Turkish attacks on Rojava leave villagers without internet access

KOBANE, Syria — Turkish drones and air strikes have recently targetted cell towers in Rojava (northeast Syria), leading to internet access shortages for residents of the region.

Osman Juma’a is a resident of one of the villages in Kobane. He told Zoom News that his village’s cell tower has been targeted by Turkey, and it has stopped working.

We don’t consider ourselves to have a mobile phone. It’s like stepping back 100 years

Osman Juma’a, a resident of one of the villages in Kobane
Osman Juma’a, a resident of one of the villages in Kobane. Zoom News/ Rojava

“In our villages, there is no internet access or cellular service. We don’t consider ourselves to have a mobile phone. It’s like stepping back 100 years,” said Juma’a.

Waisy Mala is the owner of an internet provider company in Kobane. He says Turkey attacks their teams every time they attempt to repair the towers.

Although we tried to repair the towers, they kept attacking us and we were unable to do so

Waisy Mala, owner of an internet provider company in Kobane. Zoom News/ Rojava
 Waisy Mala, owner of an internet provider company in Kobane. Zoom News/ Rojava

“Our towers have been damaged by Turkish artillery shells, causing an outage to our services. Although we tried to repair the towers, they kept attacking us and we were unable to do so,” added Mala.

Approximately 75 villages still lack internet access, according to the Rojava administration’s directorate of communications.

Abdulqadir Muslim, head of the communications directorate of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), told Zoom News that the Turkish army targeted three cell towers on November 19th. This has resulted in 75 villages being left without telecommunications or internet services, according to Muslim.

“As soon as the teams arrive at the site to repair them, Turkish forces in the area shoot them, preventing them from repairing them.”

Abdulqadir Muslim, head of the communications directorate of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. Zoom News/ Zoom News.
Abdulqadir Muslim, head of the communications directorate of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. Zoom News/ Rojava.

Attacks on civilians and residential areas by Turkey have caused international concern in Rojava.

However, Turkey has repeatedly warned of a new land incursion in an attempt to evict Kurdish groups from its borders with Syria.

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