Daily violations in Afrin | Turkish-backed factions loot olive, impose levies on farmers and sell civilians’ houses
Aleppo province: The Syrian Observatory has documented more violations, including looting civilians’ properties, imposing levies and selling houses of displaced people, committed by Turkish-backed factions in “Olive Branch” areas.
In this context, SOHR sources have reported that al-Hamza Division looted and harvested 700 olive trees belonging to civilians in Maarrata village in Afrin countryside, although the trees owners stayed in the village. Moreover, the division imposed levies of 25% of the harvest of the village’s residents.
In a testimony to SOHR, a civilian known by his initials as A. A. from Maarrata village said, “I guaranteed over 700 olive trees belonging to the village’s residents, but I was shocked when a man known as ‘Abu Jaber’ who was tasked to collect levies for al-Hamza Division from Maarrata village looted the harvest of 350 olive trees and seized the rest of the trees under the pretext that I did not ask him before guaranteeing the trees which were in land under the division’s control. When I headed to the olive field in the morning, I found Abu Jaber and other workers harvesting and looting olive. When I asked him about the reason for harvesting the olive, he told me that the land was under the control of al-Hamza Division and that he did not permitted me to guarantee the trees. Moreover, Abu Jaber fired bullets in the air to terrorize me, and he threatened to arrest me if I rejected the looting of the olive. I could take no action, especially since the looting of the olive was by force.”
As Turkish-backed factions in Afrin city continue committing their violations, SOHR activists have reported that Suleiman Shah factions, aka “al-Amshat” which controls Shiekh Hadeed district, has imposed levies on the farmers of 25% of their harvest. Furthermore, the faction imposed levies on the residents of Qarmatleq village in Sheikh Hadeed district of 200 USD up to 1,500 USD according to the number of olive trees owned by each civilian, as levies of an estimated 4,400 USD were imposed on four civilians from the village.
In Afrin city, however, Turkish-backed factions continued selling houses belonging to civilians who had displaced during the Turkish military operation in 2018. In this context, SOHR sources have reported that “al-Jabha al-Shamiyyah” sold a house in al-Ashrafiyyah neighbourhood for 1,400 USD. The house belonged to a man from Bablit village. The same faction also sold another house in Tarnadah village, belonging to a man from Bulbul district, for 800 USD. Moreover, a displaced man from eastern Ghouta sold a house he seized previously to another displaced man for 900 USD.