Many events and occurrences have taken place in 2019 which have had a great impact on Syria in general and on the situation in the autonomous areas of North and East Syria in particular.
Our area has continued to be at the centre of events and to be the focus of both regional and international attention. This is for several reasons, the most important of which is Turkish aggression consisting of murder, displacement, massacres, ethnic cleansing, atrocious human rights abuses, witnessed executions and the targeting of civilians.
The Turkish state has committed these crimes by recruiting cheap pawns from among those who claim to be the Syrian opposition, which has sold itself and betrayed its people and homeland.
Among the important events that took place in 2019 was the destruction of ISIS’ military capacity in its last stronghold (Al-Baghuz), thanks to the sacrifices of the Syrian Democratic Forces which defended the world against one of the most powerful terrorist organizations, and had a role in eliminating the leader of the terrorist organization ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Following this, an operation was launched chase down the sleeper cells which had led to the killing, bombing and violations of the rights of civilians. The Internal Security Forces also dismantled dozens of car bombs and improvised explosive devices.
We have sacrificed more than 12,000 martyrs and more than 23,000 wounded people for the sake of eliminating ISIS and its sleeper cells. The problem of the imprisoned ISIS members and ISIS families and is a timebomb which requires the unity of all efforts to bring about a solution since it threatens not only Syria but the entire world.
This was followed by the initiation of hostilities by Turkey on October 9th, 2019, under the pretext of establishing a safe zone but with the aim of demographic change. This led to the displacement of more than 300,000 civilians from the non-combatant population, with no distinction made between Kurds, Arabs or Christians. More than 352 civilians were killed and more than 1,521 civilians were injured, most of them women and children.
510 members of the SDF were martyred and another 422 soldiers were wounded, in addition to 34 fighters whose fate is unknown and 22 captured by the Turkish mercenaries. Turkey, with its mercenaries, embarked on a hostile project to occupy all of the areas of Ras al Ain/Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad/Gire Spi. This led to the displacement of their people, and the extortion and torture of the few of them who remained from all of the constituent groups. Turkey aimed to strike at and destroy the project of autonomy based on mutual coexistence and the brotherhood of different peoples, which it sees as the greatest danger to its sectarian project based on fuelling sectarian and ethnic conflicts and support for political Islam, Jihadi groups and armed organisations.
The Turkish occupation forces and their mercenaries have engaged the services of criminals who operate outside of the law and all humanitarian conventions, and have used all kinds of modern weaponry, including those which prohibited under international law such as phosphorous bombs, in their attacks on the area of North and East Syria. Several massacres were committed, including the assassination of the Secretary-General of the Syria’s Future Party, the martyr Hevrin Khalaf, and Umm Aqidah.
The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria has proven its great ability to remain steadfast, govern, and maintain order, notwithstanding mistakes and shortcomings here and there. The administration was able to confront Turkish aggression and to deal with the crisis with a great sense of responsibility and commitment.
At the outset, we formed a crisis cell to keep pace with the effects of Turkish aggression in our areas and to communicate with all international bodies such as the United Nations, the Security Council. Many political statements have been issued that give evidence of the effects of this aggression, including the killing of civilians, the revival or terrorist organizations and the bombing of camps that contain the families of ISIS members like Ain Issa camp, Al Mabrouka camp, and prisons in holding members of the terrorist organization.
We have sent messages to states which have supported our resistance, including the European Union and the Arab League and human rights organisations and the international media, in order to communicate the crimes of the Turkish regime to the world and to condemn this aggression and hold the Turkish regime to account. The Arab states and the Arab league have taken the most active role and have held an emergency session to condemn this aggression. The Arab Republic of Egypt played the largest role in this and has continued to provide assistance to our displaced people through aid and healthcare. The Tal Abyad and Washokani camps have been completed and all aid has been provided to our forcibly displaced people.
The Turkish regime and its mercenaries could not destroy the project of autonomy and brotherhood of the people, but, contrary to what they thought, the autonomous administration has continued and our areas have witnessed a great demonstration of popular solidarity and support and a broad assembly of many parties in support of the resistance and the dignity demonstrated by the SDF.
The initiative to communicate with the Syrian government to reach a solution to the Syrian crisis, and to ensure the safety, unity, and defence of Syrian lands, did not cease. The military understanding that took place between the SDF and the Syrian army, according to which the border guards took over the task of protecting the Syrian border, is confirmation against the charges faced by the autonomous administration and the Syrian democratic forces. We showed that we are willing to sit at the negotiating table with the Syrian government on the basis of a democratic solution. We informed the Russian side of this as we are looking for Russia to play a more effective role in negotiations between us and the Syrian government, but the regime still adopts a pre-2011 mentality and displays no sign of flexibility, which contributes to prolonging the crisis and the continued suffering of the Syrian people. We have adopted the initiative of Syrian-Syrian dialogue and therefore communication with the democratic opposition which seeks to name a political solution to solve the Syrian crisis.
Another important event of 2019 was the process of forming the Constitutional Committee to develop a Syrian-based constitution as per Security Council Resolution 2254, which excluded representatives of more than 5 million people living in the autonomous areas. We have clearly expressed to all international parties our rejection of the process of forming this committee and its output. The Syrian crisis can only be resolved through Geneva and the participation of representatives of the autonomous administration in drawing up the Syrian constitution. The aim of Astana and other conferences was the preservation of certain states’ interests in Syria and the prolonging of the crisis.
Diplomatic connections with the Russian and American sides continued to clarify the project of autonomy based on mutual co-existence and guaranteeing the rights of all groups, and the generalization of this model throughout all of the Syrian geography through communication with the representatives of the autonomous administration abroad and the delegation from within the autonomous area who held several meetings abroad with representatives of states and official institutions. At the same time as many conferences and workshops were held in several countries, including the European Union, to explain the project of self-management as solution to the Syrian crisis.
Many prominent personalities and official and political delegations came to see our project from all over the world, led by America, Russia, the European Union countries and many Arab countries. We have handed over to some of these delegations several of the foreign national women and children of ISIS who came to Syria through Turkey with elements of the terror organisation.
The file of the ISIS women and children residing in Al-Hol camp remains one of the most important challenges facing us in light of the refusal of some countries to receive their citizens, which represents a great burden on us and a danger which requires all of the world’s cooperation to find a solution.
In addition we have more than 12,000 detainees from the terrorist organization. The international community should intervene to establish a court to put members of the criminal organization on trial inside Syria, because it is the Syrian people who paid the price of the criminal acts of the terrorist organization.
With regards to the organizational situation, the Autonomous Administration has provided job opportunities for more than 250,000 people during 2019. It has put in place a structure for and filled vacancies in all offices and bodies of the Executive Council for North and East Syria. It has established an administrative and organizational mechanism within the civil and autonomous administrations, and each agency and office prepared drafts of its own bylaws. Many drafts of laws in fields such as customs, transportation, tourism, antiquities, taxes, self-defense law, the social justice charter and the unified workers law have been prepared. Work is still in progress to develop the rest of the laws that regulate the work of the administration and set out the rights and duties of workers and the link between the Autonomous administration and other autonomous administrations [ie. on the regional level within North and East Syria] and civil departments, In addition to a reconfiguration of the structure of the Syrian Democratic Forces through the formation of military councils in each city.
It has placed the governmental and organizational processes of with cities and autonomous administrations and each agency and office has a number of responsibilities of internal government particular to it.
One of the important things that the administration has placed at the top of its priorities is attention to the families and relatives of martyrs, war casualties and orphans. We have established councils for the families of martyrs in every city which have taken upon themselves to provide material and moral support to the families and relatives of martyrs, orphans and war casualties, including distributing food aid and fuel, and employing the children of martyrs in administrative organisations, according to their qualifications.
There was an important and effective role for the coordination of women, which was formed within the structure the Autonomous Administration and consisted of the joint presidency of women in each of the boards of administration (executive, public and judicial). They undertook to activate the role of women and involve them in administrative, legislative, political and social work and solve all difficulties that stand in the way of women taking leadership roles in order to preserve the identity and character of women in decision-making.
Moving to the service side, we carried out many projects in various fields (health, education, services, municipalities, economics and agriculture.)
Work completed during 2019:
In the field of services and infrastructure:
1- Rehabilitation of 261 bridges and ferries, including the old Raqqa Bridge
2 – Asphalting of roads and streets with a total amount of 471,969 m3 of asphalt, the equivalent of 354 projects.
3- Maintenance, renewal and expansion of the sewage network of a length of 65km, equivalent to 161 projects
4- Paving and maintenance of roads, numbering 300 roads
5- Maintenance and expansion of water networks for a length of 13.7km in some departments only
6- Maintenance and rehabilitation of water pumping stations: 73 stations, 19 water sources and 89 wells
7- Rehabilitation and maintenance of garages, numbering 20
8- Rehabilitation of 149 gardens, planting 16000 trees
9- Construction of 12 landfills, and 200 garbage containers
10- Distribution of 37,419 barrels of fuel oil free for the displaced families
11- Rehabilitation and maintenance of industrial facilities including: a cotton gin, a feed factory, concrete silos and a concrete pillar factory
12- Delivering electrical current to 356 villages in the western countryside of Deir ez-Zor
13- Rehabilitation of 4 of power stations
14- Rehabilitation and restoration of 3 electrical circuits
15- Feeding all the villages and towns in Shahba with up to 21,000 amps
In the field of health:
1- Rehabilitation and equipping of 58 clinics
2- Rehabilitation and equipping of 8 hospitals, including the Heart and Eye Hospital in Qamishlo
3- Opening of two MRI centers
4- Opening of 3 processing rooms
5- Equipping a blood bank with laboratory testing devices
6- Complete activation of the college department in Al Furat Hospital
In the area of security and stability:
1- The arrest of 120 sleeper cells and the arrest of 644 terrorists
2- Dismantling 135 IEDs and 50 bomb devices
3- Dismantling 8090 mines, of which 42 were minefields
4 – Dismantling 35534 remnants of missiles
5- Thwarting 70 smuggling operations
6- Detecting 343 instances of counterfeiting and counterfeiting of currency
In the field of education:
1- Maintenance and restoration of 1006 schools
2- Building 4 schools including 3 in the Euphrates region and 1 in Al-Raqqa
3- 46 students in their first year and 23 students in the second year went to Rojava and Euphrates Universities
4- Distributing 1 million textbooks from the self-education curriculum
5- The number of teachers appointed during the year 2019 was 4,600
In the field of women’s work:
1- 7 women’s economic projects were opened
2- 3 roles were created for protecting women
4- 1 child protection role was created
5- 1 House for elderly women was opened
6- The Academy Nalin Mulish was opened
7- Opening of 42 kindergartens and nurseries.
Culture and Tourism:
1- Documenting archaeological and religious sites classified as archaeological and historical
Maintenance, restoration and preservation of a number of mosaic paintings and the restoration of the left wall of the gate of the Fort Jaabar.
2- Holding two book exhibitions
3- Presenting many theatrical works, including the epic of Hera Boulos and theatrical works in conjunction with young women, including, “The strong woman – hand in hand”, “Unity is strength”, “Resistance to prisons”, and many other theatrical works
4- Producing short films and organizing a drawing events for children in which two thousand children participated, and preparing and presenting the film “Orphans, but…”
In the field of youth and sports:
1- Construction and restoration of 12 halls and stadiums
2- Supported Dengê Cudî Radio, with the necessary equipment and facilities and the opening of a studio
3- Renovating 2 academies, building an academic and library, and preparing a student institute for all specializations
The field of social affairs and works:
1- Restoration of 42453 houses in Al-Raqqa
2- The establishment of Washokani camp and Tal Abyad camp, and providing the necessary services for the displaced
3- Distribution of 15,635,552 servings of bread for the displaced families in Al-Shahba
4- Providing job opportunities for the displaced and opening 5 sewing workshops in which 205 workers work, and distributing financial aid to 973 displaced families who do not have a source of revenue
5- Licensing 41 organization and associations
6- Paying respect to the shrines of the martyrs in all 15 regions
7- Paying respect to the families and children of the martyrs
8- Participation in the process of transferring the displaced persons from Al-Hol camp back to their liberated areas, which reached 532 families and 2013 people.
The field of economics and agriculture
1- The establishment of the first industrial exhibition for local products, with the participation of 60 industrial establishments
Marketing the farmers’ wheat, barley, and cotton production for the 2019 season according to the following:
1- 550 thousand tons of wheat and 153 thousand tons of barley
2- Counting the total area of land that was burned, which amounted to 40,513 hectares, and compensation for those affected to the sum of 4849 tons of wheat and 2762 tons of barley
3- Sifting and sterilizing wheat seed for distribution to farmers, as the distributed quantity reached 50,755 tons
4- Organizing 701 seed multiplication contracts for the varieties to be cultivated
5- Providing 6200 seedlings of forest trees and distributing them to institutions and agricultural committees
6- Establishing a nursery containing 27500 olive seedlings in Al-Shahba
7- Distributing 4000 tons of feed supplements to the agricultural committees
8- Construction and installation of a mill and rehabilitation 4 silos for storing grain
9- Combating insect pests (sunn pest) across an area of 65,565 hectares
10- Issuing the main irrigation canal with a length of 27.5 km and repairing 300 hydrants and irrigating 90 thousand hectares in Raqqa
11- Rehabilitating 3 irrigation projects
12 – Creating a new sieve with a production capacity of 25 tons per day
13- Rehabilitation of a project for watermelon production, with a production capacity of 1300 kg, plus 12 tons of cereals
14- Rehabilitation of the Abu Qubeih project, producing 320 oil tanks
15- Distributing 19,399 tons of all kinds of fertilizers
Plans for 2020:
– Follow-up and completion of organizational structures for all bodies, offices and departments in accordance with the approved internal regulations.
– Working on following up on the issuance of circulars and organizational decisions to serve the facilitation of the institutional workflow in the self-administration of North and East Syria.
-Working to hold large mass meetings and listen to the opinions of the masses in order to find solutions to their suffering.
-Working to simplify work procedures to reduce bureaucracy and reduce the burden on citizens.
– Intensifying efforts to improve the workflow mechanism to support the project of the duty of self-defense, and to make the task of defense a priority for the autonomous and civil administrations.
– Detecting mistakes and pitfalls, finding solutions to them, and holding accountable those who have been negligent.
– Developing the administrative performance of media institutions because of the importance of the administrative aspect in developing the entire organization.
– Seeking to develop the work of self-management representatives abroad to work in an institutionalized way.
Giving priority to projects in the fields of: services, education, health, economics and agriculture.
– Implementing women’s development projects.
– Follow-up work on the shrines of the martyrs and paying respect to the children and families of the martyrs,
– Supporting the culture, tourism and antiquities sector in a manner that ensures the preservation of heritage and antiquities, following up on documentation of violations of archaeological sites and sending them to the relevant authorities.
– Expanding organizational plans according to need and limiting ad-hoc construction.
-Establishing industrial and crafts areas according to necessity and need
-Prioritize service projects related to infrastructure such as paving and asphalting roads, maintenance and extension of water and sanitation networks.
– Follow-up to solve water problems in cities suffering from water shortages.
– Give attention to camp affairs, improving the conditions of the displaced, and working with all means to bring them back to their homes.
– Paying attention to the humanitarian charter and dealing with it as one integrated file and supporting the office in implementing its strategy.
-Paying attention to the existing sports facilities, building a new facility, and setting up professional development centers for youth in all regions.
– Developing the program and work of the civil registry electronically.
-Building centers for orphans and those with special needs, according to need and capacity.
– Follow-up work to maintain and restore schools and build new schools.
– Supporting the health sector by restoring existing hospitals and health centers, securing their needs and equipment, and building new specialized hospitals.
– Development of the website of the autonomous regions.
– Establishing productive factories in order to provide job opportunities and secure the needs of citizens with the necessities of living at reasonable prices.
– Holding the industrial exhibition at a time to be determined annually.
– Increasing the number of ovens to meet citizens’ needs for bread, and improving their quality.
– Working to protect the environment and find solutions to problems of environmental pollution in all its forms.
– Increasing wooded areas and green spaces.
-Increase the wooded areas and green belts in dry areas to prevent desertification from encroaching on them
Annual financial report for the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria:
For the year 2019
Surplus from 2018: SYP1,789,722,602 ($679,409)
Income from oil and diesel sales: SYP155,989,653,035 ($72,570,763)
Other income of the Autonomous Administration: SYP 38,937,129,783 ($42,143,917)
Total income: SYP197,716,505,420 ($115,394,089)
Regional salaries and budgets: SYP128,549,077,430 ($45,495,870)
Other expenses: SYP67,024,546,600 ($66,749,950)
Total disbursements: SYP195,573,624,030 ($112,245,820)
Surplus: SYP2,142,881,390 ($3,148,269)
Source: Official page of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria