Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ World https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Conflict in Syria: War crimes hit brutal telephone footage

Conflict in Syria: War crimes hit brutal telephone footage



  Kurdish funeral burials killed in attacks on Ras al-Ain by Turkish-led forces (19/10/19) Copyright
AFP

Caption images

Kurdish militias are battle with Turkish and Turkish-backed rebels in northeastern Syria last month

Turkey-backed forces fighting Kurdish militias in northeastern Syria have been accused of committing war crimes, with violent acts appearing on cellphone footage.

The UN warned that Turkey could be held responsible for the actions of its allies while Turkey promised to investigate.

Bearded Men Call "Allahu Akbar [God is the Greatest]". A man captures the scene on his smartphone and says, "We are Mujahidin [holy warriors] from the File File Al-Majd Battalion [Glory Corps]." In the background are corpses of Kurdish fighters.

Further a group of men planted their feet on a woman's bloody body. One says she is a "whore".

The horrific footage is very similar to that created by the ultra-violent Islamic State (IS) group.

Yet the men in this video are not IS fighters, but rather fighters for a rebel alliance known as the Syrian National Army, trained, equipped and paid by a NATO member, Turkey. They are under the command of the Turkish army.

The video was shot on October 21

in Northern Syria. The woman under the fighter's legs is Amara Renas, a member of the Kurdish fighters' YPJ gang, a force that played a significant role in the victory over IS in Syria.

Copyright
YPG Media Center

Image caption

Amara Renas's body was seen defiled in a video

Amara was killed in Turkey's recent attacks on Kurdish forces in Syria.

On October 9, the Turkish army and pro-Syrian rebels attacked the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), shortly after Donald Trump announced that the US would withdraw troops from Syria.

The SDF fighters were an extremely effective and trusted ally of the US-led coalition and led the defeat of the IS on the ground. The group said it also provided intelligence that led to the assassination of ISU leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi last week.

Video Threats

In the days following the attacks in Turkey, numerous videos have emerged on social media that are said to have been filmed by pro-Turkish rebels. In one unidentified fighter he cries out in Arabic: "We have come to decapitate you infidels and apostates!"

In another video, a masked rebel dressed in black carries a terrified woman surrounded by other rebels – one films her, one yells "pig," another says, "Get her beheaded."

Media playback is not supported on your device

Media caption "We were at the gate when the shell hit"

The woman captured is Tsicek Kobane, another YPJ fighter.

Widespread video has caused outrage in social media. A few days after its publication, Turkish state television revealed that Cicek Kobane was being treated at a hospital in Turkey.

US officials have stated that some of the actions in these videos are likely to be war crimes.

"Many people fled because they were very concerned about these Syrian opposition-backed Turkish forces," James Jeffrey, US special envoy for Syria, told Congress.

"We would say that the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces, which were under general Turkish command, have committed war crimes in at least one case."

Crossing Point

Turkey has long been accused of taking little action against jihadists in Syria.

"I ran the ISIS campaign [Islamic State group] – 40,000 foreign fighters, jihadists from 110 countries around the world, all came to Syria to fight this war and they all went through Turkey," said BNG McGurk, a former special envoy to US president in the anti-IS coalition last month before CNN.

He said he tried to persuade Turkey to seal its border against IS. "They said they couldn't do it," he said, "but the moment the Kurds take parts of the border, it is completely enclosed by a wall."

US officials say they have asked Turkey for an explanation for the alleged war crimes by the rebels.

Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish president, said that Turkey would investigate all suspected war crimes.

But many Kurdish activists have no faith in the Turkish government or army.

"There is strong evidence that over the last four decades, Turkish military and security forces have systematically committed war crimes and violated human rights in their conflict with the PKK (the Kurdistan Workers' Party, which has been fighting for Kurdish autonomy in Turkey for decades)" , said Kamran Matin, a senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Sussex.

Close your eyes

Over the past decade, numerous disturbing images and videos allegedly captured by the Turkish army and security forces have documented the killing of captured Kurdish dissidents in Turkey.

In a video released several years ago, suspected Turkish soldiers behead PKK dead men. In another video, two PKK female fighters with their hands behind their backs are sitting on a mountain cliff when what are apparently Turkish soldiers with automatic rifles shoots them at close range and kicks them over the edge.

Media playback is not supported on your device

Media caption BBC Patience Martin explains what's behind the conflict

In October 2015, a widespread video shows Turkish security forces dragging the body of 24-year-old actor Haci Lokman Birlik across the streets of Sırnak, a Kurdish town in southeastern Turkey, with a rope around his neck. Part of the video appears to have been captured by a police vehicle. Turkish officials say his corpse may have been captured.

Kurdish human rights activists have accused the US and EU of failing to condemn Turkey or to take effective criminal action.

"The EU has closed its eyes on human rights abuses in Turkey due to Turkey's NATO membership, economic ties and fear of backlash among millions of Turks living in European countries, especially Germany," says Kamran Matin.

Following the start of the Syrian civil war, a new factor "limited response by European countries to gross human rights violations in Turkey," he says – "Syrian refugees. [Turkish] President Erdogan repeatedly threatens to flood Europe with them. "

This seems to be something that European countries want to avoid, whatever the cost.


Source link