Girê Spî/Tel Abyad: Catastrophic consequences in occupied area

The Turkish occupation of Girê Spî canton has caused catastrophic consequences at all levels; humanitarian and service, as a result of the crimes and immoral practices pursued by the Turkish occupier and its mercenaries, and all this takes place under the complicity of the international community with the crimes committed against the people who are under the yoke of occupation.

More than a year has passed since the attack launched by the Turkish aggression on the regions of north and east Syria on the 9th of October last year, after which it occupied Serêkaniyê / Ras al-Ain and Girê Spî / Tel Abyad cities and their countryside.

During this period, the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries committed the most heinous types of crimes against civilians in the areas they occupied, including killing, displacement, looting of property, arbitrary arrests and kidnapping for ransom.

The humanitarian damage caused by the Turkish occupier in Girê Spî canton

The Turkish occupation of Girê Spî canton and its countryside has caused the displacement of more than 100,000 people from the canton, its countryside, in addition to the northern and western countryside of Ain Issa, most of whom are now residing in the cities of al-Raqqa and al-Tabqa and their countryside, they are suffering from difficult financial and living conditions in light of the difficult economic conditions that Syria is going through in general.

In cooperation and coordination with the Civil Administration in al-Raqqa, Girê Spî Canton Council managed to accommodate 3,530 of these displaced people in a camp it established on November 22nd last year near Tel al-Samen village in the northern countryside of al-Raqqa city, due to the difficult conditions they are facing in their places of displacement and the high rates of dwelling.

The indiscriminate shelling by the Turkish occupier and its mercenaries left dozens of killed and injured among civilians, as the number of those who lost their lives reached 46 civilians, while the number of injured reached 34.

Since the beginning of the Turkish occupation of the canton, the occupation and mercenaries have carried out kidnappings and arbitrary arrests against those who remained under false pretenses and charges, in order to break their will and push them to emigrate.

Our agency has documented, through local sources in the occupied territories, that the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries, during the current year, kidnapped a number of people and sentenced them to unfair judgments that contradict international laws and charters. Some of these judgments are for life and others for 15 years, including “Yassin Mohamed, Mohamed Bashir Hamidi, Jumah Ibrahim,” and three brothers; “Fouad, Tariq, and Hadi Abdel-Karim al-Sheikh.”

They also kidnapped a number of tribesmen during the current month after they were accused of possessing weapons, as 3 civilians from al-Mashhour clan were kidnapped in the eastern countryside of Tel Abyad and 4 from al-Hanada clan in the village of al-Qaysariya, west of Tel Abyad, in addition to 7 young men from al-Badou clan in al-Zaidi village, and they confiscated all their belongings, including livestock and machineries.

In this regard, the displaced Fawaz al-Ali from the occupied village of al-Zaidi urged the tribes in the occupied territories to rise up against the crimes of the occupier against them and not to remain silent, indicating that the goal of these crimes is to break their will and subject the remaining tribes to silence about the crimes that they are carrying out in their areas.

Financial damage caused by the Turkish occupation in Girê Spî canton

The civilians’ properties in the occupied areas of Girê Spî canton were destroyed and demolished, whether by indiscriminate shelling or deliberate demolition, as nearly 114 homes were subjected to total or partial destruction, and our agency documented the destruction of 25 homes in the village of Sherkrak alone, while the rest of the houses are distributed in each of the countryside of al-Jern town, Suluk district, and Ain Issa countryside.

The farmers’ crops were not spared from the practices of the Turkish occupier, as it burned more than 63 thousand dunums of agricultural land during the harvest season, whether directly or by shells steaming down on the agricultural fields.

Public facilities and properties were subjected to looting and vandalism

The educational reality was no better after the occupation of Girê Spî canton, as the occupation and its mercenaries targeted schools directly, and ceased education in 288 schools in the areas it occupied, 11 schools were destroyed by directly targeting them by the Turkish occupier and its mercenaries, and 40 schools were turned into military points.

As for the schools located within the Autonomous Administration areas, 20 of them are closed, due to the mercenaries frequent targeting of the villages in which they are located because they are located on the front lines.

The spokesperson for the Education Committee in Girê Spî canton says that there are approximately 5,000 students who have been deprived of education in these schools because families fear sending their children to these schools for fear of being targeted by the mercenaries who shell the villages in which these schools are located.

With the aim of starving the people of the region, the Turkish occupation looted the crops stored in each of al-Dehliz and al-Sakhrat silos, which estimated at 20,000 tons. It also made the hidden silos of al-Salem “Qazali village” out of order once and for all, in which the strategic reserve “wheat” is stored for tens of villages in that region.

In addition, the Turkish occupation aims to obliterate the identity of the peoples in the regions it occupied, as it bulldozed and looted several archaeological sites in the canton, including al-Dehliz Hill in Suluk district, the archaeological Sehlan Hill in Khirbet al-Rez village, and two sites in Hammam al-Turkman village, namely the city of al-Faw and al-Sabi al-Abyad.

According to local sources from the region, the occupation is currently facilitating excavations in the rest of the sites via antiquities thieves who wreak havoc on what remained of those archaeological sites.

All these crimes and violations against the people of the occupied territories are committed without any movement by the international community and human rights organizations.

In this regard, the Co-chair of the Girê Spî Canton Hamid al-Abd appealed to the international community to move and put pressure on Turkey to stop its practices against the people of the occupied Girê Spî canton, indicating that their silence about these practices will only increase the Turkish occupier’s arrogance and going too far.