15.9 C
Frankfurt am Main

HRW calls on Turkey to investigate killing of 4 Kurdish civilians in Syria

Must read

New-York based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has called on Turkey to launch an “independent, transparent” investigation into the killing of four Kurdish civilians by Turkish-backed fighters during a celebration in Syria on Monday.

Three members of an armed faction belonging to the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) opened fire on a Kurdish family in the northern Syrian town of Jinderis as they were celebrating the spring festival of Nevruz. Three brothers and a son of one of them were shot dead, another relative is in serious condition and two others were lightly injured.

“As an occupying power and as a backer of the local factions operating in areas under its control in northern Syria, Turkey is obliged to investigate these killings and ensure that those responsible are held accountable. Turkey should also cut all support to SNA factions implicated in recurrent or systemic human rights abuses and international humanitarian law violations,” HRW said.

The SNA military police division announced the arrest of the three alleged attackers, yet its factions have denied any affiliation with them. The group has rarely held its factions accountable for the litany of human rights abuses committed in the past six years.

“These killings come after over five years of unaddressed human rights abuses at the hands of Turkish forces and the local Syrian factions they empower,” said Adam Coogle, deputy Middle East director at HRW. “Turkey has allowed these fighters to abuse people living in the areas under their control with impunity, risking making itself complicit in the violations.”

HRW spoke to one of the murdered brothers’ surviving siblings, two witnesses to the crime, a neighbor and a local humanitarian worker in Afrin city near Jinderis in addition to reviewing photos of the bodies and videos taken in the aftermath of the fatal shooting.

The four victims have been identified as brothers Farhan Din Othman, 43, Ismail Othman, 38, and Mohamed Othman, 42, and Ismail’s son Mohamed, 18. Witnesses and a humanitarian worker with direct knowledge of the incident confirmed that the fighters were part of the Jaysh Al-Sharqiyah faction of the SNA.

The Turkish Armed Forces and the Turkish-backed SNA, a loose coalition of armed opposition groups, invaded and took control of Afrin, a previously Kurdish-majority district of Aleppo, in 2018, leading to the deaths of dozens of civilians and displacing tens of thousands, according to the United Nations. Since then, the more than 40 SNA factions have assumed control of individual villages, towns, or even neighborhoods in Afrin district.

Liked it? Take a second to support Turkish Minute on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
More News
Latest News