A screenshot of a video posted by the YPG on August 5, 2018, shows Akash Haji Ahmed riding on a motorcycle before he is executed by the YPG for allegedly cooperating with Turkish forces in Afrin. Photo: Rudaw via YPG
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A Kurdish group released videos on Sunday showing its fighters behind enemy lines in the city of Afrin executing a Kurd for allegedly helping Turkish troops and threatening IDPs to prevent them from returning to their homes.
The video circulating online on Sunday shows Akash Haji Ahmed, the executed Kurdish man, driving on a motorcycle. He gets stopped by a man, and then is taken away into some woods, where he is shot at point-blank range by a fighter.
“Since day one of the Turkish occupation of the Afrin region, we warned that those who agreed to work with the occupation would be considered as traitors and informers against the sons of our people and have a similar fate to the killed soldiers,” read a statement from Olive Wrath Operation, according to ANHA, media close to the People's Protection Units (YPG).
YPG, nor its political wing the PYD, have confirmed the statement, but the Olive Wrath Operation's members are primarily from the YPG ranks.
The mostly Kurdish forces said they had been surveilling Ahmed previously.
“After continuous monitoring of the activities and the movements of the traitor ‘Akash Haji Ahmed, born in 1976,’ a member of the treacherous council formed by the Turkish occupation in the Deir Swan village. A checkpoint was set up on his way before holding him accountable and eliminating him for his disgusting work against the sons of our people,” added the group.
They claimed that Ahmed had been working as an informant and a guide for the Turkish Army in Afrin as they arrived in the Shera district, claiming that his actions resulted in the kidnapping of people from Afrin.
The Kurdish operational group also claimed that Ahmed would send text messages to Afrin’s residents who have been displaced into camps, threatening them to not return.
On January 2018, the Turkish Army launched “Olive Branch Operation” in a bid to eliminate the Kurdish YPG forces from the Kurdish enclave. After 2 months and 4 days, the YPG withdrew from Afrin’s center as major districts around it fell, leading to more than 100,000 residents being displaced.
Turkey later formed a local council to govern the area, after the YPG-backed council no longer remained. The council has some Kurdish members in it.
Since then, rights groups have documented abuses against the civilian population, with kidnappings, looting and pillaging of houses. Houses have been confiscated by armed groups to give to Arab newcomers from the rest of Syria, dubbed an ethnic cleansing operation.
“We from the ‘Olive Wrath Operation’ room renew our warning to agents and traitors and call upon them to disband the path of treason and mercenary as soon as possible,” added the group.
Kurdish forces have returned to guerrilla tactics, fighting from the surrounding hills and mountains, which overlook the cities in Afrin.
“The liberation of Afrin is forthcoming with the efforts of the popular resistance of the sons of our people,” Olive Wrath Operation reiterated.
The future of Afrin is a hot topic in the circles of Rojava. Kurdish officials have proposed participating in the much-anticipated Idlib Operation — along with regime forces — in return for Syria forcing Turkey out of Afrin. However, some are skeptical after the regime failed to deliver on previous warnings by the regime during the Turkish incursion.
Correction: The statement and videos came from Olive Wrath Operation. The YPG has not confirmed its forces were involved.