The Turkish authorities must rein in armed groups who receive Turkish support in Afrin, demands a recent report by Amnesty International.
The research conducted by Amnesty International revealed that civilian residents of Afrin have become victims of systematic violations at the hands of armed opposition factions backed by Turkey, including arbitrary detentions, abductions, confiscation of property and looting while the Turkish military stationed in the area are turning a blind eye to these activities.
Al Jabhat al Shamiya, Faylaq al Sham, Sultan Murad Brigade, Ahrar al Sharqiya and Division 55 were named by local residents interviewed by Amnesty International as the armed groups responsible for serious violations.
According to the residents, the militants have detained journalists, teachers, engineers, activists and former members of Kurdish political parties and military units.
In an alarming sign, the Turkish military along with the armed factions have turned civilian infrastructure objects into military positions. Former education workers reported that the Turkish units and the militants are using Amir Ghabari School in Afrin as military headquarters.
“Turkey’s military offensive and occupation have exacerbated the suffering of Afrin residents, who have already endured years of bloody conflict. We heard appalling stories of people being detained, tortured or forcibly disappeared by Syrian armed groups, who continue to wreak havoc on civilians, unchecked by Turkish forces,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director.
Maalouf added that Turkey must end these violations and hold perpetrators accountable.