ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – An elderly couple in Afrin claim Turkish-backed Syrian rebels stormed into their home on Friday night, bound and beat them, and looted their belongings.
In footage seen by Rudaw, the Kurdish couple – both in their eighties – stand in a room which appears to have been trashed, with clothes and household objects scattered across the floor.
During the short video, which could not be independently verified, they accuse members of the militia group Ahrar al-Sharqiya of storming into their home in the village of Kuran, Rajo, in the canton of Afrin, northwest Syria.
Omer Arus and his wife, both aged 85, claim the militants bound their limbs for several hours and beat them.
Arus says they stole all the money they had.
“As soon as they broke in, they attacked us and laid us down, tying up our hands and legs,” he said.
“They took all the money we had amounting to $450 as well as 25,000 Syrian [lira],” Arus added.
Neither Ahrar al-Sharqiya nor Turkish forces in Afrin have commented on the alleged incident. It is unclear why the elderly couple’s home was targeted.
The Kurdish province of Afrin fell to Turkish forces and their Syrian proxies in mid-March 2018 after intense fighting with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
Thousands of Kurds were displaced from their homes and have not been able to return.
Although Rudaw has been unable to corroborate the Kuran incident, there have been several reports of Syrian militiamen looting Kurdish homes and abusing residents. The UN has raised concerns with Turkish authorities about allegations of abuse and ethnic cleansing.