The Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) declared victory over the city of Afrin Sunday, where they launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear the PKK and its Syrian-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists from northern Syria. However, pictures showing some FSA soldiers looting businesses and belongings that were left behind by families who left the city were leaked on social media, causing outrage among both the FSA and Turkish military leaders since it is an act that is against the main purpose of the operation.
Opposition officials yesterday condemned the reported looting by the FSA forces. The 2nd Division of the FSA released a statement, expressing that two of their fighters were dismissed from duty due to their actions. "The necessary actions being taken," the statement added. Opposition leader Mohamed Alloush also condemned their behavior saying, "The looting and stealing of private and public property is a crime."
Khaled Khoja, a former head of the National Coalition leading opposition body, said: "We were unsettled by the news of some looting from the homes of our people in Afrin." He said the goal of the Turkish-led operation was "to liberate our Kurdish and Arab brothers from the authoritarianism of the YPG and serve them by establishing a civilian administration worthy of the Syrian revolution."
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