UN urges Turkey to investigate war crimes in Syria

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The United Nations has urged Turkey to investigate possible war crimes and other rights violations carried out by armed groups in the area of northern Syria it controls.

While disclosing this on Friday September 18, 2020, Michelle Bachelet, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said violence and criminality was rife in those areas of Syria.

In a statement on Friday, Bachelet’s UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) said it had noted an alarming pattern in recent months of grave violations.

The statement also reported increased killings, kidnappings, unlawful transfers of people, and seizures of land and properties and forcible evictions without any apparent military necessity.

“The victims include people perceived to be allied with opposing parties or as being critical of the actions of the Turkish-affiliated armed groups,” Bachelet’s office said.

“Increased infighting among the various Turkish-affiliated armed groups over power-sharing was causing civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure,” OHCHR said.

Bachelet urged Turkey to “immediately launch an impartial, transparent and independent investigation into the incidents we have verified, account for the fate of those detained and abducted by the affiliated armed groups and hold accountable those responsible for what may, in some instances, amount to crimes under international law, including war crimes”.

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