International amnesty accuses Turkey and its Syrian factions of committing "gross violations" of human rights in Afrin

August 2, 2018
International amnesty on Thursday called on Turkey to end “serious human rights violations” in Afrin, northern Syria, accusing Ankara of “turning a blind eye” to these violations and participation of its soldiers.
The non-governmental organization said in a report on Wednesday night that the residents of Afrin “bear multiple violations of human rights, most of them are carried out by Syrian armed groups equipped by Turkey.”
“These violations, to which Turkish armed forces turn a blind eye, include arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances, confiscation of property and looting.
Turkish forces took control of Afrin region in March after two months of military operations that led to displacement of tens of thousands of people. This operation, called the olive branch.
The Turkish authorities confirmed last March that they would investigate testimonies of widespread looting carried out by Syrian armed groups allied with Ankara during control of Afrin.
According to international Amnesty , Turkish forces and allied Syrian fighters “took over schools” in Afrin, preventing thousands of children from continuing their studies.
“The attack and occupation by the Turkish army is increasing suffering of Afrin residents who have suffered a bloody conflict for years,” said Lynn Maalouf, Middle East research director for the organization.
The organization urged Ankara to “put an immediate end to violations,” saying that Turkey, as an “occupying power,” was responsible for ensuring safety of population and maintaining order in Afrin.