Turkish military forces and a coalition of Turkey-backed Syrian armed groups have displayed a shameful disregard for civilian life, carrying out serious violations and war crimes, including summary killings and unlawful attacks that have killed and injured civilians, during the offensive into northeast Syria.
Amnesty International said on 18 October that, The organization gathered witness testimony between 12 and 16 October from 17 people including medical and rescue workers, displaced civilians, journalists, local and international humanitarian workers, as well as analyzing and verifying video footage and reviewing medical reports and other documentation.
“The Turkish military offensive into northeast Syria has wreaked havoc on the lives of Syrian civilians who once again have been forced to flee their homes and are living in constant fear of indiscriminate bombardment, abductions and summary killings. Turkish military forces and their allies have displayed an utterly callous disregard for civilian lives, launching unlawful deadly attacks in residential areas that have killed and injured civilians,” said Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“Turkey is responsible for the actions of the Syrian armed groups it supports, arms and directs. So far, Turkey has given these armed groups free rein to commit serious violations in Afrin and elsewhere. We call on Turkey again to end violations, hold perpetrators accountable, and protect civilians living under their control. Turkey cannot evade responsibility by outsourcing war crimes to armed groups.”
The Kurdish-led administration’s health authority in northeast Syria said on 17 October that at least 218 civilians have been killed in Syria, including 18 children, since the offensive began.
“All parties to the conflict must respect international humanitarian law, which requires that all feasible precautions are taken to avoid, or at least, minimize civilian harm. Striking a civilian convoy is inexcusable,” said Kumi Naidoo.
The USA is the largest exporter of weapons to Turkey. Other suppliers include Italy, Germany, Brazil and India. Amnesty International is calling on states to immediately suspend arms transfers to Turkey and other parties to the conflict in Syria,
“Turkey has a responsibility to stop war crimes and violations committed by forces under its control.” said Kumi Naidoo.