Turkish backed Syrian proxies who seized Afrin city center photographed looting businesses and belongings. File photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Clashes between two rebel groups embedded in Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch left seven fighters dead and led to the arrest of more than 100 in the Afrin region, according to a UK-based conflict monitor.
The clashes took place between the previously US-backed al-Hamza Division and Ahrar al-Sharqiya group in Afrin, and extended to areas controlled by Euphrates Shield forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
According to the conflict monitor, the clashes occurred after the Ahrar group accused the al-Hamza division of looting houses in Afrin on Western orders.
Photographs and videos circulating online show rebels looting houses and businesses after Turkish-backed forces seized control of the Kurdish city earlier this month.
The pro-Syrian government Al-Masdar news agency reported that clashes erupted after a commander of Ahrar was shot dead by the al-Hamza division.
Images have emerged online showing a group of men being marched in a line. They are alleged to be al-Hamza fighters captured by Ahrar.
The rebel factions have reportedly fought each other in the past in areas under Turkish control and in the Idlib governorate.