The Violations Documentation Center in northern Syria has observed up to the end of February 2020, the deaths of 1,926 civilians. It also said that Turkish forces or militant groups loyal to them had arrested 6,201 people since the Turkish incursion into northern Syria, with the fates of 3,051 of them still unknown, while some had been transferred to Turkey an there was no information about them.
The center said in a report that the Turkish forces and Syrian militias that it backs had carried out more violations and that they did not heed calls to stop the daily raids and arrests of civilians and their kidnappings. They also prevented their families from learning where those who were kidnapped were held, or why, and refused to send them to trial and denied them legal representation.
The center also said in its monthly report, issued on Feb. 29, 2020, that there had been an increase in the rates of violence and crimes, arrests and kidnappings in various areas under the control of the Turkish armed forces and the Syrian militant groups backed by them in northern Syria.
The center also warned about an escalation in the pace of violations since the Turkish incursion east of the Euphrates, adding that armed groups backed by the Turkish government and armed forces were responsible for these violations which had reached the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity, and that the Turkish state bore responsibility.
Sarah Lee Whitson, director for the Middle East section at Human Rights Watch, said that, “Executions, the looting of property, and preventing displaced people from returning to their homes is compelling evidence that the ‘safe areas’ proposed by Turkey will not be safe.”
She added that, “Contrary to Turkish accounts that its operations would result in a safe zone, the groups it is using to administer the area are committing crimes against civilians and discriminating on an ethnic basis.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.