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September 24, 2021
WORLD

Disturbing report alleges killings of 450 Kurds in Syria

Russia calls on the UN Security Council to condemn these crimes.
Unconfirmed reports have emerged detailing a new massacre in which 450 Kurds – including 120 children – were allegedly slaughtered by al-Qaeda-linked rebels fighting against the Syrian government, Russia Today reports. The report has sparked international concern. According to Iranian TV channel Al-Alam, militants from the Jabhat al-Nusra Front attacked the town of Tal Abyad on Monday, killing 120 children and 330 women and elderly near the Turkish border. The channel also ran horrific uncensored footage from the scene – the authenticity of which can’t be independently verified at this moment. For ethical reasons, RT will refrain from airing the video. Neither the Syrian government nor the opposition has confirmed the report. RT contacted a number of sources, including several Kurdish interviewees, who testified that increased fighting has been taking place in their areas. “The al-Nusra militants and other rebel forces surrounded the village,” Yasin Tarbush, the relative of one of the Kurdish attack victims, told RT. “They started going door to door, entering every house. If there were any men, they killed them and took the women and children hostage.” Commenting on the reports, the UN Human Rights office in Geneva said they are investigating and if it confirms them, would consider it a war crime and seek that perpetrators are brought to justice. 
“Armed groups also have responsibilities under international law and should not think that they are immune from prosecution,” Navi Pillay said in a statement.
Russia called on the UN Security Council to condemn acts of terrorism in Syria in unambiguous terms. “We saw before some Security Council members reluctant to condemn terror attacks in Syria on the grounds that – as cynical as it sounds – those attacks are being carried out by people fighting against an obsolete regime,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said. “This position is absolutely unacceptable. No double standards can be applied to terrorism.”
The Kurds are the largest ethnic group in the world without a state of their own. They currently live in the bordering territories of Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. The idea of carving an independent Kurdish state has numerous supporters among Kurds, with host countries trying for years to oppose secessionism.
In pre-war Syria, the Kurdish population was denied some of the rights that other ethnic groups enjoyed. However in the early months of the conflict the government of President Bashar Assad gave a number of concessions to the Kurds, including granting citizenship to thousands of them.

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