Money imposed on Afrin’s people to harvest their olive crops

Afrin – North-Press Agency
Firas al-Ahmad
The Turkish-backed armed groups in the Syrian-Kurdish region of Afrin have imposed amounts money on the local people in turn to harvest their olive crops.
A private source told North-Press that Turkey-backed armed groups (Islamic factions) are harvesting the crops of the villages of Bulbul and Qastal Miqdad in Bulbul district of Afrin region, the agricultural lands are owned by Muhammad Ali Kochar and Khalil Isso Bilal, those who did not pay money to the armed groups.
On the other hand, another source confirmed that the Turkish-backed al-Hamzah militia is obliging the locals of the villages of Qara Gul, Sheikh Khurzah, Kutana, Qota and Bilan to pay one dollar for each olive tree, as a taxation, in order for the local owners to be able to harvest their crops.
The same source pointed out that within the past couple of weeks, the Turkey-backed Interim Government have counted the number of trees of per family in the villages of Afrin region.
In late January, a Spanish newspaper published a report which indicated Turkey’s export of Syria’s Afrin olive oil to Spanish markets, as claiming the oil of Turkish origin.
Afrin region occupies the second place in the production of olive oil in Syria, where the number of olive trees is about 18 million trees, which is a major source of income for most of its population.
Upon Turkey’s control over Afrin region, along with the opposition’s armed groups on 18 March last year, thousands of olive trees dating back hundreds of years were set in fire by those groups, in addition to uprooting hundreds of them.
The Violations Documentation Center in northern Syria (VDC-NSY) confirmed in a report, which was published last May that since Turkey and the allied armed groups have taken control over Afrin region, about 11 thousand hectares out of 33 thousand hectares of industrial and natural forests have been cut and burned in Afrin villages and districts.
In July last year, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) accused Turkish-backed armed Islamist groups of widespread human rights violations in Afrin region since taking control over the region, pointing out that civilians in Afrin region are subjected to thefts, physical attacks, intimidation, kidnappings and killings, as it documented in its report the cases of civilians’ abduction for money ransom.