On May 4, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) announced that its fighters had assassinated Jamal al-Zakhlool, a top security official in Faylaq al-Rahman, on the road between the villages of Kurzalah and Basutah in the northern Syrian area of Afrin. YPG fighters also ambushed and killed three fighters of Faylaq al-Sham and destroyed two of their vehicles when they tried to recover the body of Zakhlool.
The Kurdish force revealed that its cells had been tracking Zakhlool for a long time and said that he had been responsible for organizing the settlement of the militants who recently withdrew from the Eastern Ghouta region to the Afrin area.
The Syrian pro-opposition news outlet Enab Baladi confirmed that Zakhlool had been the top commander of Faylaq al-Rahman security forces back in the Eastern Ghouta region.
Faylaq al-Rahman is not the only armed group that has been settled in the Afrin area by Turkey. On April 26, the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD) established a camp in the town of Mayhmudiyah in Afrin to host militants who had withdrawn from the Eastern Qalamun region.
Kurdish activists have warned on several occasions that Turkey is planning to change the demography of the Afrin area, which was captured by Turkish forces from the YPG on March 24.