The Young Turks
The Young Turks 29 Feb 2020

Turkey Vows Retaliation Against Syria


Turkey is vowing retaliation against Syria. John Iadarola, Emma Vigeland, and Jayar Jackson, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down. Tell us what you think in the comments below.

A truce between Azerbaijan and Armenia is threatening to fall apart after renewed clashes overnight. Armenia says Azerbaijan has continued to shell populated areas within the disputed Nagorno Karabakh region. And Azerbaijan has vowed to take revenge after an alleged Armenian missile strike on its second-largest city, Ganja. The early hours attack killed at least 12 and wounded dozens more. Hundreds have been killed since fighting broke out over the region in September.
On Sept. 18, the United Nations Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) announced a report on human rights violations allegedly committed by various factions in the Syrian conflict, including Turkish-backed armed groups in northern Syria operating in areas that are controlled by Turkey. Among other things, the U.N. report documents kidnappings, illegal population transfers, killings and theft of property.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on Turkey "to immediately launch an impartial, transparent and independent investigation into the incidents we have verified, account for the fate of those detained and abducted by the affiliated armed groups, and hold accountable those responsible for what may, in some instances, amount to crimes under international law, including war crimes."

The Turkish Foreign Ministry responded:

"We categorically reject both the baseless allegations of human rights violations claimed against the Syrian opposition, which operate on the ground to combat terrorism and ensure the return of Syrian refugees, and concerning our country in relation to them, as well as the groundless criticisms by the [U.N.] leveled against Turkey on the basis of the said allegations."

This is misleading.

First, it is not true, as the Turkish Foreign Ministry claims, that the report ignores alleged atrocities by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), which worked with the United States to combat Islamic State and also joined the fight against the Assad regime in the long-running Syria conflict.
Turkish troops in northwestern Syria have been evacuating one of their largest military bases in the area, which was surrounded by Syrian government troops for months, activists said Tuesday.

There was no immediate comment from Turkish officials.

Activists and opposition media platforms reported the military evacuation, posting footage and photos of Turkish trucks and equipment driving north of Morek.

Turkish TV station Haberturk quoted unnamed officials saying that Turkey is moving the base to an area farther north in the northwestern province of Idlib still controlled by Syrian opposition forces backed by Ankara.

It was not immediately clear whether the withdrawal is part of a deal to reposition Turkish observation points inside the opposition-held enclave or is aimed at reducing Turkey's military presence in the area.

"We have to act now [against Turkey]," said Weber. "Words are not any more enough. And we must use our economic power."

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