Wednesday 18 / 9 / 2019 | 00:48

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The people of Afrin are caught between Assad’s forces and Olive Branch factions

With the arrival of the holy month of Ramadan, the residents of Afrin are experiencing the worst days of their lifetime due to lack of food, water, electricity, medicine and cleaning services in the last remaining areas under YPG control in northern Aleppo, where Assad’s forces are also sharing control.

Abu Wahid, a displaced from Afrin, said that ‘Assad’s forces continue to bare us from entering Aleppo city. They have a checkpoint established at the infantry division, where they prevent those born in Afrin from accessing Aleppo with use of weapons. We have tried for several times to enter Aleppo, but to no avail, bearing in mind that we are willing to see some of our relatives who reside in it. He added ‘we have contacted YPG for multiple times and they were not willing to help and told us to stay in our current location until they recapture Afrin. They also said that we should not return to them and ask the same questions because they are not responsible for our current issue.’


Assad’s forces continue to impose a crippling siege on civilians who are residing in YPG-controlled areas in northern Aleppo although the military situation between both parties is not tense. The regime forces are preventing displaced people to cross into Manbej from their held territory while YPG, in turn, are getting bribed to keep a blind eye to the crossing of the displaced.

Abu Waed, a displaced from Afrin, said that some of his relatives had returned to their homes in Jandriss region, Afrin, and they told him that life is now restored to the region. They told him to return as well. However his house is now being used by some fighters belonging to Olive Branch force, and he will not be able to return to that region in all circumstances due to the presence of a YPG checkpoint near the region where the soldiers manning it are preventing people from returning to Afrin area.  The opposition factions are also targeting any moving targets near their held areas in Afrin on the pretense that they might be YPG targets.

According to estimates, around 120 thousand civilians are living under YPG control in Tal Rifaat, Deer Jamal, Faqin and Al Shuhabae bridge, as well as surrounding areas, who are going through miserable humanitarian conditions amidst the absence of relief and local organizations.

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