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A KURDISH politician and women’s rights activist was among nine civilians executed by pro-Turkish forces on a road in northern Syria on Saturday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
Future Syria Party general secretary Harvin Khalaf was ambushed and shot dead after being dragged out of a vehicle along with a driver and an aide after returning from a meeting in Hasaka.
Ms Khalef’s party sought to unite Arabs, Christians and Kurds in Rojava.
Turkish state-backed media Yeni Safak reported that the military had “neutralised” Ms Khalef in a “successful operation.”
The nine individuals were killed at different times in “field executions” along the highway, the SOHR said.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement: “This is a clear evidence that the Turkish state is continuing its criminal policy towards unarmed civilians.”
Authenticated camera-phone footage shows several people being repeatedly shot by the side of the road, while the killers shout insults at them.
Videos posted on the Twitter account of the Ahrar al-Sharqiya group shows two civilians kneeling on the ground as a fighter announces they have been captured by the faction, while another clip displays a combatant opening fire at a person on the ground.
A spokesman for the Turkish-backed rebel group the Syrian National Army denied carrying out the killings, saying it had not advanced that far.
Turkey’s Defence Ministry tweeted that 480 Kurdish fighters were “neutralised” since Wednesday, but the SDF says the figure is actually 56.
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