Turkish-backed SNA faction devastates Yazidi shrine in Syria’s Afrin

AFRIN, Syria (North Press) – Turkish-backed armed opposition factions, aka the Syrian National Army (SNA), devastated a Yazidi shrine in Afrin region in northwestern Syria, North Press correspondent reported on Thursday.

On Thursday, North Press obtained photos and footages of the Yazidi Mannan shrine in the village of Kafr Janneh in the northeast of the city of Afrin that was devastated by the SNA factions. 

Local sources told North Press that militants of al-Jabha al-Shamiyah (Levant Front) destroyed the shrine.

The Kurdish-majority region of Afrin has been occupied by Turkey and controlled by the SNA factions since March 2018 following the so-called “Olive Branch” military operation to push away the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) under the pretext of protecting “Turkish national security.”

There were 58 Yazidi villages in Afrin at the onset of the 20th century. Prior to 2011, there were nearly 60,000 Yazidis in Afrin with 22 villages being co-habited by other communities.

Following the occupation, Yazidis of Afrin have been a double target for extremist groups embracing Islamist ideology.

Mosques have been built in the Yazidi villages. The Yazidis themselves are forbidden from practicing their rituals freely.    

By Siwar Hamo