SDF commander in Ain Issa: Targeted attacks against civilians

"The ancestral population in Ain Issa is being displaced to make way for jihadists. To achieve this goal, the Turkish army does not shy away from bombing civilians from the air in a targeted manner," reports SDF commander Ronî Tolhildan.

Despite ceasefire agreements with Russia and the USA, Turkey continues to attack the self-administered areas in northern and eastern Syria on a large scale, thus continuing its efforts to expand the occupation zone unabated. The invading forces are still concentrating on their advance towards the M4. This strategically important transport route runs about 30 kilometres from the Turkish-Syrian border and leads from Aleppo to Mosul in northern Iraq. From the M4 there are connecting roads to Damascus and the Arab countries. Taking this road, which is an important supply route, would bring Turkey closer to its neo-Ottoman dreams of extending its external borders to all other cities in the border strip and transporting oil from Kirkuk and Deir ez-Zor to the Mediterranean. It would also be easy for members of the jihadist allies of the Erdogan regime to settle there. In the occupied city of Serêkaniyê (Ras al-Ain), Turkey's settlement policy has long since taken off. 1,500 families of Islamists have already been integrated into the occupied city. Meanwhile, the displaced population of Serêkaniyê is housed in makeshift public facilities and reception camps.

Strategic location of Ain Issa

The small town of Ain Issa on the M4 motorway occupies a key strategic position in Turkey's invasion plans due to its relative proximity to the city of Raqqa and thus to the gateway to Deir ez-Zor. Artillery strikes and heavy weapon attacks on inhabited areas and settlements occur regularly there. According to Ronî Tolhildan, a commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the occupation forces north of the small town are almost three kilometres from the front line. West of Ain Issa, the distance is now only two kilometres.

"It boils down to taking the entire road. The villages of Erîda, Dibis, Cehbet, Seyda, Mueleq, Bîr Riznar and Xirbit Beger are bombed almost non-stop. The Turkish state leads a campaign of conquest into the areas which administratively belong to the Autonomous Administration of North-East Syria. Special methods of warfare are used, which are directed against the civilian population with the intention of advancing the demographic change of the self-governing regions. People are being terrorised," says Tolhildan.

Civilians are targeted

In Ain Issa and the surrounding area, the line of defense has been strengthened by interlocking security measures, the SDF commander informs. All waves of attacks have also been successfully repulsed so far. "For the Turkish state, however, methods of warfare that are morally and legally outlawed for us and many other forces are also considered legitimate. The ancestral population is being displaced to make way for jihadists. For this purpose, the Turkish army does not shy away from bombing civilians from the air in a targeted manner," said Tolhildan.

Jihadists surrender to SDF

Meanwhile, the number of conflicts between the various groups participating in the invasion of Rojava as proxies of Turkey has increased. "Some have now realised that the Turkish state is only interested in its own interests and that the militia members of Ankara will be sent to certain death. Many have already broken away from their factions and surrendered to us," reports Tolhildan.

Russia avoids confrontation with Turkish army

Regarding the presence of Syrian regime troops and Russian military in Ain Issa, Tolhildan states that the defense is being implemented in coordination with all relevant forces. "The Syrian military is making ground around the center of Ain Issa. Only outside the small town and along the M4 and villages along the road do the regime forces operate checkpoints. Turkey and Russia attach great importance to avoiding a military confrontation. And the regime's armed forces show no reaction in the face of the occupying attacks as long as this has not been sanctioned by Moscow. Moreover, they withdraw from their fronts when Turkey attacks."

Nevertheless, the SDF are determined to hold on to their resistance and continue to the utmost, says Tolhildan. "We will not simply give our territories to anyone. With our strength and our will, we will fight for the freedom of our homeland."