Three Turkish soldiers arrested after Syrians 'tortured to death' at Bab al-Hawa crossing

Three Turkish soldiers arrested after Syrians 'tortured to death' at Bab al-Hawa crossing
Eyewitnesses have accused the soldiers of torturing the two youths to death, forcing them to drink diesel.
2 min read
20 March, 2023
Bab al-Hawa has been a key entry point for Syrians seeking refuge in Turkey [file photo-Getty images]

Three Turkish soldiers have been arrested over the death of two Syrians at the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing in early March.

Eight Syrians entering the southern city of Hatay testified to being beaten by three Turkish soldiers for hours on 12 March. 

The Turkish police have subsequently opened an investigation into the claims, according to Turkish media

Bab Al-Hawa is the busiest crossing for people and goods between Turkey and Syria and has been a crucial site for aid deliveries to rebel-held areas of Syria in the aftermath of last month's devastating earthquake. 

The two Syrians who died from the group were forced to drink diesel and endured other forms of torture, according to local Turkish media reports. 

The two youths were also beaten with "sharp and heavy tools" after attempting to cross the Turkey-Syrian border, Al-Modon reported. 

Mazen Alloush, public relations chief at the Bab Al-Hawa crossing, said in a statement at the time that Turkish authorities had handed over a group of eight young men and one body at dawn on Sunday. The men showed signs of being beaten including fractured bones.

"We urge the Turkish government to open an immediate investigation, to find out the circumstances of the incident, especially since this has happened repeatedly in recent times," Alloush said, referring to similar cases that have happened at the crossing.

Syrians living in Turkey regularly suffer discrimination and have been targeted in racist attacks, which comes on the back of inflammatory anti-refugee rhetoric from leading politicians across the spectrum. This trend has only continued since the 6 February earthquakes.