Sanctions against militias in Syria

Welcome, but insufficient

The Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) has demanded the German Federal Government to finally condemn the human rights violations and war crimes that its NATO partner Turkey is committing in Afrin, Sare Kaniye (Ras Al-Ain), and other occupied regions almost every day. “Due to ongoing cases of abduction, arrest, blackmail, rape, and land grab in Afrin, the US Department of Treasury recently imposed sanctions on two Islamist mercenary groups that are controlled by Turkey,” stated Dr. Kamal Sido, the STP’s Middle East Correspondent, in Göttingen on Tuesday. “The decision was necessary, with regard to the aspect of human rights. The German Federal Government should stop providing political, diplomatic, and financial support for the ‘Syrian National Coalition’ immediately.” The organization is the political arm of the militias “Al-Amshat” and “Al-Hamzat”, which are now sanctioned by the United States.

The US have imposed sanctions on a few pro-Turkish militias – but they are still supporting the “Syrian National Coalition”. “With this, the US is sending conflicting signals: Support for Kurdish forces in their struggle against the IS, while at the same time letting them be massacred by Turkey and its mercenaries. Germany is supporting Turkey as well, as shown by the fact that the German Federal Government expressed ‘understanding for the security interests’ of the country,” Sido criticized. “The US, Germany, and other NATO members must understand that Turkey’s main goal in Syria is to crush the Kurdish autonomy efforts. In this regard, Turkey is also cooperating with Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. Thus, support for the Syrian democracy movement cannot be provided via Turkey.” Rather, it is the Syrian Democratic Forces – which have been fighting against IS for years and are trying to establish a democratic Syria without Assad – that deserve support. 

Meanwhile, the “Washington Kurdish Institute” (WKI) has published shocking figures concerning the crimes of the Turkish occupying forces against the Kurdish people in northern Syria. According to the institute, the systematic airstrikes and artillery attacks are mainly aimed at the most vulnerable population groups: 34 percent of the attacks resulted in civilian deaths. 18 percent of the victims are children, and 21 percent were women. In 2022 alone, Turkey carried out a total number of 17,596 attacks against northern and eastern Syria. Hundreds of civilians were killed. Many more were injured. Civilian infrastructure such as hydroelectric power plants were destroyed as well.