Earlier this week, an Amnesty International report accused Kurdish militia People’s Protection Unit (YPG) of deliberately displacing Arab and Turkmen families and destroying homes in northern Syria’s Hasakah and Raqqa provinces and accusing residents of being affiliated with Daesh.
The claims mirror earlier ones in June which purported thousands of Arab homes had been burned by the YPG after its fighters pushed Daesh (ISIS) out of Hasakah. The buzz died down after the Kurds denied involvement back then, but this week’s report includes satellite images that may prove it.
Amnesty’s aerial view of the Arab village of Husseiniyah, in the Hasakah province town of Tel Hamees, shows drastic destruction in the area over the last year—some 225 buildings showed up last June, compared to only 14 standing this year. The rights group also collected testimonials from Arab residents who said they were pushed out.
Kurdish groups have worked closely with Western allies against Daesh in both Iraq and Syria. But the partnership has been a constant sticking point for neighboring Turkey, who accuses the Kurds of using the instability raging across the Middle East to achieve long-yearned for autonomy.
Now, as the US and other Western countries are mulling ramped up support for the YPG, Amnesty’s report reminds us there may not be any perfect partner on the ground in Syria today.
We put together a gif of Amnesty’s images showing the destruction. Have a look below. Photos via Amnesty International
Read Amnesty's full report here
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