So Turkey is continuing to convoy people into the towns it occupies in northern Syria as part of the ethnic cleansing campaign that Erdogan has sometimes explicitly described as such and other times said he would never do it because it would be cruel to the Arab refugees in Turkey.
But, like with everything in this conflict, Turkey says things and other things but then just moves inexorably forward with what it was doing anyway.
This is, of course, happening simultaneously with tactics designed to chase the remaining people away.
Of particular note is the fact that while these are Syrian refugees, they are not indigenous to this area. Rather are Arabs from other regions such as Deir ez-Zur. Erdogan has had some weird shit to say about who belongs where and what lands are appropriate for different types of people. I’ve literally not seen anything about where any of these people actually want to live and I suspect they don’t have a lot of say, but there’s no way of knowing—voiceless being another indignity of their situation.
Inside Over: Turkey repatriates the first Syrian refugees (Google Translate Link: Italian)
One of the objectives of the Spring peace offensive launched by Turkey against the north east of Syria is the relocation of two million Syrian refugees who have arrived in the Anatolian country since the beginning of the war in Syria. A little over a month after the start of the military operation, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has kept his word: on November 21st the first “voluntary” repatriations began across the Syrian border.
According to reports from Turkish sources, the competent authorities have brought 200 people to Jarablus , a Syrian city that has been under the control of Turkey since 2016, but their journey is not yet complete.The families in question will have to be relocated to Tel Abyad (or Gire Spi), another city recently finished in Turkish hands and whose population has been forced to flee for fear of reprisals.
Two different versions
Two diametrically opposed versions have been circulating for a couple of days about the repatriation of Syrian refugees.
Turkey has declared that families who have been brought across the border are finally returning to their homes, being originally from Tel Abyad and Serekaniye, both cities included in the safe zone imposed by Ankara in late October in the north east of Syria. For the autonomous administration of Rojava, however, there is nothing true in the statements of the Turkish foreign minister. As reported by the Rojava Information Center , the families who were repatriated would not be from Serekaniye and Tel Abyad, but would come from other parts of the country such as Homs, Hama, Deir Ezzor and Goutha . . .
So that’s how awesome things are going in the places on or near the border that are not active combat zones between opposing forces.
To give a sense of how messed up thing are on the ground in general, consider this story, for which fact checking assistance was provided by RIC (a fact which will become relevant in a moment), from the British tabloids:
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed the rescue of ‘innocents’ as the three ‘children of ISIS parents’ were plucked from Syria in a daring Special Forces mission
The Sun reports SAS troops drove ForeignOffice staff into Syria in armoured vehicles to collect the ‘children of ISIS parents’ and whisk them away to safety.
Cool stuff, huh?
So when RojavaIC assists on a story, they generally tweet about it both publicize the information and to broadcast their availability to other media outlets, aid organizations, and so forth.
Anyway, after the above story came out, when RIC retweeted it, they offered one final “fact check.”
Basically, that’s just a Department of Youth Services visit in Rojava. People on the ground apparently think this is hysterical.
War humor is all kinds of awesome in ways I had never imagined. It’s like R&D for casual, savage irony. Meanwhile they’re being driven from their homes. It’s mayhem.