While Turkey continues its invasion of Syria, Kurdish lawmakers inside Turkey continue to face serious persecution.
According to reports, Kurdish lawmakers in Diyarbakır (Amed) who wanted to make a statement opposing the invasion of Rojava (Northeastern Syria) were surrounded by hundreds of police with shields and were only allowed to leave once they agreed to stop their announcement.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey announced in Tunisia on Wednesday that his nation would openly accept an invitation from the Libyan government to intervene against rebels which currently control swaths of land including key Libyan oil facilities.
“Since there is an invitation [from Libya] right now, we will accept it,” Erdogan told members of his AK Party. “We will present the motion to send troops [to Libya] as soon as Parliament resumes.”
The wording used was the firmest yet in regard to the rebels led by renegade general Khalifa Haftar.
Haftar is reportedly backed by 7,000 mercenaries, as well as Russian fighters but is not recognized by the international community.
Since April, he and his mercenaries have fought against Libya’s Government of National Accord(GNA), making rapid gains.
This has angered Turkey and Qatar which support the GNA, while Russia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Egypt and to some degree France continue to support Haftar.
WARNING: Disturbing content.
A report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reveals the brutal use of torture by various factions in Syria, and particularly from the forces of the Assad regime.
According to the poll around eight percent of the death tolls in prisons can be attributed to these horrific causes.
Among the methods used on prisoners are cases of rape, mutilation, electrocution, severe beatings, crucifixions and burnings.
In total 14,298 people have died from torture in the conflict, a majority of which were inflicted by Assad’s forces (14,131).
“The Syrian situation constitutes a blatant failure of the Security Council’s response to conflict resolution, with the only solution remaining being through international intervention outside the Security Council to save the lives of 128,000 Syrian citizens who are still in detention, subjected to torture and deprived of health care, making them vulnerable to death due to torture,” wrote Fadel Abdul Ghany, chairman of the SNHR.
72 different horrific torture methods were used in the killings, some of which are detailed below:
- Electrocution by way of batons pressed against the body or genitals
- A “crucifixion” in which you are tied to a cross and heavily beaten
- Men and women forced to rape and sexually abuse one another
- Gouging of the eyes, crushing of the head and teeth removal
- Cutting off of body parts with garden shears including the genitals
- Pouring scalding liquids and oils on victims
- starvation and sleep deprevation
“Despite all the data that confirm the brutal torture practiced by the Syrian regime, which amount to genocide, no one has intervened to protect civilians and to save the reputation of international law,” wrote Ghany.
The report goes on to explain how some prisoners slip into delirium and amnesia due to the severe nature of their treatment, some of whom finally die after slipping into a coma.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused Donald Trump’s offer to mediate a ceasefire that would stop Turkey’s advance into North-Eastern Syria.
“Nobody can stop us until we reach 30 to 35 kilometres (19 to 22 miles) inside Syria,” he said.
Currently, dozens of civilians alongside hundreds of soldiers have reportedly been killed in Turkey’s offensive to create a “safe-zone” within North-Eastern Syria, with another 160,000 being displaced.
While the attack against the Kurds are worrying, the regional implications could be even more devastating.
For example, the Kurds manage the al-Hol camp, an area home to roughly 70,000 individuals, of which 30,000 still swear fealty to the Islamic State.
Already there are reports of ISIS re-organizing in preparation as al-Hol camp guards continue to receive fewer and fewer resources in the face of Turkish assaults.
In response to the growing chaos in the region, it appears some nations are beginning to act in a limited fashion.
According to the National Post, Global Affairs Canada has confirmed that Canada has “temporarily” suspended new arms export to Turkey.
“This unilateral action risks undermining the stability of an already fragile region, exacerbating the humanitarian situation and rolling back progress achieved by the Global Coalition Against Daesh, of which Turkey is a member,” said spokesman Guillaume Berube.
“We call for the protection of civilians and on all parties to respect their obligations under international law, including unhindered access for humanitarian aid.”
Britan, Germany, and France have also suspended arms sales, while the United States has initiated sanctions targetting the Turkish economy.
While sanctions are sure to hurt the Turkish economy, the willingness for Kurdish allies such as the United States to rapidly withdraw support is sure to further destabilize the region, as fewer countries rely on American promises and even fewer potentially fear American arms.
Turkey’s attack against the Kurds in Syria appears to be way off-track.
According to a Newsweek exclusive which quotes a senior Pentagon official, Turkish troops so heavily shelled an area occupied by American troops that they had to consider firing back “in self-defence”
No injuries have been reported.
Instead of returning fire, the forces withdrew once the shelling had stopped.
Hundreds of Kurdish soldiers have been killed in Turkey’s offensive, while large numbers of Kurdish civilians have attempted to flee the attacks.
In response to attacks against the Kurds, the EU will be meeting to discuss potential sanctions while a bi-partisan effort is made in the house to push a similar tactic forward.