ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – On Sunday, the United States commissioner for religious freedom spoke out against Turkey’s recent strikes which targeted civilians in the Kurdish town of Kobane in northern Syria through a Twitter video-statement, accusing them of destabilizing the area, among other serious violations.
The series of attacks, which saw a four-year-old child losing his leg among other casualties, prompted a reaction from Nadine Maenza, who condemned Turkey’s actions, stating that, “Turkey says that they’re targeting terrorists, but clearly that’s not the case.”
The commissioner for religious freedom also stated that, through targeting civilians, Turkey is clearly causing destabilization in these areas, which further affirms the interpretation that their main goal is gaining more land, and not fighting terrorism.
In addition, Maenza went on to mention that we are witnessing “egregious religious freedom violations, and horrific crimes against Christians, Yezidis, and others, especially women in these communities,” in Turkish-occupied areas of northern Syria.
Maenza concluded her speech by stating that, “it’s important for the US and the global community to stand up against these strikes and to push Turkey to stop.”
The attacks targeted around 15 villages in the countryside of Kobane, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), killing one and wounding twelve others, including women and children.
Turkey is yet to release a statement on the attack, however an unofficial source tracking the Turkish military operations on Saturday confirmed attacks on Kobane and the village of Qarmog, claiming that the Turkish artillery units had struck Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) targets.
Turkey has conducted three military operations in northern Syria since 2016, two of them against Kurdish fighters whom it considers a branch of the PKK and a threat to its national security.
According to data published by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Thursday, over 700 civilians were kidnapped and 134 were injured in Turkish attacks in 2021.
Rojava saw 47 Turkish ground attacks and incursion attempts, as well as 89 drone offensives, according to the SDF.Fifty-eight villages and three districts were the target of direct bombardment.
By Chenar Chalak