Recent Attacks on Civil Solidarity Convoy to Afrin

To the media and the public opinion

IC Afrin Resistance strongly condemns the atrocity of the Turkish army on the solidarity convoy of hundreds of civilians towards the Kurdish town Afrin in Northern Syria. Yesterday night at around 19:30, Turkish army forces targeted the civilian convoy near the mountainous region Cebel Ahlam in the Sherawa district when it was heading towards Afrin city. Also members of our Information Centre were among the civilians that were exposed to the attacks.

Due to heavy artillery shelling at least one Arab civilian, Salim Xilef (27) was killed and more than 14 civilians were injured. Dozens of minibuses, coaches and cars were targeted and destroyed during the attack. The actual number of casualties still could not be clarified. The attacked civilians report that during the first strikes over 35 grenades were fired at the middle of the convoy. At the same time the region was constantly surveyed by drones and the nearby village Meremin was bombed by Turkish air-forces. The participants of the convoy were exposed to non-stop shelling that for long hours and still continued while trying to evacuate the injured civilians and bring them to hospitals in Afrin city and Aleppo. The names of the injured that could be identified so far and are under medical treatment are: Baqî Xelîl (24), Reşîd Hisên Mihemed (22), Wensa Umer Şawîş (58), Xêrî Coqî Şengal (23), Rende Hisên Celal (20), Ekrem Bedran Biro (21), Rocvan (21), Xalid Tewfîq Elî (45), Mihemed Xalid Yeqûb (60), Mihemed Şêx Nebî, Xalid Xelîl and Merwan.

We condemn this war crime and reject the hypocrisy of the Turkish state’s media stating that the Turkish army would have targeted a “military convoy”. Since drones were intensively monitoring the convoy for hours on its way from Aleppo to Afrin this attack has not been carried out “accidentally” but on purpose. The aim of this atrocity was to target the unity and solidarity of the people of Northern Syria with the resistance in Afrin against the Turkish invasion and aggression war.

Furthermore the solidarity convoy with women, men, elderly people and children of different religious and national backgrounds from different towns of the Cantons Cizire, Kobane, Manbij, Tabqa and Raqqa participating has been openly announced and was followed by the media since its departure from Qamishlo on 21 February 2018. It was the forth civilian convoy that headed to Afrin to support the people of Afrin who have been exposed to bombing, shelling and other war-crimes of the Turkish army and their jihadist proxy forces since 20 January. According to figures published by Afrin Health Council due to Turkish attacks until 20 February, 176 civilians were killed and 484 got injured. Against this illegal war of the Turkish army the people in Afrin, Northern Syria and in different countries of the world have carried out hundreds of protests. Also by the means of this solidarity convoy they have been calling upon the international community and relevant bodies to take urgent action for a political, peaceful solution. But unfortunately up to now no adequate steps have been taken to prevent further human losses and war-crimes by the Turkish state.

While efforts of civil society for conflict solution and peace have always been followed with great interest by the media and state attacks on these efforts have been strongly condemned by different stakeholders. We can mention for example the attacks of Israeli army on the “Ship to Gaza” solidarity convoy in 2010. Against this background as IC Afrin Resistance we question why neither international organisations nor the media seem to show the same attention towards the attacks on the solidarity convoy to Afrin and the ongoing attacks on the population of Afrin and their live resources.

Video about the travel of the civilian convoy and the bombing of the Turkish army