Turkish-backed factions destroy 20 shops near Serekaniye: SOHR
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish-backed factions have expelled shop owners and destroyed 20 shops near the town of Serekaniye (Ras al-Ain in Arabic), the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) war monitor reported on Sunday.
Citing local sources, the monitor reported that the local council in Ras Al-Ain threatened to destroy over 50 shops in the town of Tel Halaf if the owners did not hand them over to the Turkish-backed armed groups. Tel Halaf is two kilometers west of Ras Al-Ain.
The Turkish-backed groups operate under the umbrella of the so-called Syrian National Army (SNA), which Turkey formed to fight the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Twenty shopkeepers refused to comply, and the Turkish-backed factions allegedly destroyed their shops as a result.
According to SOHR, the factions justified this decision by claiming the shops had been built on “public properties.” However, the SOHR said these shops were there for 20 years and were established when the Syrian government controlled the area.
In October 2019, the Turkish army and their affiliated Syrian rebel groups launched a military operation and pushed the Kurdish-led SDF from the border towns of Ras al-Ain (Serekaniye) and Tal Abyad.
On Friday, the Kurdish National Council (KNC) called on the UN and international community to help end human rights abuses in areas controlled by Turkish-backed groups.
“The people of Afrin, Ras al-Ain (Serekaniye) and Tal Abyad have also been subjected to brutal abuses by armed groups, such as killings, abductions, expulsion and seizures of civilian homes and property,” the KNC said, referring to those armed groups backed by Turkey.