Oral Answers to Questions — Arab Non-Combatants (Murders by Turkish Soldiers).

– in the House of Commons on 20th May 1919.

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Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

10.

asked the Secretary of State for War if any investigation, has been, or is being, made into the de liberate murder by Turkish soldiers of the Arab non-combatant inhabitants and women and children of the village of Tafite, near Deraa on or about 26th September, 1918; and if he is aware that, when the forces of the King of Hedjaz ac companied by a British officer entered Tafite, they found children of two years, and upwards had been bayonetted by the Turkish forces?

Captain GUEST:

During their retreat the Turks are believed to have murdered women and children at Tell Arar, near Deraa. This is presumed to be the massacre referred to by my hon. and gallant Friend. It was not, however, reported officially to General Headquarters,. Egypt, by the British officer accompanying, the Arab forces who witnessed the affair. According to an unofficial account of the latter given later by the British officer, the Arab forces in question dealt suitably with the Turks implicated on the spot.

Photo of Viscount  Turnour Viscount Turnour , Horsham and Worthing

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a great number of women and children were bayonetted at this place, that I was myself in the vicinity and heard evidence, and that the people who were responsible were German officers of high degree who subsequently escaped?

Captain GUEST:

I will have this further looked into.