The United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the European Union (EU), and the United States of America (USA) must take immediate action to prevent further casualties among civilians and protect their fundamental rights by preventing further violations of international law and enabling humanitarian actors to carry out their work.
The organizations signing this statement express their deepest condolences to the family of the humanitarian aid worker who was killed as a result of the targeting of a civilian vehicle he was traveling in with members of his family by a Turkish drone on Nov. 24, 2023, near the city of Amuda in NES.
Since early 2022, areas in NES have witnessed repeated brutal attacks by the Turkish forces, using both drones and warplanes, targeting populated areas and vital facilities. These unlawful attacks have resulted in the death and injury of dozens of civilians, including medical workers, journalists, and humanitarian workers, and the disabling of many civilian facilities due to direct targeting.
The northern and northeastern regions of Syria are home to the most vulnerable families in the country, with approximately five million people residing there, including around one million internally displaced persons who have been displaced multiple times, fleeing severe violence in other parts of the country.
Over the years, attacks on humanitarian workers in Syria have become common. Humanitarian aid workers in Syria and anywhere else are not targets. There is no justification for attacks on humanitarian organizations, their staff, or their supplies. This is not the first time that humanitarian workers have fallen victim to Turkish attacks. A journalist was killed and another was injured on Nov. 20, 2022, and medical workers were injured as a result of repeated and successive attacks by Turkish forces while attempting to save the lives of civilians.
Turkish attacks have destabilized the fragile stability in northern and northeastern Syria, and if these attacks continue, they are likely to lead to another humanitarian catastrophe, which will strain the already stretched humanitarian response due to previous Turkish aggressions.
The organizations signing this statement condemn the targeting of populated areas, humanitarian workers, and vital facilities that are essential for the survival of civilian populations. They warn the international community that these attacks will worsen the existing catastrophic humanitarian crisis and undermine the efforts of civil society and non-governmental organizations, significantly affecting the region’s population in all its components.
The continued loss of civilian lives by Turkish forces is a violation of the fundamental principles of international humanitarian law and a violation of the laws of armed conflict, which strongly prohibit attacks targeting civilians and civilian objects or indiscriminate attacks that do not distinguish between military and civilian targets, which may amount to war crimes.
The organizations signing this statement call on all parties to the conflict in Syria to respect international law, cease attacks on civilians, infrastructure, and vital facilities immediately, and urge the following:
- The UNSC/UN: Take immediate measures to protect civilians and their fundamental rights throughout Syria and ensure the enabling of humanitarian actors to carry out their work.
- The International Coalition/USA: Intervene immediately to halt Turkish attacks on northern and northeastern Syria, close the airspace to drones and warplanes targeting infrastructure, civilian objects, and populated areas, and reject destabilizing stability and undermining efforts to combat the Islamic State (ISIS).
- International, Impartial and Independent Mechanism (IIIM): Intensify the collection of evidence regarding grave violations of human rights committed by all parties to the conflict against civilians and civilian objects throughout Syria and particularly in the northern and eastern regions of the country.
- War Crimes Units in countries that allow trials based on the principle of Universal Jurisdiction: Expand structural investigations into international crimes in Syria to include those occurring in the northern regions of Syria by all parties to the conflict.
The signing organizations in order:
- Tara Development Organization
- Future Makers Team
- Nawras development organization
- jsor alamal
- Environment and Water Association
- Tayif Humanitarian Organization
- Ebdaa Organization for Development
- Weqaya Association
- Nasmet Amal Organizing
- Raja Organization
- For Them Organisation
- Slav Organization for Civic Activities
- Mary for culcher
- Derina Organization
- Sara organization to combat violence against the woman
- Sawaeed Organization for Development
- Kobani for Relief and Development
- Syria Cross for Relief and Development
- Euphrates NGO
- Devlopment Seeds Center
- Center for research and protection of women’s rights in Syria
- Areej organization
- White hope organization
- Fayd Organization for Development
- Zahrat alfurat
- Nujeen Association of Community Development
- jiyan Charity Association
- PUBLISH PATH
- Youth for change
- SALAM Organization
- Enma Aljazera
- Bader Organization for Development and Community Media
- Shaqayiq alkhayr
- tree of Life organization
- Sahem Organization for cooperation and development
- Can Association
- Dan for Relief and Development
- Bukra Ahla Association for Humanitarian Relief
- Rahma Organization for Studies and Development
- LIGHTS FOR DEVELOPMENT AND CONSTRUCTION
- Jasmine Association
- Hajein Technicians Organization
- Balsam Center For Health Education
- SAM For Development
- Di Development Organization
- Qadar Organization
- Shilan association for relief and development
- Adil center for human rights
- PEACE SHE LEADERS NET WORK
- Community Solidarity Organization
- Reng for development
- Share for Community Development
- White human organization
- Development shorok
- Senter Zin
- Swaedna Organization for Relief and Development
- Sanabel Al-Furat Organization
- Alseeraj Charity Association
- Synergy Association for Victims
- PÊL- Civil Waves
- Nabd Team
- Durrat Al Furat