In another example of human rights violations in Afrin (Efrîn), northern Syria, Turkish-backed mercenaries kidnapped two civilians in the village of Anqelê in the Şiyê district, reports Hawar News.
According to local sources, two villagers, Ekrem Nebo (41) and Zeîm Mihemed (40), were kidnapped by Turkish-backed forces. The fate of the abducted villagers is still unknown.
It has been reported that Turkish-backed Semerkand gangs are kidnapping civilians for ransom. Two of the many abducted civilians were Xelîl Henan Xilo and Hisên Silêman Mewas. Their families have been asked for a ransom of 800,000 Syrian lira.
Raids by mercenaries are also rife in the area. A group that belongs to the Hamza Division raided the village of Firêriyê in the Cindirês district of Afrin. The group attempted to steal the olive harvest of the villagers, but when the villagers resisted the gang aimed their weapons at them, according to local sources.
Refugees from Afrin want to return to their homeland
Meanwhile, refugees from Afrin protested the murder of two civilians by Turkish-backed forces. The Fırket Al-Hamza Gangs opened fire on three civilians in the village of Kîmarê in the Shêrawa district of Afrin. Fourteen-year-old Hemo Cengiz Necar and 70-year-old Abdurehman Hemo, lost their lives, while Masoud Massoud Hemo (30) was wounded in the foot. Hemo Cengiz Necar’s autopsy report revealed that he was shot 40 times.
Refugees from Afrin reacted to the silence of the international community regarding the killings in Afrin. Abidin Hemo from Afrin said that they have been staying in camps in quite harsh conditions for three years. “We have been waiting in these camps to go back to our homes. The international public has been an accomplice to the crimes committed by the Turkish state in Afrin. What kind of humanity is this? They fired 40 bullets into the body of a 14-year-old boy”.
Another refugee from Afrin, Esûm Ismail, said that the Turkish state continues to commit crimes in Afrin. “We migrated from Afrin due to the massacres committed by the Turkish state. People who want to protect their property and continue to live in Afrin are continuously being murdered. They slaughtered a 70-year-old man. Even the graves of the martyrs could not escape their brutality”, said Ismail.
“We as the people of Afrin who had to leave our homelands will take back our homes”, said Ristem Ebdo, who was defiant in insisting to the public that no one will be able to destroy the Kurdish culture and language. “The people of Afrin continue to resist the Turkish state and its gangs. The Turkish state is trying to destroy our culture and language by attacking us. We will not allow the Kurdish people to be subjected to this destruction and be destroyed. Our resistance will continue until we return to Afrin”.
In 2018 Turkey launched operations in Afrin. Turkish armed forces and Turkish-backed militias have been present in the region since March 2018. A recent United Nations Syrian Commission of Inquiry report confirmed that the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) has been committing war crimes in Afrin and Ras al-Ayn (Serêkaniyê). These crimes include abductions, disappearances, and gender-based sexual violence. Turkey has also been held responsible for such actions.