Honour killings FSA-controlled Syria place spotlight on plight of women

“Honour” killings are a problem deeply rooted in Syrian society and the endemic has only become exacerbated by the the war in the country and the control of the Free Syrian Army, the Guardian wrote.

Footage of a young Syrian woman - Rasha Bseis - being executed on camera by her brother due to rumors she had committed adultery created shock across the country; however, such violence is all too common with the Free Syrian Army running its own show with its own police and courts, the article said.

Dragged from her home in a camp just 2km from Turkey’s border and shot by a soldier it trained and equipped – a fighter enlisted in the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army, Rasha’s story is just one of many women.

Even though spokesman for the FSA Mustafa Sejari told the Guardian what Rasha’s brother did was ‘’not an ethic of the Free Syrian Army and is contrary to the principles of our revolution,’’ an arrest has yet to be made, and there are fears that he will never be held accountable for the murder.

When violence broke out in Syria in 2011, a campaign of mass rape by Assad’s soldiers became effective in oppressing communities and provoking defections to the loosely formed Free Syrian Army, the Guardian noted.

With institutional protections for women in rebel-held territories severely lacking,

“It’s anarchy – the only rule is by traditions and customs, and the factions,” according to Ola Marwa, head of protection at Women Now for Development, which operates in northern Syria.

The killing of in Jarabulus adds to a host of concerns plaguing Turkey’s allies in northern Syria, the Guardian stressed, raising questions over the future rule of law in the areas the Turkish military has intervened.

Turkey has been training police force, building roads, hospitals and even branches of the Turkish postal service in rebel-held areas of Syria.

Concerns about sexual harassment and other human rights violations endangering the rule of law in Turkey’s newly conquered territories have been raised in a June UN- report.  

“Turkey definitely has a responsibility to hold its allies accountable when it comes to courts,” the Guardian quoted Haid, research fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation, as saying.

“They don’t have the force yet to enforce their decisions, especially on rebel members.”