Two years have passed on the military invasion of Afrin, northern Syria, launched by the Turkish army with the help of the affiliated Syrian armed groups, which started on January 20, 2018 and ended on March 18 in the same year, aiming at expelling members of the People's Protection Units (YPG) from the third pole of the poles of the Autonomous Administration which was announced on January 2014.
Two years have passed on "Olive Branch", as it was named, in order to be described with peace, but it was away from peace, on the contrary, Afrin civilians were subject to the Turkish killing mechanism via Syrian hands, from the beginning of the invasion till now, where the city is now a refuge for the displaced people from the areas witnessing battles between the Syrian government forces and Turkey-backed armed groups, as Afrin is prohibited for its indigenous people.
Freedom promises uttered by the Syrian armed groups and Turkey from behind, were only misery, displacement, looting and restraining political and religious freedoms of Afrin’s indigenous people, in addition to a demographic change in the Kurdish-majority region.
So the “Mountain of the Kurds" became an alternative homeland for the displaced people from Ghouta, the countryside of Homs, Hama and Idlib, in exchange for depriving the original owners of their land to return to their homes.
Before "Olive Branch", Afrin was witnessing an economic revolution, it became a capital for the Syrian industry and commerce by all means of the word, especially after the armed groups took control over the eastern part of the city of Aleppo, Afrin exported its products to many countries, but after the Turkish control over the region, its olive became specialized for exporting to Turkey, and it has become a mandatory corridor for Afrin trade.
Turkism is the prominent feature of each region controlled by Turkey, and Afrin wasn't an exception, as the Turkish language is being used in the official institutions, the Turkish goods are invading the markets of Afrin, and the dealing with the Turkish Lira has become a familiar sight in the streets of the Kurdish region.
The designated councils in the region are also owing to Ankara an absolute loyalty, and the Turkish flag is raised along with the flag of the Syrian armed opposition on the official institutions after the control of the Turkish army over the city, to the extent that, in the official documents, they name the region as "Olive Branch", where some of those who have been registered in the city's registers, were among the militants who were sent by Turkey to support the Libyan al-Wifaq Government, which is loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood group.
The demographic change taking place in the region indicates a dangerous future in it, as hundreds of families from Eastern Ghouta, Western Ghouta and from other Syrian areas are now living in the houses of the Afrinians, who were displaced from their houses and are now living in refugee camps extending from Shahba area, north of the country to the cities and towns of Qamishli, Derik (Malikiya) and Tal Tamr.
This issue has become a factor of instability for both sides, as each side sees the other as it is an existential threat and therefore the effects of that seem dangerous on the future of the region.
Turkey is trying to copy the nominee of Cyprus in Afrin by imposing the policy of de facto under the Turkish tutelage, through settling the displaced Syrian in exchange for absolute loyalty to Ankara, imposing the Turkish culture on the residents of the region and betting on the prolonging of the Syrian war to reach to a level to accept the status quo.
Afrin which consists of 7 districts and 366 villages, and nearly 200,000 of its people have become homeless and couldn't go back to their houses despite the various appeals, have become one-colored today, and it has missed all aspects of national and religious pluralism.
Turkish authorities are fighting the Autonomous Administration in north-eastern Syria in the pretext of the existence of a Kurdish influence on its borders, and that it forms danger on the unity of its lands, but the fact is it has displaced the people of Afrin and its countryside, settled other people in their homes, obliterated Kurdish monuments in the region such as Kawa Statue (Kurdish national symbol), prohibited teaching Kurdish language and teaching Turkish one instead, in addition to cancelling all Kurdish writings on the shop fronts and replaced them with Turkish ones.
The Autonomous Administration was always demanding to include the issue of Afrin in any negotiations with the Syrian government about the political solution and in any possible military cooperation between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian army, ending the Turkish existence in Afrin, expelling Ankara's affiliated militants and returning the displaced people, but the events took place during 2019 such as the U.S. withdrawal from north-eastern Syria, followed by a Turkish offensive and its affiliated Syrian groups on the area located between Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) and Tal Abyad (Gre-Spi) in October, according to the U.S.-Turkish agreement which allowed Turkey to control the mentioned area, made the issue of Afrin moving back from the priorities of the Autonomous Administration, and Afrin became almost absent from the official rhetoric of the Autonomous Administration.
Resisting ISIS offensive on Kobani and betting on regaining the city was one of the prominent reasons which made peoples of north-eastern Syria to trust the Autonomous Administration as an authority which doesn't waste the rights of its peoples. Also, going on demanding the regaining of Afrin is the remaining of that trust, so any inaction by the Autonomous Administration in this regard, would be as turning away from Afrin people and from other areas of north-eastern Syria, and will be a threat for the future of these areas, which are still under its control in the east of the Euphrates.