Worldwide Fury After Videos of Kurds Under Turkish Attack Circulate Online

Published October 13th, 2019 - 08:48 GMT

With more than 50 civilians reportedly killed, videos of Turkish attacks on Kurds are circulating social media and activists are seeking international help as Turkey, they say, 'cleanses’ Kurds. 

Turkish-backed proxies leading a ground offensive on Kurdish-held border towns in north-eastern Syria have killed nine civilians including a female politician, reports have revealed. 

Civilians were also reportedly shot after being taken from their cars on the highway while attempting to cross the border to flee the conflict. The killings were captured on camera phones and gruesome scenes have sparked outrage worldwide. 

A female Kurdish politician and women's rights activist was among nine civilians who were killed. Hervin Khalaf, secretary general of the Future Syria Party, was ambushed and shot dead along with a driver and an aide after returning from a meeting in Hasaka.

As a consequence of what some are describing as the ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Kurds, experts warn that the offensive could potentially lead to the return of ISIS.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who currently hold thousands of suspected IS prisoners, say they will no longer prioritize guarding Islamic State detainees if the Turkish attacks continue.

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw US troops from the area effectively triggered the Turkish incursion against the SDF. As the conflict escalates, President Trump has suggested he would be prepared to use sanctions against Turkey if necessary. 

Pressure is building on Turkey to halt its operation, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says it will continue. Turkey says its operation aims to combat terrorism and strictly targets YPG militants that it considers a terror group. 

A spokesman for the Turkish-backed rebel group the Syrian National Army denied carrying out the killings, saying it had not advanced that far. 

But as Turkey continues its attacks, thousands of people, some shouting "Erdogan terrorist", took to the streets of Paris and other European cities including Paris and Berlin in protest of the Turkish assault on Kurds in Syria.

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