DAA: Opening the Tel Abyad border crossing would legitimize occupation and contribute to demographic change

QAMISHLI, Syria – The Democratic Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (DAA) expressed its displeasure towards the proposal by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres on the possibility of opening of the crossing of Tel Abyad as an alternative to the Al-Yaroubia crossing.

The reapproval of al-Yaroubia as a U.N. humanitarian aid border crossing has been vetoed by Russia and China during the U.N. Security Council debates over which border crossings should be used for U.N. humanitarian aid. Tel Abyad is currently being occupied by the Turkish military and the Syrian National Army (SNA), a collection of militias, including several espousing Islamist ideologies, formed and funded by Turkey.

An estimated 300,000 people have fled Tel Abyad and Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn), and their surrounding areas, as a result of the Turkish invasion and occupation. In recent months, Turkey has resettled several thousand people from other parts of Syria into the homes of the displaced.

In a statement, Abdul Kader al-Muwahid, Co-President of the Office of Humanitarian Affairs of the DAA, declared that using the Tel Abyad crossing as an alternative to Al-Yaroubia would move towards legitimizing the occupation of the region and contribute to the process of demographic change that is happening in areas occupied by Turkey. Al-Muwahid described Guterres’s proposal as an indirect contribution of the U.N. in the processes of demographic change.

Al-Muwahid pointed out that the United Nations and concerned countries must enter aid to the region through crossings that are not occupied by forces that hostile to the DAA. He also called for the immediate re-opening of the Al-Yaroubia crossing.