Ongoing demographic change in Afrin

National Army factions construct residential compounds and destroy agricultural fields in the Turkish-occupied city of Afrin in northern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that the Al-Sultan Murad faction, led by a militiaman known by his initials as A. A., has completed the construction of a residential compound for residents from Homs near Kafrum village in Shera district of Afrin. These violations come as part of the ongoing demographic change in the area. The number of houses is approximately 360, with an estimated area of 120 square metres, SOHR noted.

According to the Syrian Observatory, the settlement was built at the foot of a hill planted with forest trees. These trees were completely cut off and sold as fire logs.

“Moreover, National Army factions are continuing to prepare for the construction of other settlements in Aghjilah village in Jendires district and Umar village in Sharan district. The factions of the National Army have begun to destroy agricultural land owned by forcibly displaced civilians from Afrin,” SOHR stated.

On April 21, the Al-Sultan Murad faction ruined agricultural lands in Tel Tawel village in Bilbile district with heavy bulldozers to turn the area into buildings and sell them to displaced civilians from different areas of Syria.

In Jinderes district, a commander of Nor Al-Din Al-Zenky faction known initially as “A.Z.” felled over 300 olive trees at the entrance of Jinderes district to place residential buildings instead. The trees belonged to a civilian from Al-Ghazawiyah in Shirawa district.

Moreover, the Luwaa Al-Moatassem faction, which controls Za’ra village in Bilbile district, took over the properties of a civilian under the pretext that he doesn’t own an official attorney from his dead father to manage his properties.