US Drone Feeds Showed Turkish-Backed Rebels Targeting Civilians in Syria

Videos of incidents are included in internal State Dept report

US military officials say that during the Turkish invasion of northeastern Syria, drone feeds showed Turkish-backed rebels attacking civilians in Kurdish territory. The US officials reported it to commanders as possible war crimes.

Officials didn’t say specifically what the four credible cases of war crimes were, but did say that they had been included in an internal report compiled by the State Department.

Turkey’s President Erdogan said war criminals involved in the invasion are no different than ISIS and that Turkey is “going to take care of that.” US officials say they don’t believe Turkey is actually taking the matter seriously.

Whether it even ends up a matter of discussion between Trump and Erdogan during the anticipated meeting this week is anyone’s guess. Trump is believed to not want to anger Erdogan, however, and since he’s already dodging around House votes on sanctions and the Armenian genocide, this is likely just one more thing not to mention.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.