المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

As part of the continued theft of people of Afrin and its countryside, a faction close to Turkey imposes new “royalties ” on the olive harvest

Aleppo Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: factions of the “Olive Branch” Operation supported by Turkey continue their violations in Afrin city and its countryside against its remaining people, to steal their lands, arrest, and restrict them. And in a new chapter in the series of violations: “al-Sultan Shah” Brigade -which is part of the “Olive Branch” factions- legalized its thefts of the livelihood of Afrin people through series of resolutions issued and circulated regarding the harvesting of olives in Shih Township in the countryside of Afrin, and these decisions stipulate the imposition of royalties in different proportions on the olive harvest, where residents owners of the agricultural lands in the area were forced to pay 10% of their produce, but in the case of absence of the agricultural landowners in the area their agents act on behalf of them; and higher percentages were determined as follows:

15% of the crop is paid if the agents are first class relatives to the landowners (father, mother, brother, sister).

If the agents are from the area but not related to the landowners, the royalty will be 25% of the total crop production.

35% of the total crop production is paid if the agents are from “supporters” of YPG according to the circulation of the Sultan Shah faction.

The Syrian Observatory published yesterday, Sunday, that violations continue against the civilians in and around Afrin city, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored a faction operating in Afrin city storming a citizen’s house, where they beat him and his wife, and then stole the contents of his house, where he was arrested twice by factions of the area earlier, according to what local sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory, and this attack coincides with the mystery that surrounds the fate of many of the abductees, of how were abducted by factions operating within the “Olive Branch” operation, which is led by the Turkish Forces, where Afrin area is witnessing repeated abduction by the factions, amid clear Turkish silence and tolerance, and allowing these factions to practice looting, robbery, arrest, and requesting financial ransoms, where the residents confirmed that these operation aim to harass the citizens and restricting them in order to drive them to leave Afrin area.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published yesterday, the 27th of October 2018 that in the shadow of the continuous violations against the remaining residents of Afrin, the Syrian Observatory learned that the Sultan Murad faction carried out an operations of raids and arrests in Elkeh village in the countryside of Afrin during late hours of the night, where more than 8 citizens including 2 women were arrested on charges of being “cells of YPG,” while sources reported that the real reason for these arrests came as a prelude to seize olive lands in the village, under the pretext that they belong to YPG cells, And, in the same context, the fate of the lady who was kidnapped by one of the factions of “Olive Branch” is still unknown, where she was kidnapped two weeks ago from her place of work at Afrin “Drinking Water Foundation”, where she was arrested on charges of belonging to “YPG,” the sources of the Syrian Observatory reported that the faction that arrested the citizen woman demanded a ransom of 25,000$ USD in exchange for her release, and the Syrian Observatory published on Friday night that differences and disputes continue between factions of “Olive Branch” Operation supported by Turkey in Afrin city and its countryside in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo, which quickly turn into fighting and violent clashes, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored during the past 24 hours new clashes between these factions, against the backdrop of dispute over properties, factories, and olive farms in Ayn al-Hajar village in the countryside of Afrin city, where violent clashes took place for hours yesterday Thursday between the factions of Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah and al-Sultan Murad Division, accompanied by exchange of targeting using heavy machine guns, which injured more than 15 people of both parties, also the clashes coincided with the deployment of checkpoints by both parties and carrying out arrests by them both, and, closing the roads, before mediators intervened between both parties, resolved the problem and stopped the clashes, where the cautious calm prevails the area now in conjunction as the tensions between them continue, amid fears of the renew of the fight.

The Syrian Observatory published on the 14th of October 2018 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights clashes renewed between factions of the Turkish-led “Olive Branch” Operation, and in the details monitored by the Syrian Observatory: a fight took place by medium and light weapons and with heavy machine guns in Afrin city between two factions, where fighters of one of the factions are from Deir Ezzor province, and the other one is an Islamic faction, and the Syrian Observatory’s local sources confirmed that the clashes seriously injured 5 fighters of both parties, amid attempts to stop the clashes through mediators of both parties.

The Syrian Observatory published on the 22nd of September 2018 that the Syrian Observatory monitored clashes described as violent between factions of the “Olive Branch” Operation, after a new internal clashes in Afrin area in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: clashes erupted after midnight of yesterday between 2 groups, one of them follows al-Shamiyyah Front and the other follows Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah Faction in al-Sinaa neighborhood in the middle of Afrin, where the clashes lasted for about 3 hours between both parties, which injured at least 3 members of both parties, sources suggested for the Syrian Observatory that the reasons for the clashes might be a disagreement over a house to be seized in Afrin city, and these clashes comes in as a new episode in a long series of fights against the backdrop of problems and disagreements about seized property, money, or thefts.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published hours ago that the violation of the Turkish Forces and “Olive Branch” Operation forces who take order from them continue, this is the daily situation of Afrin area’s inhabitants of the citizens who remained and refused to be displaced from their homes towards the unknown, towards the tragic conditions that devours lives of hundreds of thousands of displaced people and their bodies, which have been worn out as months of the displacement pass, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored raids carried out by “Olive Branch” Operation Forces in neighborhoods of Afrin city, searching for new victims to arrest them and traffic  by them, which provoked discontent of the people and raised it, because of the violations against victims of the kidnapping, beatings, torture, and demand ransom to be released, to the extent of killing if families of the detained people did not pay, also the Syrian Observatory monitored the arrests of citizens in villages in the countryside of Afrin and they were taken to an unknown destination, where they were imprisoned in prisons that is houses of residents of Afrin who have been displaced from their areas by the military operation carried out by the Turkish Force and the Syrian opposition rebel and Islamic factions, and with these arrest, abduction, trafficking in detainees, and imposing royalties, and the Syrian Observatory received a copy of a circular stamped by the local council in Afrin, which stated:

“In order to preserve the property of citizens, we call all our citizens brothers in Afrin city (only the city without the countryside) to check with the local council –property and documentation office with all the official papers of their property, in order to certify them officially, and for those who lost their papers for some reason, they will be granted the right of temporary ownership via real estate identification and approval and with very precise procedures, to avoid any problem relating to the property of citizens, and the local council does not count any new sale and count it as void completely that does not entail any subsequent legal action, and therefore only the ownership approval and confirmation will be for the previous owners”.

This decision comes after repeated clashes between factions of “Olive Branch” Operation, after disagreements over the seizure of houses or buildings in Afrin city and its countryside, where these clashes left casualties and injuries in the ranks of both parties, where the Syrian Observatory previously received a copy of a video shows fighters descended from Deir Ezzor province, of the factions of the Operation “Olive Branch”, saying “this is the land of our ancestors and they lost their way as a result of a sand storm so that they went to Deir Ezzor, and this land is ours, and it is the land of al-Bakkara Clan, we will get it back, and we raised our flags, and even the grass in Afrin is more yellow than the color of the flag the sons of adulterers -the Kurdish Units, Allah protects the president Erdogan, as he brought us here, after it was difficult for us to defeat them -the Kurdish forces”.

And the Syrian Observatory published on the 8th of this month 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 Jandairis 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 Jandairis, like in previous decisions related to the prohibition of harvesting olives or pressing it without official permission.

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