Politics, Middle East

Syrian Kurds welcome multi-ethnic Afrin local council

Afrin set up interim council this week composed of Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen representatives

Ali Murat Alhas   | 13.04.2018
Syrian Kurds welcome multi-ethnic Afrin local council

DUHOK, Iraq

The National Council of Syrian Kurds (ENKS) has voiced its support for a new, ethnically-diverse local council in Syria’s liberated Afrin district.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency on Friday, ENKS head Saud Molla said: “We have a positive view of the local council founded in Afrin yesterday [Thursday].”

Molla also urged displaced Afrin residents to return to their homes, going on to condemn the criminal practices of the YPG/PKK terrorist group.

“Until now, almost 100 ENKS members have been abducted by the YPG/PKK’s so-called ‘security forces’ and are now being tortured in the darkest prisons of Syria,” he said.

Molla added that the terrorists had moved the locations of abducted ENKS members in Afrin after Turkey launched its Operation Olive Branch in January.

“Meanwhile, the YPG/PKK has continued to pressgang local youth into joining its ranks,” he said.

On Thursday, Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen civilian representatives in Afrin established an interim local council with a view to providing public services.

Zuheyr Haydar, a Kurd, was elected president of the council.

Haydar told Anadolu Agency on Friday that a “more democratic” council election would be held once all displaced Afrin residents had returned to their homes.

Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, which stands roughly 30 kilometers from the Turkish border.

On Mar. 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated the town of Afrin, which since 2012 had been a YPG/PKK stronghold.

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