NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — In comments to Suroyo FM, spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Aram Hanna stated that the SDF launched a wide campaign in Gozarto (Jazira) Region, North and east Syria, including Dayrik (Al-Malikiyah), Tel Hamis, Al-Hol, Al-Shaddadi, the Hasakah countryside, and Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor), following the increased terrorist activity and Turkish threats.
Hanna explained that terrorist groups often take advantage of the Turkish threats to commit more crimes against residents of the region. However, the SDF will continue to ensure the security and stability in the region from both terrorist groups and Turkey, he said.
He pointed out that the Turkish violations continued along the border strip and lines of contact, especially in the villages of the Syriac–Assyrian people in the Khabur River Valley, directly targeting civilians, service facilities, infrastructure, electricity and water stations, and places of worship.
The Church of Mar Sawa in the village of Tel Tawil, north of Tel Tamer, was subjected to heavy Turkish artillery and mortar shelling. This greatly damaged the church and negatively affected the Syriac–Assyrian people in the villages of Khabur. The Syriac Military Council (Mawtbo Fulḥoyo Suryoyo, MFS) has pledged to defend the area from Turkish attacks alongside the Tel Tamr Military Council.
Hanna noted that the continuation of Turkish encroachments on the villages in Khabur threatens the presence of the Christian people and pushes them to leave the land of their ancestors on which they lived for years.
In a recent report, media outlet Asharq Al-Awsat highlighted the continued emigration of Christians from Syria, with the percentage of Christians in Syrian dropping from 10% of the overall population in 2011 to just 4% today.