US, YPG joint operation in Syria kills 13 civilians

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 17.07.2019 00:13

Thirteen people were killed Monday in a joint operation carried out by the U.S. and the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG), in Syria's Deir el-Zour.

The operation was launched late at night under the pretext of capturing a Daesh terrorist. The YPG terrorists landed in the province with a helicopter belonging to U.S. forces, before opening fire in neighborhood killing 13 civilians.

Despite the brutality of the incident, the U.S. has yet to release a statement on the issue.

In December 2018, the area east of Deir el-Zour was captured from Daesh by U.S.-supported YPG militants. According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), since the September 2014 intervention of the U.S.-led coalition in the region, a total of 3,035 civilians have been killed, including 656 women and 924 children.

Similar operations and civilian deaths at the hands of the coalition have also occurred in Syria's Raqqa province. The U.S.-led coalition killed more than 1,600 civilians in the northern Syria city of Raqqa during months of bombardment that liberated it from the Daesh terror group, far more than the number announced earlier by the U.S.-led coalition, Amnesty International and London-based watchdog Airwars said in April. Airwars also urged the U.S.-led coalition to take responsibility for the deaths of large numbers of civilians who were trapped between Daesh snipers, landmines and coalition attacks.

Both Amnesty International and Airwars urged the coalition to make public all relevant information, set up an independent and impartial mechanism to investigate the matter and create a fund to help the families of the deceased.

Raqqa was the de facto capital of Daesh's self-declared caliphate, which once encompassed a third of Syria and Iraq. In March, Daesh lost the last area it controlled in eastern Syria, marking the end of the so-called caliphate.

The U.S.' Syria policy, especially its military support for YPG terrorists, has been a cause of tension between Ankara and Washington. Ankara argues that one terrorist group cannot be used to fight another.

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the PKK, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in its 30-year terror campaign against Turkey. The U.S., however, while listing the PKK as a terrorist group, is maintaining its steadfast military support for the terrorist organization by providing truckloads of military supplies and military training under the pretext of fighting Daesh at the expense of possibly losing its NATO ally, Turkey.

In December, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that Washington would pull out its troops from Syria, saying that Daesh had been defeated. The withdrawal decision was also quickly interpreted as an intention to halt U.S. support for the YPG. Yet, a growing number of inconsistent statements from the White House indicate that cooperation remains an issue of concern.

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