The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) called on the Biden administration to exert pressure on Turkey to make it withdraw from Syrian territory and stop the activities of armed militias that are loyal to Ankara.
Nadine Maenza, USCIRF deputy commissioner stressed the need to set a timetable for Ankara to withdraw its military forces from Syrian territory, noting that its military affects “negatively” the religious and ethnic minorities in Syria.
“We have just issued our annual report for 2021, in which we recommended that the (US) Administration exert pressure on Ankara… to reach a timetable for its withdrawal from all the lands it has occupied since it launched several military operations within the Syrian borders,” Maenza said in an interview with Al Arabiya TV.
Maenza described the Turkish-backed “Syrian National Army” as “militant militias” and that its members are “real terrorists.”
She commended the work done by the residents of northeastern Syria, who have built an Autonomous Administration government in northern and eastern Syria that protects religious freedoms, secures gender equality and gives people freedom of expression.
She pointed out that Ankara forced hundreds of thousands of residents of these areas to flee from their homes, and instead brought “real terrorists”, such as the Syrian National Army, who committed atrocities against the Yezidis, Christians and Kurds, especially women.
International organizations such as Human Rights Watch and the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic continue to monitor violations committed by the Turkish army and the Syrian militias supported by it, against the Kurds and Christians in those areas.