Many people living in North East Syria have expressed their ongoing concerns about the Turkish military’s attacks on Ain Issa.
At least 9,500 people have fled their homes in Ain Issa, in northeast Syria, following an escalation in clashes between the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (TSNA) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the military forces of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), also known as Rojava.
The SDF has stated that the TSNA has been shelling Ain Issa since mid-December. Ain Issa sits approximately 45km (28 miles) by road from Tel Abyad, a city flanking the Turkish border and captured in October 2019 during Ankara’s Operation Peace Spring.
Villagers living in the rural areas of northern Raqqa (Reqa) have reacted to the shelling that is taking place in Ain Issa. One of those villagers, Îbrahîm El-Elî, lost his son fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to liberate Raqqa. “I am ready to sacrifice all my children for our lands. We have saved these lands with the blood of our children. The Turkish state and its mercenaries want to take our lands from us. As one of the families of the martyrs and as people living in the region, we will never accept that. Therefore, our resistance will continue”, he noted.
A female resident of Raqqa, Ibtîsam El-Ehmed, said: “These attacks target the unity of the people and the stability of the region. There is no way that we can accept these attacks. The international community should voice the truths regarding the war crimes that have been and are being committed by the Turkish state in the region. The Turkish state has committed massacres that have targeted the people of the region, but international public opinion remains silent”.
Villager Mihemed El-Salim added: “As people living in Raqqa villages, we react to the attacks in Ain Issa. Ain Issa is also a part of our lands and we will never let our lands be occupied”.