Rights group says Turkey sowing dissent in Syria

26 August 2019
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The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reports that Turkish intelligence has been spreading videos that falsely depict Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) soldiers torturing and harassing Syrian citizens.

The SOHR in England reported recently that Turkish intelligence — in coordination with Qatari media, Syrian opposition websites and pro-Turkish Syrian activists — is trying to cultivate hatred between Kurds and Arabs east of the Euphrates, a Syrian area Turkey has long threatened to invade. The allegedly fabricated videos in particular target the SDF. Ankara considers the US-supported, Kurd-Arab alliance a terrorist organization.

A July 29 video on Al Jazeera shows a supposed SDF fighter in the Syrian city of Manbij speaking with a poor Kurdish accent as he beats a woman and removes her hijab. The man is heard threatening Arab citizens — including women — to get revenge for them not joining the force. The video also shows a Kurdish security vehicle in the background with an SDF flag flying over it, which drew angry reactions on social networking sites.

The observatory said the Al Jazeera video was a scam for several obvious reasons — mainly because the SDF doesn’t recruit women — and stressed that tracking down draft-dodging conscripts is the job of the military police, whose uniform is different from the SDF. The SOHR also said the vehicle in the video belongs to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s internal security forces known as Asayish, whose uniform is also different from that of the SDF.

Source: al-monitor

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