Volunteer medic killed in Turkey’s Syrian invasion

UN secretary-general was in Turkey over the weekend and appeared to support Turkey’s operation, while NATO has called for restraint

By
November 4, 2019 21:01
3 minute read.
Syrian displaced families, who fled violence after the Turkish offensive.

Syrian displaced families, who fled violence after the Turkish offensive.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

A volunteer medic from the aid organization Free Burma Rangers was killed on Sunday as Turkey and the extremists it supports in the invasion of Syria attacked a road where the medics were located. It is one of many human rights violations that have taken place since October 6 when the US said it would withdraw from the border in Syria and open the airspace to Turkish airstrikes. It is believed that 300,000 people have fled from the formerly peaceful area. Christian minority towns have recently come under assault and Syrian jihadist groups supported by Turkey have filmed themselves murdering prisoners, looting homes and mutilating dead bodies.

“I miss you and love you very much,” wrote Dave Eubank of the Free Burma Rangers about his colleague Zau Seng who was killed on Sunday. “Thank you for showing me how to live, for putting a light on the world. I will miss you until I see you again in heaven.”

According to the Free Burma Rangers (FBR), Seng was killed by a mortar shell that hit their critical control point. An Iraqi coordination was also wounded. Seng was from Burma.

The FBR have been serving at the front line in Iraq and Syria for years aiding all sides in conflicts. In Syria, they helped many of the people fleeing ISIS areas in the spring of 2019 and they have delivered playgrounds to Raqqa. When the Turkish invasion began on October 9 they rushed to give assistance to people fleeing. FBR is a faith-based relief organization that includes believers from different religions. Its members are guided by “help, hope and love.”

Eubank has been speaking out frequently on media about the situation in Syria. On October 30, he said that his group appealed to the US to stand with those under attack. “There have been too many displaced, too many wounded and too many killed.” He gave an interview to CNN not long before today’s mortar attack killed his colleague.

The killing of Seng has shocked the community of journalists, fixers and aid workers who are still in Syria. This is because some have begun to believe that Turkey is using drones and other assets to target specific areas along the M4 highway. A warning sent out to one group said people were being tracked by their cell phones and “cyber.”

Since Turkey launched its offensive into Syria there have been reports of war crimes in areas bombed and subjected to attacked by Turkish-backed militias. In Qamishli, eight-year-old Sara Yusuf Hossein lost her leg and her brother was killed by a rocket on October 10. Unarmed female politician Hevrin Khalaf was pulled from her car by Turkish-backed Ahrar al-Sharqiya and shot to death and then dragged by her hair on October 12. Turkish media called her killing a “successful neutralization.” Children have been burned in bombing raids by what observers said was white phosphorous. In another video documented by the BBC, a Kurdish woman fighter named Amara Renas was killed by Turkish-backed extremists and her body mutilated while the jihadists shout about the greatness of God and call her lifeless corpse a “whore.”

The UN secretary-general was in Turkey over the weekend and appeared to support Turkey’s operation while NATO has only called for restraint, asserting that Turkey has a right to attack areas in Syria. The US and Russia have agreed to give Turkey part of northern Syria in deals signed on October 17 and October 22. Inside areas Turkey describes as a “safe zone” Ankara has impunity to do as it wants and the groups it supports are given free rein as well. On Sunday, the Russian Defense Ministry also said that Turkish-backed “militants” fired on a US convoy near Tel Tamir on the M4. The FBR team came under fire around 4 km. north of Tel Tamir while the Americans were allegedly shot at 6 km. to the West of the same town. It is unclear if both instances were related to purposeful attacks on Westerners, or if they were both part of the overall attacks on November 3.


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