MSD denounces Turkish war crimes in northern Syria
MSD said that some medical reports indicate existence of unknown burn cases that require investigation by international authorities specialized in internationally prohibited weapons.
The Syrian Democratic Council (MSD or SDC) officials held a press conference in the Qamishlo city about the war crimes committed by the Turkish state against the peoples of North and East Syria.
The statement read by MSD members recalled that a ceasefire was declared on October 17 by the United States, which acted as a mediator between the Turkish state and the SDF, and entered into force from 22.00 pm for 120 hours.
MSD underlined that, despite the SDF's commitment to this decision and stopping the combat operations on the fronts, the Turkish state did not stop its attacks against Serêkaniyê (Ras Al-Ain) and Girê Spî (Tal Abyad).
Serêkaniyê remained besieged where the Turkish occupation prevented the evacuation of the wounded from the hospital and has prevented so far leaving anyone from the city.
Noting that the talk about the establishment of a safe zone in light of the Turkish army's efforts to undermine the security and peace of the peoples has been condemned locally and internationally, MSD said that all the massacres against civilians and the targeting of security and stability in the region confirm that the Turkish state seeks to displace the local population and change the demographic structure.
MSD pointed out that The Turkish military offensive which began on October 9th under the pretext of establishing a safe zone in northern and eastern Syria has caused a huge destruction, with the homes of local people demolished, infrastructure targeted, power and water pumping stations destroyed.
MSD announced that attacks of the Turkish state have killed 235 civilians, who include 22 children, and injured 677 others, most of them severely, amid continued heavy shelling on the area that have mainly targeted the civilian settlements.
MSD noted that some medical reports indicate existence of unknown burn cases that require investigation by international authorities specialized in internationally prohibited weapons.
“The Turkish aerial and artillery attacks randomly targeted cities, towns and villages, which exacerbated the humanitarian situation, with more than 300 thousand civilians having been displaced from their cities, towns and villages and are now going through very difficult and harsh conditions. International organizations concerned with humanitarian affairs withdrew all their staff as a result of the bad security situation left by the Turkish aggression after the region had been stable and secure, attracting all organizations over past years.”
MSD noted that Amnesty International confirmed in its report dated 18/10 that it got evidence and testimony to prove that what had been committed by the Turkish army and allied militias amount to war crimes.
The statement said that the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Arab Red Crescent, in cooperation with the Kurdish Red Crescent, managed to evacuate 37 of the wounded people from Serêkaniyê Hospital yesterday evening, along with 7 martyrs who lost their lives as a result of the siege after urgent demands to open a humanitarian corridor.
However- MSD said- this humanitarians corridor was closed again, leaving dozens of civilians and wounded people besieged in the city.
MSD listed some cases of the crimes committed against civilians as follows;
- A child named Sara Hussein, injured by a cannon shell in Qaddour Bak neighborhood of Qamishlo on October 10, had her leg amputated.
- Sara Hussein’s brother Mohammad Yussef Hussein, who was also injured by a cannon shell in Qaddour Bak neighborhood of Qamishlo on October 10, lost his life.
- 13 years old Mohammed Hameed was injured in Serêkaniyê on October 15, suspected of having been exposed to an internationally prohibited weapon.
- The village of Zarkan in Serêkaniyê was bombed on October 16.
- The village of Mushrafa in Serêkaniyê was targeted by air strikes on October 18. Bodies of the victims have been removed from under the rubble.
- Children suffered burns on October 16 in Serêkaniyê where most likely forbidden weapons were used.
- An air strike conducted near Ain Issa on October 17.
MSD issued the following calls to concerned authorities;
"We thank the world public opinion, the international community and all those who stood against this blatant aggression. We also appeal to the international community and humanitarian organizations to;
- do their duty in the face of this humanitarian disaster and exert all pressure to stop and end the Turkish occupation.
- send international observers with a view to maintaining and making a permanent ceasefire declaration that leads to complete withdrawal of the Turkish army, which, along with its militants, committed genocide against civilians and looted property.
- send specialized missions to investigate and document the crimes mentioned in the Amnesty International report.
- determine the responsibility of the perpetrators of the crimes and executioners of martyr Hefrin Khalaf and a number of civilians and activists, to demand that they be brought in front of international courts, especially as they are known and have filmed their crimes and broadcast them through media.
- work to open a permanent humanitarian corridor in the city of Serêkaniyê.
We also call on international organizations to resend their staff to the region and shoulder their responsibilities towards 300,000 displaced people.
In conclusion, we salute the heroes of the resistance on the fronts who are steadfast in the face of the occupation, and affirm our full solidarity with their decision to continue the resistance until the liberation of the entire Syrian territory from the Turkish occupation."