New figures released by the Syrian Democratic Forces illustrate Turkey’s extensive and ongoing bombardment of North and East Syria. The Kurdish-led forces accuse Turkey of committing violations against civilians amounting to crimes of war.


Turkey attacked North and East Syria a total of 339 times over the first half of 2024, committing violations against the civilian population that amount to war crimes, according to a new report released by the Syrian Democratic Forces, the region’s anti-ISIS Kurdish-led security forces.

Five civilians, including a child and two women, were killed and 52 were injured, the figures showed. The Turkish military attacked using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs, commonly known as drones), warplanes and heavy artillery, targeting essential infrastructure across the region, agricultural sites vital for livelihoods and civilan areas.

Turkey’s offensives severely damaged civil infrastructure and public services, the SDF stated, causing widespread power outages, loss of water supply, and difficulty accessing civil amenities and essential goods. Targets included electricity, gas and oil stations, agricultural crops, olive groves, hospitals, an emergency aid truck, laboratories, schools, food production facilities and factories, local businesses, villages, homes and civilian vehicles.

The attacks, both air and ground, spanned from Derik (al-Malikiyah) to Ayn Issa, Minbic (Manbij), Şehba (Al-Shahba) and Efrîn (Afrin). ‘Double-tap’ strikes on infrastructure aimed to hit medical personnel, civil defence and journalists, the report added.

Turkey targeted the agricultural fields during May and June causing maximum damage to seasonal crops and severe environmental pollution. Attacks on oil stations in Qamişlo (Qamishli) resulted in river pollution, the report added.

The US-allied SDF also noted that Turkey’s operations targeted their commanders and fighters, who play a critical role in preventing an ISIS resurgence. Notably, Turkey targeted a centre for the war wounded, killing two.

Turkey justifies its actions under Article 51 of the UN Charter as self-defence. However, international law experts and human rights groups argue that these operations violate international law and amount to war crimes.