More than 80 hectares of wheat fields were set ablaze by artillery fire west of the city of Kobanê. Turkish forces and their Jihadist allies appear to be targeting Kurdish farmers’ crops in an effort to starve the inhabitants of North Eastern Syria.
The 2019 Turkish invasion of this region saw ethnic cleansing and was classified by the NGO Genocide Watch as a possible genocidal attack on Kurds, Yazidis and Christians in the region. These attacks on crops in the region are clearly a continuation of this policy. Turkish forces routinely cut of water access for 1.2 million in the area and these attacks on the region’s food supply represent a further effort to cause misery, drought and starvation on a terrifying scale. Many in the region are farmers and rely on their agricultural work to survive.
A total of five mortar shells hit cultivated fields in an area between the village of Zor Mixar and the town of Şiyûx. The flames then spread to cultivated fields in the villages of Bênder, Mişko, Ceqil and Katş. So far, around 82 hectares of land have been destroyed, but the fires have not yet been completely extinguished. The local fire department and numerous volunteers have been trying to get the fire under control.
Similarly, a field between the villages of Til Werdê and Merdûda, twenty kilometres north of Ain Issa, had been set alight by targeted artillery fire. Turkish troops also fired on the people from the villages who were trying to put out the fire. At the same time, armoured vehicles circled the burning fields in order to hinder efforts to extinguish the flames.
These inhumane attacks against civilians are just one example of the racist brutality of the Turkish regime. They are also reminiscent of similar arson attacks against crops by ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
These acts then should be seen as acts of state terrorism aiming to further the genocidal invasion of Northern Syria by starving and brutalizing civilians in the region. The importance of standing in solidarity with those affected by these attacks and demanding that Western states stop their support for this repressive regime cannot be understated.