Syrian Opposition: Citizens' Council to Be Established in Afrin

In an interview with Sputnik, President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCSROF) Abdulrahman Mustafa commented on the situation in the Syrian Afrin, which Turkish forces and the forces of the Free Syria Army had taken control of as part of operation Olive Branch.
“On the territories, previously cleared as part of the Euphrates Shield operation, citizens’ councils were created through elections. The same will be done in Afrin. The elected city council and the citizens will run the city,” Abdulrahman Mustafa told Sputnik.
Commenting on a recent meeting of the Afrin administration in Gaziantep, he said, “the NCSROF didn’t take part in it, but for our part we are going to provide any kind of support in improving Afrin system of administration. Moreover, the Syrian transition government will also contribute to the process as it’s responsible for the situation on the liberated territories. We will support Afrin in different aspects, especially in the sphere of education and health service. The transition government will control the local authorities,” he said.

Emphasizing the significance of the Turkish forces and the forces of the Free Syria Army taking control of Afrin, Mustafa said: “We had expected that any day now. The victory in Afrin is even more significant than the progress made as part of the Euphrates Shield operation. The Afrin operation showed the high efficiency of the Turkish army and of Free Syria Army forces. The most important thing is that no civilians were affected, as the Afrin campaign was conducted very carefully and considering the heavy presence of civilians in the region. Afrin will be free from now on. Right now, cleaning-up and de-mining works are going on in the city. When these are finished, Afrin will gain stability and the citizens will be provided with all the necessary services”, he added.

Mustafa mentioned the necessity of conducting the operation in Manbij and to the east of the Euphrates in order to remove Kurdish YPG groups from these regions.

He said: “YPG groups tried to show false heroism by using the support of the US and some other countries. It’s a structure that serves in the interests of other countries for money. They don’t have their own position. That’s why we knew that they wouldn’t be able to show lasting resistance,” he concluded.

On January 20, Ankara, jointly with the opposition Free Syrian Army forces, launched Operation Olive Branch in Afrin in order to “clear” Turkey’s Syrian border from the terrorist threat. Turkey considers the the Democratic Union Party (PYD), a Kurdish political party in northern Syria, and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia to be linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Ankara. Damascus has condemned the operation as a violation of Syria’s sovereignty.
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