Turkish-backed factions arrest 75 civilians in Syria’s Afrin during Sept.

Qamishli, Syria (North Press) – A non-governmental organization in Afrin released on Saturday the toll of human rights violations committed in September by Turkey and its affiliated armed opposition factions, known as Syrian National Army (SNA), in Afrin region in northwest Syria.

In January 2018, Turkey, supported by its allied SNA factions, launched Operation Olive Branch in which it occupied the city of Afrin and its countryside. The operation displaced 300.000 of the region’s original inhabitants, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

According to Human Rights Organization-Afrin, two people were killed in the previous month, including a girl who died in Turkish bombardment of Aleppo northern countryside.

As for arrests, 75 cases have been recorded, including five women.

The SNA militants, the organization said, chopped down more than 19.000 trees in different areas of Afrin: 4.000 in Midanki, 3.000 in Ashkan Gharbi, 2.000 in Jaman, 10.000 out of 30.000 in the area around Routan and Ramadana. The militants also seized more than 17.000 trees which belonged to residents of the villages of Hajj Hasna Foqani, Hajj Hasna Tahtani, Ramadana, Rottah, Tatara and Kafr Safra.

In addition, they also burned the forests of Kafr Safra and Hajj Hussanli in Jindires district, and the forest of Kakhra in Maabatli district.

The violations did not stop there and extended to implementing demographic change in the Afrin region.

In this context, the Turkey-based Wafaa Al-Mohsenin Charitable Foundation established a settlement in the village of Kafr Safra, while the White Hands Association, also founded in Turkey, built a settlement in the village of Qetma in Sharran district.

The so-called “al-Amal” settlement at Kafr Safra village, which covers an area ranges between 40.000 and 50.000 m² approximately, includes a school, a nursery, a mosque, a clinic, small gardens, and several shops, as well as a water well and gravel roads, according to a report published by NGO Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ) on September 20. 

“These violations, which are exercised against the original inhabitants of the Afrin region, amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the organization said.

Human rights organization-Afrin