Fu­neral held for Kur­dish politi­cian killed by Tur­key-backed rebels

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Fu­ner­als were held yes­ter­day for Kur­dish politi­cian Hevrin Kha­laf, other civil­ians and sev­eral cap­tured Kur­dish fight­ers killed at the week­end by Tur­key’s Syr­ian al­lied forces near the town of Tal Abyad.

Kha­laf, 35, was “taken out of her car dur­ing a Turk­ish-backed at­tack and ex­e­cuted by Turk­ish-backed mer­ce­nary fac­tions”, the po­lit­i­cal arm of the Kur­dish-led Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces said.

“This is clear ev­i­dence that the Turk­ish state is con­tin­u­ing its crim­i­nal pol­icy to­wards un­armed civil­ians,” it said.

Kha­laf was the sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Fu­ture Syria Party.

The fu­neral was held in the town of Derik, known as Al Ma­likiyah in Ara­bic.

Pro-Ankara fight­ers un­der the um­brella of a group called the Na­tional Army are tak­ing part in a Turk­ish of­fen­sive on Kur­dish-held bor­der towns in north­east Syria. The United States said it was look­ing into re­ports that a Kur­dish politi­cian and cap­tured Kur­dish fight­ers were killed in north-east Syria dur­ing Tur­key’s of­fen­sive, a State De­part­ment spokesman told Reuters on Sun­day.

“We have seen re­ports of the killing of Kha­laf … as well as sev­eral cap­tured SDF fight­ers, the lat­ter hav­ing been ap­par­ently shot while in the hands of Turk­ish-sup­ported armed Syr­ian op­po­si­tion el­e­ments,” a US State De­part­ment spokesman said, re­fer­ring to Tur­key-backed rebels.

“We find these re­ports to be ex­tremely trou­bling, re­flect­ing the over­all desta­bil­i­sa­tion of north-east Syria since the com­mence­ment of hos­til­i­ties on Tues­day,” the spokesman said.

“We con­demn in the strong­est of terms any mis­treat­ment and ex­tra­ju­di­cial ex­e­cu­tion of civil­ians or pris­on­ers, and are look­ing fur­ther into these cir­cum­stances.”

Kha­laf had been re­turn­ing from a meet­ing in Hasakah at the time of the at­tack in which her driver and an aide were also killed, said Hus­sein Omar, the Fu­ture Syria Party’s co-or­di­na­tor in Eu­rope.

Party of­fi­cials in­clud­ing Kha­laf have had con­tacts with US of­fi­cials since the party was founded last year, he said.

Asked about the ac­cu­sa­tion that groups af­fil­i­ated with Tur­key had killed Kha­laf, the spokesman for the Tur­key-backed Na­tional Army, which in­cludes Syr­ian rebel fac­tions, on Satur­day said they had not made it as far as that area.

Hevrin Kha­laf was taken out of her car dur­ing an at­tack and ex­e­cuted by Turk­ish-backed forces, the Kur­dish-led SDF said

AFP

Mourn­ers dur­ing the fu­ner­als of Hevrin Kha­laf and other Kurds killed by forces aligned with Tur­key, in the Syr­ian Kur­dish town of Derik. Kha­laf was the sec­re­tary gen­eral of the Fu­ture Syria Party

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