Disturbing video has emerged of severely burned Kurdish fighters who accused Turkish forces of launching an airstrike at them with munitions containing white phosphorus during a ceasefire.
The graphic footage from Friday shows several members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit – also known as YPG – in a hospital in Tal Amir, Syria, about 20 miles from Ras al-Ayn.
“My unit got air striked [sic] yesterday, half of our unit got white phosphorus burns,” the videographer told Newsflare, an online video news community.
“Of the injuries, doctors came and took skin samples to send to Iraq for testing, but on-site doctors confirmed white phosphorus burns,” he added.
Ankara views the YPG — the main Kurdish component of the Syrian Democratic Forces — as terrorists because of their ties to militants waging an insurgency inside Turkey.
The injured men said they had been abiding by the terms of the ceasefire when the “unprovoked” airstrike was launched.
Multiple reports have suggested that forces from Turkey, a NATO member, have been using shells that contain white phosphorus, whose use against civilians is deemed a war crime.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons last week said “it was aware of the situation and is collecting information with regard to possible use of chemical weapons.”
On Tuesday, the OPCW said it has not launched a formal probe about the reported use of white phosphorus and napalm by Turkish forces since they launched their offensive on Oct. 9 after President Trump announced that US troops would be pulled from the area, where the SDF had been helping them fight ISIS.
“OPCW experts are engaged in the process of assessing the credibility of allegations concerning the situation in Northern Syria,” the Hague-based watchdog group told AFP in a statement.
Ankara has denied the allegations.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of Syrian sources, has said it could not confirm the use of chemical weapons.
The use of chemical weapons has been alleged several times since the Syrian conflict began in 2011.
Kurdish authorities also posted images on social media that showed children suffering from burns that a local doctor said might have been caused by chemical substances.