11 killed as Turkey-backed rebel factions clash amid curfew in Syria's Afrin
Clashes on Sunday between Turkish-backed rebel factions vying for influence in the northwest Syrian Kurdish enclave of Afrin town have left 11 fighters dead amid a complete curfew imposed by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), which seized the enclave following a military operation launched in January, T24 news site reported.
Fighting in several districts has left 11 dead and 27 wounded, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, noting the clashes pitched the majority of the pro-Ankara rebels against a group of some 200 fighters who were accused of "disobeying" Turkish forces and "committing abuses.''
Meanwhile, Turkish forces have started an operation against the group they say are involved in looting and robbing in the area, T24 said.
Following a two-month siege, the TSK and its affiliates in the Free Syria Army (FSA) seized control of Afrin in March.
The curfew arrives amid claims that Syrian rebel fighters, backed by Turkey, have been on a looting spree in the enclave while reports are on the rise regarding infighting.
National Army #FSA, the police and Turkish Armed Forces imposed curfew in the #Afrin region. In a joint operation which will be speerheaded by the police, YPG cells & thugs are the target.— Ömer Özkizilcik (@OmerOzkizilcik) November 18, 2018
Main goal is to disband Shuhada al Sharqiyyah which committed crimes on local population pic.twitter.com/ho0F5WSFwt
Afrin remains under the control of a "general council," which was established by the Turkish army and FSA in March 2018.
Turkey’s "Operation Olive Branch," with roughly 5,000 Turkish soldiers and 10,000 Syrian rebels under the FSA brand involved, ended on March 18, causing over 137,000 people to flee from Afrin, according to a Human Rights Watch report .