المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

The death of 11 civilians in the countryside of Afrin raises to 215 at least, the number of people killed in 53 days of Operation “Olive branch” led by Turkey

Aleppo Province, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the continuation of Turkish killings in Afrin area in the northwest of Aleppo Province as a result of the continuous shelling, in conjunction with the continuation of military operations in the area, where the warplanes bombed areas in the road between Jandairis and Afrin city, which caused material damage and killed 2 citizens, while 9 citizens at least were killed in the western countryside of city Afrin, and the circumstances of their death are still unclear, where locals accused the Turkish forces of shelling them in the countryside of Maabatli Township the western countryside of Aleppo, while the clashes continue between the Turkish Forces and the rebel and Islamic factions against the Self-Defense Forces and YPG, in areas in the western and southwestern countryside of Afrin city, in continuous attempts by the Turkish Forces to achieve more advancement in the area.

Raising to 204 Syrian citizens of the Kurds, Arabs and Armenians, including 32 children and 26 women, the number of people who were killed in the Turkish aerial, rocket and artillery shelling, and executions carried out against citizens in Afrin area, since the 20th of January 2018, and the shelling resulted in resulted in the injury of hundreds of citizens with varying severity, and the missing of others, while some of injured cases have permanent disabilities.

And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published hours ago that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored tens of civilians lining up on one of the main bread shops in Afrin city, waiting to get bread which started to get scarce in the city as a result of the population density in the city, villages and towns, which are about 90 villages connected to Afrin from the west and northwest of the city, local sources reported that the rest of bread shops are no longer functional after the Turkish shelling on areas in Afrin city since the start of Operation “Olive Branch”, which aims to control Afrin city and all its connected villages, also the area of Afrin located in the north-western section of Aleppo province, is still witnessing continuation of the interruption of water and electricity, after the Turkish forces tended to cut them off after they were able to control a strategic facility, which is Midanki Dam, a Dam that provides wide areas of Afrin with electricity and water, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published that aerial bombardment operations, violent ground clashes and tragic humanitarian conditions are worsening every day, with the Turkish attack narrowing the cycle of death, after more than 1 million persons have gathered in Afrin city and in villages around it, fleeing a death they fear that it may chase them to the place of their displacement, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the Turkish Forces being able to control a strategic facility, which is Midanki Dam, a Dam that provides wide areas of Afrin with electricity and water, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that the Turkish Forces have cut off the power of Midanki Dam, aka “17 Nisan”, and also cut off the water which added a new human tragedy to the dire humanitarian conditions of hundreds of thousands of people living in Afrin, amid Turkish killing for the inhabitants of the area and the people who displaced to it, following Turkish aerial and ground targeting for telecommunication towers and the cut off of communications in most of Afrin area.

The SOHR obtained a copy of a video shot by a member of “Olive Branch” Operation Forces, in which he said that he is in Al-Shiekh Hadid town, which was confirmed by sourced to the Observatory. The fighter said in this video: “this is the fully liberated Sheikh Hadid free of separatist terrorist, and I urge the brothers and displaced people, who were displaced from Al-Raqqa, Al-Tabqa and other areas controlled by the separatist betrayals, to come and take a house with an olive land”. This video comes after other videos obtained by the SOHR which show fighters of Operation “Olive Branch” threatening the inhabitants of Afrin, directing their message through one of the fighters who said “to the Kurdish infidels, we inform you that if you turn to God in repentance, you have to know that you are our brothers, but if you do not, then we see your heads have been ripe and we have come to pick them up”, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights mentioned that the video is likely to be filmed in the Sheikh Hadid area in the western countryside of Afrin, from one of the villages controlled by Turkish forces and the rebel and Islamic factions. Afrin area has witnessed similar calls from other to settle Syrian people displaced from other provinces inside these villages.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units warned in a statement of approaching the properties of citizens in the villages that came under the control by the Turkish forces and the “Olive Branch” operation factions, considering all areas that have been controlled by the Turkish forces as targets. The statement reads: ” we the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) assert that all areas the fascist aimed at turning them to settlements has been and remains military areas and battlefields in which military operations are taking place daily, and we warn all those involved from approaching these area, where they will be a legitimate target to our fighters. We also call on who have been brought to the area not to be fooled by the Turkish games and we warn them of cooperating with the Turkish fascist in achieving their hostile aims against the people of the area, as their settlement in these area is illegal and illegitimate, as well as violation to the International humanitarian laws and occupation, to which our fighters has the right to respond”.

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