ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish man succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday after he was attacked by Turkish-backed rebels at his home in Afrin over the weekend, local sources from the region said.
Members of the armed group Ahrar al-Sham raided the home of Sami Haj Khalil on July 15, attacking him and his brother Ibrahim before looting $2,000 worth of property from the house.
Sources said Sami was tied to a tree outside his residence in the Haj Hasna village of Jindiris town located in northwestern Syria’s Afrin district.
The 40-year-old was discovered a day later beaten and tortured, and despite being taken to a hospital, he eventually died of his injuries due to a lack of medicine available. Sami was a father of four.
Elsewhere, another Turkish-backed rebel group, Ahrar al-Sharqiya, admitted on Monday to the murder of two Kurdish youth in Afrin’s countryside four months ago.
The family of the victims, Hussein Abdulrahman Sagher, 25, and Walid Jamil Sourani, 19, refused an offer of financial compensation from the armed group.
A Turkish-led offensive into Syrian Kurdistan’s Afrin earlier this year resulted in the death of over 250 civilians and displacement of tens of thousands of others.
Ankara launched the campaign in January, arguing it was meant to clear its southern border of the threat posed by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) who it says has ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), thus labeling them “terrorists.”
The months-long offensive, which reached its climax in March, received condemnation from human rights organizations who criticized Turkey for ignoring large-scale rights abuses in areas under its control.