Turkey-backed militia calls for ethnic cleansing in Afrin

by Meghan Bodette    


The Head of Security of the FSA’s 23rd Division, one of several Turkey-backed militias participating in the occupation of Afrin, called for ethnic cleansing in response to the YPG’s successful targeting of the group’s commander.

The statement, posted to Telegram, said that all Kurdish males between the ages of 15 and 50 should be “displaced and persecuted.”

On September 4th, the YPG announced that they had neutralized 15 members of various occupying militias in operations the night of September 3rd— including Ahmed Semir Brier, the 23d Division’s commander in Afrin.

All Turkey-backed militias in Afrin have already participated in ethnic cleansing in the city, stealing homes, public buildings and businesses to house their fighters and displace local Kurdish families and forcing Yazidis and Christians to convert to Islam. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated at the beginning of Operation Olive Branch that the majority-Kurdish city should be “returned” to Arabs from other parts of Syria.

According to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, "unlawful deportation or transfer" and the "transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory" are war crimes.