Lawyers: Tel Rifaat massacre is war crime according to international law

Lawyers from Manbij city explained that the Tel Rifaat massacre is a war crime against humanity in accordance with the international law, which considers targeting civilians a war crime, demanding the international organizations to stop the Turkish aggression and its violations against civilians in the region.

The attacks of the Turkish occupation state and its violations against the peoples of the region have recently escalated, starting from Ain Issa district and Tel Tamr villages, reaching Tel Rifaat, as it committed a massacre against civilians, which left four martyrs and nine wounded, including a displaced woman from Afrin canton.

In this context, a number of lawyers in Manbij spoke to our agency, among them lawyer Ahmed Hajj Mahmoud, the Member of the Bar Association in Manbij and its countryside, and said: “The massacre of Tel Rifaat is an extension of the Turkish state’s culture that displaced the region’s residents from their areas and is a fascist colonial state.”

Ahmed Hajj Mahmoud added: “The Turkish occupation and its mercenaries are war criminals, and an international court must be established to hold these criminals accountable because the peoples of north and east Syria have suffered from the violations of the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries and still suffer.”

At the end of his speech, Mahmoud appealed all lawyers and jurists in north and east Syria to join hands to establish human rights and humanitarian organizations within the Autonomous Administration to deliver the crimes committed by the Turkish occupation state in north and east Syria to the world.”

For his part, lawyer Omer Berkel said: “The massacre of Tel Rifaat is a massacre against humanity, and targeting unarmed civilians using air force in north and east Syria is a planned policy in order to empty the region of its original inhabitants.”

Omer added: “This massacre is not the first nor last massacre; the Turkish state had previously committed several massacres in the region.”

At the end of his speech, Omer Berkel called on the international organizations to stop the Turkish aggression and its violations against civilians in north and east Syria, and to stop the policy of demographic change carried out by the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries in the region.”

As for the lawyer, Mahmoud Nabi, the Member of the Lawyers Union in Manbij, he said: “The massacre of Tel Rifaat, which was carried out by the Turkish occupation state, is a crime against humanity according to the international law which considers targeting civilians a war crime, and this state is the main financier of terrorism in the region.”

Mahmoud said at the end of his speech: “The public opinion and international human rights organizations are subject to stronger dictations at the expense of justice and truth, and silence on the stronger side at the expense of peoples.”