Report on Turkish crimes in Afrin
The MSD released details of crimes by occupying forces in Afrin.
The Democratic Syrian Council (MSD) released a detailed report on war crimes committed in Afrin.
The report was presented in the MSD headquarters in Qamishlo.
The report details all events and incidents lived by the city of Afrin and its citizens from the day when the Turkish attacks began, on 20 January. All the attacks by the Turkish army are also detailed.
The full text of the report is as follows:
"The barbarian gangs calling themselves the Syrian opposition together with the invader Turkish state began to attack Afrin Canton on 20 January 2018, aiming at its occupation.
The Turkish state, irrespectful of all international law, and of the Syrian government, decided to invade Afrin, the most secure and peaceful region of Syria. The barbaric aggression violated all neighboring relations. The Turkish state announced to the whole world that it will occupy Syrian lands.
The Turkish state, irrespectful of all international treaties and war laws, has implemented policies of ‘plantation’ of population in order to change the demography of the area, and has allowed plundering and vengeance in Afrin. Not satisfied by the damages caused Turkey also violated and attacked sacred and historic sites in the city, bombing and destroying them.
According to the International War Law and the international treaties accepted by the Red Crescent in 2001, the Turkish state is an occupying force. According to Chapter 9, Article 300 of this agreement, the attacks of the Turkish state enter within the framework definining occupation. According to this treaty, the Afrin region is, therefore, under enemy occupation.
According to international treaties, the Turkish state has committed the following crimes;
1-Destruction of nations and sects
2-Crime of annihilating groups according to Article 7 of the Rome System of 1998
3-Violation of women's rights
4-The killing of prisoners and torture of bodies
6-Booty and plunder
7-Burning of books, documents and historical remains
8-Destruction of sacred places
9-Human abduction, retention, torture and murder
10-Child abduction and hostage taking
11-Financing terrorism through kidnap and abuse
12-Indiscriminate bombardment of residential and living spaces
Collective destruction is an international criminal offense according to the first article of the treaty accepted on January 12, 1951 (the death of a person is unacceptable and the offenders punished). The parties that commit this crime are punished.
In the second article of the treaty, the murder of national, denominational and religious communities is a crime.
It has been determined that the Turkish state and the gangs committed the following crimes in Afrin:
1-Massacre of members of nation, denomination and belief groups
2-Psychological or physical harm to community members.
The occupying Turkish state and the gangs commit crimes every day against the civilians in Afrin. A large part of these crimes also constitute crimes against international law. These crimes fall within the scope of crimes against humanity according to the treaty agreed on August 12, 1949 in Geneva. According to Roman Law, war crimes are crimes against humanity at the same time.
Examples of crimes against humanity committed by the Turkish state in Afrin:
1-Indiscriminate bombardment of civilian settlements in Afrin and demolition of houses belonging to urban residents
2-Deliberate and planned targeting of civilians by means of cannonballs and warplanes
Massacres carried out by the Turkish state against civilians in Afrin:
-The Turkish state bombed a chicken farm in the village of Enabke of Afrin on January 21, 2018. Eight members of the same family lost their life.
-The Turkish state targeted and hit with missile and bombs the village of Dêr Belut (Cindirês) on 23 January 2018. As a result of the bombing, 4 civilians lost their life, 5 civilians were injured.
-The Turkish state bombed Koble village in the Shrawa district on January 28, 2018. As a result of the bombing, 8 civilians from the same family lost their life, while 7 civilians were injured.
-The Turkish state targeted the borough of Eşrefiyê in Afrin with missile and bombs on 31 January 2018. As a result of the bombing, a child lost his life, while 21 civilians, including children and women, were injured.
-The gangs allied in the attacks of the Turkish state tortured the dead body of Kurdish warrior Emîna Mustefa Umer (Barîn Kobanê) on 1 February 2018.
-The Turkish state targeted with bombs and missiles the borough of Basutté in Afrin on 9 February, 2018. As a result of the bombing, a child lost his life and 9 civilians were injured.
-The Turkish state bombed a convoy carrying civilians on 22 February 2018. The convoy was directed to Afrin. As a result of the attack, a civilian lost his life and 12 civilians were injured.
-Turkish warplanes bombed Kaxire village of Mabata on 2 March 2018. As a result of the bombing a civilian lost lost his life, 5 civilians were injured.
-The occupying Turkish State’s fighter planes bombed the surrounding of the village of Berbenê in Raco hitting a convoy of civilians on 5 March 2018. As a result of the bombing, 3 civilians lost their life, 9 civilians were injured.
- 8 civilians were wounded while 3 civilian lost their life as a result of a mine explosion near Ferferiyê village.
-On 7 March 2018, as a result of a mine explosion in Meydankê Beldesi (Şeran), 2 civilian lost their life, 4 civilians were injured.
- On 13 March 2018 in the village of Gimrok in the province of Babat, two civilians lost their lives as a result of a mine explosion.
- On 13 March 2018 near the village of Bediñê in the town of Raco, four civilians were injured while a civilian lost his life due to a mine explosion.
- On 14 March 2018, the Turkish state bombed Afrin city center: eight civilians were killed and 18 civilians were injured.
-On 15 March 2018 the Turkish state’s bombing of Afrin city center resulted in the loss of 6 civilian lives, while 5 civilians were injured.
-On 16 March 2018, the Turkish state bombed a convoy carrying civilians in Mehmudiyaki neighborhood. 38 civilians, including children and women lost their lives, while 47 civilians were injured.
-On 18 March 2018 a mine explosion killed 4 civilians living in the village of Tirindê (Afrin).
- On 18 March 2018 a mine explosion killed 6 civilians in Afrin city center.
3- Attacks on the historical and sacred places carried out by the Turkish state in Afrin
-As a result of the bombing, by the Turkish state, of the historic temple of Eyn Dara, the site was left in ruins.
-The Yazidi Union Center was destroyed by bombing
-Qerar Cernex Tomb was destroyed
-The cemetery in the village of Basafan was bombed and destroyed
-Barsa Xatuna Tomb was destroyed by bombing
4-Occupying Turkish state voluntarily targeted journalists and observers
-Journalist Bêrîvan Mustefa, who was covering the attacks of the Turkish state against the region, was shot and killed.
5- The Turkish state deliberately bombed religious sites, educational institutions, hospitals and health centres in Afrin Canton.
6-The Turkish state in order to hit the city's fighters bombed and targeted civilians health care and vital needs. For the same purpose, water, electricity and infrastructure in the city were deliberately bombed.
* Rights violations carried out by the Turkish state and its gangs after civilians left the city
The invading Turkish state and its affiliated barbarian gangs, wanted the Turkification of Afrin and planned to change the demographic structure of the region. They carried out these practices in front of the eyes of the world, violating any international law in the region.
Some of the rights violations in the region after the Turkish state and its affiliated gang groups have forcibly displaced the people of Afrin from their houses are as follows:
-The students of Afrin were forced to carry a Turkish flag and the gangs forced children to appear in videos thanking Erdogan.
-In order to avoid the remaining civilians to leave Afrin, they were in fact kidnapped and forced to stay.
-After the forced displacement of the people of the area, the gangs and their families were settled in the Ikbis and Moska villages, in the district of Shiyê and Cindirêsê.
-The gangs of the occupying Turkish state continued to plunder and steal in Afrin. The images and photographs taken in Afrin city centre reveal how the groups of gangs linked to Al Qaeda have plundered houses belonging to the citizens.
-The names of all the centres in the city have been translated into Turkish and Arabic.
-All service and health centres in Afrin were suspended and moved to Ezaz. The Turkish state wants to link Afrin to Ezaz through this practice.
-Some of the villages in the area were turned into a military base after being completely emptied.
-The remaining civilians in the city were forced into radical religious education and women were obliged to wear veil.
-The Yazidi people were forcibly muslimised and forced to go to mosque.
-Barbar gang members beheaded many youth in the city. We have been able to establish the identity of two of these young people: Elî Yûnis, who lived in Yelandoz village and Miheme Horo who lived in the province of Sharan.
-Many young women in Afrin were abducted.
-Relatives of the martyrs of the city are being kidnapped.
- Approximately 4 thousand families of gangs were settled in Afrin and its villagers.
-Kefer Cenê District was completely Arabized through the settlement there of gang families.
-At least 300 families of gangs were placed in the village of Kefer Sefrê.
-Many city people were kidnapped but we were able to only determine the identity of Welat Enwer Hemdûþ (40) and Yekbîn Enwer (38).
-Many women and children were subjected to harassment and rape.
-Even the most human rights are denied to civilians. Citizens are not allowed to retrieve the bodies of their relatives who have lost their life in the attacks.
1-A report covering the period 20 February-March has been prepared on the children, women and elderly who had lost their life during the occupation of the invading Turkish state.
-During this period of occupation by the invadingTurkish state and gangs, 56 women fell martyrs. The identity information of these women has been documented in special reports.
-During this period of occupation by the Turkish state, 46 children fell martyrs. Children are documented in their martyrdom locations and identity on special information reports.
-The number of civilians fallen martyr during attacks against Afrin is 157 according to reports.
-The number of non-civilians fallen martyr in the attacks of the Turkish state and gangs has reached 525.
2-The civilian and non-civilians, including children and women, who were injured so far in the first day of the attacks of the invading Turkish state and barbarian gangs have been documented in individual reports.
-The number of injured children in the attacks of the Turkish state, whose identities have been confirmed is 155.
-The number of women injured in attacks has reached 104.
-The number of civilians injured in different places and in different way, is 448. The identity of the wounded and the type of injury have been documented.
* A detailed report has been prepared about the civilians who had to forcibly leave their houses because of the attacks against Afrin.
On 16 March 2018, the Democratic Autonomous Administration decided to take civilians to safe areas in the areas of Sherawa, Nubil, Zehrai and Shehba in order to prevent further civilian massacres given the ongoing barbaric attacks.
The number of civilians who had to emigrate from the south of Afrin has reached 300 thousand. These civilians have gone to Til Rifat and Shehba regions. Some 160 thousand civilians have been registered in Til Rifat. The remaining civilians went to Sherawa, Nubil and Zehrai. Many families have been documented as going to Heleb, while over 500 families to Manbij. A small number of the Afrin families also went tocities such as Kobanê, Qamishlo, east of the Euphrates.
*Needs of the camps in which Afrin people are located:
-Shehba People's Municipality set up a camp in the province of Fafin with the support of Afrin Canton Administration, Heyva Sora Kurd and some humanitarian organizations. While 850 tents have been put up in this camp, the assistance made to the citizens in these camps does not meet the needs. While the number of Afrin people in this camp reached 15 thousand, it was decided to establish a new camp due to the inadequacy of condition and aid in the camp.
-The number of tents put up is very small compared to the number of families.
-There is also a problem with health care supplies and emergency supplies.
-Ambulance and mobile health centres are needed in the region.
-Natal polyclinics are needed.
-Diabetes and skin patients need urgent support.
-Children need urgent medicines and milk. Children still need clothes.
-Civilians urgently need clean water to wash and drink. It is envisaged that infectious diseases will be triggered if this need is not met as soon as possible.
-Thousand 700 patients suffering from skin diseases are in urgent need of treatment.
The peoples who lived in Afrin were subjected to very violent and barbarous assaults by the invading forces participating to the so called “Olive Branch” operation.
We condemn this violation and we support all families who are victims of these rights violations. We want to express condolences to the families of all citizens who lost their lives in the war in Syria and we also call for urgent healing.
We condemn the barbarous practices of the occupying Turkish state against all the Syrian people. We are concerned about the lives of the abducted citizens and are calling on the international community to fulfil its duties and responsibilities.
The resistance against the barbaric practices of the Turkish state is continuing. Likewise the efforts to find a solution to the war in Syria.
We list the following requests as required by international law:
- The occupation of Afrin should be regarded as illegal, contrary to UN and international law. There must be pressure on all occupying forces to withdraw from the occupied territories, especially Afrin.
-The occupying Turkish army has no legitimacy being against all UN and international law, therefore we ask the following:
1-The invading forces must leave Afrin and all the Syrian territories they occupy as soon as possible without any conditions.
2-The danger of the occupation of the Turkish state in Afrin and all human rights violations in North Syria should be determined.
3-Information about the fate of the abducted persons should be given and these people should be released without any delay. All forces must be forced to pay for the damage suffered by the abductees.
4-Action must be taken as soon as possible to determine whether there are survivors and responsibility for the slain must be taken.
5-In order to establish the extent of human rights violations in Afrin, a committee should be set up consisting of the organizations of human rights and women's rights in the region, independent, completely impartial and transparent. Persons who commit violations such as death and injury in Afrin should be judged according to international law.
6-All civilian and human rights organizations in Syria should be called for the detection of the inhuman practices of the invading Turkish state in Afrin. These organizations should identify whether Turkey or Syria have been involved in crimes against humanity.
7-The environment for the return of Afrin citizens to their houses should be established as soon as possible and the goods that have been plundered should be returned.
8-The occupying Turkish state should be forced by the relevant international institutions to repay people of Afrin and villagers what they have stolen and should help to rebuild the economy it has destroyed.
9-All legal means must be used against those who commit crimes against the people of Afrin who have been forcibly displaced from their houses. Furthermore, policies to change the demography in the region should be stopped.