Northern Syria: Turkey and jihadist militias failure

Turkey

In northern Syria, the jihadist militias backed by Turkey militarily occupy portions of territory belonging to the autonomous administration of Northern and Eastern Syria. They attacked the Syrian Democratic Forces by land and air in the province of Ayn Issa.In Rojava, the war, resistance, and the occupation of some cantons by Turkey and its allies continue. In these months of the coronavirus pandemic, in this area, attention has fallen.

The Covid-19 epidemic is one of the problems facing the revolutionary institutions of northern Syria. Dozens of deaths in these days of the so-called second pandemic wave and numerous infections, in a context of war, military occupation, and embargo, where the health facilities are not adequately equipped to face the health emergency.

The issue of the thousands of prisoners, militants, or former Isis militants and their families, for years in the custody of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which has repeatedly asked the international community to take charge of these people by establishing international courts, also remains unresolved. Requests that systematically fell on deaf ears. Thousands of suspected members of the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) will be tried in northeast Syria (Rojava) in early 2021, according to Kurdish officials.

Loacal media revealed that the trials will be conducted by the Kurdish authorities as per local laws but under international monitoring led by Sweden. Daesh prisoners “will be judged in the beginning of 2021 as per Rojava laws,” said Sheikhmous Ahmed, head of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES) office for internally displaced persons and refugees. He added that observers from Sweden – which has indirectly expressed its support for the trials –and observers from other countries will supervise the trials.Both men and women suspected of being part of the terrorist organization will face prosecution.

Rojava host tens of thousands of ISIS-affiliated prisoners, including 10,000 foreigners, 5,000 Iraqis and some 25,000 Syrians. There are also about 68,000 peopleof different nationalities, including Syrians, in the well-known al-Hol camp, in Hasaka.Most of the convicts were arrested during the fight against ISIS between 2014 and 2019, especially when the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) regained control of Baghuz, the last stronghold of Daesh, in March 2019.

In recent months, Turkey has strengthened its support for these terrorist groups and jihadist militias in Northern Syria. The Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also launched a military campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Kurds, suffering international condemnation. Erdogan has also tried to oust activists, journalists and women from the political process in these territories. But he failed as usual.

About 300 women gathered last week for a conference in northern Syria.They affirmed “to represent the failure of the Turkish plot” to remove women from Syrian political life.Delegates and guests from cities including Aleppo and Damascus along with Iraqi Kurdistan and Europe met for the 8th conference of Kongra Star, a women’s organisations created in 2005 to follow the political line of jailed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan.

According to the British “Morning Star,” the participants affirmed their pride in holding the conference in the city of Rumelian, in Rojava, in defiance of Turkish attacks on organised women.“Holding the conference at this stage represents the failure of the Turkish occupation plots in the region, where women have been targeted in the first degree,” Afrin delegate Zainab Ali said.She represents those who have been internally displaced since the 2018 Turkish incursion and following occupation of the province, allied with a myriad of jihadist groups linkedtoDaesh and al-Qaeda.Afrin is the site of war crimes including extrajudicial executions.

In May, a rape and torture site was discovered. Here, hundreds of mainly Yazidi women were being held by jihadists from the Turkish-backed Hamza Brigade.Despite the United Nations acknowledging the crimes committed by Erdogan and his allies in the occupied region, no action has been taken and arms sales to Turkey by the UK and other western countries have continued.

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