Syrian and Kurdish militias prevented residents of the Afrin region from returning to their homes after the situation stabilized, and the Turkish and Syrian Free Army Forces fully controlled them.
Local sources told the site “Basnews” reported on Saturday that a joint patrol between the protection and the Popular Forces at the checkpoint in the northern suburbs of Aleppo prevented people to return to their villages in Afrin and fired to force them to move towards the town of Tel Refaat, noting that the “Kurdish protection units” continue to block the return of the displaced to their villages since their “expulsion” from Afrin and the control by the Olive Branch forces.
“Olive branch forces are taking precautionary measures to ensure a safe return of civilians to their homes,” the Turkish army said in a statement. “Turkish forces are operating in the Afrin area to dismantle improvised explosive devices and mines planted by terrorists.”
Local sources from the city of Afrin confirmed to Basnews on Saturday the return of two thousand civilians who were displaced during the control by the Turkish army and its allies on the city last Sunday: “two thousand people arrived from the countryside of northern Aleppo to the city of Afrin in two batches, where the women and children arrived yesterday, and men today, despite the obstacles carried out by Kurdish units and militias of the regime.”
The joint president of the Democratic Council of Syria, Ilham Ahmed posted on her FB page on Saturday calling civilians “not to be dragged behind calls to return in the current circumstances,” noting that “the fighting is still going on, The Turkish terrorist still seek to harm the civilians, and robberies and looting continue. “
“Your life is more expensive than a dish washer. And your land is more precious than the Spirit. Therefore, we must wait and wait until Afrin is liberated from the abomination of Turkish terrorism. “
But Ahmed herself, on March 10 called on her page the city not to leave, saying: “This is how the special war machine is used intensively to intimidate and incite people to leave their city. And emptying them of their people and directing them towards an unknown migration and dignity. They want to empty the city to occupy it and then annex it to Turkey.”
The leader of the PYD, Eldar Khalil, called the civilians displaced from Afrin to “resist” and not to return to their homes, describing the return as a “closed cage” because of the control of the city and its countryside by the Turkish army and armed factions loyal .
The leader of the Kurdish National Council, Fuad Aliko, strongly criticized the statements made by Eldar Khalil and the PYD administration, booby-trapping houses in the city of Afrin and its outskirts and preventing civilians from returning. He said that “these practices are part of the displacement of the Kurds from their historic land”