Kurdish politician slain in Syria wanted to unite the country in peace, says friend

Hevrin Khalaf was “a peaceful woman” who wanted to end the crisis in Syria through dialogue, says her friend and colleague.

Khalaf, the secretary general of the Future Syria party, was among several civilians killed on the side of a Syrian highway on Saturday by gunmen who posted footage of the shootings online.

Turkish-backed fighters have denied blame for her killing. The UN Human Rights office said on Tuesday that it is investigating the killings, and that Turkey could be held responsible for war crimes by fighters under its direction.

Sinam Mohammed knew Khalaf well. She is the U.S. representative for the Syrian Democratic Council, the political wing of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces. Here is part of her conversation with As It Happens host Carol Off.

What does this mean for your community that Hevrin Khalaf is dead?

She is a Kurdish woman. She is a young woman. And she was leading a political party which has been established in 2018, and the first woman that is leading a political party.

She is the one that she wanted to have the future of Syria to be bright … so that the woman can be in the decision-making.

We’ve heard that a number of Kurds, of civilians, have been executed at checkpoints on the highway. And we have seen video that apparently shows these executions, including a video of, apparently, your colleague in the car. Do you know who the people are, the mercenaries that were there?

They are from … the National Army [a.k.a. The Free Syrian Army], which is backed by Turkey.

Do did they know who she was?

Yes, she told them.

They shoot her. They could shoot her with one bullet actually, and she could die with one only shot. But they shoot her [with] tens of bullets … all over her body, which shows how much they hate the Kurds.

She is a woman. And she never holds weapons. She never asked for the military actions. Actually, she always called for solving the problems in Syria through political dialogue. She is peaceful woman. She is so kind.

Article URL : https://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-tuesday-edition-1.5321570/kurdish-politician-slain-in-syria-wanted-to-unite-the-country-in-peace-says-friend-1.5321575

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