“Peace Spring” area | Turkish-backed factions continue inhumane violations against remaining residents in Ras Al-Ain (Sere Kaniye) • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

“Peace Spring” area | Turkish-backed factions continue inhumane violations against remaining residents in Ras Al-Ain (Sere Kaniye)

Since incursion by Turkish forces and their proxy militias into Ras Al-Ain city in late 2019, under the so-called “Peace Spring” military operation, many indigenous families have been forced to flee from their homes because of the violent clashes and bombardment. Also, many families have been displaced to other areas, fearing atrocities and inhumane violations practiced by Turkish-backed factions. Meanwhile, some families chosen to cling to their houses and properties over displacement, and they refused to leave the city. Accordingly, many of them have been subjected to violations and reprehensible practices, including seizure of properties.


Speaking to SOHR, a woman known by her initials as R. N. from Al-Abrah neighbourhood in Ras Al-Ain city tells off violations committed by Turkish-backed factions against her parents, after having decided to stay in their house. The woman says, “although we argued my elderly parents to leave the city with us, after Turkish forces and their proxy factions operating under the banner of the ‘National Army’ had captured it three years ago, they refused to leave the house which they had built together and lived in for over 60 years. My parents asked us to leave to Al-Hasakah city where our relatives live, but they refused to leave with us, where they thought that the factions would never harm or oppress them as they are elderly people. I was in touch with my parents on a daily basis. Despite the lack of food supplies and poor living conditions, my parents stayed in their house for a year. They were threatened and oppressed by members of ‘Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah’ faction, forcing them to abandoned everything and leave to Al-Hasakah, then to Kurdistan Region of Iraq where they have stayed in a refugee camp. The house later was turned into a gathering post for people who attempt to sneak into Turkey, with the help of smugglers affiliated to ‘Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah’ faction. My brother’s house, however, was turned into an ammunitions warehouse affiliated to the same faction.”


On the other hand, a 54-year-old man known as A. N. has told SOHR that he lives in his house in Ras Al-Ain city alone, as his five children had displaced, fearing arrests by Turkish-backed faction. The man has confirmed that he is sometimes subjected to oppression by the factions which seek to force him to leave his house. However, Arab neighbours always protect him from militiamen’s assaults and prevented the factions from expelling him from his house, especially since he is old and suffer from several diseases and he does not pose any threats to the factions.


SOHR sources have reported that a man in his seventies stayed with his wife who is in her sixties in their house in Ras Al-Ain city for three years after the beginning of “Peace Spring” operation. During these years, the couple has been oppressed and subjected to frequent assaults by Turkish-backed militiamen in order to force them to sell their house for a low price. The couple decided to sell the furniture and later sell the house. Accordingly, they headed to Al-Hasakah city which is under the control of Syria Democratic Forces and regime forces, where they sold the furniture to a broker affiliated with Turkish-backed factions for 300 USD.


According to SOHR sources, the elderly man get out of his house in an evening to reached a deal with a car owner to transport him and his wife to areas separating SDF-controlled areas and areas controlled by “Peace Spring” operations room. When the man returned to his house, he found out that the factions had stole all the house’s contents and the money he had prepared to pay to smugglers to help him get out of “Peace Spring” area. The man asked his children who live in Al-Hasakah city for help, so they sent him money, and he managed to leave the area, after having fed up with the violations committed by Turkish-backed factions.


Speaking to SOHR, a 50-year-old man known as S. K. says, “a few days ago, members of the 20th Division operating under the banner of the Turkish-backed “National Army” seized his house and forced him to leave “Peace Spring” area with his old mother towards SDF-held area. The man says that he suffer from fracture in his back and struggling with dreadful living conditions. However, the faction expelled him from that area, disregarding his catastrophic situation. The man rented a vehicle for transporting the furniture of his house, where “Sultan Murad” Division supervised the transportation of the furniture and deported that man by force to Al-Aliyah area in Tel Tamr countryside, after stealing his money and his and his wife’s mobile phones.


The man has confirmed that he did not wanted to leave Ras Al-Ain city, despite the dire living conditions, acute lack of food aid and his extreme poverty, but he had no other options, after having been informed that his house was taken over by the “National Army” and deported from the area by force.


It is worth noting that many other violations have been committed by Turkish-backed factions against indigenous inhabitants in “Peace Spring” and “Olive Branch” areas as a part of attempts to force them to leave these areas and confiscate their properties. Ironically, these violations are committed in full view of the Turkish forces which seem satisfied with such blatant violations.