Skip to main content

UN accused of complicity in Turkey's war crimes in northern Syria

THE United Nations has been accused of complicity in war crimes for failing to take action against Turkey, which is accused of atrocities including torture, rape and extrajudicial killings in northern Syria.

Ankara has launched two invasions of the Syrian Kurdish region known as Rojava, allying with jihadist groups on the pretext of combatting terrorism.

It has been accused of a litany of war crimes, including chemical weapon attacks and the attempted genocide of the Kurdish people, with more than 300,000 internally displaced as a result of the Turkish occupation.

Last week a UN report documented the crimes committed by Turkey and its jihadist allies, including the discovery of “black sites” where hundreds of women had been tortured and raped after being kidnapped.

“In Afrin, Ras al Ain and the surrounding areas, the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army may have committed the war crimes of hostage-taking, cruel treatment, torture and rape,” UN spokesman Paulo Pinheiro said.

“Turkey should act to prevent these abuses and ensure the protection of civilians in the areas under its control,” he urged.

Ankara has insisted that it is working to rein in the extremists, claiming to have put a member of the Ahrar al-Sharqiyah in a “military court martial” for their role in the execution of Syrian-Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf.

The Future Syria Party secretary general was dragged out of a car, tortured and shot at least 20 times by jihadists in October 2019.

Turkey has continued to target women, with three activists from the Kongreya Star organisation – Zehra Berkel, Hebun Mele Xelil and Amina Waysi – executed in targeted drone strikes on Kobane earlier this year.

Speaking ahead of World Peace Day, which was celebrated today, the Democratic Regions Party co-chair Saliha Aydeniz said that reports into atrocities were not enough, calling for action from the UN.

“The UN has documented the relationship between Turkey and the gangs. Again, looting, torture and rape were documented. And they said it was a war crime.

“From here, we ask the UN: why don’t you take a step against these war crimes? It’s not just about preparing a report. It is not enough. If you do not take a step, then you are a partner in these crimes,” she said.

OWNED BY OUR READERS

We're a reader-owned co-operative, which means you can become part of the paper too by buying shares in the People’s Press Printing Society.

Become a supporter

Fighting fund

You've Raised:£ 16,455
We need:£ 1,545
9 Days remaining
Donate today