Turkish invasion forces hit civilians in northern Syria

Turkish jet plane Turkey

Turkey has invaded north-eastern Syria (aka Rojava), attacking largely-Kurdish fighters who were key in defeating Daesh (Isis/Isil). And now, Turkish troops have reportedly bombarded a convoy of civilian vehicles taking residents of the northern Syrian city of Raqqa to a border town, inflicting casualties among them.

Civilian murders

The Kurdish Hawar news agency said the attack on the road leading to the border town of Girê Spî (Tal Abyad) killed three people and left several others injured. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), meanwhile, said the Turkish air strike occurred when a convoy carrying a tribal leader reached the entrance of Girê Spî. It said several people were injured but no one was killed.

According to Al Jazeera, Rojavan defence forces said Turkish attacks have so far “killed five civilians and injured dozens more”. The SOHR claims the invasion has killed eight civilians.

Turkey has been bombarding Girê Spî since the start of its invasion on Wednesday. Rojavan defence forces, meanwhile, have responded to Turkish aggression with dozens of mortars.

Activists have consistently called Turkey’s attacks on Rojava a “war of aggression”. Turkey is currently at war with Kurdish communities both at home and abroad because of their demands for self-determination; and according to the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, it has committed numerous war crimes in the process.

“Condemn the invasion”

Read on...

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, however, has asked the EU not to use the word “invasion”. He prefers to call the attack ‘Operation Peace Spring’. He also renewed his threat to send Syrian refugees to Europe if the union challenges him, hitting out after Finnish prime minister Antti Rinne (whose country currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency) condemned the invasion and urged the cessation of hostilities.

According to Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), “the UK has licensed £1.1 billion worth of arms to Turkey” since August 2014. And CAAT’s Andrew Smith said:

The UK Government must condemn the invasion and act to ensure that UK-made weapons are not contributing to the violence. It must take action by immediately stopping the arms sales and ending its political and military support for Turkish forces.

UK Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, meanwhile, tweeted:

Parliament’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on North East Syria recently visited Rojava. And amid Turkey’s threats to invade, it condemned “what would be an illegal Turkish invasion of a neighbouring state”.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson, however, had apparently not commented on the invasion at the time of writing.

Foreign secretary Dominic Raab, meanwhile, expressed “disappointment” about Turkey’s “incursion”. And he said it would undermine the fight against Daesh:

Featured image via Flickr. Additional content via Press Association.

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us