The Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries continue to commit more crimes against Afrin people, while Member of the National Council and Deputy Head of the Syrian Coalition, Abdel Hakim Bashar, has repeatedly denied occupation’s crimes in Afrin. In addition, specialists’ statements of and HROs’ documents belie these allegations.
A few days ago, Commander of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria, Member of External Relations in the Kurdish National Council and Deputy Head of the so-called Syrian Coalition, Abdel Hakim Bashar, made exciting statements and allegations about the situation in Afrin, during a meeting held in Southern Kurdistan.
Bashar claimed that there are no violations in Afrin and that what being promoted in the media is incorrect, and he also blamed the Syrian Democratic Forces.
The lies and allegations of Abdel Hakim Bashar outraged the Kurdish community, and everyone wonders, “Are there really no violations committed in Afrin?”
2,391 people were killed
The Violations Documentation Center in northern Syria reports that 2,391 people have been killed since the occupation of Afrin until June of 2021.
According to the same center, 7,433 people were kidnapped in Afrin by the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries among them women and children. More than 1,089 of them were tortured in the Turkish state and mercenaries’ prisons. In addition, 137 people were killed as a result of torture in Turkish prisons. So far, 5,100 people have been released, while the fate of the remaining abductees is still unknown. In addition, 255 people were released in exchange for ransoms.
The violations are not limited to killing and kidnapping, but the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries deliberately destroyed Kurdish villages, especially Yazidi ones and established colonial settlements to settle strangers from various Syrian regions, with the support of Qatar and Kuwait. As the Turkish state seeks, through these measures, to change the demographics of the region and put pressure on the remaining residents of Afrin to displace their lands.
Ongoing crimes and violations
Administrator of the Violations Documentation Center in northern Syria, Mustafa Abdi, confirmed the continuation killings, kidnappings and detention of civilians in Afrin by the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries, and added, “Violations, crimes and kidnappings have escalated in Afrin region in particular and in all areas occupied by Turkey and its mercenaries in north-east Syria.
Abdi also confirmed the arrest of 319 people in Afrin since the beginning of 2021, and added in this context, “The names of at least 7,433 people who were arrested in Afrin have been documented. Of course, there are many people whose names have not been revealed by their families, and there are also many cases that we could not document.”
Abdi also referred to the continued seizure of civilian properties and homes in Afrin, the looting of olive crops, and the cutting down trees, in addition to the daily and systematic arrests and kidnappings of civilians in Afrin.
Abdi stressed that all these crimes are committed at the hands of the Turkish army and the Syrian mercenary groups, “these violations occur by the Syrian National Army which is supported by Turkey.”
International Institutions Reports
Documenting the violations that take place in Afrin, Serekaniye and Gire Spi by the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries is not limited to the reports of local organizations only, but that many international institutions and organizations have issued warnings of the ethnic genocide being committed in Afrin. On March 12 of this year, the European Parliament accused the Turkish state of committing violations in Syria.
Months ago, the United Nations Human Rights Council documented cases of killing, kidnapping, seizure of citizens’ property and forced displacement in Afrin, Serekaniye and Gire Spi. Amnesty International also confirmed in a report that the Turkish state committed war crimes against civilians during its attacks on northeastern Syria.
The Syrian Democratic Council: The National Council should clarify its position on the coalition’s representative
The Syrian Democratic Council announced its position on the statements of the so-called Abdel Hakim Bashar, in a statement which included, “We in the Syrian Democratic Council condemn and denounce these fabrications and slanders, and we strongly reject what was said by the so-called Abdel Hakim Bashar and his falsehoods that there are no violations practiced at the hands of the mercenary factions affiliated with the Turkish occupation, knowing that they have become known, circulated and proven in reports of Human Rights Organization, Amnesty International, and many Arab and local Syrian human rights organizations and institutions.
This is considered irrefutable evidence of actual participation in the massacres that took place, the policies of displacement and demographic change and the seizure of our people’s empowerment in occupied Afrin. The Kurdish National Council bears the same responsibility if it does not make its position on such statements by its representatives in the coalition.”
National Unity Parties: Abdel Hakim Bashar’s allegations justify the occupation of Afrin
In this regard, the National Unity Parties also expressed their dissatisfaction with Abdel Hakim Bashar’s statements concerning the mercenaries’ violations against Afrin people. The parties denounced Bashar’s statements and said that these allegations legitimize the occupation, and stressed that al-Shahba camps are a denial of Abdul Hakim Bashar’s allegations.
Co-chair of the Executive Council of the Autonomous Administration of Afrin, Shiraz Hamo, said that the statements and allegations of the so-called Abdel Hakim Bashar are clear evidence of their participation in the crimes and violations that occur in Afrin, “Abdel Hakim Bashar’s allegations legitimize the occupation remaining in Afrin, and thus he is denying his Kurdish national responsibilities. These allegations were made to satisfy the Turkish state.”
We are working on preparing reports and delivering them to international bodies
About their legal efforts in documenting the violations and crimes of the Turkish occupation in Afrin, Shiraz Hamo said, “Our main task is to expose the policies of the Turkish state and its mercenaries in Afrin. We are now preparing files that include the war crimes it committed in order to deliver them to the international stakeholders.”
Abdel Hakim Bashar and the coalition are participants in the crimes
As for Administrator of the Violations Documentation Center in north-east Syria, Mustafa Abdi, said, “The Syrian Coalition is the partner of militias and groups loyal to the Turkish state in committing war crimes because the coalition is the political representative of these groups. Abdel Hakim Bashar’s statements fall within the framework of the Syrian coalition’s efforts to cover up the crimes committed in Afrin, Abdel Hakim Bashar and his so-called coalition institution must be held accountable judicially, socially and morally because of these crimes, as they are the main partners in committing them.”
On the goal of making such allegations and statements during this period by Abdel Hakim Bashar, Abdi said, “The goal is clear which is to legitimize the occupation, incite the people against the Autonomous Administration and fuel sedition.”