Afrin witness: It was like being a stranger in my own city

A family returned to Afrin and told of the repression and violence carried out by Turkey and mercenaries.

The occupying Turkish army and its mercenary allies continued to carry out attacks on the people of Afrin who are resisting the invasion and to plunder the properties of citizens.

A woman named E.B. who managed to escape from the persecution of mercenaries with her husband and two children tell of the inhuman treatment the Turkish state and the mercenaries are submitting the people to.

E.B., who was forced to settle in the Canton of Shehba together with her husband and two children after the occupation attack on Afrin, had returned to her city in an attempt to prevent the Turkish soldiers and mercenaries from plundering their home and properties.

When E.B. and her family saw what the Turkish military and the mercenaries were doing to people in Afrin, they once again fled to Shehba Canton.

E.B. told ANHA what they have witnessed in Afrin.

In order to return to Afrin, the family said that they had to go through the military checkpoints established by the Turkish military and its mercenary allies.

“They got money from us at every checkpoint and by the end we had no money left”.

E.B. said that everywhere in the city she saw mercenaries and their families.

"We felt foreigners in our own city - she said - The demography of Afrin has changed. Mercenaries and their families are now living in our houses”.

In the streets, said E.B., are Turkish soldiers and mercenaries. “The mercenaries and their families have no intention to leave our houses now that they have occupied them. And they threatened the Afrin families who don’t want to leave their houses. They say they would kill them”.

“The explosions that occurred in Afrin have scared the mercenaries and kind of made them unable to move” said E.B.

"After the explosions, the mercenaries went out to protect their centers. They are forcibly shutting down the shops in the city. Some of the mercenaries went out of the city centre to settle in the surrounding villages”, she added.

No safety in the city

Emphasizing that there is no safety in the city, E.B. added: “Mercenaries are actually clashing with each other almost every day. There was a violent explosion one night near the house we were staying in. We went out to look and saw mercenaries bombing the house that another group used as headquarters”.

Following the announcement of the results of the 24 June elections in Turkey, said E.B., the mercenaries held celebrations. 

“The mercenaries opened fire at random, not worried about hitting civilians. They were shooting in the city centre from their tanks. We have seen dozens of civilians being injured and some civilians being killed as a result of the fire. The mercenaries were threatening families at the funeral ceremonies.”

E.B. said that the occupying Turkish military and mercenaries raided the houses every day in order to frighten Afrin residents and kidnap civilians. The woman said it is almost impossible to get information about the fate of kidnapped civilians.

In the end, after all the repression they suffered and witnessed, E.B. said that they could not stay in Afrin any longer.

"We set out to go back to Shehba. - she said - We walked for 4 days without seeing anyone and we got here”.