Syria: Syrian Democratic Council – A Statement for the Public Opinion (22.02.2023)

Since the first moment of the earthquake disaster on the sixth of February, the Syrian Democratic Council has devoted all its political and diplomatic potential at the service of the Syrian people who were affected by this disaster. Also, the Council has devoted its various relations for exerting the necessary pressure to open humanitarian crossings and introduce the necessary aid and relief materials. The Syrian Democratic Council has also encouraged local initiatives inside Syria, whether civil, popular or official initiatives, the most prominent of which was the initiative of the Autonomous Administration of northeastern Syria.

Fourteen days after the disaster, the Council considers that the policies that were implemented during the disaster hindered the chances of saving many lives lost under the rubble and deprived the affected people of access to the assistance they deserve.

The armed factions of the Turkish occupation prevented the assistance that arrived early to the crossings of the Autonomous Administration, and these factions and the coalition continued to support the Turkish policy towards the Syrian victims, despite the fact that the disaster proved that the Turkish state institutions were unable to perform their duties towards their citizens inside Turkey, which negates the need to prove that Turkey did not provide any support to Syrians in its occupation zones, and for considerations of Turkish internal policy, the media of Justice and Development Party intended to emphasize that priority is for Turkish victims, in which racial discrimination has been practiced in saving lives and access the support and aid to those in need, but the crime condemned against the Syrian victims in northwestern Syria is represented by the Turkish orders, according to which the factions affiliated with Turkey refused to receive the assistance of the Autonomous Administration, ignoring what the Civil Defense bodies announced about their urgent need for such assistance, and according to the moral and national humanitarian duty, we sought; as the Syrian Democratic Council, to provide all facilities despite our conviction that these mercenary terrorist factions are not trusted regard such assistance.

The Syrian Democratic Council also condemns in the strongest terms the demographic change policies practiced by Turkey against the Kurds in northwestern Syria and calls on the international community to intervene and exert pressure to stop the displacement of Kurds from their places of origin, where more than 70% of the people of Afrin have been displaced so far, and the Council warns of the investment of the Turkish occupation authorities of international assistance provided to Syrians, especially donations allocated by some countries, to build new buildings and villages in lands owned by Kurdish citizens, and also the Council condemns the continuation of Turkish aggressions on northeastern Syria, where Turkish forces targeted Al-Mahmudiyah village and also the Turkish drones targeted several civil cars over the past two weeks.

On the other hand, the ruling authority in Damascus, despite its emphasis on the importance of national dialogue, decided to exploit the disaster for its political interests and rejected internal national initiatives for helping the victims in line with its preconceived position rejecting any openness to democratic political powers calling for a peaceful democratic transition, and the Council holds the policies of the authority in Damascus primarily responsible for the deterioration of the humanitarian and economic situation of citizens in general and those affected by the earthquake in particular, as the Syrian Democratic Council has previously stressed the importance of Syrians to overcome their differences, establish a broad democratic front for dialogue and negotiation with the authority in Damascus, and contribute to the political process and represent various Syrian powers and actors in the negotiation process aimed at implementing Security Council Resolution 2254. In accordance with the above mentioned, the Council reaffirms that the Syrian national dialogue is a strategic and indispensable option for it, provided that it includes effective political representatives from all components and segments of society, on the basis of achieving a meaningful and comprehensive political transition in the country. It also stresses that any such national dialogue process must be launched with international guarantees including international allies of the authority in Damascus provided that without bias for any party.

The Syrian Democratic Council, while comforting the families of the victims and wishing speedy recovery for wounded, stresses that the Syrian people must hold those are involved in stealing their daily sustenance accountable. The Council also calls on the various national democratic powers to join hands and find effective mechanisms to monitor the activity of various authorities on the ground and follow up the delivery of humanitarian aid sent to affected people. As the Council also calls on the democratic powers in Syria to escalate their struggle in order to frame their efforts and not miss more opportunities that would alleviate the suffering of Syrians.

On February 22nd, 2023

The Syrian Democratic Council

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