HRW: Turkish strikes exacerbate humanitarian crisis in Syria
Turkish airstrikes are exacerbating an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis for Kurds, Arabs, and other communities in Northern Syria, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.
“Syrians are already enduring a humanitarian catastrophe, a growing displacement crisis, and an economy in free fall. Turkey’s military strikes risk making an already unbearable situation much worse for Kurds, Arabs, and other communities,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at HRW on Wednesday.
Turkey’s targeting critical infrastructure across north and northeast Syria is also “putting civilians’ basic rights further at risk,” Coogle said.
Since Nov.19, Turkey is carrying out an arial operation into Northern Syria to combat Kurdish militants in response to a bomb attack that hit Istanbul’s historical Istiklal Avenue on Nov.13, killing six people and wounding 81. Ankara blamed the attack on the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate People’s Protection Units (YPG). PKK and YPG denied involvement, pointing out Turkey-backed Syrian rebel groups operating in Northern Syria over the Istanbul attack.
Turkish airstrikes have displaced families, caused significant power cuts and fuel shortages, forced aid organizations to temporarily suspend certain activities, and led to school and work disruptions, HRW said, citing six local residents, all of which suffered damages and international humanitarian workers on the ground.
The NES NGO forum, the lead coordination body for nongovernmental organizations working in northeast Syria said that at least ten civilians, including a journalist are reported to have died in Turkey’s airstrikes, HRW said.