Joint Statement by 97 humanitarian organizations active in North-East Syria
On Unilateral Turkish Military Intervention in the Region
As active representatives of local and regional actors engaged in supporting humanitarian work within North-East Syria, the 97 signatory organizations to this statement have closely followed the developments of the Turkish military operations in North-East Syria since 9 October 2019. The affected area is home to millions of people in addition to many IDPs from other areas of the country.
With growing concern, we have witnessed significant displacement since the campaign began with cross-border bombardment, as well as the direct targeting of vital infrastructure including water sources and grain silos. We have received field reports about civilian casualties as the result of military operations instigated by the Turkish army accompanied by Syrian partner armed factions. Contrary to rhetoric of creating a “safe zone”, this operation risks escalating into wide-scale conflict, which will have disastrous humanitarian consequences for North-East Syria and beyond.
The concerted attempts of the Turkish military and Syrian partners to invade villages, towns and cities in North-East Syria will cause devastating results, and we are concerned about the possible consequences for ethnic and sectarian conflict, as well as the reactivation and empowerment of ISIS sleeper cells, which will once again de-stabilize the region and endanger its stability and social coexistence. This troubling atmosphere could lead to the displacement of millions of civilians and emptying the region from its original residents.
Turkish soldiers and Turkish-backed Syrian fighters outside the border town of Ras al-Ain Saturday during their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria.Credit Nazeer Al-Khatib/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
We as actors engaged in humanitarian work in the area condemn the Turkish military attack which aims at invading these safe regions and we assert the following points:
• The international community should exert pressure on Turkey to bring an end to its unilateral military operation in North-East Syria;
• All actors should steer away from violence and apply the language of dialogue in resolving the conflict through international diplomatic mediation;
• Mechanisms of internationally guaranteed humanitarian protection should be applied to the affected regions of North-East Syria;
• We firmly oppose any Turkish action aimed at demographic change and threatening social cohesion in the region;
• We call on international organizations and organizations operating in the region to assist in providing shelter and urgent humanitarian aid for IDPs.
1. Ashna Youth Organization
2. Ashti center for building peace
3. ASO Center for Consultancy and Strategic Studies
4. ASO Media Network
5. Assyrian Association for Aid and Development
6. ADEL CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS
7. Ahmed Khani Association in the Netherlands
8. Al Furat Center for Studies
9. Al Jazeera Charity Association in Raqqa
10. Al Watan Charity Association
11. Amouda Charity Association
12. Arab National Commission
13. Ararat For Development
14. ARAS Charity
15. Avahi Civil Society Organization
16. Azura Al-Furat Organization
17. Baladna organization for civil society
18. Balsam Center for Health Education
19. Bayti Baytak Organization
20. Beginning organization