Interim local council established in Syria’s Afrin
AFRIN – Anadolu Agency
The city’s elders voted and formed a temporary local council in the center of Afrin, according to state-run Anadolu Agency reporters on the ground.
Eleven of the 20-member council were elected by Kurds, eight by Arabs and one by Turkmens.
Zuheyr Haydar, a Kurdish representative, was elected president of the council.
The seats of the executive board go to Zakarya Mohammad, Jasim al-Sifari, Ahmet Haj Hasan, Abdurrahman Najjar, Horu Osman and Muhammad Sheikh Rashit.
To become a member of the council it is a requirement to be a citizen of Afrin.
Speaking to the agency, Haydar thanked Turkey for its support. “We thank Turkey for giving us this opportunity. We will serve the people of Afrin. Like the Euphrates Shield [region], the ‘Olive Branch’ region will be an example,” he said.
Haydar called on all people of Afrin to return to their homes. “We can make a more democratic election if all people of Afrin come back. We will manage ourselves, not others from Qandil or other places,” he said.
Haydar said the local council was founded under the supervision of the Syrian Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SMDK), stating that it would be connected to the local council of Aleppo.
He said the local council was in favor of the territorial integrity of the country.
“The local council will begin its services in health and education in a short time. We will endeavor to bring those who fled from terrorists back to Afrin,” said Abdulrahman Mustafa, deputy head of the coalition, who was in Afrin during the elections.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched “Operation Olive Branch” to clear Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants from Afrin in northwestern Syria. On March 18, the Turkish armed forces and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) declared full control over the city.