SYRIA: Turkey-backed groups continue to abduct civilians despite international calls to end violations

CAFRIN, Syria — The Human Rights Organization in Afrin reported more civilian abduction and murders in Turkish occupied Cafrin (Afrin) on Monday. The organization reported that a civilian named Shahen Latif was killed as a result of torture by the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) in the Sheeh district of occupied Cafrin city, his body buried my his murderers without notification to his family.

Five other civilians were abducted by SNA groups in Cafrin’s Mapata district. Their health and location of captivity was not immediately available.

of Afrin, and a Turkish occupation armored vehicle ran over the civilian, Idris Hanan Hassan, in Janderas, causing him to break his leg and hand.

In a related context, gunmen a checkpoint belonging to the so-called Military Police of the Turkish occupation, arrested a doctor and the director of a medical hospital from eastern Ghouta and another person who was with them, when they passed the checkpoint in Afrin, after a verbal altercation between the two sides.

The crimes of the SNA continue under the watchful eye Turkey despite the release of a scathing report  by the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria in September outlining the pervasiveness of war crimes committed in areas under Turkish control. Multiple human rights bodies have called on Turkey to put an end to the systemic violations. No response has been made nor action taken by Turkey to address the issue.

According to the 25-page report, there is significant evidence that the SNA has committed, and continues to commit, the crimes of torture, murder, displacement, rape, and the looting of property.

The Commission of Inquiry also stated that the transfer of civilians from Syria to Turkish territory for trial after their detention by the SNA is considered as illegal deportation and thus, a war crime.

Commission Chairman Paulo Pinheiro stated that the SNA is likely to has committed war crimes in Afrin, Rish ayno (Ras al-Ayn), and the surrounding areas.

“Turkey must prevent these violations and ensure the protection of civilians in the areas under its control,” he continued.