Infighting between pro-Turkey militants kills 25 in Syria
At least 25 militants have been killed in an “unprecedented” infighting between pro-Turkey groups over influence in Syria’s northern town of Afrin, a pro-militants monitoring group says.
According to Press TV, the Turkish army and the so-called Free Syrian Army units which are backed by Ankara established full control over Afrin in March after more than two months of battles with US-backed militants.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that clashes between the majority of the pro-Ankara militants and a group of about 200 fighters in several districts had left 25 dead.
According to the Britain-based group, the 200 militants were accused of "disobeying" Turkish troops and "committing abuses."
Observatory Head Rami Abdul Rahman described the heavy clashes as "unprecedented since the rebels seized Afrin."
"The clashes provoked terror among civilians," he said, adding that "Turkish tanks are patrolling the streets of the town."
The fighting comes amid a curfew imposed by Turkish forces stationed in Afrin on civilians since Saturday evening, according to the observatory.
The United Nations and human rights groups, including Amnesty International, have documented widespread abuses since the capture of the northern city by the Ankara-backed militants.
Turkey-led forces reportedly went on a rampage in Afrin, pillaging shops and homes after capturing the city.
According to a report by the UN Commission of Inquiry, half of the enclave's 320,000 residents fled and most are unable to return.