Turkish strikes deprive hundreds of northeast Syria villages from power

AFP , Monday 15 Jan 2024

Hundreds of northeast Syrian villages and towns have lost power after Turkish strikes pounded electricity stations and infrastructure, the region's semi-autonomous Kurdish administration said Monday.

Kurdish Syrian firemen put out a blaze at a power station in Qamishli which was reportedly targeted
Kurdish Syrian firemen put out a blaze at a power station in Qamishli which was reportedly targeted by Turkish drones on January 15, 2024 as Turkey carried out another series of airstrikes against Kurdish sites in northeastern Syria and northern Iraq in what Ankara said was a response for the deaths of nine Turkish soldiers. AFP


The Kurdish administration said Turkey launched a slew of strikes since Friday, mostly concentrated on infrastructure including power stations and oil refineries.

Turkey said it has carried out airstrikes against Kurdish militants in northern Syria in response to the deaths of nine Turkish soldiers in clashes with suspected Kurdish militants in Iraq on Friday.

The semi-autonomous Kurdish administration listed hundreds of villages and towns facing blackouts due to the Turkish strikes in a statement Monday, also reporting damage to oil facilities.

The administration condemned the "Turkish aggressions", which it said were "unjustified and disregarded customs and laws".

The administration said Turkey struck six power plants, one of which was targeted twice on Monday in the city of Qamishli, where AFP reporters saw firefighters putting out a large fire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said a seventh station had been targeted later on Monday.

Syria's northeast has been suffering from long power cuts after more than a decade of war and economic woes. Even before the Turkish strikes, many of the targeted stations had only been providing about 10 hours of power daily.

Kurdish official Yasser al-Sulaiman called for the US-led international anti-jihadist coalition and Russia to "stand by the Syrian people... and stop the Turkish aggression against our regions".

Over the week-end, Turkey said it had hit dozens of targets in northern Syria and Iraq belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the People's Protection Units (YPG).

The YPG are the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the de facto army of the Kurdish semi-autonomous administration that controls swathes of Syria's northeast.

Turkey views the YPG as an offshoot of the PKK -- a group blacklisted by Turkey and many of its Western allies as a terrorist organisation.

In October, Turkey targeted dozens of facilities and military sites in northern Syria after an attack on the interior ministry in Ankara, claimed by the PKK.

Since 2016, Turkey has carried out successive ground operations to expel Kurdish forces from border areas of northern Syria.

Syria's war has killed more than half a million people since it erupted in 2011 after Damascus brutally cracked down on anti-government protests, spiralling into a devastating war involving foreign armies and jihadists.

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