Gruesome videos of Turkish-backed war crimes emerge from Syria

October 25, 2019



[Notes by Tom Gross]

I have been reluctant to share or post some of the videos I have seen in the last two weeks of rapes and other atrocities now being carried out on Syrian Kurds by Turkish-organised proxy militia comprised of former Isis members. This footage is very hard to watch which is one of the reasons the mainstream media has not shown it.

But yesterday CNN decided to broadcast some small clips of the less graphic parts of these videos. You can see the report from CNN’s Nick Paton Walsh here:

(CNN Türk has not carried this footage, I am told.)


Here is an even more disturbing video (including beheadings) from a previous round of Turkish massacres of Kurds in 2017.


The start of this video shows the summary execution of Kurdish female fighters.


Turkish President Erdogan has long been accused of aiding and abetting ISIS (as I noted in this video.)

Foreign Policy magazine reports that following Turkey’s invasion of North-east Syria this month, Turkish-backed forces have been freeing Islamic State prisoners who were previously under the guard of the West’s Kurdish allies.



The photo at the top of this dispatch was taken by Anthony Loyd, a foreign correspondent for The Times of London.

He writes: “The burns on the screaming child brought into the Syrian-Kurdish hospital at Tal Tamir were enough to reduce even hardened medical staff to silence. The boy endured 12 hours of agony before his burns could be treated. The terrible wounds that had all but flayed his skin from his torso, penetrating deep into his flesh, suggested his injuries were caused by something far worse than blast alone. They added to the growing body of evidence that suggests Turkey, a NATO member, is using white phosphorus against Kurdish civilians.”

I posted several articles on my public Facebook page a week ago. Among them, XXX reports that Turkey appears to be using banned chemical substances on Kurds.

The Daily Mail (London) has these distressing photos.


The fact that a NATO member state is doing this while the rest of NATO does nothing to stop Turkey, is appalling. Indeed two days ago President Trump lifted sanctions on Turkey even though his own defense minister, Mark Esper, said just a day earlier that he had evidence Turkey was committing war crimes on Kurds.

Of course, to date Erdogan’s actions and Trump’s failings are dwarfed by those of Assad and Obama. President Assad used chemical weapons extensively on children when President Obama was US president (as I repeatedly documented on this list) while Obama reneged on his red lines and did nothing to deter Assad and his Iranian allies from killing 500,000 people and turning 11 million others into refugees.



Kurdish activists and politicians (several of whom subscribe to this dispatch list) have been sharing my various TV interviews from earlier this month on social media.

For example, my TV clip here calling for an independent Kurdish state, has been posted on the official Facebook page of the Iraqi president’s assistant (the president is Kurdish):

You can watch other videos here of me on the Kurdish issue.



The Jerusalem Post reported yesterday:

After being bombed and attacked by both the Turkish Army and its allied Free Syrian Army Forces in Afrin last year, Aram (name changed for security reasons) and her family – Kurds who were native to northern Syria – were forced to flee to Iraqi Kurdistan, much like the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have recently become refugees due to the Turkish military operation.

When Aram arrived in Iraqi Kurdistan, her 3.5-year-old son, Ajwan, required open heart surgery that was unavailable in Kurdistan, but an American doctor working in Kurdistan told her that Ajwan could be treated in Israel.

“I was not afraid to come to Israel, even though I was warned I could lose my Syrian passport,” Aram told The Jerusalem Post.

The rest of the article is here.


i24 news video report of Kurdish children being treated in Israeli hospitals here:


Turkish footballers are ignoring warnings from the governing body of European football (soccer) UEFA, and continuing to give military salutes in support of Turkey’s ongoing ethnic cleansing operation in Kurdistan. Above the players from Turkey’s national team ahead of their 1-1 draw earlier this month with world champions France.




The Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, has given Turkish President Erdogan a gift of a custom built Boeing 747, which has two private sitting rooms, seven bedrooms and medical facilities. The plane cost $400 million according to Turkish TV, and was preceded by a $15 billion investment by Qatar in the Turkish economy.

It is reported to be one of “the largest and most expensive private jets in the world.”

The gift was announced last year but it was delivered in the last month. Video here.

The Arab media have been sharply critical of Turkey’s actions in northeast Syria except for the media of Qatar which has supported them. Both the Turkish and Qatari governments, together with Hamas, have a shared affinity for the radical Muslim Brotherhood organization. By contrast, the Saudi media called Turkey’s actions against the Kurds a “slaughter”.



On a separate topic, here are some brief comments by me this week for BBC Arabic on Israeli politics.

After Benjamin Netanyahu failed to form an Israeli government, yesterday Israeli President Rivlin asked opposition leader Benny Gantz to try and form one instead. This is the first time in over a decade that a politician other than Netanyahu has been asked to form a government. But Gantz’s chances also seem slim. There is an outside chance that he will either form a minority government or make last minute concessions to Netanyahu and form a unity government with him. But if not, then Israel will likely end up holding a third general election in less than a year.

Einstein famously said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome. Often that phrase is used when it is not really true, but in this case it might be. A third election will probably again produce a stalemate unless someone gives ground.

(No, I haven’t started working for the BBC… journalism is so under-funded these days that they can’t afford an interviewer – I am just a guest commentator explaining Israeli democracy, broadcast across the Arab world.)

Full BBC report by Issam Ikirmawi here:


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