Turkey Commits War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity in Afrin

February 05, 2018

The so-called military operation “Olive Branch”, launched by Turkey on January 20, 2018 with the cooperation of jihadis from Ahrar Asham, Dir’i Alfurat and former IS terrorists and various other Islamic terrorists - has left hundreds of civilians in the Afrin region killed and injured. This illegal military operation and modus operandi constitutes war crimes and crimes against humanity, all committed by Turkey and its jihadi mercenaries.

Turkish jets have been bombing villages and towns in the Afrin region as well as Afrin city, thereby killing innocent civilians on a daily basis. Villagers near the borders have been forced to flee their houses and villages after civilian casualties’ due to indiscriminate attacks by Turkish jets. Many old people - who decided not to leave - have been brutally killed in violation of the very fundamental principles of international humanitarian law.


The Turkish Armed Forces - together with jihadi mercenaries - have even mutilated dead bodies of Kurdish defendants. The body of the dead fighter Ms Barîn Kobanî has been shown in a video with jihadi mercenaries mutilating her body. The combatants jumped on the dead body, stripped her body naked and cut off her breasts.


As farmers and villagers were forced to flee their homes to save their life and the lives of their families, there have been reports of conjoint lootings carried out by the Turkish Army and the jihadi mercenaries’. In many cases these consist in trespassing and pillaging deserted houses, and in purloining olive oil canisters, in particular. The main income of the Kurdish households in Afrin is generated from olive based agriculture. Villagers store the oil from the olive harvest and use this as a valuable tradable commodity to cover the expensive living costs due to the ongoing war. Due to the plundering by the Turkish Army and its jihadi mercenaries, these farmers have also lost their only financial income. The very existence of the entire Kurdish minority in Afrin is existentially threatened!


During the last seven years of the Syrian Civil War, the greater Afrin region has been governed under self-administration and, thus, persisted as one of the very few secure and stable regions in Syria. Here, more than 300,000 refugees from other parts of Syria had found a place to refuge and peaceful livelihood. When Turkey had already closed its borders to Afrin and banned all kind of imports of food or medicine, Kurds in Afrin still welcomed Arabs and Christians in their region.


We call upon the United Nations and the Security Council to act urgently in order to maintain international peace and security and to stop this war of aggression of Turkey and its jihadi mercenaries on Afrin. The United Nations is called to conduct a special inquiry committee to investigate the alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Turkish Army and its jihadi mercenaries.


We call upon the European Union to put Turkey under political, diplomatic and economic pressure to stop the war on Afrin and prevent a genocide on the Kurdish minority. We call upon the German government to review its arms deals with Turkey, and to stop the trade of German tanks which serve as crucial tools for this war of aggression that kills Kurdish civilians.


Afrin, Bonn & Washington D.C.,

February 3, 2018

​YASA e.V – Kurdish Center for Legal Studies & Consultancy

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