(Ethnic cleansing, by US-backed Kurds, in northern Syria for the purpose of creating Greater Kurdistan. Anymore questions?)
US-backed Kurdish militias known as the People’s Protection Units (YPG) have carried out war crimes against thousands of non-Kurdish civilians in northern Syria during the past year, including razing to the ground of civilian areas and forced transfer of their populations, according to a new report by Amnesty International.
While operating along the Turkish-Syrian border, YPG units have carried numerous violations of the Geneva conventions, including “demolition of entire villages,” “forced displacement of entire villages,” and “targeted forced displacement and destruction of homes,” according to the report, “’We Had Nowhere Else to Go’: Forced Displacement and Demolitions in Northern Syria.”
The alleged war crimes were carried out against a string of more than a dozen villages along the border, including Abdi Koy, Asaylem, Suluk, Raneen, Ras al-Ayn, Tel Diyab, Tel Tamr, Tel Fweida, al-Maghat, and Hammam al-Turkman.
In Husseiniya village in Tel Hamees, nearly 95 percent of structures were destroyed by YPG militants between June 2014 and June 2015, satellite photographs analyzed by Amnesty show. YPG began to systematically destroy the village as early as February 2015, according to the report.
In addition to demolishing entire villages, Kurdish forces operating in the area have carried out acts of wanton torture and intimidation against residents suspected of sympathizing with Islamic State and other groups opposed by the Kurds.
In one instance documented by Amnesty, Kurdish forces fighting under the AA dumped fuel over a home with civilians inside and threatened to burn the villagers alive, based on rumors that the family had relations with pro-IS elements.
“They pulled us out of our homes and began burning the home,” a witness told Amnesty. “They demolished home after home until the entire village was destroyed.”
The YPG-led atrocities were carried out under the authority of the Autonomous Administration, a Kurdish mini-state in northern Syria (referred to by inhabitants as Rojava) that is made up of three enclaves along the Turkish border and is controlled politically by the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
The AA government itself “is a key ally, on the ground, of the US-led coalition,” the Amnesty report notes. The PYD-led AA government has so far declined to issue any formal response to Amnesty’s findings, which were submitted to AA authorities in September.
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