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Syrian Kurds call for Turkey to be held to account for war crimes

SYRIAN Kurds blasted the United Nations today for failing to respond to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Afrin, calling for Turkey to be held accountable for war crimes in the region.

The Syrian Democratic Council (MSD), the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces which has been leading operations against the Isis death cult in northern Syria, criticised a report by UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura for making “blatantly false claims about the situation in Afrin.”

During an open session of the UN security council on Wednesday, Mr de Mistura introduced a report detailing the latest developments in Syria and outlining the Sochi-based Syria Committee’s call for a new Syrian constitution.

But the MSD slammed his account of the humanitarian crisis in Afrin, in which he claimed Turkey had made “great efforts” to secure peace and security, with more than 5,000 people returning to their homes since Ankara’s illegal invasion and occupation began in January.

Kurdish officials said the report does not show the “atrocities” committed against the people of Afrin and warned that it “misrepresents events in the region.”

More than 170,000 people are believed to have been displaced since Turkey’s invasion, with many living in refugee camps desperately short of supplies. 

In February, Turkish forces were accused of launching a chemical attack against civilians in the largely Kurdish city while their jihadist allies in the Free Syrian Army are alleged to have carried out beheadings and extrajudicial killings.

The MSD explained how, prior to Turkey’s invasion, Afrin was “an example of a solution to the Syrian war, with its civil and democratic self-government, and was a place where the peoples lived together in peace.”

The council blasted Mr de Mistura for his failure to explain that Afrin “has been turned by the gangs of the Turkish state, who are recruited from Isis and al-Nusra, into a centre of plunder.

“The United Nations should punish those who are responsible for actively changing demographics and war crimes and stop this policy.”

And it warned that talks on Syria’s future will not come to a satisfactory conclusion without MSD involvement.

“We are ready to work on a viable political solution that will end the war in Syria and drain the sources of terror,” it said.

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