HRW Report: Security conditions in Afrin deteriorated considerably

NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Human Rights Watch released its annual report of what happened in the world in the year 2019. In addition to talking about the situation in Syria, where it touched on the violations of the Turkish state and Syrian proxies during “Operation Olive Branch” (the invasion and occupation of Afrin) and “Operation Peace Spring” (the invasion and occupation of areas of North and East Syria).

Concerning Afrin, the HRW report states:

“Security conditions in areas surrounding Afrin, which has been controlled by the Syrian National Army, a coalition of Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) factions, deteriorated considerably. Those factions have committed war crimes, according to the COI, targeting civilians, taking hostages, planting car bombs, conducting arbitrary arrests, extortion, torture, and enforcing a rigid dress code for women and girls.”

Turkey’s violations in North and East Syria are also mentioned, including the extrajudicial killing of fighters, political activists, and paramedics, as well as looting and confiscation of property.

The report also takes a critical stances on the International Coalition and its partners campaign to clear the Islamic State from its last territory in and around Baghuz, stating the level of destruction “indicate[s] a failure to take all necessary precautions to protect civilians.”

The full HRW Annual Report 2019 can be downloaded here.