500 Kurds kidnapped by Shia militias near Aleppo

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Members of the Syrian Arab Army. File photo

ARA News

Pro-Syrian government paramilitary groups captured around 500 Kurdish civilians from Afrin in the town of Mayer on the Aleppo-Afrin road, local sources reported on Monday.

Bus drivers in Afrin told ARA News that the ‘Syrian government security forces’ stopped 50 buses full with passengers from Afrin.

“500 passengers were detained, with only one has been released, while others were transferred to the town of al-Zahra,” an eyewitness said, speaking to ARA News on condition of anonymity.

Until now the fate of the citizens is unknown.

A source from Afrin told ARA News that most likely Shia paramilitary groups kidnapped the Kurdish civilians.

“They are pro-regime militias from Nubul and al-Zahra, they are Shias. These two villages are allied to Iran,” the source said. “This happens every once in a while.”

However, the local source said “this doesn’t mean that the Syrian government is against the Kurds.”

“The regime is also upset with the activities of those [Shia] militias. These two villages [Nubul and al-Zahra] consider themselves more as Iranian than Syrian,” he said.

Reporting by: Siman Jiwan & Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News

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