President of International Religious Freedom Secretariat Nadine Maenza condemns Turkish airstrikes on North and East Syria as war crimes

NORTH SAND EAST SYRIA — President of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat and former Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Nadine Maenza, strongly denounced Turkey’s recent airstrikes on infrastructure and civilian facilities in North and East Syria, categorizing the attacks as war crimes. Maenza is calling for Turkey to be held accountable for its actions.

Turkey initiated its most recent series of airstrikes on North and East Syria, specifically targeting critical infrastructure and civilian facilities, including electricity stations, after a dozen Turkish soldiers were killed in Iraq by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The airstrikes resulted in a complete power outage in 2,900 villages and 9 towns, including the city of Zalin (Qamishli), just days before Christmas.

During her visit to Zalin and her meeting with the leaders of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), Maenza emphasized her mission to document the crimes committed by Turkey. She expressed solidarity with the remarkable courage demonstrated by the local population and the employees of AANES who continue to resist and defend their homeland against external aggression.

Maenza reiterated her condemnation of the deliberate targeting of infrastructure and civilian facilities, emphasizing the gravity of such actions as war crimes. She called for urgent accountability measures to be taken against Turkey for its role in the devastating attacks.

Highlighting the extensive impact of the Turkish airstrikes, Maenza revealed that the areas had endured over two hundred air strikes, specifically targeting water and electricity stations. Schools, hospitals, and various other crucial infrastructure were also affected. More than two million people in the region were left without access to water and electricity due to the Turkish bombings.

Notably, she pointed out the hypocrisy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent call to defend Gaza, citing its lack of water and electricity. She criticized Erdogan for simultaneously destroying vital resources, hospitals, and schools in Syria through the aggressive military actions.