The Rojava Information Centre (RIC) released a report on Monday revealing the devastating impact of Turkish airstrikes on the Suwaydiya gas and electricity station in North and East Syria. The report includes photographed evidence of the destruction.
In the detailed dossier, the RIC reported that on the night of 14 January, Turkey carried out nine air strikes on the Suwaydiya station, a vital humanitarian lifeline for the people of northern Syria. The attack was part of a larger series of airstrikes between 12 and 15 January. Turkey’s recent airstrikes have systematically targeted a number of energy facilities in the region.
Suwaydiya, the largest of the targets, suffered catastrophic material damage and is now completely out of action. Although no staff were killed, the destruction of key infrastructure within the plant itself left 920,000 residents without electricity. Suwaydiya was an important producer of bottled gas, which was supplied to a further several million people in the region. As a result of the attack, domestic gas production has been wiped out and gas imports are more than 10 times more expensive.
The impact is far-reaching, given that Suwaydiya was used to provide about half the electricity produced in the Jazira (Cizîrê) Region. It also powered essential services including water stations, health facilities and public bakeries. The disruption to the electricity supply has left at least 38 bakeries unable to operate, affecting the production of subsidised bread, a staple food in North and East Syria.
The report highlights the severe impact on oil pumping and refining stations in the Jazira governorate, as fuel production and distribution have been suspended. This directly affects farmers who rely on fuel for irrigation and grain processing. With food security in the region already fragile, the reduction in oil production threatens to make agricultural practices unaffordable.
Northeast Syria’s NGO Forum, the lead coordinating body for NGOs working within the region and across the border from Iraq, warned the looming fuel shortage could lead to avoidable deaths, especially in the harsh winter conditions. For the 168,000 internally displaced persons in North and East Syria who rely on subsidised fuel prices for heating, the situation is even worse.
This is not the first time Suwaydiya has been the target of Turkish air strikes. Significant damage, electricity rationing and costly repairs were caused by previous airstrikes in November 2022 and October 2023. The most recent attacks on 14 January 2024 were described in the RIC report as even more intense.
The RIC documentation shows that during regular air strikes against Kurdish-led autonomous regions in Syria, Turkey has established a systematic practice of targeting electricity infrastructure. Suwaydiya is identified as one of the main targets in these campaigns. The cumulative impact of these attacks, combined with the existing embargo on the region, has made it extremely difficult to obtain the necessary maintenance parts and has raised serious concerns about the ability of the region to recover.