Violence and human rights violations increasing in Turkish-occupied northeast Syria: SOHR

"Overall, this bleak picture remains in place with the widespread corruption and tyranny of the Turkish-backed factions without any deterrent preventing them from committing further humanitarian crimes against Syrian civilians"
author_image Kurdistan 24
Wounded Turkish-backed Syrian fighter being evacuated from Tal Abyad during Operation Peace Spring. Oct. 12, 2019. (Photo: Aref Tammawi/DHA via AP)
Wounded Turkish-backed Syrian fighter being evacuated from Tal Abyad during Operation Peace Spring. Oct. 12, 2019. (Photo: Aref Tammawi/DHA via AP)

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Security is deteriorating, and human rights violations are increasing in Turkish-occupied areas in northeastern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor reported on Wednesday.

In parts of Hasakah and Raqqa occupied by the Turkish military and its Syrian militia proxies, the Observatory documented the killing of 12 people in August.

These consisted of a Turkish soldier and three allied Ahrar al-Sharqiyah militiamen who were killed when their vehicle detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) planted in the Ras al-Ain countryside.

Three other Turkish-backed fighters were killed by SDF mines and IEDs planted in the Hasakah countryside and two more in clashes with the SDF in the Tal Tamer countryside.

SDF snipers also killed another one of the Turkish-backed fighters.

The final two documented deaths were non-combatants. They were a smuggler shot by National Army militiamen in northern Raqqa and a civilian killed by indiscriminate gunfire during clashes near Ras al-Ain hospital. 

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In October 2019, the Turkish military and its Syrian proxies invaded and occupied a large part of northeastern Syria’s border region previously controlled by the SDF in Operation Peace Spring. As a result of that operation, hundreds of people in the area were killed and tens of thousands of local civilians displaced. Turkish-backed fighters also carried out widescale looting of civilian homes and businesses in the areas it captured. 

The aim of Turkey and its proxy forces in northeast Syria, the Observatory said, “is to accomplish specific economic and political objectives through exploiting the region’s bounties, resources and people.”

The monitor also documented clashes between the Turkish-backed factions in these areas that “left several casualties and caused a state of panic among the region’s residents.”

“Overall, this bleak picture remains in place with the widespread corruption and tyranny of the Turkish-backed factions without any deterrent preventing them from committing further humanitarian crimes against Syrian civilians,” in that region, the Observatory said.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights therefore renews its call to the international community not to abandon its responsibility and obligations and find a lasting solution to the tragedy of the region’s civilians that are plagued with systematic practices and violations committed by lawless factions, including thefts, murders, looting, arrests and kidnapping.”