المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

As the preparation continue to get the crossing to Iskenderun ready for commercial use, an Islamic Division steals an olive crop from Afrin and sells it in Idlib

Aleppo Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: factions of the “Olive Branch” continue their violations within Afrin city and its countryside, located in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored more violations represented by 2 separate incidents, where al-Hamza Division stole the olive harvest on Monday from one of the a mountain of al-Basutah area; and the harvest was completely taken and transported by the faction to Idlib through al-Basutah – Darat Azza Road to be sold there, this comes as part of the continuous theft of the property and livelihoods of Afrin people. from which they have been displaced, where members from al-Shamiyyah front had robbed days ago an olive field belongs to a Afrin people who have been displaced from their area in Midanki area, where the entire harvest had been harvested and sold.

In the same context, and in the light of the violations in Afrin and its countryside by the factions of the “Olive Branch”, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored tension in the countryside of Afrin city, between the factions of Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah and Jaysh Osud Sharqiyyah, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: the gathering of Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah informed all those who work with Jaysh Osud al-Sharqiyyah in Raju town in the northwestern countryside of Afrin to evacuate their homes and leave the area immediately, following accusations between both factions’ leadership, where the commander of Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah accused the commander of Osud al-Sharqiyyah of breaking the agreement between both parties, which would enlist all members of Jaysh Osud al-Sharqiyyah within the faction of Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah Gathering, but another commander of Jaysh Osud al-Sharqiyyah gathered huis members and joined the ranks of al-Sham Corps, where the tension remains in the area until the moment, amid fears of new infighting.

The Syrian Observatory published yesterday, Monday, that  the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained more information from intersected sources which confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the Turkish authorities and the local councils in Afrin countryside, are cutting off olive trees and opening the road between Afrin area and Iskenderun, in order to start running the trucks for trading and transporting the olive and other material from Syria, through an active trading process, and the reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory in the past 24 hours, that the Turkish authorities have constructed a land crossing linking between Afrin area and Iskenderun, through Hamam area, in order to be used for the trade of olive and transport it into the Turkish interior, where it is expected that the incoming days will witness a formal announcement about opening the crossing, and the sources suggested that it will be an alternative one for the crossing points of Bab Al-Hawa and Atma.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored cutting of hundreds of olive trees by the parties that are in charge of constructing the road of local councils and Turkish authorities, in order to complete constructing this road, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored yesterday, that the forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation, local councils and Turkish authorities, are continuing the seizure of citizens’ crops and the olive farms is continuing by the local councils in the area, and by the Turkish forces, where reliable sources confirmed that Jendires Local Council issued a circular calling on the olive mills’ owners to transfer 10% of the outcome of the olive production to the council, and 5% to the mill, and this circular stressed on that the harvesting and pressing olive is prevented unless they have a letter certified by the Local Council in Jendires, like in previous decisions related to the prohibition of harvesting olives or pressing it without official permission.

The Syrian Observatory has monitored the Turkish authorities and the factions fighting the remaining residents of Afrin area through 3 main ways: the first of which is the process of settling displaced people from the capital Damascus, Rif Dimashq, Ghouta, and other areas of southern and central Syria; and housing them in seized houses of which their former people were displaced from in the large wave of displacement, where more than 300000 Kurdish citizens had fled Afrin area towards the northern countryside of Aleppo, where displaced people are being resettled and sold land for $100 per 400 meters, and this glutton in the sale of real estate pushed the factions also to expel the displaced people and bring families of their fighters to Afrin and settling them in, while the second method was fighting through the seizure and restriction of their agricultural crops and clamping down on them in harvesting olives; and preventing them from compressing it except by an official papers and delivering crops, while the factions burn crops and trees of people who refuse to pay royalties depending on the size of the farm, the number of olive trees, and the nature of the area in which they reside, where the “Olive Branch” operation factions arbitrary control the economic resources in Afrin- came against the backdrop of the seizure of most of the olive plantations in Afrin by the factions of operation “Olive branch”, and leasing it dealers and workers to work in them and receive money in advance as a price for the lease of these seized plantations, which are more than 75% of the area of olive farms in Afrin, after the factions shared control of olive farms.

The factions also deliberately steal and loot property of citizens, their warehouses, and their shops without fear or deterrence from any other faction or authority, while the third method of fighting is by security-and-living pressure on the people, and pushing them to move out of Afrin area, amid facilities provided by the checkpoints for the people who are getting out of Afrin, of whom more than 750 families have gone to Manbij area, Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), and other areas under the control of Syria Democratic Forces, although the checkpoints themselves have been narrowing down for months on the citizens of Afrin area, who wish to return from areas of their displacement in the northern countryside of Aleppo to their cities, towns, and villages in Afrin, after their tragedy in the displacement camps escalated, and after the lack of relief provided to these camps of food, medicine, supplies and the camps themselves, and other than that, there are the royalties imposed on the civilian and the people who move in Afrin area on the main and sub-roads, where varying sums of money are paid to checkpoints of “Olive Branch” Forces, who stop the small, large, public and private vehicles, and sometimes it goes beyond royalty and turn to looting, not to mention the continuous loot of the property of citizens with each raid in Afrin city and its villages, whose losses are either physical through the factions’ looting of property and contents of the house, or through the arrest of a resident of the house after fabricating charges relating to the “cooperation with the Kurdish Forces”, in an attempt to impose their power over the area.

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