AFRIN, Syria — Continuing its policies of religious oppression and demographic change, factions of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) — a coalition of militias, several of them with extremist ideologies, formed and funded by Turkey — kidnapped 14 Kurdish youth from occupied Afrin after they converted to Christianity.
“We stopped contacting the kidnapped, based on their request, and fear for their families,” Priest of the Kurdish Church in Beirut, Nihad Hassan, stated on Monday. “However, we received promises they will be released soon.”
Priest Hassan also affirmed that the armed factions in Afrin have destroyed the churches in the region and have converted some them into headquarters. The most horrific crimes, said Hassan, were reserved for priests and their families who have been subjected to kidnapping, murder, torture, displacement, and looting.