USA concerned about situation in Syria's Afrin

USA concerned about situation in Syria's Afrin

Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies swept into the regional capital, also called Afrin, on Sunday, raising their flags in the town center and declaring full control after an eight-week campaign against the Kurdish YPG militia.

Some locals told SOHR that their houses were completely stripped of their contents.

The fighters, mostly former anti-Assad rebels, celebrated their victory by destroying the statue of Kurdish hero Kawa and looting shops and other property. Two, three guys looting, it happens. "But then I saw that they were in such a hurry to take everything from this city".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, buoyed by his army's capture of a Kurdish stronghold in northwest Syria, threatened to extend the offensive against separatist Kurdish militants to eastern Syria and northern Iraq.

The Britain-based Observatory has reported looting in several villages since pro-Ankara forces on January 20 launched an assault on the wider Kurdish enclave of Afrin.

A fighter rides in the back of a pickup truck with looted livestock. The central Afrin hospital was bombed before the town centre was captured, he said.

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Kurdish leader Abdel Basset Sida, who resigned from the National Coalition after the start of the Turkish assault, also condemned the damage wreaked on Afrin city.

Thousands of Afrin residents streamed out of the town before the Turkish troops entered.

Kilic said some battalions spray-painted their names on certain shops as a way of "reserving" them for future looting.

Speaking to Sky News by phone from Afrin, he said the Kurds needed more help from the worldwide community.

A British woman who joined the YPG/PKK terror group has been killed in Syria's Afrin region during the ongoing Operation Olive Branch, according to British media reports Monday.

He said fear of people taking over their homes has also fueled violent sentiments among Kurds.

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Friends of Anna Campbell in Syria told the BBC she was killed by Turkish airstrikes, describing her as a feminist with "sincerity and courage" who wanted to fight for women's liberation in the Middle East. YPJ commander in Syria, Nesrin Abdullah, said Ms Campbell had "insisted" on leaving for Afrin, adding: 'Although we tried to keep her far from the frontlines, the attacks from the Turkish state were very heavy'. Erdogan has declared that after the fall of Afrin, Manbij would be the next target of Ankara's military offensive against the YPG.

Turkey sees the YPG as a Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984. Federica Mogherini told reporters in Brussels that global efforts in Syria should be aimed at "de-escalating the military activities and not escalating them".

Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier that Turkish and Iraqi armies would carry out a joint offensive against the PKK bases in northern Iraq, probably after Iraqi elections set for May 12. "It is a piece of real estate that anchors Turkey's presence for many years to come", Heras said.

"The fighting in western Syria over the last two months, including in Afrin, has distracted from the Defeat ISIS campaign and provided opportunity for ISIS to begin reconstituting in some areas".

"But what she stood for was important enough to me that I'm sitting here talking to you about it".

"It appears the majority of the population of the city, which is predominantly Kurdish, evacuated under threat of attack from Turkish military forces and Turkish backed opposition forces".

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