Journalist İbrahim Karagül, a member of Turkey’s pro-government media, has openly celebrated Turkish military airstrikes on civilian infrastructure in Syria and Iraq which have led to a “total cessation of electricity and gas production”. He also shared footage of a fire that engulfed the Suwaydiya (Sewediya) gas facitility following the airstrike.
His stance was in line with a statement made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan after Tuesday’s inaugural cabinet meeting of 2024, in which cross-border operations were endorsed even in the face of mounting military casualties.
Karagül openly boasted that Turkish military aircraft had conducted numerous airstrikes on Suwaydiya, an area he alleged was under the control of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). According to Karagül, the gas field was bombed seven times, resulting in its complete destruction. The aftermath of these operations has seen a complete cessation of electricity and gas production in the area.
Karagül asserted that these military actions were part of a broader strategy by Turkey to target “economic resources and energy projects of the PKK and the USA in Syria” (sic).
His statements align with discussions in the pro-government media, suggesting unease from the United States regarding Turkey’s military actions in the region.
Observers, however, maintain a level of skepticism towards the Turkish media’s rhetoric, which depicts the US as a prominent adversary. They suggest that the pro-government Turkish media’s portrayal of the US as a significant threat, coupled with Turkey’s open targeting of this perceived enemy through airstrikes and public boasts, may be an attempt to reassure the Turkish public amid rising military casualties and a growing sense of loss of control.
President Erdoğan’s on Tuesday that civilian infrastructure is being directly targeted further emphasised the seriousness of the situation. Erdoğan highlighted the role of the National Intelligence Organisation (MİT) in targeting infrastructure and alleged ammunition facilities. His statement emphasises the deliberate nature of these actions, which have potential repercussions for civilian populations and regional stability.
The alignment of İbrahim Karagül’s boasts with President Erdoğan’s statements and discussions within pro-government media raises questions about the international implications of Turkey’s military actions. While the Turkish government frames these operations as necessary for national security, there is growing unease from the region and the international community about the humanitarian consequences, regional stability and the broader geopolitical strategy in the region.