Turkey reject accusation of war crimes in Syria

October 20, 2019
| Report Focus News

Istanbul – Turkey sharply rejected accusations from Amnesty International of committing war crimes in northern Syria, dismissing them on Sunday as being part of defamation campaign against Turkey’s fight against terrorism.

In a report published on Friday, Amnesty accused the Turkish army and its allies of killing and injuring civilians in “ruthless attacks on residential areas” during its military incursion into north-eastern Syria.

The Foreign Ministry in Ankara said its operation in Syria was aimed only at positions and hiding places of the Kurdish YPG militia and that it was taking all necessary precautions to ensure that civilians were not harmed.

According to research from the human rights organization, pro-Turkish rebels had also shot a Syrian-Kurdish politician.

Previously responding to accusations of war crimes in Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that some rebels had made mistakes and promised to “take care of the matter.”

Despite an official ceasefire between Turkish and Kurdish forces, both sides have accused each other of breaking the arrangement.

The Defence Ministry in Ankara said on Sunday that a Turkish soldier had been killed and another injured by YPG fighters in the area of Tal Abyad.

The soldiers were shot with anti-tank weapons during a “reconnaissance and surveillance mission.”

Turkey insists Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) leave a 444-kilometre-long, 32-kilometre-deep safe zone along its border with Syria. Ankara considers the SDF to be terrorists linked to insurgents at home.