The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights
The areas that fell under the control of the Turkish forces and the Syrian opposition factions are still witnessing catastrophic situations, in light of the continuous violations carried out by members of the “Syrian National Army” against the remaining residents of these areas, especially, “Ras al Ayn” city, which is witnessing multiple violations against the civilian citizens, seeking to spread terror and panic in hearts of the remaining residents to force them to leave, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights continues to document these violations, hoping to be heard by the international community to stop the abuses against the Syrians, which are among an endless list of abuses that the Syrians have been suffering over the past 8 years of crisis.
In an attempt by Turkish Forces and their loyal factions to tighten their control over all the areas that became under their control; an intensive abuse is taking place against the civilians in Ras al-Ayn and the western villages around the city, where hardly a day passes until these loyal factions carry out pressures and violations against the remain natives people of the city, in order to displace them and force them to leave, and the Syrian Observatory learned from reliable sources that the Turkey-loyal factions are working to confiscate homes of the displaced people who fled the hell of war in the area, and these factions have not had enough with these violations, but also confiscated agricultural projects for civilians and confiscated and stole agricultural tractors and oil tankers, according to what informed sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory.
Sources of the “Syrian Observatory” monitored continuous violations against civilians, where the sources confirmed that the aim of these operations is to force who remain in the area to leave it, especially with the spread of the detention phenomenon without reasons and under malicious pretexts and accusations, in addition to the spread of the phenomenon of kidnapping citizens in order to force their relatives to pay a ransom in exchange for their release, just like what is happening in Afrin of abuses against civilians; since Afrin fell under the control of the Turkish Forces and their loyal factions through “Olive Branch” Operation, which was launched by Turkey in January 2018, and according to sources of the Syrian Observatory, the houses that were confiscated by the Turkey-loyal factions, witnessed the bringing of some families of members who came to the area, in an attempt to settle them in the place of the original people of the city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored gunmen from “Jaysh al-Islam” who are participating in the Turkish military operation “Peace Spring” within factions of the “National Army;” are roaming with Turkish support and protection in Ras al-Ayn city in northeastern Syria, while they were making fun of an owner of a small shop who stayed in the town and did not displace from it, and the sources confirmed that “members of the faction took over the shop, and the aim of all of this is to scare and spread panic in hearts of residents of the city.”
According to reliable sources, “Ras al-Ayn is witnessing catastrophic cases of violations, and there is no longer a single house that has not been affected by these violations and atrocities committed against civilians who remained within the city, even the Syrian Red Cross teams are now prevented from entering the city to provide assistance, although they have reached a nearby area, and there is a major drinking water crisis where the citizens are buying water for huge prices.” And according to what the Syrian Observatory learned: “Alok Station in Ras al-Ayn town provides large number of areas with potable water including al-Hasakah city, which is crowded with displaced people fleeing the Turkish military operation, but the station stopped working and 3 engineers who were supervising it were arrested by factions of the (National Army), which led to a catastrophic problem in Hasakah city which is being solved by the Autonomous Administration in the city through activating water of the dams, but it is not suitable for drinking because of the lack of purifying machines, which forced the people to buy water for very high prices.”
The Syrian Observatory monitored a series of abuses by the Turkey-loyal factions, including stealing tens of tons of flour by the faction of “al-Hamza Division” from the silos they controlled, and according to informed sources, “the faction is trying to smuggle that flour to Turkey in order to sell it in the Turkish markets at a low price, at a time when inhabitants of Ras al-Ayn are suffering from the loss of flour almost completely, making the bread completely missing, also factions of the “National Army” are taking advantage of this crisis, in order to bring bread from Tal Abyad city and sell it at very high prices to the remaining inhabitants of Ras al-Ayn city.”
The Syrian Observatory published on the 3rd of November 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the participant faction in the Operation “Peace Spring”, al-Mu’tasim Division, commited a number of vilations in Ras Al-Ayn city in the countryside of Al-Hasakah.
Sources of SOHR said that members of al-Mu’tasim Division confiscate civilian houses and the word “booked” was written on the gates of the houses as a sign to the rest factions in order not to be clashed over revenue-sharing.
That was a the same did by Al-Jabha al-Shamiyyah, which empted citizens’ houses and stole their property in Tal Abyad as well as houses owned by Armenian and Christian families, were the words “Taken by “al-Jabha al-Shamiyyah” have been written on these houses.
It included houses in Al-Shalal neighborhood in Tal Abyad center owned by a man called Abu Anty, and in Al-Arman neighborhood likes the houses of Alexan, Pankin and others.
Afrin city and its countryside have still been witnessing such styles by the factions there.
On the 2nd November 2019, SOHR published that in an audio recording obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a member of a pro-Turkey faction talks about the accusations against the Turkey-loyal factions that they have been robbing and looting houses of citizens in the areas under their control, saying: “We are talking about an army that calls itself (patriotic) but it is far from patriotism, and before that it used to be called the Free Army and it is far from being (free), we are talking about a battle, so the Minister of Defense should have spoken with the Turkish ally to clarify some points, among them the prisoners of battle, who must be prisoners of the Free Army and the ally is not allowed to interfere with them, but this way it is like a mercenary who only fights and does not have the right to talk, there are two types of mercenaries, a mercenary fights for money and a mercenary who fights for in exchange of robbing his family, this is the stage of vileness, a mercenary whose job is to steal homes of his family and which its calls spoils. No worse than this shall come in the history of mercenary in the whole world. This is not only on the Minister of Defense, but also on the faction leaders, because instead of being clear they only kept talking about their potential and wrote reports against each other, and there are people who were martyred of the factions against which they have written reports, the issue is with the faction leaders, the minister of defense, and the prime minister.”
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published that After a series of violations committed by the members of the pro-Turkey factions, the Ministry of Defense in the Interim Government supervised the formation of a military court in Ras Al-Ayn to control the areas over which they imposed their influence during the operation “Peace Spring”.
On Oct. 13, the Ministry of Defense in the Syrian Interim Government formed a follow-up commission for pursuing the perpetrators of violations, headed by the deputy of the minister of defense, and promised to deploy the “Military Police of the “National Army” in the areas they took control during “Peace Spring” to help in pursuing the perpetrators of actions of looting, thefts and other violations.
Sources informed SOHR that the follow-up commission’s goal is to protect the citizens and their property from the individual practices, held the perpetrators of violations accountable according to the Syrian Law, and completely comply with Geneva Conventions of 1949, the international humanitarian law and the relevant conventions.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights renews its appeals to the international community and concerned organizations to intervene immediately and save the remaining residents of Ras al-Ayn in their homes, and to stop the series of violations committed by factions of the “Syrian National Army” against the Syrian people in the areas that fell under the control of the Turkey-loyal Factions of “Peace Spring” operation, and the Syrian Observatory also renews its call for the concerned organizations to investigate the violations against civilians, in violation of international laws, conventions, and treaties of international conflict.