New decisions issued against Sultan Shah faction, violations continue in Syria’s Afrin

ALEPPO NORTHERN COUNTRYSIDE, Syria (North Press) – Amid the continuation of violations against residents of Afrin, north of Aleppo, local media reported on Tuesday evening that several new decisions were issued against the leader of the Turkish-backed Sultan Suleiman Shah faction ( known locally as the “Amashat Division”, Muhammad al-Jassem, known as Abu Amsha, and a number of the faction’s leaders.

Since Turkey and Turkish-backed armed opposition factions took control of Afrin in March 2018, cases of murder, kidnapping, infighting, illegal logging,  building settlements, and imposing royalties and taxes by the factions’ leaders have continued in Afrin, according to human rights reports.

On the sixteenth of this month, a decision was issued to isolate  Abu Amsha, the faction leader, along with five leaders, but the decision has not implemented.

Last Thursday, the director of a Syrian human rights organization said that the decision to isolate “Abu Amsha”, is a “propaganda movement and a failed attempt.”

 “The decision is a failed attempt by the architects of this movement to say that we have violations, but we also have accountability. However, this talk has no value, and it is a shorthand for the crimes and violations that were committed and to blame Abu Amsha only,” Bassam al-Ahmad, the executive director of Syrians for Truth and Justice, said.

The areas controlled by the Turkish-backed opposition factions witness frequent infighting, followed by assassinations and liquidations aimed at extending the control of one faction at the expense of the other.

Last August, the head of the Opposition Coalition, Salem Abdel Aziz al-Muslat,  honored  Abu Amsha and gave him with a souvenir, while local pages said that al-Muslat gave Abu Amsha a Medal of Honor.

At the end of 2021, a human rights organization in the northern countryside of Aleppo said that the number of killings, during the year 2021, committed by Turkish-backed factions in the Afrin region amounted to 49, including 13 women and 13 children.

Reporting by Farouq Hamo