The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Despite the fact that there are tens of thousands of displaced people in it, an agreement between Russians and Turks leads to Handing Tal Rifaat over to the Turks

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights was informed by reliable sources that a meeting took place in the northern countryside of Aleppo between the Turks and the Russians, and the sources informed the Syrian Observatory that this meeting led to an agreement providing for the handover of Tal Rifaat and surrounding villages that are currently under the control of YPG, to fighters of the Syrian the rebel and Islamic factions loyal to the Turkish Forces within “Olive Branch” Operation, this agreement comes even though there are more than 50000 people in Tal Rifaat town of who have been displaced from Afrin area, and they face an unknown fate after this agreement.

In the same context, the Syrian Observatory published a little while ago that between the displacement and return, civilians were the victim, accompanied by coercion in both cases. The rifle and bullet stood within a walking distance of his head, forcing them to flee from their birthplaces, towns, villages or towns in which they have been living for hundreds of years, or their home to which they have displaced, prevented from returning despite the risk they are living and the tragic humanitarian situation, where displaced people from Afrin told the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that tens of families have tried to return within the past 24 hour from the northern countryside of Aleppo, and the areas in which the regime forces spread before the control of Afrin city by “Olive Branch” Operation Forces, however, these families have not been able to cross towards the areas controlled by the Turkish forces and factions, they were prevented from marching towards Afrin.

Local and other reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the prevention of return to Afrin was carried out by “Olive Branch” Operation Forces and by the gunmen loyal to the regime, and the locals confirmed that those who managed to reach the first checkpoints of “Olive Branch” Operation Forces were prevented from entering the area and forced to return to where they came from, while checkpoints of the gunmen loyal to the regime prevented other families from reaching the outskirts of Afrin area, and they were forced to return to the areas they stayed in after they were displaced, while SOHR received information from reliable sources that about 48 hours ago, a checkpoint of YPG prevented civilians from getting out of the northern countryside of Aleppo towards their villages and homes in Afrin area.

These new deteriorated conditions and the return prevention come with the continuation of the first tragedy of the displaced people of the inhabitants of Afrin area, where their humanitarian situation are getting worse day after day, amid bad weather conditions in the area, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the deterioration of the humanitarian conditions of more than 300 thousand displaced people, who have displaced from Afrin city and its villages to the northern countryside of Aleppo, where they spred in the areas where the militiamen loyal to the regime are located, including tens of thousands of families that reached the towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa in the same countryside, and tens of people displaced from Afrin asserted to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the aid provided to them was shy and too little and did not amount to the level of the tragedy, where the aid of the Red Crescent was provided in batches, and the medical services were also provided, but they was not enough except for a group of the displaced people, while there are thousands of citizens still staying in the open as a result of the lack of the tents, after the towns of Nubl and Al-Zahraa and the villages and towns in the northern countryside of Aleppo became crowded with the people displaced from Afrin, many of whom have found it difficult to rent a house because of doubling the rents of the houses.

The continuation of the regime forces to prevent citizens displaced from Afrin, of who try to displace to Aleppo city, to reach it, increased these tragic humanitarian situations, where several reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the checkpoints of the regime forces are continuing to impose fees on the citizens desire to reach Aleppo city, where about 1000$ is imposed for each single person, while others are helped to escape in different ways through the regime’s checkpoints inside Aleppo city, in return for large sums of money, where the residents complained to the SOHR about these situations, and the ongoing prevention of the regime’s checkpoints to reach Aleppo city despite the tragic humanitarian situation in the northern countryside of Aleppo, which is crowded with thousands of people displaced from Afrin city and its villages, also the tragic reality in the north of Aleppo, is similar to the tragic humanitarian situations of those who stayed in Afrin area, within the areas controlled by the Turkish forces and the rebel and Islamic factions operating in Operation “Olive Branch”, where 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, and sources confirmed that displacement of citizens from Afrin countryside to the city was documented, where sums of money were imposed on those entered Afrin city by the checkpoints deployed on the roads between Afrin countryside and the city, in addition to arrests against tens of citizens who stayed in the area, and they were transported to detention centers after being subjected to insults and humiliation.

And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published yesterday that 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.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights called on the UN to secure the return of the displaced people of Afrin area, to their houses, villages and towns and to Afrin city, and to oversee their arrival to the areas they have displaced from in Afrin countryside, especially to the border villages, as the SOHR obtained reliable information from several intersected sources, that citizens who tried to reach their border villages with Turkey were arrested by the Turkish forces and the factions operating within Operation “Olive Branch”, and this call comes after the Syrian Observatory received information about the existence of an agreed Russian-Turkish plan, to carry out a demographic change based on the settlement of other residents in Afrin area instead of the original residents who displaced and stay in the open in the northern countryside of Aleppo, and the Turkish occupation forces that control the area, have to secure ways back for the residents for fear over the lives of the people coming back of the mine explosions.