According to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) 2022 report released on Wednesday, Turkey attacked North and East Syria 17,596 times throughout the year. A total of 59 civilians, including 12 children and five women, lost their lives in these attacks; 263 civilians were injured, including 59 children and 44 women.
Turkey’s air and ground offensives in northern Syria also damaged several civil infrastructure and public services. According to the SDF report: hospitals, municipal buildings, schools, power lines, water tanks, places of worship, cemeteries and factories were all damaged in attacks.
The SDF said that after 2019, Turkey launched attacks on the region with warplanes, SİHAs, heavy weapons, tanks and artillery, and that these attacks caused great damage to the infrastructure and settlements of the region.
“Moreover, the Turkish repeated violations and attacks on the regions of NE Syria stretched from Afrin to Dêrik, as well as the deliberate targeting of civilians including, women, children, men and the elderly confirm once again the occupation’s intention to displace our people, forcing them to leave their homes which is considered a crime against humanity that has become clear, explicit and proven by evidence and irrefutable documents which condemns the Turkish occupation for war crimes,” SDF said.
In the report, the SDF underlined that Turkey’s operations against North and East Syria also directly targeted the commanders and fighters of the SDF forces, who had the most crucial role in the defeat of ISIS.
Stating that the Turkish-controlled areas are the biggest obstacle to the ongoing war against ISIS, the SDF said, “Apparently, the Turkish-occupied areas were and are still the warm embrace of ISIS leaders and members.”
Turkey has carried out a record number of military operations against North and East Syria in 2022, as well as its cross-border operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.
Turkey argues that its cross-border air and ground operations are within the scope of the right of self-defence, under Article 51 of the United Nations Convention. International law experts and human rights groups, on the other hand, state that Turkey violates international law with its cross-border military operations.