The murder of Syrian Kurdish politician Hevrin Khalaf by a Turkish-backed group in Syria last month reflects the evil that has gripped war-torn Syria, wrote former political prisoner Ahed Al Hendi in an article he penned for Foreign Policy magazine.
The 35-year-old Syrian Future Party Co-chair was executed by Turkish-backed group Ahrar al-Sharqiyah on Oct. 12, days after Turkey launched an offensive in northeast Syria targeting Kurdish forces.
The United Nations has said Turkey could be deemed responsible for killing of Khalaf along with a group of captured Kurdish fighters.
Khalaf’s is one of numerous disturbing reports of extrajudicial killings following the offensive, which has killed 30 civilians and displaced 180,000 people.
It was a group of assassins working under the order of the so-called Syrian National Army that attacked the politicians’s car, before torturing, beating and dragging and eventually shooting her in the body and face, Al Hendi wrote.
Khalaf’s murder, he said, marked the death of the Syrian revolution at the hands of jihadis.
“The young men and women who marched peacefully in Damascus in March 2011 calling for democratic change have thus seen their revolution hijacked by criminal jihadis like the ones who killed Khalaf,’’ the article said.
During Turkey’s nine-day offensive, the Turkish military and Turkey-backed Syrian rebels seized a 32 km deep region between northeastern the Syrian border towns of Tel Abyad and Ras al Ayn.
These jihadis, Al Hendi said, now occupy Tel Abyad and Ras al Ayn, killing hundreds of Syrians and forcing the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to surrender areas to the Damascus regime.
Khalaf, whom Al Hindi personally knew, had years ago told him that he was putting my life at risk by being in Syria.
“No, Hevrin. Assad hates you more than me. You are the one who can prove to the world that the Syrian revolution is not a swamp of radical Islamic groups.” Al Hindi had responded.
After being given an armoured SUV from the U.S.-led coalition due to safety concerns sparked to Turkish threats, Khalaf was killed ironically by the supposedly anti-Assad Syrian rebels for whom she advocated, Al Hindi said.
“Now, it seems obvious to the entire world that they are little more than mercenaries for Turkey, bandits, and sadists,’’ he wrote.