Continuous violations against people of Afrin city and countryside by the Turkish Forces and the factions supported by them
Aleppo Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the violations continue against people of Afrin city and countryside by the Turkish Forces and factions of the “Euphrates Shield” supported by them, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the Turkish Forces prevented people of Darwish village in Raju Township in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo; from returning to the village after factions of “Euphrates Shield” loyal to Turkey controlled it, and set up a military base in the village and made it a restricted military area, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 17th of May 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that factions from the Turkish-backed “Olive Branch” Operation -which controls Afrin city and its countryside in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo-, gathered the Mukhtars of Midanah villages of Raju township, requiring the Kurdish farmers through them to obtain a “permit” to harvest their land, while sources told the Syrian Observatory that the Arab farmers who have been displaced to the area were not asked to obtain a “permit” to harvest crops within the lands they had seized and belonged to citizens of Afrin; who were displaced to places outside of their areas, and the Syrian Observatory published yesterday that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that the Turkish intelligence and their loyal Syrian factions have transferred more than 600 Kurdish prisoners of Afrin, who were arrested after they controlled over Afrin last year, where the transfer took place from Sejju prison (al-Ma’sara prison) in Azaz area in the northern countryside of Aleppo, and they were transported to a destination that still unknown until now, and the sources added that the transfer began during the last week in batches after screening the detainees each according to the charge and the duration of the prison, and sources told the Syrian Observatory that the health of a large number of these detainees has deteriorated during the past period, as a result of torture and the notorious reputation of al-Ma’sara prison, amid fears for the lives of detainees, also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights received information about transferring several detainees to Turkish prisons on charges of “belonging to the former Kurdish self-administration in Afrin”, while the fate of those detainees is unknown as Turkish intelligence and their loyal factions prohibit visits except after paying huge amounts of money, where many arrests take place in order to get ransom, which has spread dramatically in Afrin by the factions present there.
The Syrian Observatory published on the 7th of May 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that al-Jabha al-Shamiyyah which operates within the Turkey-loyal operation of “Olive Branch”, arrested in the past days 6 people including a woman in Qantara village of Maabatli township in Afrin countryside, accused of “dealing with YPG”, while the violations against the Kurdish countryside of Afrin continue to be committed by factions of “Olive Branch”, where the Syrian Observatory monitored groups belong to Ahrar al-Sharqiyah faction beating and insulting Kurdish compatriots in al-Amara village in Maabatli township, after accusing them of cooperating with the “self-administration “, in addition to kicking a family out of a house of their relative they used to reside in at Afrin city, despite having papers of the house from the local council in Afrin, where they were forced to pay money in return for allowing them to remain, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 1st of May 2019 that the Syrian Observatory learned from several reliable sources that the “Olive Branch” Operation factions which are supported by Turkey, have released on Tuesday a leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Afrin, Hussein Ibish, who acts as the president of the Kurdish National Council in Afrin, after arresting him on the first of April 2019, where 2682 citizens were arrested of Afrin’s people including more than 1087 people who are still in detention, while the rest were released after most of them paid ransom imposed by members of the “Olive Branch” Operation, sometimes it reached more than 10 million Syrian pounds, where the Syrian Observatory monitored more than once that the factions send audio or video clips to families of the abducted people, and impose money without bargaining, along with threats of liquidating their relatives if the desired amount of money was not paid, also the factions who were given authority by Turkey in the area -after international silence that has given power to Turkey in Afrin- carried out arrests against both genders, men and women, after these factions turned the kidnappings and ransom on charges the most prominent of which are “belonging to the Kurdish Forces and communicating and working for them”, where kidnapping for a ransom has become a popular trade adopted by most factions, in an attempt to collect the largest possible amount of money, and to clamp down on the remaining population in the region, and the SOHR monitored that the factions have transferred abductees to detention and custody centers made up of civilian homes that were seized and turned by them into headquarters for the pro-Turkey factions, which share influence and property in Afrin, and from time to time carry out looting and confiscation of property and funds.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 28th of April 2019 that the violations against the people of Afrin continue by factions of the Turkey-loyal factions of “Olive Branch” operation, which controls the area, where the Syrian Observatory learned that the al-Jabha al-Shamiyyah faction arrested yesterday, Saturday, 5 people at least in Maabatli area in Afrin countryside in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo, on charges of “belonging to Kurdish Units”, where they were taken to an unknown destination amid fears for their lives, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 25th of April 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the Turkish Forces continue the process of building the separation wall in Jalbal village southeast of Afrin city, where the Syrian Observatory documented by video the Turkish Forces build a new part of the wall from the eastern side of the village, after bulldozing and demolishing more houses of citizens who were displaced from it, while the regime forces and the Russian Forces are just watching the construction operations, where the separation wall is about 2 km away of sites of the regime forces in Tanneb village, and about 6 km away of headquarters of the Russian Forces in Kasht’aar, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 24th of April that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored a mass demonstration carried out by thousands of Afrin city’s displaced people and its countryside at the international road linking Aleppo and the Turkish border in the northern countryside of Aleppo, where there is a headquarters of the Russian Forces in Kasht’aar village, where the demonstration is considered the third of its kind since the Turkish Forces and the Syrian factions loyal to them controlled Afrin, also this demonstration came after the Turkish Forces built a separation wall separating Afrin from the north of Aleppo, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented through video a large-scale demolition and bulldozing of homes and properties of civilians in Jalbal village, and the construction of the separation wall by the Turkish Army in the villages of Mrimin, Kimar, and Jalbal, where the demonstration was organized near the wall about 7 km away of it, and the demonstrators also raised pictures of their children who were killed during military operations by the Turkish Forces in area Afrin.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 29th of March 2019 that Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the so-called military police in Afrin city, which is controlled by the Turkey-supported factions of “Olive Branch”, arrested 9 teachers including a school principal in al-Ashrafyyeh neighborhood in the city from two adjacent schools, where they were taken to an unknown destination until now, and no information about the reasons of the arrest so far, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 20th of March 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from a number of reliable sources, that factions operating within the operation “Olive Branch” arrested a number of men and young men in Kafr Safra area and other areas of Afrin countryside, on charge of “celebrating Nowruz festival and setting fires in its anniversary”, and the arrests come on the eve of Nowruz which is celebrated worldwide by the Kurds every year on the 21st of March, where the Kurds tend set fires in the villages and over the hills celebrating a historic symbolic anniversary of them, while the Syrian Observatory published about 48 hours ago, that has received a copy of a circulation issued by the local councils in the area, reporting that there will not be a holiday on the 20th of March 2019, or on any other day, there will never be a holiday in Nowruz, and all of the official institutions will continue their work on the 21st of the same month, and the citizens will not be allowed in Nowruz to protest, setting fire to tires, celebrate or take pleasure, after the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had documented that fighters of the factions operating within Operation “Olive Branch” have destroyed the statue of the Kurdish symbol “Kaveh the Blacksmith”, whose statue was placed in one of the squares of Afrin city, which is coincided with approaching the festivals of Nowruz which is held every year on the 21st of March.
Afrin witnessed massacres and killing operations claimed the lives of 389 civilians including 55 children and 36 women of civilian citizens of the Kurds, Arabs, and Armenians, tens of them were killed in a mine explosion and under torture by “Olive Branch” factions, also the majority of them were killed by the Turkish aerial and artillery shelling and bombardment, and in several executions against citizens in Afrin area since the 20th of January 2018, until the same date of 2019, including about 89 civilians including 6 children and 3 women, were killed since after the Turkish Forces took control of Afrin on the 19th of March 2018, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also monitored the injury of hundreds and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of others, where the violations and inhuman practices remained the share of the remaining residents of Afrin area, who refused to leave their homes and farms for the Turkish Forces and factions that stole, devoured, looted, and seized the property of civilians and private and public property in the entire area of Afrin.
And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has also monitored more than 158 assassinations, attacks and targeting operations that targeted “Olive Branch” in Afrin area, since the Kurdish forces lost Afrin area at the end of the second third of March 2018, where it rose to 698, the number of members of the Turkish forces and the rebel and Islamic factions including 85 Turkish soldiers, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of at least 1586 fighters of YPG and Self-Defense Forces, who have been killed since the start of Operation “Olive Branch” in January 2018, also at least 91 of the popular members of the regime forces have been killed in the Turkish bombardment since they entered on the 20th of February 2018, while the Turkish forces have carried out about 144 assassinations and targeting against the forces controlling Afrin, while leading sources of the YPG denied that their forces or cells had relation or responsibility for many of the assassinations and acts of torture; some of which appeared on videos and attributed to the Kurdish Forces, and the sources accused other cells belong to other parties of carrying out these assassinations and attributing them to the Kurdish Forces for their own agenda, the main aim of which is to escalating their violations against the civilians, where the resentment has been increasing among the civilians day after day, with the unfair and unjust procedures, and the silence of the Turkish Forces -who are leading the “Olive Branch” operation- and not responding to their complaints.
Forms of violations varied from seizing olive crops, to seizing thousands of olive oil barrels, collecting royalties and taxes, seizing and looting houses, seizing and selling farms, establishing military headquarters and camps in property of citizens, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from reliable sources that groups operating in “Olive Branch” Operation after controlling Afrin spoke to the Turkish authorities, demanding them to expel the residents of Afrin city and its countryside completely, and to confiscate their property, livelihoods, farms, homes and their contents in full, which was rejected by the Turkish authorities, the sources confirmed that they wanted the same goal but they opposed the method, telling those who wanted this decision that it will bring the international community against them, and push the whole world to intervene in favor of the Kurds inhabitants of the area, and issued their orders to wait, and that the day will come when residents of the area will ask to get out of it, and they will pay to get out of their houses and farms and leave them, which is what happened slowly, as hundreds of families who remained in Afrin have fled as a result of the escalation of violations against them of kidnapping, beatings, assaults, looting, theft, and assaulting women and girls.
Which aroused anger of residents of Afrin and the people who were displaced of it who were prevented by Turkey from returning to their villages and towns, amid a Shameful silence by the world which did not show any action to what Turkey is doing in Afrin area of daily violations against the residents and the civilians.
Intersected sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that a military commander in Rahman Corps (who was displaced from eastern Ghouta) had an agreement with the local council in Afrin city, based on taking an area of a mountainous land located in the area between Basutah and Afrin city by the military commander, based on considering it as a “no-man’s-land” and it is not owned by anyone, and then granting 400 meters to the displaced people of the Eastern Ghouta in exchange of $100. Reliable sources confirmed that the agreement had been reached between both parties, but no displaced person has been handover anything yet.
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 arbitrary control of “Olive Branch” operation factions of 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.
Where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored a complete seizure of Afrin city by the Turkish forces and “Olive Branch” operation factions, where these factions split their areas of control and write phrases on everything being seized to prove their ownership of it, and to prevent the rest of the factions from seizing the same real estate or machine, also they burned olive plantations and property, while violations exceeded the seizure and dividing of property to carrying out daily raids of houses under the pretext of searching for weapons and sleeper cells and other pretexts, they also looted the property of houses of jewelry, money, electronic appliances, even mobile phones and furniture, while the theft moved from private property to public property, where groups of factions working in Afrin area stole electric copper cables in front of the people as well as hospitals and service institutions, while these robberies created internal clashes between rebel and Islamic factions operating in “Olive Branch” operation, which killed and injured tens of members in frequent rounds of bloody fighting, while the Turkish authorities did not engage in any kind of deterrence or pressure, but attempted to resolve disputes that may get completely out of control.