التقرير الاسبوعي ـ عفرين تحت الاحتلال ـ 126 خاص
مترجم إلى اللغة الانكليزية
Afrin under occupation (126) “Special”
Three years of aggression and occupation, violations, war crimes, crimes against humanity and comprehensive demographic change
Contrary to what the Turkish regime and its aides from the Syrian Brotherhood (opposition) coalition and the extremist Syrian militias were claiming to establish a safe zone, the Kurdish region of Afrin – in the far northwest of Syria – has turned during three years of occupation (January 20, 2018-2021) into an insecure area. It is dominated by chaos and various types of violations and crimes and spreading hatred, and it has become an arena for the production, training and financing of mercenaries, terrorists, and day after day the general situation is deteriorating from bad to worse.
During the six years of the previous Autonomous Administration rule, Afrin did not pose any threat to its surroundings. In fact, attacks by groups called the (Free Syrian Army), ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and the Turkish army continued to attack them, causing material damage, deaths, and injuries. While the Turkish border with Afrin was safe, and there was no attack from it on Turkish territory or there was an imminent threat on it, and therefore the Turkish invasion came in violation of Article /51/ of the United Nations Charter, which constituted aggression on the territory of another country, which in itself is a crime according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which has become a permanent occupation in accordance with the Hague Convention of 1907 and all standards of international laws related to it, as well as according to the facts and practices on the ground and the actual and sovereign control of the Turkish government over the region in various fields.
Disasters ravaged people, trees and stones in the region, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed, and systematic and comprehensive demographic change against the Kurds – their indigenous population – which amounts to ethnic cleansing, as grave violations of international humanitarian law under suspicious international silence.
We mention the following:
– Willful killing, massacres and attacks against civilians: mass massacres were committed at (Robaria, Maabatli, Kobleh, Basuta, Hikje, Afrin Hospital, Berbenah, Jenderes, Freire, Mahmudiyah neighborhood, Yalanguz …) targeting civilian convoys during the attack on Afrin, where the number of victims resulted by the invasion reached about /300/ civilian martyrs, including dozens of children and women, and more than /1000/ civilians wounded, except martyrs and wounded of the YPG-YPJ and Asayish forces and volunteers who defended the area, while about /150/ civilians were martyred victims – Those we have been able to document- due to armed robbery, torture, car bombings, mines, and physical liquidation during kidnapping, execution, etc.…, all that since March 18, 2018, also except forced deaths due to persecution and attacks or because of the impossible living conditions imposed by the occupation in its various manifestations.
– Subjugation and impoverishment of civilians: The occupation authorities have deliberately and are still causing general paralysis in all aspects of life and close the door to work for the people of Afrin, in addition to confiscating and plundering their properties, money and resources and stealing their seasons. : Olives, grains, fruits, sumac, grape leaves … and the remnants of their livestock (livestock and poultry) equivalent to / 20 / million dollars in the first year excluding losses of other types of animals (horses, poultry, mules, donkeys and honey bees) as well as poultry farms It stopped working or some of it was completely destroyed due to the bombing and thefts. The losses of the olive seasons (2018, 2019, 2020) – the main source of livelihood amounted to about / 210 / million dollars.
In addition to the imposition of ransom payments and various and continuous financial fines on them, as well as employment and harnessing some of them without paying their wages as an indication of the destruction of the economic structure in Afrin, out of /850/ sewing and clothing workshops which has feed the Syrian markets and some neighboring countries only / 50 / of them remains after the occupation and working at the lowest levels of production. As the losses in the industrial and economic sphere in general are large, the unemployment rate is high, and Poverty is widespread.
– Population expulsion and demographic change: Forcible displacement during the war of more than /250/ thousand indigenous people and preventing the return of about /200/ thousands of them from the areas of displacement and the interior of Syria, due to the occupation authorities ’closure of Afrin crossings and the prevention of the displaced from returning, so they remained homeless in Areas of displacement (the towns of al-Nubl and al-Zahra and the villages and towns of al-Shahba – north of Aleppo …), including those who fled to Aleppo and the areas of Kobani and Jazira, at a time when the Syrian authorities also closed and still all transportation corridors in front of them. In addition, about /500/ thousand people from the families of the armed mercenaries in Turkey, the families of the displaced in Ghouta, Damascus, the countryside of Homs, Hama, Idlib, Aleppo and others were settled in Afrin and its environs. The Kurdish presence now stands at less than 25% of all residents in the region, while before the invasion, their percentage was more than 95%. The demographic change included other areas, in addition to daily pressures exerted against the remaining Kurds in the region, to push them to leave their lands and properties, to achieve a continuous forced migration.
– Torture, inhuman treatment or degrading treatment: The remaining people of Afrin are subjected to daily insults, cases of extortion and provocation, and widespread abductions and arrests, as most of the kidnapped and detained were subjected to torture, which is a routine practice, including women, minors and the elderly, and some were threatened with slaughter, according to video clips Published; The fate of more than /1100/ of them is still unknown, and the families of most of those released have paid fines or ransoms, sometimes amounting to 20 thousand dollars. In the second half of 2020 AD, the occupation authorities released some of the women and detainees who were forcibly disappeared for more than two years, after their health conditions had deteriorated, which confirms the existence of secret prisons, especially since those released do not dare to talk about them and the circumstances they went through.
– Cultural and national persecution: What Turkish officials and soldiers and militia leaders and their members have repeatedly stated about the Kurds ’atonement and accusing them of separatism and terrorism, and the issuance of the sheikhs and legitimate “revolution and jihad” fatwas of looting their property and harming them, is mainly reflects a Systematic racial and chauvinist hostility towards them, as oppression and despotism towards them. , at a time when those who have been resettled are preferred, and even pushed to attack the Kurds and their property, not to mention fighting the Kurdish culture and language, changing the landmarks and names of villages, towns and public squares, and seeking to dismantle the social fabric, preventing the Kurds from celebrating their national day, Nowruz, and attacking their symbols, such as destroying the statue of Kawa. In addition to forcing the people of Afrin and the recruits there to issue identity cards granted by the occupation authorities in both Turkish and Arabic, to melting everyone into a new societal melting pot with a new (Ottoman) identity.
– Religious persecution: The Yazidis were subjected to numerous violations, including displacement, killing, torture, armoring, preventing them from practicing their religious rituals and celebrating their annual feasts, as well as forcing some of them to pray in mosques. Mosques were built in some of their villages to spite them, as their shrines and cemeteries were tampered with and many of them were destroyed.
The only Christian church has been plundered and robbed, and despite the small number of Christians they do not dare to reveal their religion, what is worse is that some mosques were bombed during the aggression, and some belongings were stolen, including carpets, copper utensils, electrical and audio equipment.
As Afrin is known for its open social character and the rejection of intolerance in religious beliefs, yet the invaders continue to bring radical religious and social practices and are working to impose them on the indigenous people of all religious affiliations, especially there is an active religious movement in the region according to the Ottoman-Brotherhood pattern and under the direct supervision of the Turkish “Waqf Religion”.
The signs of celebration and joy during Eid Al-Fitr and Al-Adha holidays are generally absent from the people of Afrin amid feelings of sadness, separation, and an atmosphere of persecution and tyranny.
– Turkification, religious extremism and new Ottoman ideas: The Turkish government continues its policy of Turkification and spreading religious extremism and the new Ottoman ideas in Afrin, among young people and children in particular, through media campaigns and under many names (charitable, cultural and religious societies, universities, private institutes and schools, Imam Al-Khatib schools, Youth activities, reviving Turkish events with the heavy hoisting of the Turkish flag and imitating the gray wolf badge, training courses …) and ideological curricula, in addition to fighting the culture and heritage of the region through many changes and violations, under the direction and supervision of the Turkish intelligence.
Attempts are also continuing to change the identity and culture of the region and its people, and to vandalize and steal its cultural property and erase its history, the last of which was the conversion of the “Nabi Hori” Roman hierarchical shrine and the adjacent mosque into a Turkish-Ottoman landmark this constitutes a grave breach of the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, 14 May 1954 CE.
– Widespread destruction and seizure of property: Since the first day of the aggression, residential homes and public and private properties were destroyed, and the invaders resorted to looting homes and confiscating property and money, The eighth of March was called the Locust Day, the eighth day of March was called Locust Day, because the city of Afrin was subjected to widespread theft and looting of stores, warehouses, homes, and machinery in the sight and hearing of the world.
Looting, robbery and armed robbery are ongoing to date on a large scale. Most of the olive presses, pyrene and soap factories, clothing workshops, shops and warehouses in the industrial zone were robbed or their owners paid large sums of money to the armed factions to protect their facilities or recover their stolen items, and they also pay monthly fees.
The processes of seizing shops, homes, real estate, and agricultural lands are continuing, especially those of the absentees and some of those present as well, and through many tricks and methods, which in total exceeds half of the properties of the people of Afrin.
The militants and those who have been resettled also refrain from evacuating homes and shops belonging to the people of Afrin, despite their repeated requests and numerous complaints, in addition to expelling some Kurdish families from their homes or homes belonging to their relatives to accommodate the recruits in their place.
– Theft of olive oil: The Turkish Agricultural Credit Cooperatives, which were granted exceptional powers, issued a list of low prices to buy olive oil from Afrin during the past three seasons, which were sold abroad at exorbitant prices, to generate huge profits for Turkey and its collaborators, and to finance terrorist mercenary militias.
Particularly there is a Turkish commercial center (based in “Refatia” – Jenderes), which acquired quantities of approximately 80% of the total oil production, which were transported by trucks through the new “Hammam” crossing to Hatay – Turkey without going through the free zone in the city of ” Karakhan”.
Therefore, it is not registered in a systematic manner, and it is not included in the “import” process even though it comes from another country, so that the oil is processed and sold to the world under the title “Made in Turkey.” Especially since representatives of cooperatives went to America to promote oil.
– Prisoners, unlawful imprisonment, and enforced disappearance: The Turkish army did not disclose the number of prisoners it has and their fate, and the militias have private prisons, about 1100 people are still forcibly disappeared and unknown detainees, and the testimonies of some. Those released indicate that most of them are hidden in the shepherds’ prisons in Mar and Azaz, and in harsh conditions, and some of them are still in the hands of armed gangs as kidnappers, and their release depends on their families paying a large ransom or that their lives will be destroyed.
The release of some after being forcibly disappeared for more than two years, confirms the existence of secret prisons, especially the video published on 5/28/2020 AD during the attack of the “Army of Islam” militia on the headquarters of the “Hamzat Division”. (Formerly Asayish building) in Horsh Mahmudiyah – Afrin. It shows / 11 / a woman who were absent for two years.
– Random and arbitrary arrests: in spite of kidnapping, detention and arrest waves, there are raids and random arrests on malicious and unfounded charges, by the police or militias in the presence of Turkish officers and soldiers, and the supervision of the Turkish intelligence, accompanied by direct beatings in front of the eyes of the people, torture in the investigation centers and the confiscation of mobile phones Searching homes and tampering with their furniture with insults and sometimes stealing some money, as in some cases repeated against the same persons – some of them five times -, for the relationship with the previous administration, and that goes for women, minors and the elderly as well, and lead to the imposition of imprisonment for various periods and fines, and in some cases The Turkish judiciary also sentenced some civilian detainees to life imprisonment for various periods of dozens of others, some of whom were transferred from Afrin.
The residents of Afrin were arrested in Turkey based on rumors and malicious reports prepared by Turkish intelligence. In this regard, the Turkish government is committing a flagrant violation of Article 70 of the Fourth Geneva Convention / 1949 / which does not allow “the occupying power to arrest, prosecute or condemn protected persons because of actions they committed or opinions they expressed before the occupation …”.
Random and arbitrary arrests are taking place on a large scale that has been studied and designed, not only against those close to the previous administration, but also against the majority of the Kurds – the indigenous inhabitants of the region, and the first aim is not only to generate financial revenues, but also to insult and intimidate the indigenous people and push them to leave their homes and properties, and establish a base Security statements about them for the benefit of Turkish intelligence, especially since most of the perpetrators of violations and crimes are not held accountable and easily get away with it, at a time when the law and (the judiciary that was established in Afrin) have become a tool for the abuse of detainees and indigenous people, not to redress them and to redress their grievances, to hold criminals to account and arrest thieves ; Which confirms with conclusive evidence that it is a systematic hostile policy carried out against the Kurds under direct Turkish supervision.
– Rejecting citizens’ complaints: Most of those who have been subjected to violations and crimes do not dare to disclose them for fear of more severe penalties. Fair investigations and trials are not conducted into crimes and violations against civilians, and the occupation authorities do not seriously consider citizens ’complaints and give them convincing answers; it does not disclose the fate of the forcibly disappeared detainees, and some courts are established only to look into the fabricated charges against the detainees and fine them, as most Afrin people cannot file complaints or cases against those guilty because they may be punished again, so you see them reluctance to make statements or talk about violations and crimes that affect them. Indeed, some of them are forced to testify, contrary to reality.
The Committee for the Treatment of Grievances, which was formed months ago from among the militia leaders, came to beautify the face of the occupation and cover up these major crimes, after what was stated in the report of the Independent International Investigation Commission – September 2020 AD regarding waging war crimes in Afrin.
– Serious damage to the environment and vegetation: Before the invasion, the Turkish authorities bulldozed large agricultural areas and forests, 200-500 meters deep and adjacent to the border strip, when they built an insulation concrete wall, and their military vehicles during the invasion uprooted thousands of olive trees in several locations, including mountain Bilal, Jerqa and Darwish and Jia Villages in Rajo sub-district and in the villages of Al-Hamam, Al-Marwaniya Fawqani, and Al-Marwaniya Al-Tahtani, Anqalah, and Ashkan Al-Gharbia – Jandrees district, and Qarmitlaq and Jaqali – the Shiye district, and between the villages of Kafrjanna and Matina – Sharran district and Mount Sherawa, with the intention of establishing military bases.
The Intentional fires and illegal cutting – which was unprecedented in the region – affected the forests in “the mountains of Sarsin, Komrash, Hawar, Jirqa, Bilal in Raju, Ramdana, Hell Valley, Tatara, Rota, Haji Hasan, Qaziqli site, Sheikh Muhammad, Chulaqa in Jenderes, Meydanki, Mahmudiyah in Afrin, Kafarjana Road and Meydan-Akbis: Meydana, Qasim, Sheikh, Bilal, and Qerah Baba, on the other hand, hundreds of thousands of fruit trees and perennial and varied forests were cut down by militias and some recruits for the purpose of cutting trees and making charcoal, until the area of degraded natural forests and planted forests in Afrin region reached about 15 thousand hectares out of 32 thousand hectares.
One of the pillars of the hostile policy pursued by the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries, striking the relationship of the Kurdish man in Afrin with his natural environment and his properties, which destabilizes society and weakens its roots.
– Targeting civilian sites, facilities, and dwellings: The Turkish army did not hesitate to target infrastructure, sites, and civilian facilities, including a hospital, medical centers, a poultry facility, a livestock facility, schools, mosques, shrines, administrative buildings, bread ovens, drinking and irrigation water stations, Maydanki dam facilities and olive presses, and a large part of them were subjected to sabotage.
Deliberate thefts, such as the land phone networks and the electrical supply, and many installations and infrastructure are still out of service, as some of them were built instead of Turkish institutions, and houses in sub-district centers and villages belonging to them were targeted and some of them were burned, during the military incursion.
– The seizure of some villages: The Turkish army and the militias affiliated with the Syrian-Brotherhood coalition and loyal to it deliberately seized some villages and prevented their residents from returning to them, such as (Qastal Jundu, Baflon, Sinka, Ba’arafa – Sharra, Jilbere, Kobala, Dermeshmesh, Zrikat, Basilah, Khalta-Rubaria, Jia and Darwish – Raju, Shekhorze and Quota-Bulbul, Telef-Jendires …), and using them as military headquarters or housing for militants.
– The persecution, rape, and coercion of women into marriage: Originally, these Salafi jihadist militias oppress women within their communities without fear of polygamy, imposing the veil, and the spread of prostitution and others, and persecute Kurdish women constantly in Afrin according to the same mentality.
Despite the reluctance of most of those affected by violations and crimes to expose them or file complaints and lawsuits against the perpetrators, there are many reports of cases of harassment of all kinds, forced marriage or exploitation of minors, and cases of kidnapping and rape. And killing. Due to insecurity, most parents refrain from sending their daughters to school for fear of abuse.
– Destroying tombs and archaeological sites, stealing antiquities: The Turkish aggression targeted many archaeological sites with heavy bombardment, such as (the archaeological Tel Ain Dara, Nabi Hori, Tuvilke, Mar Maroun …) and inflicted heavy damage on them so that historical monuments disappear with them, and the occupation authorities turn a blind eye to the theft Archeology and search for it, and even supervises and participates in most of it, such as what happened in digging and exhuming sites and hills (Hori, Ain Dara, Barad and Mar Maroun, Burj Abdalo, Qibar, Jenderes, Gamrok, Simalka, Zarafke, Ketekh, Dromya, Dodera, Maydanki, Marwanyeh Tahtani , Gurnaz, Bazarieh, Kharabeh Alou, Kanura, Blilco …) and many Islamic and Yazidi shrines. On the other hand, the martyrs’ cemeteries in (Kafr Safra, Matina, and Kafar Shile) and the graves of religious and cultural figures, such as the tomb of Dr. Nuri Dersami, were targeted, and destroyed as well as the graves and gravestones written on them in the Kurdish language.
– Spreading chaos and fiasco: The Ankara government did not resort to extending security and safety in Afrin region, nor did it exercise its responsibilities in ensuring order, public safety and the protection of civilians, instead it formed local councils which were nothing but tools to implement its policies, and the terrorist militias were freed to commit the most heinous crimes and violations, and soon began to fight among themselves in many cases over dark tendencies, internal liquidation, and disputes over thefts and the sphere of influence..
There have also been terrorist bombings among civilians, which resulted in the deaths of martyrs and injuries, and the explosions of IEDs increased, particularly targeting some militia leaders and their members.
– Weak infrastructure and poor services: theft and deliberate sabotage affected basic infrastructure, including networks, stations, electricity, and telephone centers, drinking water, schools, institutes, universities, agricultural networks and canals, electric power generation groups and municipalities, and some of them were occupied as military headquarters and became at their lowest level or non-existent.
The services currently provided are minimal, and the recent high prices and lack of fuel have decimated people in addition to the neutralization of the services of most of the Syrian government institutions.
– The use of prohibited weapons: There were reports from the Autonomous Administration that the Turkish army used cluster bombs, as well as chlorine gas, in the village of Arande, during the military incursion.
– Mutilation: During the war, the jihadist militants published videos showing their disgusting attack on the bodies of the martyrs of the Kurdish fighters, as their crimes against the body of martyr Barin Kobani showed the hidden hatred in their hearts.
– Forcibly Displaced Afrin: The displaced residing in the areas of al-Shahba, the cities of Nubl, Zahra, Tal Rifaat, Deir Jamal, and some villages and towns of Jabal Liloun – north of Aleppo, which are under the control of the Syrian army and within the Russian influence, live a miserable life, as their number is about / 85 / thousand, of whom / 9 / Thousands live in five camps, besieged from the four sides – as a large prison – and they are prevented from movement by the Syrian government forces, opposition militias and the Turkish army, and they are not covered by the United Nations humanitarian relief programs, and they suffer from poor job opportunities and services such as electricity, drinking water, health and education etc., and their main demand is to return home.
On the other hand, there are frequent cases of bombing by the Turkish forces and the militias associated with them of villages and towns in northern Aleppo, to which the people of Afrin have fled, causing material damage and martyrs and wounded victims, such as what happened in the massacre of Tal Rifaat on 12/12/2019.
– Building a separation wall: The Turkish army built concrete walls around its headquarters and bases in the center of Afrin city and its environs, which are served with all requirements, and also built walls of concrete blocks two meters high near the villages of Kemar, Jilber and Maryamin, southeast of Afrin, in a suspicious step and in preparation for building a separation wall for the region from the north of Aleppo Governorate.
During the war on Afrin, Turkey did not abide by the Security Council Armistice Resolution No. 2401 of February 24, 2018, and does not adhere to the contents of Security Council Resolution 2254 (2015), in terms of “taking appropriate steps to protect civilians and creating conditions conducive to the safe and voluntary return of refugees, and the internally displaced to their original areas and the rehabilitation of the affected areas, in accordance with international law, ”despite its effective and complete control over the region, militarily, administratively and sovereignly.
The region is occupied, and Turkey must shoulder its responsibilities and duties, as well as abide by international humanitarian law.
The Afrin region is caught in an enforced siege and a media blackout imposed by the Turkish occupation authorities and its mercenaries and suffers from painful details in the daily life of its indigenous inhabitants, and it is closed to visits by the media and delegations of human rights and civil organizations interested in human rights, and parliamentary delegations.
The call of the people of Afrin, wherever they are, is to end the Turkish occupation and expel terrorist militias from their area, and to return all the displaced to their homes according to Article 1 of the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 1514 of December 14, 1960 which states: Constitutes a denial of basic human rights, contradicts the Charter of the United Nations, and impedes the cause of global peace and cooperation, “
The Kurds continue their just struggle by all legitimate means and means in defense of their cause and in exposing Turkey’s hostile policies and exposing the violations and daily crimes committed.
They also call on all concerned at the Kurdish, Syrian and international levels to work to break the silence about the bad conditions prevailing in their region, and to urge the Ankara government to put an end to the crimes committed against them.
Media Office – Afrin
The Kurdish Democratic Unity Party in Syria (Yekîtî)
The first day of the aggression on Afrin.
Translated by Europe’s Organization of Democratic Unity Kurdish Party in Syria (Yekîtî)