Afrin residents and “Xeber 24” tell the story of their displacement under Turkish bombardment and Syrian coalition factions

Kajin Ahmad –

Turkish cannons and aircraft, in cooperation with the Armed Factions of the Syrian Coalition, began large-scale shelling of Afrin areas, after Russian forces announced their withdrawal from the city on January 20, 2018.

The operation, dubbed by Turkey’s so-called “olive branch” “58”, lasted a day after fierce resistance from the region’s people, the YPG and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), during which they gave some “500” martyrs and many “1,000” wounded.

“Turkish planes and cannons started bombing, and we didn’t want to get out of our village, until the YPG was stationed in the village, and then they asked us to get out, after the bombing escalated in the area,” Mustafa Na’asan, from the village of” Talfi”, a district of Gendres, told ” Xeber24.

“We agreed to remove children and women from the village to Afrin and to return to join the military forces to protect our areas,” Na’asan said.

He continued: In Afrin thousands of civilians gathered in the center of Al-Madina, and after a few days we heard that they approached the area of” Kafr Jannah”, and then we heard that they were approaching the neighborhood of Mahmoudiyah, then we had a cellar in the center of the city, we sought to him with dozens of families, and from the intensity of the shelling that was targeting the neighborhoods of the city, especially the Hospital Afrin, and the sounds of smashing glass, which we were hearing, the young children could not sleep.

He pointed out that on the night of March 17, my son came and he was crying, saying: Afrin went, and at that time Turkish planes were targeting Afrin hospital amid the screams of civilians, and also targeted the neighborhood of “Mahmoudiyah”, where about 18 children and women were martyred, and about 15 others were martyred at the hospital.

He pointed out, that from the intensity of the shelling we could not get out of the basement until after the situation calmed down a little, where we went out, and after a walk two days until we were able to reach the village of “Kimari” which is, only 10 km away from Afrin , as a result of the crisis and the large displacement movement, and in the way an old sheikh died of cold and tired, and when we arrived near” Basuta” also died a small child, where he died among the pomegranate groves, and Turkish planes were chasing the displaced, where they were bombed, and killed by one of the shepherds and his children, and his children, A car was also bombed and killed a number of people on board.

In this case, we were able to reach the village of “Kimari”, and we spent one night there, from which we went to The” Shehaba”, and after we left Kimari for about three quarters of an hour, the village was bombed, and then we reached Tel Rifaat and slept one night there, then we went to the village of “Farhin” of The “Shehaba”, and then we decided to go to the island area, where we ended up in the village of ” Tal Nasri” in” Tal Tamer”, and on the way we got the news of the martyrdom of my brother’s daughter “Kurdistan”.

Amina Shaheen’s Mum, from The Village of “Addari” in Raju district, said that,” Turkish planes had been flying over the Afrin area from one day, and they started bombing, and we went out of our village to the nearby village, and so until we ended up in the city of Afrin, to escape indiscriminate shelling that was targeting everyone indiscriminately.

Shaheen’s Mum added that, every day we had martyrs and we carried them to bury them, so that we could no longer reach the martyrs’ shrine, and we had to bury our martyrs inside the city of Afrin itself, and we got out of Afrin on the 45th day towards the district of Shirawa.

“On the way, there was a large exodus of children, old people and women, many of whom died on the way, and she pointed out that there were many collaborators with Turkey and the armed factions during the occupation of Afrin.

Three years after the occupation of Afrin by the Turkish state and the hardline Syrian factions, the Turkish objective of the operation, which changed the demographics of the region and its composition, with the aim of bringing it to Turkey, as well as the continuing violations still being committed against the remaining members of its people, which have been classified by reports and human rights organizations as war crimes, became clear.

Translated by: khoshbin sheikho.

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