The unconfirmed report that 450 Kurds which include 120 children were killed by al-Qaeda-linked rebels has precipitated international concern.
Jabhat al-Nusra Front attacked Tal Abyad town near the Turkish border on Monday killing 330 women and elderly and 120 children, according to Iranian Al-Alam TV channel. The gruesome uncensored footage which can’t be verified at the moment is being aired by the channel.
Increased fighting has been taking place in the area according to several Kurdish interviewees, but the report was not confirmed by the opposition or the Syrian government.
Clashes between the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG) and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jahbat al-Nusra erupted in the city of Ras al-Ain, in the northern province of Hasakeh on July 16, home to some 50,000 people including Arabs, Christians, Kurds, and Yezidis, a Kurdish religious minority.
Al-Nusra Front seeking to create an Islamist state and claim the territories encompassing parts of Iraq and Syria surrounded the village and enter every house killing men and taking women and children hostage.
The Geneva UN Human Rights office regard this incident as a war crime and seeks to bring the perpetrators to justice.
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 Al-Qaeda attack to the Kurdish villages started on the 19th of July where many Kurds who tried not to take part on the civil conflict were kidnapped.
The Kurds currently living in the bordering territories of Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran are the largest ethnic group. They don’t have their own state and were denied some rights in the pre-war Syria. Their idea to form an independent state gained several supporters from countries opposed to secessionism. President Bashar Assad’s government grant citizenship to thousands and a number of concessions, in the early months of the conflict.
Since then, Kurds formed militias to defend their territory and separate themselves from the civil war without supporting any side. The recent months attacks of the Kurdish towns by the anti-Assad groups gave them reason to take sides with the Syrian government.
Kurdish militia declared mobilization against al-Qaeda militants in the north-eastern Syria on July 30 after the assassination of Kurdish opposition leader Isa Huso.
As revenge on the Kurds, Kurdish prisoners were executed. Report has it that the 200 civilian hostages are from the families of Kurdish Brigades soldiers abducted by al-Nusra militants one week ago.
UN estimates over 100,000 casualties and approximately 8 million displaced since the Syrian Civil War broke out in 2011.
Western countries and their regional allies which include Qatar, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia have spoken support for the less-radical anti-Assad forces.
Written by: Janet Grace Ortigas