The Kurdish Hawks Brigade, part of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Commander Hassan Abdullah Kulli has vowed to liberate the people of Afrin from the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the People's Protection Units (YPG).
"We are the Kurds of the Afrin region, We are going to rescue our people in Afrin from the PKK's cruelty. As Kurds, Turks and Arabs, we have lived here as brothers for many years. These terrorists came and created enmity between us. Our poor people are awaiting us in Afrin. We have vowed to rescue them, and we will not return without capturing Afrin," said Hassan Abdullah Kulli, the brigade's commander, prior to the deployment of the group to Afrin. Ali Ramo, one of the Kurdish fighters from the FSA said he has joined the FSA to help ensure the unity of Syria.
"I am a Kurd from the Aleppo region. I joined the FSA, which fights for unity of Syria. I joined to rescue my people from PKK/YPG cruelty. I am going to Afrin today to help free the people from oppression. Everyone will be able to return to their homes like in the old days," Ramo said.
The brigade, which was formed by the Hamza Division, includes 400 Kurdish fighters from Azaz and 200 Arab elements, also known as "red berets."
Meanwhile, local people in the villages liberated from the YPG said members of the terrorist group have harassed women whose husbands were not there to protect them. Amina Omar, 44, said she faced sexual harassment from YPG terrorists in the village of Deir Sawwan in Sharanli district. "My husband had gone to Aleppo for eye surgery. However, he could not return as the roads were closed. I live at home with my 12 year old son. Knowing my husband was not in the village, a terrorist kept coming to my house, and kept harassing me. I could not leave home as I was afraid, and always cried. When the operation [Olive Branch] began the terrorist ran away from the village," she said.
She added that while the PKK say they are fighting for Kurdish rights, they also oppress Kurds under their control. Another family in the village also said the YPG forcefully recruited men in the village and extorted from them.