Syrian rebels kidnap Kurdish physician in Afrin
A Kurdish physician who refused to flee Afrin after the incursion by Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies earlier this year has reportedly been captured by rebels.
Dr. Lazgin Ahmed Sali, a heart expert, was arrested on Tuesday by the Ahrar al-Sharqiye, a brigade operating under the command of the Free Syrian Army, in the town of Jandaris in Afrin, according to a source who preferred to be named only as the father of Renas.
According to the source, Sali was arrested while working at his clinic.
Sali’s family was evicted and their properties confiscated, the source added.
According to information obtained by Rudaw, Sali is among the few Kurds who stayed in his home as Operation Olive Branch forces advanced.
The Kurdish city of Afrin fell to Syrian rebels backed by Turkey in March after weeks of intense fighting.
The area has since witnessed acts of looting, Arabization, and many of its original inhabitants prevented from returning home, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Video footage obtained by Rudaw shows a group of armed men detaining and torturing two residents of Afrin in a public space.
Kurds made up 95 percent of Afrin’s population before Operation Olive Branch was launched against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). The Turkish military supported the FSA proxy figthers in the two-month campaign. Arab families from other parts of Syria have since been pouring into the city and replacing many Kurds who fled during the clashes.
According to local sources, Arabs now make up at least 60 percent of the 200,000-strong population living in Afrin city.