On March 28, Wael Alwan, Faylaq al-Rahman’s spokesman, revealed that the militant group and Turkey are currently negotiating to settle in the Afrin area the militants and their families, who had withdrawn from the Eastern Ghouta region.
The city of Afrin and its countryside were captured by the Turkish Army and its proxies earlier this month.
According to the Syrian pro-opposition news outlet al-Etihad Press, Alwan said that Faylaq al-Rhaman wants to settle its fighters in Afrin because Idlib governorate is too crowded as many militants have withdrawn to it over the past two years.
“We hope they [Turkey] agree to this proposal, so far no agreement has been reached and it is still unknown who will be allowed to enter [Afrin area] fighters or civilians or both,” al-Etihad Press quoted Alwan as saying.
The UN said on March 14 that more than 170 civilians, mostly Syrian Kurd, had been displaced from their villages and towns in the Afrin area by the Turkish Army and its proxies. Those displaced civilians are currently living in refugee camps around the city of Tel Rifaat, which is also threatened by a Turkish military operation.
If Turkey allows Faylaq al-Rahman fighters and their families to settle in Afrin, the original people of Afrin may never be allowed back to their homeland, in what could become the biggest demographic change since the beginning of the war in Syria in 2011.