المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Although they detain hundreds of people…the factions of the Operation “Olive Branch” continue their trafficking through arrests and take citizens of the people of Afrin and its countryside to collect royalties from their families

Aleppo Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the abduction continues in Afrin and its countryside, with the continuation of tightening the grip on the citizens and the violations practiced daily against them, by the factions operating within the Operation “Olive Branch”, which are in control of the area, under the command of the Turkish forces, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored in the past 24 hours that arrests targeted more than 20 citizens including women, from Afrin city and several areas in its countryside, where they were taken to security headquarters of the forces of the “Olive Branch” Operation, where each faction carries out arrests according its likings, and the factions tend to release them only in the case of getting royalties, where local sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the factions toke the arrests and releases as a source for collecting money, and in some cases the same person is subjected to arrests by more than one faction.

The Syrian Observatory monitored earlier that the regime forces continue to prevent citizens displaced from Afrin, of who try to displace to Aleppo city, to reach it, which 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.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 30th of July 2018 that  the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights received complaints from the people about the daily harassment they are living, with continuous violations against them, where residents confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the Turkish forces and opposition factions continue their abductions of Syrian civilians in Afrin area; under the pretext of being connected to the Kurdish Forces and the Democratic Union Party, where they are being taken to headquarters in Afrin area where they are investigated, tortured, and insulted, and the number of abductees have reached about 1000 people, according to intersected sources confirmed that to the Syrian Observatory, where more than half of them have been released after paying bribes and ransom to the factions that arrested them, while the Turkish forces and the factions refrained from releasing the rest of them except after paying money by their relatives, also the residents confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the factions in Afrin city and the rest of the areas in its countryside are informing and threatening families and shopkeepers that they must pay them, and if they cannot pay them; fighters of the faction arrest them and force their relatives to provide that amount of money, and the residents confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the harassment did not stop at this point, of abduction, collecting money, torture, and humiliation, but rather to the fact that some checkpoints of a Division that operates under the banner of “Olive Branch” which are scattered in al-Basutah road area, are looting money from the citizens who pass through this road, especially the vehicles carrying food and fuel, and they prevent the passage of trucks and vehicles without paying royalty, they also take royalties from the citizens in exchange for transferring them through al-Basutah road to Afrin city by military missions; after the closure of the road by the Turkish Forces, where recently the roads to Afrin city have witnessed a search and scrutiny on the checkpoints of the Turkish Forces and the “Olive Branch” operation factions.

The settlements have not stopped, where each faction is trying to increase the number of its fighters by announcing “offers” to settling its fighters in Afrin, and giving them homes and salaries to join its ranks, where displaced people from the Eastern Ghouta and other Syrian areas have had settlement in exchange for being recruited in the ranks of “Olive Branch”, or the factions that displaced from several other Syrian areas, along with seizing more property of the citizens of agricultural lands, farms, houses, vehicles and other property by members and fighters of these factions, where some of immovable properties are being completely seized, while the movable properties are being seized, of furniture, vehicles, jewelry, and electronic devices, also, the locals confirmed the SOHR that fighters of some factions have ignited the property of citizens as a revenge against some of them, and as a response for citizens’ refusal to pay royalties for the factions which are located in their controlled areas in the vicinity of Afrin city and the areas of Bulbula, Raju, Sharra, Shirawa, Jendires, Maabatli and Meidan Ekbis, where the factions sat on fire in hundreds of fruitful olive trees, and farms which raged the resentment of the residents in which the Turkish forces which claimed that they came to “liberate” them, became the perpetrator of violations and allow them to be carried out without deterring any faction, where reliable sources informed the Syrian Observatory that some residents became afraid of moving in Afrin countryside, for fear of being arrested or assaulted by the factions, which turned the roads to Afrin and the widespread checkpoints, into sources for funding themselves by looting and robbing the passengers, The difficult humanitarian situation in Afrin city and its countryside, are accompanied with disastrous humanitarian and health conditions for hundreds of thousands of displaced people who remained in the northern countryside of Aleppo, whose are prevented from returning to Afrin area by the forces of “Olive Branch” operation and the Turkish Forces who are located on the outskirts of the Afrin region from the side of the northern countryside of Aleppo, while medical and relief organizations are looking away of their tragedy, and turn their back and they do not provide life-saving assistance or prevent the hunger and disease from spreading among them in these extreme weather conditions.

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