Amnesty: U.S.-backed Kurdish rebels may have committed war crimes in Syria

The Washington Post reports: A new report from human rights group Amnesty International suggests that Kurdish forces in northern Syria, among the most significant U.S. ground partners in the fight against the Islamic State, may have committed war crimes with a campaign of displacement and home demolitions aimed mostly at the local Arab population.

In the report released on Monday, Amnesty says it has found evidence that the local armed group known as the People’s Protection Units – better known by the acronym “YPG” – forced Arabs and Turkmen in northern Syria from their homes on behalf of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish political organization that has held de facto control of northern Syria’s so-called “Autonomous Administration” since January 2014.

“By deliberately demolishing civilian homes, in some cases razing and burning entire villages, displacing their inhabitants with no justifiable military grounds, the Autonomous Administration is abusing its authority and brazenly flouting international humanitarian law, in attacks that amount to war crimes,” Lama Fakih, a senior crisis adviser at Amnesty, said in a statement. [Continue reading…]

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