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UPDATES:Turkey's invasion of Afrin in Western Kurdistan

A place to talk about domestic politics in Middle East (Iran, Iraq , Turkey, Syria) Also includes topics about Assyrian, Armenian, Chaldean .

Re: UPDATES:Turkey's invasion of Afrin in Western Kurdistan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Mon Mar 26, 2018 10:06 pm

Afrin IDPs face new crisis as Turkey threatens operation on Tal Rifaat

More than 100,000 civilians who fled Turkey’s military offensive in Afrin are now facing the possibility of more violence as the conflict threatens to follows them to where they sought safety in Tal Rifaat.

People are terrified and desperate, “trapped in a conflict they have absolutely nothing to do with,” Ingy Sedky, spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Syria told Rudaw English.

This is a scenario that is repeated again and again across Syria, she said, as people are being displaced for the second or third times.

They are now facing the prospect of having to flee again as Turkey prepares to extend its military operation into Tal Rifaat.

"God willing, we will ensure this operation achieves its goal after taking control of Tal Rifaat in a short period of time," Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

Turkey’s state-run media is describing Tal Rifaat as the “final target” in Operation Olive Branch, launched against the YPG in Afrin canton on January 20.

The civilians who fled Afrin have already lost everything. They fled their homes with “nothing at all,” only the clothes on their back, Sedky said. The ICRC and their partners at the Syrian Red Crescent have been working to provide accommodation, deliver food aid and basic necessities, and ensure clean water and sanitation facilities are available.

Some displaced families are reportedly sleeping out in the open in Tal Rifaat, which cannot accommodate this huge influx of people.

The host community itself has also needed aid. Sedky said they delivered humanitarian assistance to Tal Rifaat five times in the last year.

Local health officials have appealed for international assistance, stating that their resources and the aid so far delivered does not meet the needs of the people.

Health centres, hospitals, and water infrastructure were damaged in the conflict, the health council of Afrin and Shahba – the region that includes Tal Rifaat – said in an announcement on Monday carried by ANHA news. The council asked for help to treat those needing medical care and to prevent the spread of communicable diseases.

Sedky said it is difficult to predict what will happen if Turkey does begin an offensive on Tal Rifaat, but reminded all parties that protection of civilians must be the top priority.

Tal Rifaat lies in the Shahba district, southeast of Afrin and north of Aleppo. It is under YPG control.

The town is currently sheltering the majority of the estimated 167,000 people who have fled the conflict in Afrin.

Aid agencies – including the Kurdish Red Crescent, Syrian Red Crescent, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the World Health Organization – have delivered several convoys of aid to Tal Rifaat.

On Sunday, the Syrian Red Crescent in coordination with UN agencies delivered 30 trucks of food and non-food items, including medical items, to the town.

Tal Rifaat came under Kurdish control when the YPG-led SDF captured it from Syrian rebels in February 2016.

http://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/26032018
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Re: UPDATES:Turkey's invasion of Afrin in Western Kurdistan

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Re: UPDATES:Turkey's invasion of Afrin in Western Kurdistan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:42 pm

Turkey-backed council is to take over Afrin, suspicion abound

Hours before the Turkish military and its Syrian rebel allies captured Afrin last month, some 97 activists and technocrats met in the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep to discuss how to govern the northwestern Syrian town once it was cleared of Kurdish fighters.

The “Afrin Salvation Conference” formed a civilian-led council to run the city and provide services to the local population.

Members of the Afrin Civil Council said they wanted to avoid a power vacuum in the district after the departure of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the political wing of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which had run the area since Syrian government forces withdrew in 2012.

The Turkish-backed council is made up of 30 representatives, including Kurds, Arabs, Alawites and Yazidis, who were voted in during the Gaziantep conference, according to its officials. The elected members have been based in Turkey for years, local sources said.

Only six women attended the conference and only one elected to the council, the sources said.

“As soon as we set up specialised offices, we started contacting qualified people in Afrin to work with us regardless of their political leanings,” Azad Osman, an Istanbul-based member of the council’s foreign relations office, told Ahval.

Osman said the council firstly aimed to help Afrin residents return to their homes and secondly to help stabilise the region through providing education, healthcare and reconstruction.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian civil war, said it had documented about 300 civilians, including 43 children and 28 women, killed during Turkey’s two-month military campaign to capture Afrin.

The United Nations says the fighting in Afrin city has displaced more than 137,000 people. Nearly 70,000 people remain in the city, it says.

Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Turkish-based armed group that has been fighting for greater autonomy in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast for three decades.

While the United States also lists the PKK as a terrorist organisation it has backed the Syrian Democratic Forces, made up mainly of YPG fighters, as the most effective ground force against Islamic State.

The YPG denies any direct link to the PKK, but the two groups share the same symbolic leader and ideology.

Human Rights Watch said it had documented cases where rebel groups working with Turkish forces were “looting and destroying civilian property in the city of Afrin and surrounding villages.”

The Afrin Civil Council said it was looking into allegations of human rights violations committed by Syrian rebel fighters.

Afrin will administratively be part of Turkey’s southern province of Hatay, according to Haan Shindi, a leading member of the newly established council. He told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that a governor would be appointed to Afrin, but the Hatay governorate would assume the task of coordination.

PYD officials are critical of the new council, accusing it of working with an “occupying force”.

“Those working with the council are not known to the people of Afrin. All of its members were chosen by the Turkish government and they don’t represent the people of Afrin,” said Sulaiman Jaafer, the head of foreign affairs department at the PYD-led former administration of Afrin.

Jaafer and most of his colleagues have fled to the Shahba region, southeast of Afrin. He said thousands of displaced people from Afrin had been living there since Turkish forces captured the city a month ago.

“Even if we hypothetically said this council would do good work for the people in Afrin, the Ankara-appointed governor will not allow it to work freely. The governor will be the ultimate decision-maker in Afrin,” Jaafer told Ahval.

But Osman said his civilian council was founded only to serve the people of Afrin and help them return to their homes. He said the council does not pay any attention to what he called the PYD’s “empty accusations and slogans that have caused the destruction of our region to serve the interests of the (Syrian) regime and Iran.”

Syrian relief groups that have been working since the beginning of the crisis in Afrin said they were willing to cooperate with the new council, but the council had indicated a reluctance to work with them.

“We’re trying to work with the new council, but the coordination is still minimal,” said Dara Astiri, a Gaziantep-based relief worker from Afrin.

“It released a statement recently in which it credited itself for the return of fleeing residents, while in fact it wasn’t behind it. It was us and many other independent organisations that helped those people return to their homes,” Astiri told Ahval in a phone interview.

While Russia and Iran, the two main backers of the Syrian government, have called on Turkey to withdraw from Afrin, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalın said that Turkey would remain there and said operations “will continue until the whole region around Afrin … is cleared of terrorist elements”.

https://ahvalnews.com/afrin/turkey-back ... ion-abound
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Re: UPDATES:Turkey's invasion of Afrin in Western Kurdistan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:36 am

No support from any international organizations for Afrin people

The people of Afrin who displayed a great resistance against attacks launched on January 20 by the invading Turkish army and the gangs they gathered from groups like ISIS, Al Qaeda and Al Nusra for two months, after which they migrated to the Shehba region on the decision by the canton administrations to avoid new massacres.

The people continue their resistance under harsh conditions in the Shehba region since March 18 and they have not received any support from any international aid organizations. There are 176.000 people from Afrin settled in 50 villages in Shehba’s Fafinê, Tal Rifat, Ehres and Kefernayê subdistricts and 10 villages in Afrin’s Sherawa district.

Following the vile attacks by the Turkish army and their gangs, the people of Afrin had to leave their homes with the clothes on their backs, and continue their resistance with the support of the Kurdish people and their friends.

With support from Kurds in Northern Syria and Europe, and the Kurdish people and their allies in general, two camps have been set up to date in the Shehba region with limited means.

There are some 1.000 families in the Berxwedan camp, and families have started to settle in the Serdem Camp which has just been completed. But the people from Afrin live mostly in villages, courtyards and derelict buildings.

The people continue their resistance in the Berxwedan Camp and they say that they haven’t received any support from any international aid organization, and that they live on only what the Kurdish people have been sending them under difficult and limited circumstances. The people of Afrin say their conditions are rough but they will resist for their lands despite all, and never accept the invasion.

70 year old Fatme Ebdulah had to migrate from the Beradê village of Afrin’s Sherawa district, and said they had to leave their homes under a cloud of bombs and were only able to take the clothes on their backs. Fatme Ebdulah’s husband Hesen Ebûd said they woke up one night to the sound of bombs: “Our homes, our belongings, everything has been looted. We live in camps here. We are grateful for the friends trying to see to our every need, but it is too hot, summer is coming, there are things that are bigger than them. To this day, nobody except for the friends has helped us.”

A woman named Zeynep Hesen said her family first stayed among the ruins of a building in Ehres, and they moved to the camp later on, then added that their needs are increasing with the onset of summer and the heat: “You see, there are children everywhere. They are starting to get sick, partly due to the heat. They can’t bathe properly. When the weather gets a bit hotter, many infections will turn up too.”

Mihemed Cemil said they also lack medicine and cleaning supplies and that no international aid organization has helped them, and they have been forgotten. An old woman named Fidan said her family have been out of their home for a month, and she hasn’t had an opportunity to wash herself, adding that they have no clothes and there is a lack of water. Another citizen named Ehmed Heyder said they couldn’t bathe for days.
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Re: UPDATES:Turkey's invasion of Afrin in Western Kurdistan

PostAuthor: Anthea » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:32 pm

“Turkey wants no trace of Kurdishness left in Afrin”

In its attempt to Turkifying everything reminding of Kurds in Afrin, Turkey has even changed the name of Avrin Hospital (in Kurdish Avrin Nexweşxaneya) into Turkish.

In its attempt to Turkifying everything reminding of Kurds in Afrin, Turkey has even changed the name of Avrin Hospital (in Kurdish Avrin Nexweşxaneya) into Turkish.

Speaking to Mesopotamia News Agency, Former hospital doctor Ebu Mihemed said: "Kurdish signs in the hospital were taken down and replaced with Turkish ones. They ca not even tolerate Kurdish names. They want to erase every trace of Kurdishness from Afrin. This is what is called occupation”.

Turkey and the Turkish-supported Free Syrian Army Turkey (FSA) continue their attacks against villages, districts, canton centres. At least 300 villages and centres have been burned and destroyed. The attacks against everything Kurdish continue.

After the destruction of the statue of Kawa the Blacksmith in Afrin, after the killings, rapes, torture, plunders now it was the turn of the Kurdish signs in Avrîn Hospital.

Ebu Mihemed, one of the doctors who worked in the hospital, said: “They want to change the demography of the region by destroying every trace of Kurdishness”.

Mihemed, who had been a gynecologist at Avrin Hospital for 6 years, said he had to treat dozens of injured people when the attacks against Afrin took place. Mihemed, himself from Afrin, stated that he remained in the city from the beginning of the attacks to their end.

Mihemed remembered with anguish the casualties, the wounded. Every day dozens of women and children were taken to the hospital to be treated. “Turkey and their islamist allies were targeting civilians, despite saying the contrary. In fact, they targeted Kurds” Mihemed said.

The doctor also underlined the deafening silence of the world. “Something which strikes us a lot - said Mihemed - because this massacre happened before the eyes of the world, yet nobody said anything”.

Mihemed confirmed that they are receiving news from Afrin. These are tales of horror, said the doctor: “People disappear, women are raped, people's property is confiscated, people are tortured, the world must see what they are doing to Kurds in Afrin. The press must go to Afrin and report, delegations must be formed and visit the city to tell the truth about the repression Kurds are suffering”.
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