Defense Secretary Mark Esper told CNN today that Turkey and its allies may be liable for war crimes in Syria.
“I’ve seen the reports as well, we’re trying to monitor them, they are horrible, and if accurate — and I assume they are accurate – they would be war crimes,” Esper told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour during an exclusive wide-ranging interview at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia.
“I think those responsible should be held accountable. In many cases, it would be the government of Turkey," he added.
Esper was responding to a question regarding alleged human rights abuses by Turkish-aligned forces in northern Syria. In her questioning, Amanpour described an account of the alleged torture and murder of a female Kurdish politician, before raising an ongoing UN investigation into Turkey’s potential use of white phosphorus against civilians in Syria.
A report from Amnesty International published on Saturday alleged that Turkish military forces and Turkey-backed Syrian armed groups may have carried out war crimes in northeast Syria during the recent incursion.