المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

“Olive Branch” Factions continue their violations in Afrin… Kidnapping citizens, ransoms, and royalties under the pretext of “protection”… an elderly man dies after being beaten by Turkey-loyal factions

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Although more than a year and eight months have passed since the Turkish military operation “Olive Branch” in “Afrin” area, violations of the Syrian opposition factions loyal to Turkey continue, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the continuation of kidnappings by the Turkey-loyal factions to the Turkish army in Afrin, and reliable local sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that “the faction of Sultan Suleiman Shah (al-Amshat) kidnapped citizens from (Mobata) Township in Afrin, they are Abdo Khalil Hessu and Mustafa Hassan Mehhu from Kakhra village in Mobata Township, where the factions demanded their relatives to pay 1000 dollars for each person in order to be released, a source from Jandairis Township said that “the Turkey-loyal al-Hamzat Division kidnapped 3 young men from Jandairis area, they are: Fahed Omran, Saddam Abdullatif Ghannama, and Kmiran Mannan Koshkar from the people of the township, and according to the sources, the fate of the abductees is still unknown.

At the same time, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the citizen Hamko Abu Abdo, 80 years, died affected by wounds he had by the Turkey-loyal factions, where he was assaulted on the 29th of October 2019, in Kaani Korek village in Jandairis Township and he was taken to the hospital, however, he died affected by his wounds.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published yesterday that the Turkish Forces and the Syrian opposition factions loyal to them in Afrin who are part of “Olive Branch” Operation continue to commit all kinds of violations against the people of Afrin, seeking to force them to leave their homes and lands as part of a demographic change plan in the area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from reliable sources that Turkey’s plan in the current period seeks to force people of Afrin to leave completely and prevent their return to it, and also to prevent the return of people displaced from Afrin by direct order from the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and according to reliable sources, the violations carried out by the Turkey-loyal factions against Afrin’s people come at order of the Turkish intelligence to force the remaining residents of the area to leave.

And at time when the Turkish President Erdogan claims that his military operations in Syrian territory aims to counter terrorism; the Turkey-loyal factions are committing daily terrorism and war crimes against civilians in Afrin. And despite the repeated Turkish deny of attempts to carry out a demographic change in the area, the violations which are being carried out before the Turkish President and his intelligence and direct supervision; prove beyond any doubt the systematic process of demographic change which is being carried out by Turkey and the factions loyal to them in Afrin, with the aim of replacing new residents loyal to Ankara instead of the original Kurdish inhabitants.

Accordingly, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights appeals to the people of Afrin to return to their homes and face the process of demographic change which is underway by Turkey in the area, so that these people do not become displaced forever, and so that the area does not become another point that belongs to Turkey inhabited by its loyalists, which constitutes a burden and a humanitarian disaster contrary to international conventions and agreements concerning inhabitants of the areas that are controlled by some force in another state, this process of demographic change threatens the demographics of the Syrian territory, and affects the population and people of the areas that are subjected to such violations by direct order from the Turkish President and his intelligence.

According to the sources of the Syrian Observatory, the Turkey-loyal factions operating in “Afrin” as part of the “Olive Branch” operation, did not leave a violation against civilians of the city without committing it against them, starting with theft, looting, kidnapping, murder, confiscation of houses, ridiculous taxes, and other violations against civilians, the Syrian Observatory learned earlier that the “al-Fatah Brigade – 132nd Division” stormed Tarmisha village of al-Sheikh Hadid Township n Afrin, and kidnapped 6 civilians including 2 women over the age of 65, under malicious pretexts and charges related to dealing with the former Autonomous Administration in the area, and according to information obtained by the Syrian Observatory, the six abductees were Fatima Hanan Kwiro (65 years), Mohammad Yusuf Rahu (70 years), the wife of Mohammad Yusuf Rahu (65 years), Rahim Battal Muso (58 years), Ali Fahim Kuso (35 years) and Idris Hanan (30). the Syrian Observatory learned that they had been taken to the headquarters of “al-Fatah Brigade” in the Bremjah village in Maabatli area.

And among the other violations documented by the Syrian Observatory against people of Afrin, the Turkish-backed faction of “al-Sultan Fatih Brigade” forced residents of Arab Oshaghi village in Maabatli area to bring sacks of wood from their homes to the brigade’s headquarters in the town, where the faction instructed through the village’s mosque that if the bags of firewood were not brought in; -then- the faction members would cut down olive trees in the village. And on the 1st of November 2019, the Turkey-loyal “military police” arrested several people in the “Sharan” Township at the countryside of Afrin city. And according to sources of the Syrian Observatory, the arrest came after being charged with involvement in bombings in Afrin city, which was controlled by the Turkish Forces and their loyal factions earlier.

the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also documented other violations by several factions operating in “Olive Branch” area, including abduction by the armed gunmen of “Suleiman Shah Brigade” -which is backed by Turkey- for 2 citizens from “Kakhra” village of “Maabatli” Township. And according to information obtained by the Syrian Observatory, members of the faction contacted relatives of the abductees and demanded that they pay a ransom of 1000$ USD in exchange for their release. And on the 29th of October 2019, reliable sources told the Syrian Observatory that the Turkey-loyal factions of “Olive Branch” Operation in Afrin were blackmailing the citizens, stealing and looting their property, and imposing taxes and fees unjustly on citizens, without distinguishing between rich and poor, where one of the people of “Sheikh al-Hadid” area said that the “Abu Amsha” faction imposed a fine of 500 Euros on several residents of the area, even if they were displaced from their homes and did not live there, especially those who have children living in Europe.

According to reliable information, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored on the 8th of July 2019, the Turkish-backed factions counting the belongings of the Kurdish citizens in Afrin, with the aim of taxing property according to those statistics, where informed sources told the Syrian Observatory that the armed factions intend to impose a tax of 50 TL on each dunum of agricultural land.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as it continues to uncover crimes and violations committed by Turkey-loyal opposition Syrian factions at the orders of the Turkish President and the Turkish intelligence; SOHR calls on people of Afrin to confront Turkey’s attempts to carry out a demographic change in the area and calls for People and residents of Afrin who are displaced in the northern countryside of Aleppo, to return to their homes and defend them and face the demographic change operation, before they miss the opportunity and became displaced forever, in light of the Turkish attempts to settle new inhabitants in the area and keep its original people away of it completely, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also calls on international humanitarian and human rights organizations to put pressure on Turkey and the international community in all possible ways to counter Turkey’s demographic change in the Syrian territory. The Syrian Observatory also warns of the dangers of abuses by the Turkey-loyal factions, which will have a negative impact in the area and its population in the short and long term.

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