The European Union must act in Tel Abyad and Ras Al-Ain regions

An IDP camp for people from Tel Abyad who are displaced as a result of the Turkish attack and invasion

The Turkish intervention in two major cities in northeastern Syria caused a catastrophic situation in the entire region, and greatly exacerbated ethnical tensions in areas that used to be coexisting, safe and stable.

The administrative government of the Self-Administration succeeded in providing suitable conditions for setting up development projects and supporting civil society, which contributed to creating a stable environment, and spurred the region to becoming a population and economic center in which employment and development opportunities were provided.

Now there is an urgent need for the European Union to do what is necessary to ease the ethnic tensions and to avoid further escalation, especially since about 350,000 persons – two thirds of the population- are still forcibly displaced from their homes and forbidden to return.

The EU should move and stop pursuing its ostrich policy and apply pressure on Turkey to stop the settlement project that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues to wave with, because of the disastrous manipulation of the social engineering it entails, and the blow it causes to social structure and social stability.

This is the summary of a report prepared by the violations documentation center in northern Syria, which deals with the social, economic, and political effects of the waves of displacement caused by the Turkish attack on the areas of Tal Abyad (Gire Sipi) and Ras Al-Ain (Seri Kaniye).

In accordance with to UN reports and many other reports of international and local organizations as well as our own reports, and based on dozens of meetings we conducted, many war crimes were committed by Turkey and the Syrian armed groups that were supported by Turkey (Syrian National Army), such as field executions, bombing infrastructure, schools, hospitals, kidnapping and arresting civilians, seizing real estate and properties, lands, crops, livestock, emptying silos and cutting water, as well as blackmailing the residents for their livelihood and security and kidnapping for ransom.

The report was based on 45 testimonies, and took three months of investigations, collection, supervision and communication to be prepared. It highlights the tragic situation of thousands of forcibly displaced people, displacement of native citizens, and resettlement of other displaced people, most of them families of the pro-Turkish militants, the escalation in ethnic tensions this has caused, and the problems between the local population and the militants – strangers- and the internally displaced families that are protected by these militants and the power they have gained, seizing homes and properties from the native citizens.

The report also highlights, according to the field testimonies, the discrimination to which the whole local population is exposed, especially the Kurds, and that less than 4% of them has returned to their homes, under the difficult conditions of persecution and widespread discrimination. With the rest of the local population, they are also victims of many human rights abuses committed by the pro Turkish factions.

Also, the report talks about issues like housing, work, property, government changes, local community, political and security changes. It concludes with several recommendations that include the need for the EU to act and apply pressure on the Turkish government to correct the imbalance they created, as well as calls on the UN to do what it must, and to not turn a blind eye to abuses that amount to war crimes against humanity.

The report will be available here soon …

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