US suspects war crimes during the Turkish offensive in Syria


United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Sunday that “there seems to be” war crimes in the framework of the Turkish offensive against Kurdish-Arab militias in northeastern Syria.

“It seems that there are,” said Esper in an interview with the Face the Nation program, of the CBS network, when the presenter, Margaret Brennan, has presented the information on summary executions of Kurdish prisoners by parts of proturcal forces.

US suspects war crimes during the Turkish offensive in Syria
US suspects war crimes during the Turkish offensive in Syria

“There is a terrible situation there. A situation caused by the Turks. Despite our opposition they have decided to make this raid,” Esper explained, although he pointed out that we still have to “evaluate” the information about alleged attacks by Turkish forces against forces American specials in Syria. “We have given them the location of our forces, but there is fog and sometimes things happen,” he said.

Esper explained that “in the last 24 hours we have known that (Turkey) intends to extend its attack further south than originally planned and to the west.” “We have also known in the last 24 hours the (…) SDS are trying to reach an agreement with the Syrians and the Russians to fight back against the Turks in the north,” he added.

For Esper, the situation is “unsustainable” for US forces and explained that he spoke last night with US President Donald Trump, who has ordered the start of “a deliberate withdrawal of forces in northern Syria.”

The Observatory for Human Rights in Syria has denounced that the pro-military militias have executed nine civilians, including a political leader, Hevrin Jalaf, after being intercepted on a road near Tel Abyad. The executions have been recorded with mobile phones and broadcast on social networks.

Jalaf and his driver and the passengers of other vehicles have been intercepted and executed in the ditches of the road, while, according to the videos, the assailants shouted insults at them. North American sources have pointed out that the videos are authentic.

Jalaf, 35 “was taken out of his car during the attack backed by Turkey and was executed by mercenaries supported by Turkey,” denounced the Syrian Democratic Council, the political side of the SDS. “This is clear evidence that the Turkish state is continuing its criminal policy against unarmed civilians,” he added. Jalaf Ewra General Secretary of the Future Syria Party.

Precisely this Sunday, the US State Department has described the information on the execution of Jalaf as “extremely worrying.”

“We consider this information extremely worrisome that reflect the destabilization of northeastern Syria since the start of hostilities last Tuesday,” said a spokesman for the State Department in response to a request for information from the Reuters news agency. In addition, Washington has expressed its condemnation of any abuse or extrajudicial execution of civilians or prisoners and already investigates what happened.

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