LONDON, Oct. 13 (UPI) — Kurdish forces were accused by Amnesty International Tuesday of human rights abuses against Arabs and Turkmen in northern Syria.
The London-based non-governmental organization claimed, in a report, that the Kurdish YPG, an arm of Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party and regarded by the United States as a reliable and effective ally in the battle against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, conducted forced displacement of captured Syrians and demolitions of entire captured neighborhoods.
The report comes a day after the United States said it air-dropped 50 tons of arms and ammunition in northern Syria to benefit rebel groups which include the YPG.
The alleged YPG actions are tantamount to war crimes, Amnesty International’s report says, and appear to be in retaliation for perceived sympathy or links to IS. The YPG has admitted to what they regard as isolated incidents, but denies AI’s accusations.
A resident of the village of Husseiniya, Syria, was quoted in the report claiming, “They pulled us out of our homes and began burning the home… they brought the bulldozers… They demolished home after home until the entire village was destroyed.” Another said, “They told us we had to leave or they would tell the U.S. coalition that we were terrorists and their planes would hit us and our families.”
Satellite images of Husseiniya, included in the report, show 225 structures standing in a 2014 photo, and only 14 a year later.
In 2014 the non-governmental organization Human Rights Watch accused the YPG of recruiting child soldiers, arbitrary detention and lack of investigation of unsolved killings. It has been suggested the YPG is attempted to conquer territory for an eventual autonomous state of its own in northern Syria.