International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) official Dr Gisela Penteker said a committee of experts should investigate Turkey’s assault on Garê to confirm whether chemical gas was used during the operation, during which 16 soldiers, including 13 captives, died.
The debate regarding Turkey’s 10-14 February military operation in Garê continues. It has been claimed that chemical weapons were used during the operation. Speaking to ANF, IPPNW Turkey desk chief Dr Gisela Penteker said the footage and images taken in the area were not enough to prove the usage of chemical gas scientifically and said that a committee of experts should investigate the area.
Giving examples of her experiences in war zones, Dr Penteker said, “We have one more time understood that it is hard to prove the usage of chemical gas. We can only estimate it by considering the photographs. Besides, even when United Nations officials prove the usage of banned weapons it is quite difficult to punish the criminals. The use of chemical gas is usually ignored in favour of politics”.
After confirming that Turkey might have chemical weapons despite its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) membership, Penteker defined the operations against Kurds as attempts at occupation.
Meanwhile, even though the press centre of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons was informed about the use of gas via e-mail on 24 February 2021, they have yet to respond.
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Executive Board member Murat Karayılan said chemical weapons had been used in the Garê operation and called on international forces to launch an investigation.
Turkey is a part of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), which bans the use of chemical weapons during military operations and its usage in closed spaces such as caves.