UN urges access to Daesh terrorists held by YPG over humanitarian concerns

Published 11.05.2019 00:03
Updated 11.05.2019 18:20

A United Nations commission on Thursday urged the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group dominated by PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG), to grant humanitarian organizations and rights monitors access to the "several thousand" Daesh terrorists being held by the terrorist organization due to the high risk of human rights violations.

"Incommunicado detention risks creating an environment where torture and ill-treatment are perpetrated with impunity," the U.N.'s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria said in a statement.

Hundreds of foreign fighters from roughly 50 countries are among the Daesh terrorists being held incommunicado in SDF camps, according to the commission. The SDF is controlled by the YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a group listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the EU and the U.S. In its 30-year terrorist campaign, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including those of women and children.

Turkey is strongly opposed to the U.S.' partnership with the YPG and SDF under the pretext of fighting Daesh, saying partnering with one terrorist group to defeat another will not achieve the desired goals.

Following the seizure of the last Daesh bastion of Baghouz, U.S. officials reassured their allies on the ground in March with celebrations of victory on the Al-Omar oilfields. A band in the red uniforms of the SDF played the U.S. national anthem in front of the national and organization flags.

Following the defeat of Daesh in early April, the YPG announced that they released 283 Daesh members, defining the action as "a gesture for cooperation, brotherhood and compassion," raising suspicions that the two terrorist groups are actually in a sham fight. According to an article by Le Figaro, the way the terrorist organizations' deal works is that Daesh gives a list of names to the YPG in exchange for money.

The commission also said that while it has regularly reported on a gamut of rights violations perpetrated by Daesh, "holding suspects who may have been involved in such crimes in prolonged legal limbo and incommunicado without access to legal counsel risks undermining their successful prosecutions in the future."

"Additionally, preventing them from returning to their countries of origin obstructs the obligations of those states to investigate and prosecute such crimes and undermines the right to the truth for the victims and their families," it added.

The commission further pointed to the tens of thousands of civilians who were displaced during the final drive to rid Daesh of its final territorial holdings, saying civilians are "languishing" in makeshift camps that lack adequate housing and supplies.

Those being held in the camps are enduring "appalling and inhumane conditions," which the commission said has led to "preventable deaths," including those of up to 240 children.

"This untenable situation appears to be the result of a lack of preparedness by the SDF and its international coalition partners for the scores of IDPs that have emerged from ISIL controlled areas in eastern Syria," it said, referring to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and using another name for Daesh (ISIL).

In a bid to consolidate its power in the regions under its control, the group adopted oppressive practices against locals who refused to accept their dominance. Although numerous human rights organizations have documented the YPG's violations of human rights, including torture, recruiting child soldiers, deliberate disruption of education and health services, the Western media has long been turning a blind eye to these atrocities and has instead chosen to glorify the terrorist organization as "freedom fighters."

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