Turkish, Russian and Syrian Forces Commit War Crimes in Syria


According various rights organizations, Turkish, Russian and Syrian forces as well as the forces allied to these forces have been targeting the civilians and committing violations and war crimes.


Many rights groups and organizations as well as analysts and observers have been voicing their concerns about Turkey’s military invasion of northern Syria that was launched on October 9 for the creation of a ‘so-called’ buffer-zone along the Turkish-Syrian border.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the military campaign was aimed at preventing the creation of “a terror corridor” across Turkey’s southern border. However, Manish Rai, a columnist for Middle East and Af-Pak region, believes that Turkey actually intends to grab Syrian land with the excuse of creating a buffer-zone and under the cover of counter-terror operation.

Manish recently wrote on Oped Column | OC:

“The creation of a buffer-zone is, in reality, Turkey’s outright grabbing of Syrian land. It is similar to Turkey’s previous operation in northern Syrian city of Afrin, where Turkey had committed ethnic cleansing under the cover of counter-terror operation.”

On October 18, Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said:

“Turkish military forces and their allies have displayed an utterly callous disregard for civilian lives, launching unlawful deadly attacks in residential areas that have killed and injured civilians.”

On the same day, the Amnesty International tweeted that Turkish military and its Syrian allies had carried out summary killings and unlawful attacks that have killed and injured civilians, during offensive in northeast Syria. The tweet addresses these actions as “serious violations & war crimes”.

Backing its claim, a news-report from Amnesty International stated that the organization has witness testimonies from 17 people including medical and rescue workers, displaced civilians, journalists, local and international humanitarian workers. This testimonies was gathered between October 12 and 16. The organization has also analyzed and verified video footage and reviewed medical reports and other documentation.


On October 18, a news-report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated that Syrian and Russian forces strike on a displacement compound in the Idlib governorate’s Hass township in mid-August had killed at least 20 civilians and displaced about 200 survivors. According to the witnesses, there was no apparent military target for the attack in the area.

The HRW news-report addressed the strike as “an apparent war crime”. Lotte Leicht, EU Director at Human Rights Watch, reiterated this in her tweet.

Referring to Syrian-Russian allied offensive on Idlib governorate, the last anti-regime stronghold in Syria, that started on April as well as to the latest strike on the displacement compound, Gerry Simpson, the associate crisis and conflict director at Human Rights Watch, said:

“Syria-Russia alliance in Idlib has struck hospitals, schools & markets, but now it can add displacement camps to the blood-soaked list after killing at least 20 Syrians, mostly women & kids, with survivors again fleeing to nearby closed Turkey border.”