The UN Office for Human Rights has discovered a pattern of abuse in Syrian territories under the control of rebels supported by Turkey and warns that crimes punishable by international law, including war crimes, are being committed.
The office, headed by former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, has identified an “alarming pattern” of increasing cases of murder, kidnapping, illegal rendition, property seizure and enforced disappearance in areas such as Afrín, Ras al Ain and Tel Abiad . among other abuses.
Among the victims are people who are perceived as allies of other actors in the conflict or who in one way or another could be used to improve the military, such as receiving ransom for their release. There have also been cases of inter-faction fighting within the rebels themselves in search of power.
Between January and mid-September, UN investigators confirmed the deaths of at least 116 civilians from self-made explosive devices or weapon remains, including 22 minors. In addition, 463 civilians were injured, according to the report released on Friday.