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Turkish-backed militias fighting in Syria raping and torturing Kurds, UN finds

UN report is based on 538 witness interviews, documents, satellite imagery, photographs and videos relating to events away from the major battle zones during the first half of this year, Peter Stubley writes

Friday 18 September 2020 15:38 BST
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A demonstrator holds up a poster with a portrait of Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf who was summarily executed by members of the Syrian National Army
A demonstrator holds up a poster with a portrait of Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf who was summarily executed by members of the Syrian National Army (Peter Kohalmi/AFP via Getty Images)

Rebel fighters backed by Turkey are committing war crimes against Kurdish civilians in Syria, according to the UN.

Members of the Syrian National Army — which was supposedly formed to help create a safe zone near the northern border — are believed to have raped and sexually assaulted women and girls, tortured detainees, pillaged homes and businesses and destroyed significant religious and archaeological sites.

UN investigators also point to allegations that Turkish forces were aware of some incidents of looting and were present at prisons when interrogation under torture took place.

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