The Vice President of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom warns of the catastrophic situation in northeastern Syria in the light of the continued Turkish attacks

The Vice President of the US Commission for International Religious Freedom warns of the catastrophic situation in northeastern Syria in the light of the continued Turkish attacks

The Vice President of the American Commission for International Religious Freedom, Nadine Maenza, continues her tour in the Autonomous Administration region in northeastern Syria.

“The region faces a threat similar to the threat of ISIS, which is Turkey,” said Maenza, and pledged to work to pressure all the religious and political parties in US to stop the Turkish attacks.

This came during a press conference held on Saturday 7 November 2020, and brought together the two vice presidents of the Executive Council of Euphrates Region, Nihad Ahmed and Zozan Baker, and the delegation of the commission, following a tour in Kobani museum, which shows the destruction in the city during the battles against ISIS. She visited also the Shrine of the Martyr Dijla, and the Church of the Brothers in the city.

Maenza expressed their optimism about the Administration structure and the unique experience that is applied in the region, in the midst of war and siege, noting that “the Turkish threat is not different from the threat of ISIS.”

“The Americans are generally dissatisfied with the Turkish crimes and practices in the region,” she said, “We are doing everything in our power to end these threats.

“The best solution to preserving the established order in the regions and protecting it and its people is to recognize the Autonomous Administration politically, as it will guarantee the return of the displaced people to their areas.”

Maenza added, “The International Committee for Religious Freedom is carrying out several tasks towards northern and northeastern Syria region, including pressuring the American government to expel Turkey from the areas it has occupied, and to ensure that the Autonomous Administration remains in the comprehensive political resolution for Syria.”

“I came to Syria as an independent official,” she said. I am here to show that the American people stand with the people of north and northeastern Syria, and that we support the values that the Autonomous Administration represents, such as freedom of religion, gender equality, and human rights. The American Commission on Religious Freedom has made bold proposals to the US government to preserve religious freedom in northern and northeastern Syria.

She continued: “In June, we held a hearing in the Congress regarding religious freedoms in northern and northeastern Syria compared to the areas occupied by Turkey in terms of murder, rape, kidnapping, imposing religious views and destroying holy sites. Therefore, the Commission suggested that America should pressure Turkey to withdraw from Syria, and that the international community can not ignore the crimes committed by Turkey and its affiliated Islamic factions against ethnic and religious minorities.
Regarding their proposals presented to the American government, she indicated, “The Commission for Religious Freedom suggested to expand its dealing with the Autonomous Administration in north and northeastern Syria and to recognize it as a local government.”

She added, “We also requested the participation of the Autonomous Administration in the political settlement in accordance with Resolution 2254, and it is ironic to exclude a successful government that runs about a third of the country.”

Maenza also went to a tour in Tel Tamer district in the countryside of Al-Hasakah and met with members of the Syriac Military Council and Beth Nahren Women’s Protection Forces, and visited Washokani camp, which was constructed for IDPs of Ras al-Ain, who were displaced from their city due the Turkish attacks in October 2019. Then she met with a number of Autonomous Administration officials in Al-Hasakah city.

She said: “The practices of Turkey and its Syrian proxies are the same as ISIS.”

Maenza pledged to continue her efforts with the US government, the White House and the US Department of Defense to inform them of the current situation in the region and to support them on all the levels.

She added, “They are working to give a realistic impression about the region, and to expose the Turkish war crimes and the militants loyal to it in Ras Al-Ain/ Serekaniye, Tel Abyad/ Gire Sipi and Afrin.”

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