Two Christians killed and thousands displaced in Turkish military action in north-east Syria

15 October 2019

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Two Christians were reported killed and others wounded within hours of Turkey launching a military offensive in north-east Syria on 9 October.

The two died in the shelling of a Christian neighbourhood in the border city of Qamishli. And in the city’s Christian quarter of Bashiria, a couple and their two children were injured when a shell hit their shop and home .

Debris in a Christian home in Qamishli that was hit by a shell
Debris in a Christian home in Qamishli that was hit by a shell as Turkey launched a military offensive in northern Syria

The United Nations said tens of thousands of civilians have fled the fighting, including more than 70,000 displaced people from the northern towns of Ras al-Ain and Tal Abiad. The region has a substantial Christian population, who are often considered a peacekeeping “buffer” between the Arab and Kurdish communities.

The Turkish military is also targeting grain storage silos and water sources. Concerns are rising internationally that an estimated two million people could be affected by water and food shortages.

The Turkish operation is focused on the north-eastern region of Syria which remained relatively secure and stable during the civil war. Many of those displaced during the eight-year conflict had sought refuge in the region.

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