By Zuhal Demirci and Tugcenur Yilmaz
ANKARA (AA) - Major human rights groups such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented hundreds of violations of human rights and international law by the PYD/PKK terrorist group in northern and northwestern Syria.
The threat of the terrorist PYD/PKK in Afrin, northwestern Syria to both local populations and Turkish territory across the border is the focus of Turkey’s current Operation Olive Branch, launched on Jan. 20.
A report released Friday by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said that in 2017, PKK/PYD terrorists killed 316 civilians in Syria, including 58 children and 54 women.
Its annual report on the most notorious human rights violations in 2017 documented over 6,500 cases of arbitrary arrest, including nearly 4,800 individuals arrested by Syrian regime forces.
It also said the PYD/PKK terror group held 647 individuals in 2017, including 47 children and 46 women, while Daesh held 539.
- Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International
In a 2014 report, Human Rights Watch also detailed arbitrary arrests, rights violations, drug smuggling, and other illegal activities by the PYD/PKK.
The 107-page report also documented disappearances and killings, jurisdictional violations, random arrests of political opponents, abuse of prisoners, and the use of child soldiers in northern and northwestern Syria controlled by the PYD/PKK terrorist group, especially in Afrin as well as Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) and Jazira.
It also said PYD/PKK terrorists had committed crimes violating people’s rights in areas mostly populated by Kurds, Arabs, Assyrians, and other groups.
The report documented arbitrary arrests of the PYD/PKK’s political opponents, abuse in detention, and unsolved abductions and murders. It also documented the use of children in the PYD/PKK’s police force and armed wing, the YPG.
The report also said that hundreds of people were sent to prison in Afrin and Ayn al-Arab without any trial.
Amnesty International documented similar cases in its October 2015 report "Syria: We Had Nowhere to Go."
Civilians living in areas of northern Syria were subjected to serious abuses by PYD/PKK terrorists including forced displacement and home demolitions, said the group.
The report documents the deliberate demolition of civilian homes and the forced displacement of civilians, and in some instances entire villages, by the terrorist group.
Amnesty International said the instances of forced displacement and demolition and confiscation of civilian property constitute "war crimes."