Ahmed Sheikho, deputy head of the local council in Afrin’s Shiye, died on Tuesday. Photo: supplied
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – A local Kurdish official in Afrin has died of injuries he sustained after he was arrested and tortured by Syrian rebels.
Ahmed Sheikho, deputy head of the local council in Afrin’s Shiye, died on Tuesday, a well-placed source in Afrin told Rudaw.
Sheikho was abducted by fighters of the Sultan Suleyman Shah Brigade, a Turkish-backed militia. He was released on Monday, according to the source.
Some family members who had been arrested with Sheikho are still being held by the rebel group.
Security in Afrin has been in a tailspin since the Kurdish canton came under control of Turkish forces and their allied Syrian militias.
The area has witnessed acts of looting, forced demographic change, arrests of persons alleged to have ties to the ousted Kurdish forces, and many of the original inhabitants have been prevented from returning home.
There have also been reports of infighting among Syrian militias.
Turkish forces had to intervene to break up clashes between the al-Sultan Mohammed al-Fatih brigade and the Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah brigade, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Tuesday.
The UK-based conflict monitor has documented several clashes between rebel groups in Syria over issues like assuming proprietorship of homes left vacant by owners who fled the Turkish-led military offensive.
Kurds made up 95 percent of Afrin's population before Operation Olive Branch was launched against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). The Turkish military supported the FSA proxy fighters in the two-month campaign. Arab families from other parts of Syria have since relocated to the canton, some taking over the homes of Kurds who had fled.