Ex-U.N. investigator del Ponte: Erdogan should be prosecuted over Syrian offensive

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan should be investigated and indicted for war crimes over his country’s military offensive in Syria, former prosecutor and U.N. investigator Carla del Ponte said in an interview published on Saturday.

Del Ponte, a former member of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said Turkey’s intervention had broken international law and had reignited the conflict in Syria.

Ankara says its incursion – launched after U.S. troops withdrew from the Syrian-Turkish border area – solely targeted the Kurdish YPG militia, which it regards as terrorists linked to Kurdish insurgents operating in southeast Turkey.

“For Erdogan to be able to invade Syrian territory to destroy the Kurds is unbelievable,” said del Ponte, a former Swiss attorney general who prosecuted war crimes in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia.

An investigation should be opened into him and he should be charged with war crimes. He should not be allowed to get away with this scot free,” she told the Swiss newspaper Schweiz am Wochenende in an interview.