Member of militia backed by US forces accused of war crime in Syria

Screenshots from video

Allegations of war crimes have arisen out of Syria, this time involving the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units, more commonly known as the YPG.

Video footage surfaced of a YPG member executing an ununiformed man with a PKM machine gun, unleashing a long string of fire on the lone subject of capital punishment.

Turkish media have claimed that the man being executed was a civilian and that the executioner -identified as Zahid Abdullah- carried out the killings in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate, a large region of Syria that borders Iraq.

However, given the state-run nature of Turkish media and historic tensions between the Kurdish people and Turkey, the claims that the subject of the execution was a civilian (and not simply an enemy combatant without a uniform) must be taken with a grain of salt, particularly in a region that is all but engulfed in a murky, lawless civil war.

Meanwhile, allegations of corruption continue to surround Kurdish troops in Dier ez-Zor, with Lebanese media Al Manar reporting claims of looting and extortion, usually on the grounds of being affiliated or supportive of ISIS.

Mere days before the war crime allegations surfaced, Turkish troops pushed further into Northern Syria, suffering several losses in skirmishes with Kurdish militants over the city of Afrin.

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