International and local officials condemn Turkey’s attacks on North and East Syria

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Following the ongoing Turkish attacks on military and civilian infrastructure in North and East Syria, international reactions have varied but have mostly condemned Turkey’s aggression.

Over the past several days, Turkey has intensified its air raids on North and East Syria and Iraq, striking hospitals, schools, and energy infrastructure.

The US, Russia, Germany, and France have all called on Turkey for self-restraint and expressed their concern about the escalation.

In a statement on the sidelines of an international conference in support of Moldova, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna stated:

“Unfortunately, this is not the first time that we have seen Turkey launch attacks in a foreign country. Each time, we expressed our concern and our clear desire for Turkey to show greater restraint. We understand Turkey’s security concern in the face of terrorism, but not with this kind of means.”

The US Department of Defense (DOD) expressed deep concern about the Turkish military operation, saying in a statement that this escalation threatens the progress of the International Coalition in its efforts to defeat ISIS, just as the recent air raids in Syria directly threatened the safety of US personnel in Syria.

The DOD condemned the civilian casualties and extended its condolences to their families.

Unsurprisingly, local military and political officials have denounced the Turkish attacks and their negative consequences for civilians.

General Commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) Mazloum Abdi said in a statement on Wednesday that the SDF had stopped coordination with the US-led International Coalition in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) because of the Turkish attacks.

Abdi pointed out that the coordination of work with Russia on the ground was also affected by the attacks.

He explained that Turkey is targeting civilians with the aim of displacing them and occupying their land. Abdi stated that the forces composing the SDF will carry out their duty to defend the region, stressing their readiness to repel a land invasion should one be launched by Turkey.

Abdi said that the position of the Syrian regime is weak and unclear on the Turkish attack, and that it must fight with our forces, because it is also a target of the occupation.

Spokesperson for the SDF Aram Hanna said in comments to STEP agency that the Turkish threat has always been continuous, not only now. The SDF desires peace and remains committed to it despite Turkish violations. No attacks or military operations were carried out within the official borders of Turkey while the SDF was subjected to drone attacks, artillery bombardment, and the assassination of its military and political leadership.

The head of the Executive Committee of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), Ilham Ahmed, said that Turkey targets the infrastructure that services five million people in the region.

SDC representative in the United States Bassam Saqr sent a message to US President Joe Biden asking him to stop the Turkish violence by any means.