The Afrin Region Council of the Autonomous Administration and displaced persons of the region called on the United Nations and human rights organizations to document the crimes of Turkish forces and affiliated armed opposition groups in the Afrin region, and to prosecute Turkish President Erdogan internationally as a war criminal.
In a statement made on Wednesday in al-Aouda camp for IDPs from Afrin, which is located in the village of Ziayra in the district of Shirawa south of Afrin, the Afrin Region Council stressed the need to exert pressure on Turkey to withdraw from the Afrin region in order for the people to return to their homes, after Turkey committed dozens of bloody massacres against the people of Afrin with the aim of inflicting demographic change, something which forced hundreds of thousands to leave their homes and the land of their ancestors.
Today marks the second anniversary of the takeover of Afrin by Turkish forces and their affiliated armed opposition groups, which caused the displacement of more than 300,000 people from the region, according to statistics of the Human Rights Organization in Afrin.
Some of the displaced people of Afrin live in five camps (Afrin, Sardam, Berkhewdan, al-Aouda and Shahba), while others live in semi-destroyed houses in the northern countryside of Aleppo, in the absence of the support from relief organizations and with only the limited capabilities of the Autonomous Administration in that area.
The statement of the Afrin Region Council confirmed that Turkish forces and their armed proxy groups are committing violations against the people of Afrin, including kidnapping civilians, demolishing and stealing historical monuments, imposing the Turkish language and culture on families and children in schools, and cutting thousands of olive and oak trees.
In a report published on the 2nd of August 2018, Amnesty International indicated that Turkish forces allowed Syrian armed groups to commit serious human rights violations against civilians in the city of Afrin, including arbitrary detention, forced disappearance, confiscation of property, and acts of looting.
The Afrin Region Council condemned the international silence towards Turkish violations in Afrin, accusing Russia of giving a "green light" to Turkey to invade the region.
Turkish forces and affiliated armed opposition groups have repeatedly targeted Afrin’s displaced population in the northern countryside of Aleppo. On the 2nd of last December, Turkish forces shelled Tal Rifaat, a town inhabited by the people of Afrin, resulting in the deaths of 10 civilians, including 8 children, and the injury of 13 others.
On February 25, Turkish forces and affiliated armed opposition groups bombed the Aqiba village of Shirawa district, south of Afrin, with dozens of shells, killing three people, including a child, and injuring three others.