YPG continues exploiting civilians, curbing religious freedom

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

The People's Protection Units (YPG), the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate, ramped up its exploitation of religious places and civilian properties in northern Syria's Manbij province, turning them into their headquarters ahead of a Turkish counterterrorism operation east of the Euphrates River.

The terrorist organization, which has been confiscating the homes of local people for quite some time now, turned to religious places this time to use them as bases. TRT Haber reported yesterday that the YPG turned the only mosque in the Jat village with 700 inhabitants situated 20 kilometers northeast of Manbij into a headquarter.

YPG forces reportedly boarded up windows and sandbagged the roof of the mosque and dug trenches around the mosque. The terrorist organization also confiscated the homes situated in the hills to observe movements east of the Euphrates.

In relation to the issue, a local said that the terrorists were not only turning the mosque into a headquarters but they were also exploiting other mosques in Qamishli and Qalat Jabar districts in Syria's Raqqa. He added that they are also banning local people from using the mosques.

In December, locals living in YPG-held areas reported that the terrorist organization destroyed the homes of people in areas near the Syrian-Turkish border such as in Ayn al-Arab and Tal Abyad by digging tunnels under their homes.

Abdullah Kedo, an official of the Syrian Kurdish National Council (ENKS), told Turkish media last month that YPG forces have been confiscating civilian homes in regions under their control and shutting down the offices and extensions of other Kurdish political parties that have opposed these policies.

The YPG terrorist organization previously limited movements into and out of Manbij and threatened people to take up arms against Turkey by recruiting at least one young man from every household.

Local people living in areas held by the group have long suffered under YPG atrocities. Numerous human rights organizations have documented YPG human rights violations including torture, recruiting child soldiers and the deliberate disruption of education and health services. The group confiscated properties of local people and destroyed the homes of people in areas near the Syrian-Turkish border such as in Ayn al-Arab and Tal Abyad. The group systematically and forcefully displaced locals from their homes to demographically change the region.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHO) also reported an increase in deliberate disruptions of education and health services in northern Syria's Raqqa and Hasakah provinces.

Due to the brutality of the YPG, Turkey has opened its doors to 512,708 Syrian refugees fleeing from YPG-held areas while another 300,000 Syrian refugees coming from the region took shelter in Iraq.

According to a detailed October report of the Interior Ministry's migration management department, almost 20 percent of the 3.5 million Syrian refugees that Turkey hosts came from YPG-held territories including 20,832 from Hasakah, 141,903 from Raqqa, and 162,973 from Manbij and Ayn al-Arab.

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