A member of Turkish-backed Syrian rebel factions has been accused of raping a ten-year-old girl from Syria’s Kurdish-majority northern city of Afrin (Efrîn), according to UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
The incident occurred while the assailant was escorting the girl and her mother to Afrin, with him allegedly assaulting the child in a garden. The accused fled to the village of Kora in Jindires (Cindirês) district following the incident, reports the northeast Syria-based Hawar News Agency (ANHA).
The news has provoked widespread condemnation from local people and has further brought to light human rights violations that have taken place in Afrin since the Turkish forces and their allied mercenaries invaded the region in 2018.
Amina Mulla Hasan, Chairperson of the Afrin and Shahba (Şehba) Canton Women’s Committee, has highlighted the inhumane crimes committed by the Turkish forces and their mercenaries against the Kurdish population in Afrin. Women, in particular, have been targeted with crimes such as murder, kidnapping and rape, with Hasan calling for immediate intervention from international organisations.
The demographic changes taking place in the territory since the Turkish invasion have also been sparking concerns.