Exclusive Photos: Turkey Is Accused of Using Restricted Weapons in Syria, These 10 Pictures May Be Evidence

Among the grimmest aspects of Syria's deadly, multi-sided war has been the reported use of banned substances such as noxious chemical weapons and incendiary munitions meant to light up the night sky, but tragically effective at searing human flesh as well.

Turkey has now been accused of using white phosphorous, and Newsweek has obtained photos that may show evidence of that.

The reports emerge from Kurdish-led forces battling Syrian insurgents backed by Turkey, a fight between two U.S. allies that has compelled President Donald Trump to withdraw troops from the country. Though the mostly Kurdish fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces assisted the Pentagon in battling the Islamic State militant group (ISIS), the partnership did not extend to fighting Turkey, a NATO member allied with various Syrian insurgent groups.

White phosphorous is not technically illegal, as its widely used for flares or smokescreens, but Protocol III of the Convention on the Prohibition of Use of Certain Conventional Weapons restricts its use in heavily-civilian-populated areas. Many countries, including the U.S., have continued to do so, however.

Danish freelance journalist Thea Pedersen, who documented the alleged white phosphorous burn victims at hospitals in northeastern Syria, described to Newsweek graphic scenes of discolored, dead skin that, despite decades of experience, doctors said they "had never seen before."

Pedersen cited one of several doctors as saying "we need experts to verify this, but it's abnormal."

Pedersen's photos, shown below, document the horrific burns and injuries.

syria war hospital injury
“I was joining the civilian convoy last Sunday [October 13] going to Ras al-Ayn in order to support the SDF fighters when we were hit by a Turkish airstrike,” says 23-year old Malek Saad Maash, claimed to be a civilian, barely able to speak and not able to feel his legs full of shrapnel while admitted in the Rahma Hospital in Qamishlo. Thea Pedersen
syria injuries hospital war
“From these specific burns we can conclude it does not come with normal war wounds of shrapnel or other injuries. It is pure burns to the skin”, explains doctor Abu Hossan about the burns of 23-year old Malek Saad Maash who is almost left unrecognizable. Thea Pedersen
syria injured hospital war
A young man is barely able to move as severe burns cover most of his arms and face. In the "People’s Hospital" of Hasakah, doctors have received several injured, among others three children, with burns related to Turkish airstrikes now claimed to have contained a chemical substance. Thea Pedersen
syria man injured hospital war
Airstrikes have vanished most of a young man’s skin on his upper body and face. He is one of several patients that have been admitted to the main hospital in Hasakah, arriving from the battlefield in among others the heavy bombarded city of Ras al-Ayn. Thea Pedersen
syria war doctor hospital injured
“I was not supposed to be alive. I was lucky. This is all [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s doing”, says 30-year-old teacher Siban Faisal who was injured—and now have infectious wounds—by an airstrike in Ayn Issa where he lost four of his friends in the same attack. Thea Pedersen
syria injuries war kurds conflict turkey
It has been two days since People's Protection Units (YPG) soldier Ali Sher, 21, was hit from an airstrike at the frontlines of Ras al-Ayn. Being a professional fighter with the Kurdish forces also battling ISIS in Deir Ezzor province, he is now left with one arm and multiple burns. However, he claims, as soon as he can, he will once again take up arms against the Turks. Thea Pedersen
syria wounds war hospital
“In my best opinion, some kind of strange substance was used in this attack, but we only have two burn-injury-specialists here and need experts to state exactly what it is,” says 51-year old doctor Abu Hossan from Rahma Hospital in Qamishlo as the patient, severely burned 19-year old Ahmar Ahmed, is barely able to stand up in the hallway. Thea Pedersen
syria war wounds hospital
19-year old Ahmar Ahmed, a claimed civilian from Ras al-Ein, wounded with acute burns from what the Kurdish authorities and several doctors independently suspect to be some kind of chemical agent used during the Turkish invasion. Thea Pedersen
syria injured war hospital treatment
“It was all fire. There were no shrapnel. Just fire,” a 19-year old Syrian Democratic Forces soldier, whispers from a hospital bed in Hasakah having difficulties in talking and moving due to critical burns from the fire that also set his hair alight and, according to the doctors, colored his body all black when he arrived at the hospital. Thea Pedersen
syria war injuries hospital
Being a specialist of endemic diseases and a doctor for more than 40 years, 65-year old Iranian- Swedish Dr. Abas Mansura has “never seen anything like” the wounds of the patients, here 19-year-old Hussein, brought to the main hospital in Hasakah almost with skin peeled off: “Their skin has turned all black, like a substance has burned through their skin or like burnt plastic on their body.” Thea Pedersen
Exclusive Photos: Turkey Is Accused of Using Restricted Weapons in Syria, These 10 Pictures May Be Evidence | World