More than 8,000 captured IS fighters in northern Syria:
Germany and Europe must live up to their responsibilities (Press Release)
According to information from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, there are currently 8360 fighters of the "Islamic State" (IS) in the hands of Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria – and the number is increasing. Apparently, about 1,400 of them are from Europe. The fighters surrendered or were captured by the "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF). "The IS fighters are responsible for serious human rights violations and war crimes against the Yazidis, Christians, Kurds and other ethnic groups in Syria and Iraq. Now, the question is how the international community will deal with them. Germany and Europe must not shy away from their responsibilities," demanded Kamal Sido, Middle East consultant of the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP). Otherwise, the perpetrators might go unpunished.
Today, Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, spoke about this issue in the course of a press conference in Berlin, at the invitation of the STP. He called on Germany and the other EU states to at least take in their citizens who fought in the ranks of IS, and to bring them to justice. Their serious human rights violations must not go unpunished. Apparently, the IS members often traveled to Syria via Turkey, with German and European travel documents, in order to fight "infidels" such as Yazidis, Christians, Alevis, Shiites, and Druze – but also Sunnis, Kurds, and Arabs who rejected Erdogan's policy of Islamization. "It would be highly irresponsible to leave the autonomous self-government in northern Syria alone with the difficult tasks of identification and jurisdiction. After all, NATO member Turkey played a major role in helping German and European citizens to join ISIS and to commit these crimes," stated Rami Abdul Rahman.
The "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" (SOHR) has been distributing news about the current state of the conflict in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious Syria since 2011, in Arabic and English. The organization provides information about the serious human rights violations and war crimes of all parties to the conflict, about the massacres of the government troops or the Russian Air Force, which is assisting Assad's troops against the Islamist rebels. The SOHR will ensure that the crimes of the Turkish army in Afrin will not be forgotten. Because of his commitment, Abdul Rahman regularly receives death threats from radical Islamists.
Header image: Schedler/GfbV (2019)