“Daesh constitutes an enormous threat to the region and beyond. Terror is our common enemy, and Turkey’s determination to fight terrorism remains firm. We also would like to draw attention to serious human right violations committed by the YPG, which deserve a more detailed and separate investigation,” Turkey’s ambassador to the United Nations office in Geneva, Mehmet Ferden Carikci, told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“YPG acts such as trying to change demographics and kidnapping local Kurdish politicians may lead to Syria falling apart,” he warned.
Noting that despite relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the Syrian regime has continued to block unimpeded humanitarian access, Carikci said, “The UN Joint Investigation Mechanism recently confirmed that the Syrian regime is responsible for the use of chemical weapons in at least two cases, which is both a war crime and a crime against humanity. The regime has the same mindset as Daesh, which also used chemical weapons.”
The report also constitutes proof of the Syrian regimes’ crimes, he added.
Also speaking to the council, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, chair of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said: “As Syrian refugees have increasingly fled outside the region, it has become more difficult to access victims and witnesses with fresh information. We are appealing to countries inside Europe hosting newly arrived Syrian refugees to grant us access and remove any barriers to our work.”
Pointing to a glimmer of hope under the most recent cessation of hostilities brokered by the U.S. and Russia, Pinheiro said, “This agreement has already resulted in a substantial reduction of violence and a drastic decrease of civilian casualties over the last week.”
“The politicization of humanitarian assistance by any party to the conflict must not be allowed. For, as we have witnessed time and again, roadblocks made of red tape are just effective as roadblocks made of weapons of war,” he added.
“Since the beginning of the year, 71 health facilities have been attacked. In Aleppo alone, 25 hospitals and clinics were deliberately reduced to rubble, mostly by pro-government forces’ airstrikes but also by anti-government groups’ ground shelling,” he noted.
Stressing that, “All parties must respect the new cessation of hostilities,” Pinheiro said, “As if not dramatic enough, in early September the situation in Aleppo was worsened by the cutoff of the last of only two access roads to the city, which effectively amounts to the besiegement of 275,000 civilians.”