostly in southern Idlib, as a result of the hostilities since 1 December, according to the UN.

The major town of Maarat al-Numan and its surrounding countryside, 30km (19 miles) south of Sarmin, are reportedly almost empty, while people from Saraqeb, only 9km from Sarmin, are fleeing in anticipation of the fighting reaching their area.

Most of the displaced are heading north to the city of Idlib, where public buildings like schools are being used to house them, and to camps near the Turkish border.

The UN says many of them are in urgent need of humanitarian support, including heating, winter clothes and blankets to help them cope with the cold weather.

Last week, the International Rescue Committee warned that many families were being forced to camp in the open, while local doctors said their hospitals were full.

More than 370,000 people have been killed since an uprising against President Assad began in March 2011, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The monitoring group documented 11,215 deaths during 2019.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-50971869
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Re: Destruction of Western Kurdistan by absolutely EVERYONE

PostAuthor: Anthea » Fri Jan 10, 2020 10:46 pm

Russia announces ceasefire in Idlib

A ceasefire went into effect in the early hours of Friday morning in Syria’s jihadi-dominated northwestern province of Idlib following a meeting between the Turkish and Russian presidents

“In accordance with the agreements with the Turkish side, the ceasefire was imposed in the Idlib de-escalation zone from 14:00 [Moscow time] on January 9, 2010,” General Yuri Borenkov, chief of the Russian Center for Reconciliation of the Opposing Parties in Syria, told reporters on Thursday, reported Russian news agency TASS.

The Russian general urged the heads of jihadi and rebel factions to cease their “armed provocations,” claiming that the groups have violated ceasefire deals in Idlib, which is the last stronghold of rebels in the country. It is controlled by the former Syrian franchise of al-Qaeda Jabhat al-Nusra, now rebranded alongside other groups in a coalition called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS).

Over three million civilians, mainly women and children, are trapped in the province, many of them displaced from other parts of the country.

This is the latest of several attempts to end hostilities in Idlib. In September 2018, following fears of large scale destruction and displacement and at the urging of world powers such as the United States, Russia and Turkey reached a ceasefire deal to prevent a full scale regime offensive on the province.

The agreement included setting up a buffer zone cleared of heavy weapons and rebel forces, and under the watch of Turkish observations posts. It was, however, repeatedly violated by both sides.

In August 2019, Russia announced a unilateral ceasefire, but it was followed by the regime overtaking large swaths of territory from the rebels and displacing thousands of people.

In mid-December, the Syrian regime, backed by Russia, launched another offensive and has driven back the rebels, but at the cost of the civilian population. According to the latest report from the UN’s humanitarian response team, at least 300,000 civilians have fled their homes in Idlib since mid-December. The total number of the people displaced in Idlib over the past eight months has reached 700,000 and at least 1,300 civilians were killed between May and August of last year due to airstrikes and shelling in Idlib.

Since the December escalation, 36 children have died, according to Save the Children.

“The number of casualties in Idlib continues to grow. They may just be numbers to many, but to their families, they are dearly loved children whose lives have been cut short by a brutal conflict that spares no one,” said Sonia Khush, Syrian Response Director of Save the Children.

Russian President Putin traveled to Syria this week, meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and then going to Turkey where he met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The new ceasefire appears to have been struck during this meeting.

Damascus has not commented on the ceasefire and the regime has been adamant that it wants to retake all of Syrian territory, by force of arms if necessary.

On Thursday, in a speech to the United Nations Security Council, Syria’s representative to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari slammed the Council for “hampering” Syria’s anti-terror fight in Idlib.

The UK-based war monitor the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported “cautious calm” across the de-escalation zone in Idlib “in conjunction” with the Russian announcement of the ceasefire. There are periods of shelling and exchange of machine gun fire, reported the Observatory.

https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/10012020
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