Hevrin Khalaf, a female politician who worked to unite Christians, Arabs and Kurds in Syria was among nine individuals executed by a Turkish-backed group in the northeast region of the country, according to a human rights monitor.
Khalaf, the 35-year-old Future Syria Party’s secretary-general, was “taken out of her car during a Turkish-backed attack and executed by Turkish-backed mercenary factions,” along with her driver, said the political arm of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, local media reported.
“This is a clear evidence that the Turkish state is continuing its criminal policy towards unarmed civilians,” it added.
On Twitter, Brett McGurk, the former special presidential envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, spoke of Khalaf’s efforts to foster tolerance in Syria and condemned her death as a “war crime.”
“Turkish state-backed media hails a ‘successful operation’ to ‘neutralize’ an unarmed 35-year old woman working to unite Arabs, Christians, and Kurds in NE Syria. Ms. Hevrin Khalef was reportedly dragged from a vehicle and shot to death. That’s a war crime,” he tweeted.
Khalaf had been returning from a meeting in Hasakah at the time of the attack. In a statement, Future Party called Khalaf a “martyr” killed while “performing her patriotic and political duties.”
Various social media posts verified the initial report, along with the execution of nine other civilians throughout Tal Abyad, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The civilians were shot dead on a highway after being taken from their cars by Turkish-backed militias who had crossed the border. The killings were captured on camera phones and spread across social media.
A State Department spokesman told Reuters on Sunday that Washington found the reports disturbing.
“We have seen reports of the killing of [Hervin] 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 State Department spokesman said, referring to Turkey-backed rebels.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leah MarieAnn Klett