General Michael Corella of CENTCOM emphasized the commitment of the United States to the anti-ISIS mission in North and East Syria, as well as the support provided by the US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS to the SDF.
The Newroz holiday, which was celebrated by Kurds almost exclusively in secret during the Assad Regime’s rule, has become a prominent symbol of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) and its embrace of the region’s diversity.
Representatives of the US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS joined the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in celebrating the occasion in Deir-ez-Zor.
On the fourth anniversary of the occupation of the region of Afrin, including its city, by Turkey and extremist militia groups that it supports, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria has criticized the international community for its inaction and apathy.
The United States office of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) hosted an event marking the eleventh anniversary of the Syrian uprising, when the Syrian people first demonstrated against the Assad Regime, demanding basic human and democratic rights.
Let us hope that ISIS members do not succeed in a large-scale prison break, which could lead to more atrocities in the Middle East, the West, Europe – or even the United States.
The attack began on January 20, 2022, when dozens of ISIS fighters used car bombs to launch an attack on the al Sina’a Prison, where thousands of ISIS members are held. The attack managed to breach the prison and allowed fighters to escape into surrounding neighborhoods and buildings, as well as take prison staff hostage.
A vehicle that was carrying fighters from the Tel Tamr Military Council to battle ISIS in Hasakah was struck by a Turkish drone strike, reportedly wounding the fighters inside the vehicle… there have been constant Turkish-backed attacks on the Ayn Issa region, leading to several SDF fighters being killed while repelling these attacks.
If Turkey left Afrin, it would be back in the good democratic hands of North and East Syria, and the region could again be home to an inspiring flourishing of a new type of democratic culture in the Middle East.
Why aren’t there more news media reports about the situation in Afrin? Turkey does not allow reporters into the Afrin region, unless they are strictly managed and do not stray from their official Turkish handlers.
North and East Syria, where an estimated 5 million people live, and where 1.8 million people rely on humanitarian aid to survive, has steadily been cut off from the rest of the world during the past two years as its border crossings have become increasingly politicized.
The murder of Bassam Mohammed, a Kurdish Red Crescent medical worker in January, 2022 is a shocking indication of the enduring security threat the camp poses. Over 90 people were killed in the camp in 2021, making it the deadliest year at the camp so far.
The Council stated that the issue of Afrin is an issue for all Syrian people, as it is a case of a foreign and hostile state illegally occupying Syrian territory and changing its demographics. They further emphasized their disappointment with the international community, stating that their silence has given Turkey a green light to continue occupying parts of Syria and to expand their attacks.
The bill authorizes $177 million in Train and Equip funding for counter-ISIS operations during the 2022 fiscal year. These funds will support the SDF’s continuous work to disrupt the activities of ISIS and protect the world from Islamic extremist terrorism.
While the SDF and US have held joint exercises before, in particular in the Deir-ez-Zor region, these recent exercises were notable for their use of advanced equipment.
Under the new amendment, nonprofit organizations can transact with entities in Syria to offer humanitarian aid, invest in non-commercial development projects, and generally conduct food/medical/education aid and assistance, as well as other activities.
Free Burma Rangers, a US nonprofit organization, has rebuilt an Armenian Apostolic church that was destroyed by ISIS in Raqqa, the former capital of the so-called “ISIS caliphate.”
The new constitution has been on the agenda for the AANES for some time, however, Turkish attacks and the COVID-19 pandemic have long delayed further development and advancement of the region.
Our people are ready to do the work of reconstruction. But first, we need the skies free of bombs and drones, so that we can see the sun rise on a stable, secure, prosperous Syria.
Commander Mazloum stated that “The United States said they were opposed to, and would not accept, any attack by Turkey against us.” This was relayed by the United States to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria officially, and US officials told Commander Mazloum that President Biden told President Erdogan on the sidelines of the G20 that any attack was unacceptable.
Deescalation of military threats to North and East Syria, as well as economic stabilization of the region, were topics discussed with Ethan Goldrich, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs at the US Department of State, visited with top officials in the autonomous region of North and East Syria.
Turkish Air Force drones have been targeting Syrian Democratic Forces soldiers, civilian members of the AANES, and prominent families in the region. These attacks are a blatant violation of the ceasefires signed with Russia and the United States, and prominent members of the AANES have called on the international community to put an end to the attacks.
While the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) has touted a recent anti-drug operation that resulted in the arrests of several drug dealers and the seizure of approximately half a million Captagon pills as evidence of their opposition to the proliferation of narcotics, the number of users and scale of production has continued to increase.
It is only natural that such a closeness in values between the AANES and Catalonia would lead to positive relations and solidarity. This culminated in the Catalan parliament officially recognizing the AANES as a legitimate political entity on October 20, 2021.
Construction vehicles, designed for heavy earthworks, not delicate archaeological sites, have been in use by Turkish-backed organizations at the site of “Nabi Hori,” about 23 km from Afrin. The site has witnessed large-scale excavation efforts by Turkish-backed organizations in full view of Turkish forces.
At least 23 Turkish drone attacks have been launched against “Kurdish targets” since August 1, 2021, states the brief. This includes Turkish attacks in North and East Syria against AANES government officials, children, and civilians.
During the past six years since ISIS was driven out of Kobani, the AANES has worked tirelessly to rebuild and provide for the people. Their resilience is what allows the city to be where it is today.
“Their fight is not over. And because their fight is not over, ours isn’t either. Anyone with any interest whatsoever in peace and democracy must continue to talk about North and East Syria.”
“President Biden did not give a green light to a Turkish military operation in northern Syria,” said James Jeffrey, who was the US Special Envoy for Syria Engagement until late 2020.
US lawmakers called Turkey a “rogue state” engaging in “increasingly destabilizing behavior.” The letter is yet another sign of worsening relations between the United States and Turkey, both NATO member countries.
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Our Syrian Constitution should be based upon the future of Syria, not our past. It should propel us forward to a democratic Syria — one based on pluralism, diversity, human rights, feminism, decentralization, and religious freedom — our highest dreams.
In order to rebuild Raqqa both physically and socially, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) has undertaken many actions to address the major issues plaguing the city.
Experts estimate that Turkey violated its ceasefire agreement over 800 times in its first year of implementation, an average of 2.3 incidents per day.
The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations in North and East Syria held its founding conference October 17 and 18, 2021, to support an initiative to strengthen the role of civil society organizations and institutions in society.
The government of Catalonia, Spain, voted to officially recognize the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) on October 20, 2021. Approving a resolution that was initially presented in parliament in July 2021, Catalan lawmakers voted to recognize the AANES as a “political entity.”
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What we heard from US officials was hopeful. They know that the partnership between the United States and our region should be protected and supported.
The reception that Ahmad and her delegation received was friendly, with many legislators and officials expressing a willingness to protect the US partnership and further stabilize their region.
The delegation members came to Washington to represent the interests of the Syrian Democratic Council as well as to convey the messages of Syria’s many communities.
During Executive President Ahmad’s visit to Washington DC in September 2021, she met with a wide variety of US officials.
If we remain excluded, democratic Syria may just refuse to accept the results of the peace talks. We must be included if these talks are expected to succeed.
Many are joining in the wishful thinking for a Kabul encore in North and East Syria. But this will never happen before a genuine peace treaty is established that transcends what is falsely projected as an internal Syrian affair.
As long as Turkey can hide behind their label as a NATO member state without consequence, they will continue to target genocide survivors, prominent anti-ISIS commanders, and advocates for womens rights in the region – targeted simply because of their ethnicity and belief in a democratic future for their country.
Turkey seems to be trying to fabricate an ancient religious site called Nebi Huri, about 35 miles (45 kilometers) outside of Afrin, Syria, in the region of Syria occupied by the Turkish military and their proxies. They are replacing current Kurdish features with structures in the Ottoman style and destroying ancient Roman features of the site.
If stabilization and development assistance were taken more seriously, we would be well positioned to prevent another ISIS resurgence in the region formerly claimed by ISIS as their “caliphate.”
This “terrorism fallacy” in the logic of international law is being erroneously applied to the people of North and East Syria. There can be no clearer picture of this error than the images of dead children and a one-year-old baby girl in a hospital in Raqqa — dead at the hands of Turkey.
“The Biden administration is committed to retaining US military presence in northeast Syria,” said Ms. Dana Stroul, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East. “It is also committed to addressing the humanitarian crisis.”
When everyday people do not even have water to drink, farmers do not have water for their fields. Wheat crops are failing.
In the wake of the redrafting of its social contract, the democratic, diverse, and egalitarian system of the AANES has continued to keep the democratic aspirations of the Syrian people alive in the face of jihadist terror and Ba’athist repression.