The United Nations threatens Turkey to prosecute it for Syria war crimes.
UN investigators have warned that Ankara may face “criminal responsibility” for war crimes committed against Kurds in northern Syria in late 2019, including the execution of a Kurdish political official.
This comes in the context of a strong escalation between Turkey and the Syrian forces in Idlib, the last opposition stronghold in Syria, but the accusations that investigators are talking about are not related to the recent confrontations in the province.
In a report published Monday and talking about the period between July 2019 and January 10TH, the International Independent Investigation Commission on Syria confirmed that Turkey may bear criminal responsibility for the grave violations committed by its allies in the “Syrian National Army”.
Turkey and its allies in Syria invaded part of the north of the country, after launching an operation in October against Kurdish forces, causing tens of thousands of people to flee.
The committee, set up by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011, refers to reports of displaced Kurdish families and other civilians, who have accused Ankara-backed Syrian forces of executions, looting and confiscation of property.
In particular, the commission highlights the execution of these forces on October 12 (Kurdish political official) Hefrin Khalaf and the driver who was with them.
Khalaf, 35, was a “Syrian Democratic Council” Administrations’ member and”Party of the Future Syria” general secretary. Members of the 123rd Battalion of the Syrian National Army stopped them while they were in a car on a highway coming from Qamishli.
UN investigators considered that “there are reasons to believe that the fighters in the Syrian National Army committed a war crime, which is murder, and committed more than one crime of looting.”
“If it appears that elements of the armed groups were acting under the effective command and control of the Turkish forces, these violations could result in criminal responsibility being imposed on the leaders who were aware of these crimes, or should have known about them, and did not take all necessary measures to stop it.”
The International Investigation Commission has repeatedly accused various parties to the Syrian conflict of committing war crimes, and sometimes crimes against humanity. And the revolution in Syria against the regime, which started in 2011, has turned into a devastating war, in which more than 380,000 people have been killed so far, according to an outcome revealed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in 2020.