Amnesty accuses Kurdish forces of war crimes against Syrian Arabs
Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) members drive a tank through the Syrian city of Hasakeh, August 2, 2015. (AFP/File)
A Syrian Kurdish militia has driven out thousands of non-Kurdish civilians from areas they have captured from ISIL militants.
That’s the accusation from the London-based rights watchdog, Amnesty International which says the actions amount to war crimes.
In its report the organisation says the displacements and house demolitions appear to have been in retaliation for residents suspected of supporting or having links with ISIL.
“In its fight against IS, the Autonomous Administration appears to be trampling all over the rights of civilians who are caught in the middle. We saw extensive displacement and destruction that did not occur as a result of fighting. This report uncovers clear evidence of a deliberate, co-ordinated campaign of collective punishment of civilians in villages previously captured by IS, or where a small minority were suspected of supporting the group.” – extract from Amnesty Report.
Amnesty accuses the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) which is the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) of raying entire villages controlled by the Kurdish Autonomous Administration.
The YPG is a key ally of the US-led international coalition against ISIL.
A spokesperson for the YPG has denied the allegation as “entirely false”. Amnesty said the YPG had sought to justify its actions, insisting that they were necessary for the civilians’ own protection or militarily necessary.