Syrian pro-Turkish militiamen accused of executions of civilians

At least one man has been executed by Turkish army deputies, who will be brought to justice, say their leaders. The leader of a Kurdish political party was also killed.

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Syrian deputies of the Turkish army, October 12 in Tel Abyad, Syria.
Syrian deputies of the Turkish army, October 12 in Tel Abyad, Syria. KHALIL ASHAWI / REUTERS

A few days before the start of the Turkish military operation in Syria, launched Wednesday, October 9, Ziad Al-Khalaf, the political adviser of the brigade Ahrar Al-Charkiya, one of the former Syrian rebel groups who support the army of Ankara, spoke to his men.

"I was very firm," says this thirty-something, a member of a powerful tribe from eastern Syria, met on Saturday afternoon at his office in Urfa, southern Turkey:

"I told them that we do not touch prisoners, we do not touch civilians, children and the elderly. Even trees and cows, we do not touch them. Our religion forbids it. "

It must be believed that the deposit is badly passed. A few hours after this interview, we learned that several civilians were executed that same Saturday, by pro-Turkish Syrian militiamen, engaged in fighting against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). This Kurdish-Arab coalition, dominated by the Kurdish paramilitaries of the YPG (People's Protection Units), controls the eastern bank of the Euphrates, more than a quarter of Syria.

Turkey justifies its offensive by fear that the rise of the YPG, the spearhead of the struggle against the Islamic State organization, emboldens its Turkish twin, the PKK (Workers' Party of Kurdistan), the Kurdish separatist movement Ankara has been at war since 1984. The official objective of the operation is the formation of a 30 km wide "security zone" along the border, capable of buffering the positions of the YPG and the south of Turkey.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH) reported on nine cases of extrajudicial executions on Saturday alone, committed at different times, south of the border town of Tall Abyad, one of the main targets of operation "Source of peace". Without more precision and The world has not, for the moment, been able to find all these cases.

"War crimes"

Among them, however, is a man in civilian clothes who was strafed by Ahrar Al-Charkiya fighters while he was on the ground with his hands tied. The leader of a small Kurdish political party and her driver were also killed while driving in still-troubled circumstances. "We totally condemn these acts, they are war crimes", Fadel Abdul Ghany, the director of the Syrian Network for Human Rights, an NGO close to the Syrian opposition.


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