Arab-owned farmland set afire in YPG-held areas of Syria, local sources say

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 17.06.2019 18:09
emIHA Photo/em
IHA Photo

Tens of thousands of acres of farmland belonging to Arab villagers in regions of Syria occupied by the PKK terror organization's Syrian affiliate People's Protection Units (YPG) have been destroyed by fire and more are at risk as local authorities do not intervene to put out the blazes, local sources said Monday.

The fires have destroyed agricultural lands belonging to Arab residents of northern Syria's Ayn Al Arab, also known as Kobane, and Qamıshli, which are controlled by the YPG, Anadolu Agency cited local sources as saying.

Local authorities did not send adequate teams of firefighters to the areas, sending only a few fire trucks, sources said.

While the sources did not name the cause of the latest fires, YPG terrorists have been setting fire to farms belonging to the Arab residents in northern Raqqa and northeastern Deir el-Zour for the last three weeks, stoking fear and caution in residents of Haseke.

YPG terrorists set fire to farms belonging to Syrian villagers near the western areas of Al-Bab in May, causing material damage.

The YPG has managed to occupy one-third of Syria under the guise of fighting against Daesh with U.S. support.

For the last three years, Tel Rifaat has been occupied by the YPG, which has dubbed the territory between Tel Rifaat and Manbij as the "Shahba Canton."

The YPG occupied Tel Rifaat in 2016 in hopes of linking Afrin, a city in northwestern Syria, to areas under its control east of the Euphrates River, thus establishing a zone of influence along Syria's border with Turkey.

Syria's Al-Bab district, however, which is located between Tel Rifaat and Manbij, falls within Operation Euphrates Shield's area-of-operations, thus disrupting the YPG's sought-for territorial link.

In January 2018, the Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) elements launched Operation Olive Branch to clear Afrin district from terrorist groups, liberating the town center in March.

Some 250,000 refugees from Tel Rifaat and its outskirts have taken up temporary residence in the opposition-held city of Azaz, located adjacent to the Euphrates Shield zone.

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