ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey rejected on Friday the human rights violations claims in northern Syria laid out in a report by the United Nations Commission of Inquiry and following criticism.
“We categorically reject the baseless allegations of human rights violations claimed against the Syrian opposition... and concerning our country in relation to them,” the Turkish foreign ministry said on Friday.
On Tuesday, U.N. war crimes investigators said Turkey must rein in Syrian rebels it supports in northern Syria who may have carried out kidnappings, torture and looting of civilian property following a report covering the first half of 2020.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said the human rights situation in parts of northern Syria is grim and called on Turkey to ensure that violations committed by armed groups under their control cease.
“I urge Turkey to immediately launch an impartial, transparent and independent investigation into the incidents we have verified,” Bachelet also said.
Ankara also rejected the criticism and called it groundless.
Ankara backs rebels trying to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad backed by Russia and Iran. Turkey seized control of some northern border towns in recent years with cross border incursions to push back Syrian Kurdish YPG fighters, which Ankara views as a terrorist group.
Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu and Stephanie Nebehay; Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama
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