In their advance into northeastern Syria, pro-Turkey militants reportedly killed nine unarmed Kurdish civilians this weekend. Among those killed, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, was Hevrin Khalaf, the Future Syria Party’s secretary-general.
Khalaf was returning from a meeting in Hasaka when her car ambushed by rebel fighters, and she was executed alongside her driver. Her murder was labeled by the Turkish state media as a “successful operation.”
Khalaf was “taken out of her car during a Turkish-backed attack and executed by Turkish-backed mercenary factions,” the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said in a statement. “This is clear evidence that the Turkish state is continuing its criminal policy towards unarmed civilians.”
Brett McGurk, the former presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, decried Khalaf’s murder as a war crime.
The National Army, the rebel group in question, denied any responsibility. They claim that they had not reached the area where Khalaf was killed. “I confirm to you that our forces have not reached the M4,” Youssef Hammoud said in a voice message to the Reuters agency.
According to Raf Sanchez’s article from The Telegraph, however, video footage appears to show National Army fighters surrounding her black SUV, which is riddled with bullet holes.
The Syrian Women’s Council has called for international action. “We at the Council of Women in Northern and Eastern Syria condemn and denounce this cowardly act against the martyr Hevrin Khalaf,” they declared in a written statement, “and call on the international community and human rights and international women’s organizations to assume their responsibility and intervene to stop this brutal Turkish crime against the components and peoples of northern and eastern Syria, which is not based on any legal or lawful justification.”
Not surprisingly, the White House has been silent on Khalaf’s execution or the call for international aid since Trump decided to pull troops from northern Syria. In fact, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told WSMV News4 Nashville that he is “very proud of what [the Trump administration] have done in support of the Kurds,” just days before this carnage commenced.
As Khalaf and eight other people were murdered, the President was seen golfing in Virginia.