Another civilian kidnapped in Turkish-occupied Afrin

The Turkish state and its army recruited from ISIS and its affiliates continue committing crimes against humanity in Afrin, which they occupied in 2018.

According to ANHA, the gangs of the occupying Turkish state kidnapped a citizen named Ebdurehman Keirik (50) from Bilîlka village in Rajo district yesterday. The man was kidnapped while on a visit to the house of his son, who had also been kidnapped by Turkish intelligence agents and the Military Police.

On February 21, the occupying Turkish state's intelligence and Military Police gangs kidnapped Hemîd Keirik (25), the son of Ebdurehman Keirik. His wife, Îlham Ebdurehman Silêman, was also kidnapped on March 20, 2022 and again on May 15 of the same year and released for a ransom of 400 dollars.

Afrin Canton was the westernmost canton of Rojava and North and East Syria, home to 200,000 ethnic Kurds. Though the population was overwhelmingly Kurdish, it was home to diverse religious groups including Yazidis, Alawites and Christians alongside Sunni Muslims.

On 20 January 2018, Turkey launched air strikes on 100 locations in Afrin, as the onset of an invasion they dubbed ‘Operation Olive Branch.’

The Turkish Air Force indiscriminately shelled civilians as well as YPG/YPJ positions, while a ground assault was carried out by factions and militias organised under the umbrella of the Turkish-backed National Army.

By 15 March, Turkish-backed militias had encircled Afrin city and placed it under artillery bombardment. A Turkish airstrike struck the city’s only functioning hospital, killing 16 civilians.

Civilians fled and the SDF retreated, and by 18 March Turkey was in de facto occupation of Afrin. Between 400 and 500 civilians died in the invasion, overwhelmingly as a result of Turkish bombing. Other civilians were summarily executed in the field.

Prior to the Turkish invasion, Afrin had been one of the most peaceful and secure parts of Syria, virtually never seeing combat during the civil war bar occasional skirmishes between YPG/YPJ and jihadist forces on its borders. As a result, Afrin offered peaceful sanctuary to over 300,000 internally displaced people from elsewhere in Syria.