May 14 2018

Religious minorities in Afrin forced to convert to Islam – U.S. think-tank

Rebel groups in Syria’s Afrin region are forcing religious minorities to convert to Islam according to an article published on Washington based think-tank Gatestone Institute's website by Syrian-Kurdish journalist Sirwan Kanjo.

Afrin, located in Syria’s north-west has been under the control of the Turkish Army and their Free Syrian Army (FSA) allies since mid-March, following an invasion of the region that began in January.

Christians, Yazidis and Alawites minorities have been forcibly converted to Islam, Yazidi Temples destroyed and women forced to adhere to strict Muslim dress codes since the takeover, Kanjo says. At the same time, Turkey has embarked on a campaign to displace Kurds and religious minorities from the region and replace them with Sunni Turkmen and Arab families.

Kanjo also suggests that the Turkish government and its jihadi allies in the Free Syrian Army (FSA) are discussing formalizing the implementation of Islamic sharia law in Afrin.