U.S. urged to investigate Turkish use of U.S. arms
By Fiona Lorin and Roni Alasor - Armenian, Greek and Kurdish communities in USA call for investigation of the use of U.S. arms in the killing of 34 Kurdish youths in Turkey last month. The leaders of American Hellenic Institute, American Kurdish Information Network, Armenian National Committee of America, Kurdish Human Rights Watch, and Kurdish National Congress of North America asked Obama Administration to inquire whether Turkey violated U.S. arms export laws by using U.S.-supplied F-16s in the airstrike that killed 34 Kurdish boys and young men near the Roboski village in Sirnak region, in the border line between North Kurdistan Region (Turkey) and Federal Kurdistan (Iraq). Earlier, Turkish Army has been also accused for use of chemical weapons against the Kurdish guerrilla.
In a letter addressed to the leaderships of the Congressional committee's overseeing the State Department and Pentagon, the signatories noted that: "press accounts, in the Associated Press, Economist, Boston Globe, Radio Free Europe, and elsewhere, have reported that this attack was conducted by U.S.-supplied F-16s, guided by aerial drone intelligence."
They stressed that: "In light of these widely reported accounts indicating the possible use of U.S. arms - and in the context of both the horrendous human costs of this particular attack and the history of Turkey’s having long used its military arsenal against civilian populations - we call upon you to request that the Administration investigate this matter. We also ask that you request that the Administration submit an immediate public report to Congress on any potential violations of U.S. law in connection with these killings."
The letter was sent to John Kerry, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the US Congress and Carl Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee, as well as other US Congress chairpersons and ranking members.