Refugees from the town of Afrin (Efrin) in northern Syria, displaced by the Turkish state sponsored military assault and occupation of the town, spoke to Hawar News about their traumatic experiences.Turkey state backed the military assault on Afrin on 20 January 2018 to take control of the town, which was governed by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party-led Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), also known as Rojava. As a result of the attack, thousands of civilians had to flee from Afrin to surrounding villages.
“We cannot forget the attack on Afrin”, said Hesen Şêx, a refugee from Afrin in an interview with Hawar News. “The Turkish state brutally attacked us. Dozens of civilians were killed every day. Despite limited means, the people of Afrin resisted the occupation to the end”.
Nariman Şêxo, a former resident of Afrin who is now a refugee, said: “The Turkish state is trying to annex Afrin. The Turkish state is trying to revive the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East: the invasion of Tell Abyad (Girê Spî) and Ras al-Ayn (Serêkaniyê) was also related to this plan. The Turkish state will not be successful. Afrin will be liberated and the peoples of Afrin will return to their homes”.
Mihemed Fatko, who had to leave Afrin after he survived the attacks in the town for 58 days, shared his own testimony. The invaders killed dozens of innocent civilians, he personally noted.
Another refugee from Afrin, Sozan Mistefa, stated that Afrin was turned into a place of massacre by the Turkish state.