US expresses concern over rights abuses committed by Turkish-backed fighters in Syria: report

The US State Department has expressed concern over reports that Turkish-backed fighters have committed human rights abuses in northeast Syria, Turkish Minute reported, citing the Middle East Eye.

According to the Lead Inspector General’s report on Operation Inherent Resolve, the operational name for the US fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, the State Department said it received reports that Turkish-backed forces had implemented arbitrary detentions and carried out extrajudicial killings in the Kurdish-majority region after Ankara’s incursion in October.

Some of those arbitrarily detained had reportedly been moved “across an international border into Turkey,” which analysts say would be a violation of international humanitarian law.

Turkish-backed forces had also been taking private land and settling new populations on the seized areas, according to the report. It also accused the fighters of repeatedly and deliberately shutting off of water access to half a million civilians.

“We have reiterated our expectation that Turkey, and the Syrian opposition, investigate alleged violations and abuses and promote accountability where appropriate,” the State Department said.

The State Department told investigators that the Syrian Interim Government, a political body that operates in Turkish-controlled areas of northern Syria had not “consistently arrested, prosecuted, or otherwise held accountable any members implicated in human rights abuses or violations of the law of armed conflict.”

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