Clashes take place between a faction whose members come from Deir Ezzor against US-backed faction because of looting Afrin
7 fighters including a commander killed and more than 130 fighters arrested according to Turkish orders and clashes expand to “Shield of Euphrates” areas
The SOHR monitored clashes taking place between two Syrian opposition factions operating within the Turkish-led “Olive Branch” Operation, which began on the 20th of Janurary 2018, to control Afrin area, and in the detail obtained by the SOHR from several reliable sources, a violent clashes took place between fighters of Ahrar Al-Sharkia faction, whose fighters mostly come from Deir Ezzor province, against Al-Hamzat battalion, which includes fighters from Aleppo countryside, and the fighting took place in Afrin city, after Ahrar al-Sharkia accused Al-Hamzat battalion of looting Afrin city based on orders from western parties, to defame the “Olive Branch” Operation, as Hamzat battalion was close to the SDF and was supported by the US before joining the Turkish-backed forces.
The SOHR learned from several reliable sources that the violent clashes took place between both parties in Afrin city killed 3 fighters of Ahrar Al-Sharqkia, one of them is a leader, in addition to the death of 3 other fighters of Al-Hamzat battalion, while several others were injured. Ahrar Al-Sharkia received orders from the Turkish military command of “Olive Branch” Operation to arrest the fighters of Al-Hamzat village, and the faction has arrested at least 130 fighters of Al-Hamzat battalion. The clashes also expanded in positions of the presence of both factions in Al-Ra’ey and Al-Bab, where clashes and exchange of attacks took place between both parties, resulted in the death of a fighters of Ahrar Al-Sharkia in Al-Raeey. There is information about the death of a civilian who was injured in the fighting in the city located in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
These clashes taking place between the factions of “Olive Branch” operation come a week after the first clashes took place between two groups that controlled Afrin against the background of looting of Afrin and its countryside, where several reliable sources confirmed to the SOHR that most of the factions and military forces took part in it. The looting was carried out by few fighters of the factions. They looted food, cars, and agriculture vehicles, and electronic devices, electricity generators, public and private properties in the city since the control over the city of Afrin on the 18th of March 2018. citizens confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that these forces tend to continue their thefts and looting to everything they would find in the citizens’ houses and public institutions and facilities, and the citizens asserted that their mobile phones, cars, tractors, motorbikes and electronic sets and equipment were looted, and reliable sources said that their houses were looted of all their contents of equipment, machineries and supplies, and the citizens also asserted that the humanitarian aid was organizationally distributed in front of the media in the cameras, while behind the cameras and in the scattered and remote villages in Afrin countryside, these humanitarian aid was sold at high prices to merchants and shop owners, who also tended to sell them for the citizens at double prices of those which the foodstuff was purchased at, and the forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation are continuing to interrupt electricity and water to the most of Afrin area.