Recent Turkish military operations have severely damaged civilian infrastructure in North and East Syria (NES), a UN-disseminated report revealed on Monday. Published on the UN’s ReliefWeb platform, the report paints a grim picture of the aftermath following the Turkish offensive.
On 4 October, Turkey announced infrastructure, superstructure and energy facilities in Syria and Iraq as “legitimate targets” for its armed forces. This led to an escalation in aerial strikes from Turkish aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), alongside frontline shelling and artillery exchanges. The result has been significant damage to critical civilian infrastructures including water stations, power stations, farms, and sites near civilian villages and camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
According to the report, the humanitarian toll is apparent with 18 confirmed civilian casualties, notably from areas subjected to frontline shelling and artillery fire. Extensive damage has severely affected facilities and infrastructure critical for the provision of essential services to civilians across North and East Syria, with 58 verified targeted sites. The humanitarian community is reportedly struggling to provide emergency life-saving services amidst a backdrop of widespread destruction.
Collaboratively, the NES NGO Forum and the UN are spearheading the development of a contingency response plan to address the ongoing humanitarian impact and prepare for potential further escalations in conflict. Yet, the report underscores a dire need for substantial infrastructure rehabilitation. Without restoration of power generating capacity, the provision of vital services including water, food, health and education, is severely obstructed.