On instructions from my Government, I should like to convey to you the following information.

The militias known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, which are affiliated with the American occupation, have continued to systematically violate the rights of the people of the areas where they are present in Hasakah Governorate, in north-east Syria.

We have regularly informed you of the acts of aggression and looting committed by the criminal militias and associated illegal entities targeting civilians, civilian infrastructure, service facilities, and public and private property. Along with the American occupation authorities, they have stolen artefacts, petrol and gas from Syrian territory and smuggled them out of the country. A few days ago, the Syrian Democratic Forces militias and American occupation forces once again stole large quantities of wheat and crude oil and sent 60 trucks laden with Syrian wheat out of the Syrian village of Batra’, and 40 containers of crude oil from the village of Hamzah Bek, in north-east Syria, into so-called Iraqi Kurdistan through the illegal crossing of Walid. Those developments come at a time when the Syrian people has been suffering the effects of illegal unilateral coercive measures imposed by the United States of America and the European Union, which prevent Syrians from accessing food, medicine, medical supplies, fuel and electricity.

In our letter of 16 September 2020 (A/75/249-S/2020/908), we described how, taking advantage of the support provided by the American occupation forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces militias had forcibly taken control of schools and converted them into headquarters, military depots, prisons and tax-collection centres; threatened students and the civilian population and intimidated teaching and administrative staff; and imposed curricula that served their interests but harmed pupils and undermined academic progress.

In recent days, the Syrian Democratic Forces militias, which collaborate with the American occupation, have imposed a tight siege on the city of Hasakah. They have set up numerous checkpoints to prevent vehicles from entering or leaving the city centre, and have restricted the movement of the civilian population within the city. That measure has caused a severe food shortage, especially of bread, flour, fuel and other basic commodities. Locals have been forced to travel long distances to reach their workplaces and health and educational facilities.

The militias have also shot at civilians who were protesting against the siege, which has been in place for some two weeks, and demanding the full return of State institutions to north-east Syria. On 3 February 2021, the Syrian Democratic Forces militias abducted Muhammad Tawfiq al-Saghir, the correspondent of the Syrian channel Al-Ikhbariya in Qamishli, and detained him on spurious charges. The militias would of course be unable to commit those crimes without the support and sponsorship of the American occupation forces.

The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic calls on the Security Council and the Secretary-General to condemn the criminal and terrorist actions of the Syrian Democratic Forces militias, and to demand that the American Administration put an end to its support for those secessionist and collaborationist militias, end the occupation and work to secure the immediate and unconditional release of the detained journalist.

I should be grateful if the present letter could be circulated as a document of the Security Council.