Turkey-backed forces loot Syrian city after capturing it
Turkey-led forces have reportedly gone on a rampage in Afrin, pillaging shops and homes after capturing the northern Syrian city on Sunday.
AFP correspondents and a London-based monitor said the pro-Ankara militants broke into shops, restaurants and houses and left with foodstuff, electronic equipment, blankets and other goods after chasing Kurdish fighters from Afrin.
According to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), militants with the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) placed the loot in cars and small trucks and drove them out of the city.
Turkey's allies "have begun pillaging private property, political and military sites and shops," said the monitor which is sympathetic to foreign-backed militants.
Most of the city's 350,000 residents have fled since Turkey and allied militants launched an air and ground offensive on January 20 to chase out the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG).
According to SOHR, over 280 civilians have been killed. Turkish flags have been hoisted across Afrin, and the invading forces have reportedly started wiping out Kurdish cultural symbols.
Turkey has threatened to expand its operation as far as the nearby city of Manbij, where American forces are stationed.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, however, said Tuesday that Ankara and Washington were to oversee the withdrawal of the Kurdish militants from the city.