Shervan Derwish, a spokesperson for the Manbij Military Council, the Syrian Democratic Forces's (SDF) self-governing organization in northern Syria, said an investigation will be opened into the SDF militants who brutally executed a civilian near Raqqa and that those who are found guilty will be punished.
The U.S.-backed SDF is predominantly led by the PKK terror organization's Syria affiliate, the YPG (People's Protection Units), during the ongoing operation to capture Raqqa from Daesh. A video surfaced in social media from Lebanon-based news outlet Akhbar news that shows YPG terrorists executing an unarmed civilian reportedly somewhere near Raqqa and having fun with his corpse.
The video caused great reaction among social media users, and SDF officials said that those responsible for the brutal act would be punished.
"I strongly condemn the video showing the man being executed. The SDF has launched an investigation to find and punish the culprits. We will share it with the public soon," Derwish said. The press agent of the SDF, Mustafa Bali, also spoke to Akhbar and condemned the brutal act.
Human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have accused the YPG of committing violations such as extrajudicial, arbitrary detainment and killings. Yet, the U.S. views the YPG, as its "ground force" and abets it, despite strong objections by Turkey. The PKK is recognized as a terrorist group by the U.S., EU, Turkey and many other countries. Continuous U.S. support to the terror group has caused tensions in relations between Washington and Ankara. The U.S. says that supporting the YPG is the only option to defeat Daesh, while Turkey says that an alternative could be found rather than supporting and arming "a terrorist group."