BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:35 A.M.) – A new report by U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry has refuted claims by Amnesty International and Turkey that the Kurdish militias, primarily the People’s Protection Units (YPG), are engaging in ethnic cleansing in areas of its control in northern Syria.
“Though allegations of ‘ethnic cleansing’ continued to be received during the period under review, the Commission found no evidence to substantiate claims that the YPG or the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces] ever targeted Arab communities on the basis of ethnicity, nor that YPG cantonal authorities systematically sought to change the demographic composition of territories under their control through the commission of violations directed against any particular ethnic group,” the UN said.
The United Nations explained that there was a necessity for the displacements of people, and not for reasons of ethnic cleansing.
“Across northern Syria, SDF or YPG forces displaced communities in order to clear areas mined by ISIS during their withdrawal,” the UN report said.
The report was critical of the YPG however, by highlighting forced conscription into their ranks.
“In some cases, SDF or YPG forces did not provide adequate humanitarian aid such as tents or water to displaced communities. YPG forces further continue to forcibly conscript men and boys for military service.”
Kurdish groups are using this report to dispel the claims made by Turkey and militant groups that they were engaging in ethnic cleansing.