Turkish-backed groups committed questionable acts in Afrin last month - Observatory

Turkish-backed armed groups have committed tens of violations in northern Syria’s Afrin throughout March, including kidnapping and selling the houses of displaced Kurds, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group.

The focus of the violations were “people who stayed in the area and refused to flee or those who have been displaced”, the Britian-based Observatory said. “Turkish-backed factions have practiced almost all kinds of atrocities, with full Turkish consent.”

After a two-month offensive against Kurdish militia, Turkish troops and the Free Syrian Army took control of Afrin, a Kurdish-majority city in Aleppo province, on March 17, 2018.

Factions under the umbrella of the Turkish-supported Syrian National Army kidnapped or arrested nearly 43 civilians in Afrin city, the report said, adding that some were eventually released, while most are still in captivity for various accusations, primarily “communication with the Kurdish Units”.

The factions have also recently begun making a profit by selling or renting houses and shops of displaced Kurds who fled Turkish military operations in the Afrin canton, Observatory sources said.

“A two-storey house is being sold at a price ranging from $3,000 to $5,000,” the monitoring group reported.