YPG forces people out of homes, confiscates properties

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 01.02.2019 00:14

The PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) continue to terrorize locals in the areas captured from Daesh. The group uses threat, forcing people to leave their homes, and confiscated properties.

In the last 20 days, the YPG has forced more than 25,000 Syrians to leave their hometowns, two years after Daesh was pushed back from the area.

"The regions taken from Daesh have been evacuated. People are being forcefully removed from their homes and villages. Nearly all of the 4,000-square-kilometer area, which the YPG seized from Daesh has been cleared of people," Kays al-Amani, a legal expert from eastern Syria's Deir el-Zour, told the Turkish daily, Yeni Şafak yesterday.

He pointed out that after the YPG took control of Deir el-Zour the population of the city shrunk to 130,000 from 1,700,000. Amani said that the terrorist organization drives inhabitants out of the areas by using oppressive tactics, as part of their demographic change policy.

Amani said that the YPG threatens civilians by accusing them of being Daesh militants and handing them over to the Syrian regime. He noted that those who accept their proposition of leaving their homes are sent to Turkey to "increase leverage," by possibly mounting the economic burden of the country.

"The land and houses of 1,760 families from Deir el-Zour were confiscated using falsified documents. Many deeds quickly change hands," he added. He highlighted that the number of civilians forcefully displaced from the region exceeded 290,000 between 2017 and 2018.

The group systematically and forcefully displaces local people from their homes in traditionally Arab towns in a bid to lay the groundwork for their future claims of an autonomous region, to be established along demographic lines. As a part of its policies, the group has confiscated the properties of citizens and demolished homes of local people in areas near the Syrian-Turkish border to force them out of the city.

Amnesty International also documented a systematic wave of forced displacement and home demolitions, amounting to war crimes, carried out by the de facto autonomous administration dominated by the YPG in 2015. The report detailed the deliberate displacement of thousands of civilians including Kurds and the razing of entire villages in areas under the control of the terrorist organization.

"Extensive displacement and destruction that did not occur as a result of fighting are clear evidence of a deliberate, coordinated campaign of collective punishment of civilians in villages previously captured by [Daesh]," the report said.

It also uncovered some cases where the YPG forced locals to leave the cities threatening to shoot them and set their houses on fire if the inhabitants refuse to leave. Due to the brutalities of the YPG, Turkey has opened its doors to 512,708 Syrian refugees fleeing from YPG-held areas while another 300,000 Syrian refugees from the region have taken shelter in Iraq.

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