Turkey says rights group Amnesty report on Turkey's Syria offensive is smear campaign

Turkish Foreign Ministry on Sunday said human rights group Amnesty International's report was part of a smear campaign against Turkey's incursion in northeast Syria.

Amnesty International on Friday accused the Turkish army and Turkey-backed Syrian rebels of carrying out war crimes, including summary killings and unlawful attacks that have killed and wounded civilians, during its offensive dubbed "Operation Peace Spring".

"We totally reject the unfounded allegations in Amnesty International’s report on Operation Peace Spring. We consider these baseless allegations as part of an ongoing smear campaign against our efforts in countering the terror threat stemming from Syria and aiming at Turkey’s national security," the foreign ministry said.

The Amnesty International also said Turkey was responsible for the actions of the Syrian militia it backs, and called for Turkey to end violations, hold perpetrators accountable, saying that Ankara could not evade responsibility by outsourcing war crimes to Syrian groups.

"We would like to take this opportunity to remind that the Syria National Army which is supporting the operation has already established an Investigation Committee to look into the alleged cases of civilian casualties attributed to its own elements," Turkish foreign ministry said.