Syrian Kurdish forces threaten families of Turkey’s allies in Afrin

The majority-Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) has announced the assassination of a Free Syrian Army (FSA) employee and a shift to targeting those resettled in Afrin by the Turkish-led coalition.

The YPG controlled Afrin, in northwest Syria, until the Turkish military operation took over the district in March.

Turkish forces, alongside their FSA allies, said it had killed more than 4,000 YPG and Islamic State (ISIS) fighters during the operation.

“The terrorist named Jamal al-Zakhlool, who was responsible for organising the placement of terrorists and their families brought to Afrin from various places in Syria, and who had been being followed by our forces, was killed in the organised action,” the YPG statement said.

“Yesterday our forces have carried out an attack against Al-Zakhlool’s vehicle in the area between Kurzalah and Basutah villages which resulted in the death of Al-Zakhlool and all of the terrorists with him,” it said. “Gangs, who wanted to intervene after the operation, were also targeted by our forces, three more terrorists were killed and two military vehicles were destroyed as a result of the successful actions.”

However, their guerrilla tactics would not merely be deployed against the FSA, but also against Syrians resettled in Afrin by the Turkish government in what the YPG consider to be a campaign to change the demographics of the region by ethnic cleansing.

“Recalling the earlier statements we issued regarding the attempts by Turkey and its terrorists to demographically change the region by settling terrorists and their families in the city after the people of Afrin have been displaced, we once again stress that settling of these families in Afrin is illegitimate in terms of fundamental human rights and is a clear violation of international law,” the statement said.

“We reiterate that these terrorists and their families are the main targets of our forces. Our forces will target all the elements in the Afrin Canton that are in contact or cooperation with the Turkish invasion state.”