RAQQA, Syria (North Press) – A Syrian civilian was tortured to death by Turkish-backed militia in Syria’s northern town of Tal Abyad on the border with Turkey, local sources said on Sunday.
Faris Al-Hamidi, a roughly thirty-year-old driver, died after severe torture by Turkish backed militants who abducted him on the charge of working with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Al-Hamidi was abducted last month in Tal Abyad while he was returning to his home after the Turkish-backed militias seized his hometown in Turkey’s incursion to northern Syria in October 2019.
Maher Al-Ayed, a relative of Al-Hamidi, said that the militias informed the family of the news of his death under torture, and that his body to be handed to his family in few days.
The Arab-majority sub-district of Tal Abyad, which is part of the Raqqa governorate, has been under the control of Turkey and Turkish-backed groups since Ankara’s military operation in October 2019, which pushed the SDF from the area.
Turkey has previously attempted to legitimatize its operation in Tal Abyad, by claiming that the town is majority Arab and that the Kurdish-led forces carried out human rights violations, such as ethnic cleansing against the Arab population, a charge that Kurdish fighters vehemently deny.
However, Turkish-backed groups are now accused of committing human rights violations against the residents of Tal Abyad.
In April, the Turkish-backed Sultan Suleyman Shah brigade confiscated an agricultural harvester from an Arab family in the town.
According to a report of Syrians for Truth and Justice, published in June, Turkish-backed groups have looted 12 grain silos from Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain.
Locals in Tal Abyad have protested against arbitrary arrests and the deteriorating living conditions in their town.
The local Smart News Agency reported that there were widespread protests in Tal Abyad on Jan. 3 and then on June 5, demanding the release of civilians arrested by Turkish-backed factions. In early June, at least 35 civilians were arrested in two villages of Tal Abyad on charges of dealing with the SDF, a SOHR report said.