المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

By force of arms…a Turkish-backed Islamic faction drives Kurdish families out of their houses in the countryside of Afrin city

Aleppo Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: violations by the factions of the operations “Olive Branch” and “Euphrates Shield” are still continuing against the residents of Afrin city and its countryside, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that gunmen belong to a Turkish-backed Islamic faction have driven 3 families out of their houses by force of arms in Kawinda village of Raju Township in the countryside of Afrin city, where they allowed families of gunmen loyal to the factions dwell these houses, and the Syrian Observatory published yesterday the 14th of June 2019, that the pro-Turkey factions which operate under the banner of the operation “Olive Branch”, are still continuing to clamp down on the Kurdish citizens in Afrin, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that the Turkish-backed Civil Police have kidnapped 4 residents from Araba village of Mabata Township in Afrin countryside, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights; the kidnapping came against the backdrop of directing accusations against the residents of working previously within the institutions of the Autonomous Administration in the area, local sources confirmed to the SOHR that the Civil Police asked the abductees’ relatives to pay sums of money amounting to SYL 150000 for each of the abductees in return for releasing them, in the same contest, the Syrian Observatory learned that members of the factions (Al-Amshat) operating within the operations “Olive Branch” and “Euphrates Shield”, have kidnapped a Kurdish resident from Qarmatlaq village of Shiya Township in Afrin countryside, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights; the kidnapping came after the resident called upon the members of the factions to evacuate his house in Qarmatlaq village where the house is taken by these members as their headquarter, at first, the members asked the resident to pay USD 200 in return for evacuating the house, and when the resident refused, they kidnapped him and asked his family for USD 8000 in return for releasing him.

And the SOHR published today, that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights continues to monitor violations carried out by “Olive Branch” factions loyal to Turkey; against the remaining residents of Afrin area in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo, where reliable sources informed the Syrian Observatory that members from Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah expelled in Kurdish people who rented houses according to papers approved by the local council, in addition to expelling Kurdish citizen from their relatives’ homes in Afrin city, on the pretext that these houses will be converted into military headquarters, but then they leased them to new displaced people who came to Afrin, while the factions that control Bulbul area continue their violation against the people there, like sabotaging their agricultural crops by allowing livestock to graze in the lands for Kurdish citizens, in addition to beating and insulting citizens, while the Syrian Observatory published this morning that the Turkey-backed “Olive Branch” operation factions continue to their violations against the Kurdish citizens in Afrin city and its countryside, in the framework of pushing them out of their areas, where the Syrian Observatory learned that members of the Samarqand faction arrested 6 citizens in Sennara village of Sheikh Hadid Township, where the faction accused the citizens 6 of “collaborating with self-administration”, while 2 of the detainees were released after paying a ransom, but the faction kept 4 citizens under arrest until they paid a royalties, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 11th of June 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the Turkey-supported “Free” Police carried out arrest operation in Sharan township in the Afrin countryside in the past few hours, and arrested 5 Kurdish citizens including a woman at least in Matenli village; under the pretext of “dealing with self-Administration”, where they were taken to an unknown destination until the moment, they also arrested more than 8 people in the last few days in Afrin city on various pretexts and charges, where 2766 citizens were arrested of Afrin’s people including more than 2007 people who are still in detention, since the Turkish control over the are completely on the 19th of March 2018, 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 9th of June 2019 that members of Al-Hamzah Division that operates under the banner of the Turkish-backed operation room of “Olive Branch, have kidnapped a citizen of the people of Al-Basouta village in the countryside of Afrin area, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights; the kidnapping took place while the citizen was heading with his brother to his shop in the area of Souq Al-Haal in Afrin city, where members of Al-Hamzat kidnapped him without taking his brother in order to ask for money in return for releasing him, and this incident comes as a apart of the continued violations by the factions of “Olive Branch” against the remaining locals of Afrin, and the SOHR published yesterday that gunmen killed 2 young people from Sheikh village of Raju Township, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: the young men work in selling vegetables and were riding a car carrying vegetables returning to their area coming from Afrin city, where they were killed about 500 meters away of a checkpoint of the “Military Academy” of “Olive Branch” faction in the vicinity of Maabatli junction, the sources added to the Syrian Observatory that the bodies were thrown tens of meters away of the car and they were not robbed at all, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 1st of June 2019 that the Turkish forces and the Syrian factions loyal to them seek to displace the remaining residents of Afrin area which they control in various ways and means, and located in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring over the past months since the Turks and the factions controlled Afrin city; monitored escalating violations day after the other, through thefts, looting, taxation, and royalties on people’s livelihoods, in addition to stealing the crops and the kidnappings which have escalated recently, in order to demand a large ransom from the residents of Afrin, where the remaining people of Afrin population who refused to be displaced are living real human tragedy, as they are deprived from their most basic rights in life, amid international and UN silence about the violations of the Turkish Forces who claimed that they came to rid the area of the Kurdish forces.

The Syrian Observatory published yesterday that as a part of the continued violations against the Kurdish residents in Afrin city and countryside, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the faction “Al-Amshat” which operates under the umbrella of the operation “Olive Branch” has imposed fees over tractors of the residents of Qaramtalak and Kundi villages in Raju Township in Afrin countryside, where the faction and forcibly with arms, imposed a sum of money of USD 300 on each citizen has a tractor, also the SOHR learned that the gunmen of Al-Amshat beat and insulted the Mukhtar of Kundi village against the backdrop of his condemnation against the taxes imposed over the residents by the pro-Turkey factions.

And the syrain Observatory published on the 31st of May 2019, that in the wake of the escalating security chaos and the continued violations against the Kurdish citizens by the pro-Turkey factions of operations “Olive Branch” and “Euphrates Shield”, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that gunmen of the Turkish-backed faction “Al-Hamzat Division”, forced by arms one of the residents in “Kukan” village which is related to Maabatli Township in Afrin countryside, to evacuate his house, and after the citizen refused, the gunmen beat him hard which injured him seriously, after that, the locals gathered near the citizen’s house and condemned the action, which met by the faction’s gunmen who opened fire directly at the locals which injured at least 6 of them including 2 women, local sources confirmed to the SOHR that the gunmen of “Al-Hamzat Division” are circling the village from all sides amid fears by the locals of storming the village and carrying out a campaigns of arrests against the residents who condemned the incident.

And the Syrian Observatory published yesterday the 29th of May 2019, that in the wake of the actions of killing, looting and thefts against the residents of Afrin city and its countryside and in the shadow of the continued security chaos in the areas of influence of the Turkish-backed factions of the operations “Euphrates Shield” and “Olive Branch”, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that the residents of Jendires Township in Afrin countryside started a general strike represented by closing the residents their shops in a protest against the killing of a young man of the township’s people yesterday by indiscriminate gunfire as a result of an armed rivalry erupted in the middle of the residential neighborhoods between the faction of “Ahrar Al-Sham” on one hand against “Jaysh al-Sharqiyyah” on the other, and the Syrian Observatory published yesterday, that a new armed clash between pro-Turkish factions of the “Olive Branch” Operation Room, who control Afrin and its countryside northwest of Aleppo, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: clashes took place In Jandairis town in Afrin countryside, between Ahrar al-Sham movement against Jaysh al-Sharqiyyah after a disagreement between both parties, which killed a civilian from Jandairis by random bullets due to the clashes, amid popular dissatisfaction in the area of the continued rivalry between “Olive Branch” factions, and the Syrian Observatory published yesterday that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that al-Jabha al-Shamiyyah faction of the Turkey-backed “Olive Branch” has imposed royalties on farmers who have agricultural machinery in Maabatli in the countryside of Afrin city, under the pretext of “repairing roads”, where the Royalty were imposed in Turkish currency which is the equivalent of more than 150$ US dollars, while leaders of groups of the same faction are forcing the farmers to pay percentage of the agricultural crops, such as grape leaves and cherry, in the same context, gunmen of “Olive Branch” sent a video to the family of one of the kidnapped people Badino village, where the kidnapped person appeared in the video after being subjected to severe torture, the kidnappers demanded that the family of the young man pay a ransom of 200000$ US dollars or they will kill him, it worth mentioning that the young man was kidnapped from his village in Afrin countryside in the first week of this month, and the Syrian Observatory published yesterday that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that “Al-Amshat” faction which operates under the umbrella of the Turkish-backed operation room of “Olive Branch”, has warned people displaced from Homs to Afrin and its countryside of evacuating their houses, where heavily armed members of the faction stormed houses in Afrin city and Sheikh Hadid Township and warned displaced people from Homs of evacuating the houses they live in, in order to accommodate displaced people from Hama according what the members of “Al-Amshat” said, and this incident comes in the frame of the continued violations by the factions of “Olive Branch” which affected both Afrin’s locals and the displaced people who have been brought to Afrin, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 24th of May 2019, that the daily violations are continuing against the residents of Afrin city and its outskirts by the Turkish-backed factions of “Olive Branch”, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from reliable sources that the military police in Jendires Township in the countryside of Afrin city which operate under the umbrella of operation “Olive Branch”, have arrested one of the members of the Local Council in the township, without clarifying reasons where the party that arrested him, has handed him over to the Turkish forces in the area, and in the same context, the faction “Al-Hamzat Division” which operates within the operations “Olive Branch” and “Euphrates Shield”, have kidnapped 2 citizens in Shirawa township in Afrin countryside and accused them of dealing with the Autonomous Administration, and asked their families for paying money in return for releasing them, on the other hand, about 60 families from the displaced people of the Eastern Ghouta who have been settled by the pro-Turkey factions, have left Bibaka village which is related to Bulbul Township in Afrin countryside and headed to Idlib province in addition that some of the families returned to the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus due to the deteriorating living conditions and the continued security chaos within the areas under the control of the pro-Turkey factions in the northern countryside of Aleppo.

And the Syrian Observatory published on the 23rd of May 2019, the violations of the pro-Turkey factions are still continuing against the residents of Afrin city and its countryside, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of a citizen from Sharran Township in the countryside of Afrin city in the north-western countryside of Aleppo, by gunmen from Azaz city about 2 weeks after he was kidnapped with his 11-year-old son as well as another citizen, and the body of the citizen was found dead with marks of torture on it in the area between the villages of Qastal Jendo and Arab Wayran in Sharran Township in Afrin countryside, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights; they were kidnapped by an armed group in Azaz city on the 13th of May 2019, and the kidnappers asked for a ransom amounting to 100000 US dollars each in return for releasing them, and this incident comes days after the armed group threatened to kill the kidnapped persons and hang their heads in the roundabout of Azaz city in the northern countryside of Aleppo, in the case that their relatives refused to pay the ransom, and the killed person was with his son and the other man in Azaz city for the purpose of trading and buying some items.

And the Syrian Observatory published on the 21st of May 2019, that violations are still continuing against the residents of Afrin city and its countryside, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored that gunmen affiliated to the factions of “Olive Branch” kidnapped an old man from Jendires town in the countryside of Afrin city, and sent a video to his family shows the torturing he was subjected to, while the kidnapper asked for a ransom amounting to USD 100000 in return for releasing him, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 19th of May 2019, that 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 remaining residents of Afrin city and its countryside continue to suffer, those who refused to displace after the Turkish Forces and their loyal Syrian factions controlled area located to the northwest of Aleppo about 14 months ago, these sufferings are embodied in lawlessness of the “Olive Branch” factions against the citizens, their property, and even their lives, where the violations by those factions continue all over Afrin and its countryside, and the Syrian Observatory monitored new cases of violations by the “Blood Branch” factions, where gunmen from Azaz city abducted a child and 2 men from the people of Jandairis in Afrin countryside, then the kidnappers sent a text message to the wife of one of the kidnapped persons demanding them to pay $100000 in exchange for releasing her husband on the pretext of “belonging to the party earlier and working for it”, while members from Soqur al-Shamal faction within the villages of Darwish, Sa’arin Jakka, and Droqelyou in Afrin countryside, the randomly cut olive trees in these villages, as part of their trade in firewood, where they sell the one ton at a price between 12000 to 15000 Syrian Lira, not to mention stealing the crops of grape leaf, also the Syrian Observatory learned that members of al-Hamzat faction which controls Shankal village in Bulbul Township, they rent the grape fields in the village for investors from outside the area for amounts of money up to $11000 US dollars, and they force the villagers to do the harvest.

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