During the funeral of "Aufa Sheikh Hassan" - Image source: Taken from a video posted on social media
During the funeral of "Aufa Sheikh Hassan" - Image source: Taken from a video posted on social media

Afrin: A Kurdish woman was killed by several stab wounds and her house was burned, motivated by theft

 As a result of the state of security chaos that has been going on for more than five years, Afrin city recently witnessed a horrific murder, as unknown persons killed Mrs. “Aufa Sheikh Ahmed” in her house, located in the roundabout Marateh , with several stab wounds to her body, before they stole an amount of money and her gold jewelry, and they also burned the house after that.

According to one of the victim’s relatives who preferred to use the name “Ali Khalil/a pseudonym,” the forty-year-old woman was alone when the crime was committed. He added, in a special testimony to the Lelun Association through its field researcher, the following:

“It seems that the crime occurred at around 9:00 am on 12th of June 2023, after her husband went to work. We still don’t know how the perpetrators entered the house and committed this crime. Noting that they stole sums of money that were in the house (150 dollars and 800 Turkish lira) in addition to about 250 grams of gold, before they completed their crime by burning the house and fleeing.”

According to the information obtained by the Lelun field researcher; One of the suspects in the murder was arrested. It turned out that he is one of the victim’s neighbors and lives in the same building where “Aufa” family lives. The researcher added:

“One of the main reasons that led to the suspicion of the neighbor of the murdered woman was that he didn’t go to the commercial store that day, which was dedicated to selling detergents in the neighborhood. Rather, he was in the house at those moments.”

According to other sources close to the victim and some of neighbors residing in the neighborhood, and accounts published on social media by the victim’s husband, Aufa’s husband, Hanif, had a dispute with their suspected neighbor, who lives in the apartment above them. While the latter denied it and was indignant because of this accusation.

However, the dispute didn’t subside, it lasted for several days after that incident. “Hanif” in order to respond to the calamity of himself and his wife, he suggested that he gives him 200 Turkish liras for that mat, which he doesn’t know anything about. Except that the neighbor, although he took the money, promised to “account him” one day.

Lelun know that the “Criminal Security” police, which is based in the villas neighborhood of Afrin, began investigating the crime, but at the same time the family was under pressure during the investigations, in order to waive their right and not complete the case.

Later, the judge assigned to investigate the crime of murder’s Aufa decided to release the suspect of the crime. He summoned the victim’s husband, Hanif Hannan Khalil, and her brother, Masoud Sheikh Ahmed, for interrogation. They are still in detention, as pressure is being exerted on them in order to testify that the main suspect is innocent, according to what a close relative of the victim recently told Lelun researcher.

“Aufa Sheikh Ahmed” is 40 years old, and she comes from the village of “Sheikh” in the “Raju” district in Afrin. She has been married for nearly ten years to “Hanif Khalil”, who comes from the village of “Qibar” in Afrin. They have no children, but the couple had been trying to collect some money throughout the years of the war and before it, to perform a child transplant. At the beginning of their marriage, the family lived in the village of “Qibar”, and due to the lack of job opportunities, they moved to the city of “Jenderes”, and then to Afrin, where they lived in the “Al-Mahmudiyah” neighborhood, among the wife’s family and relatives.

The couple didn’t leave Afrin during the Turkish “Olive Branch” operation in 2018, and two years later they moved to Aufa’s aunt’s house in the Marateh roundabout, where they lived for the past three years, it is the same house in which the horrific crime took place.

Afrin region is witnessing a state of security chaos due to the phenomenon of the proliferation of weapons, as well as the proliferation of military factions loyal to Ankara among civilians and in residential neighborhoods and villages. Violations have been repeated in Afrin since its occupation, with various pretexts and reasons. These violations were numerous throughout the region, the most egregious of which was the killing of four young Kurds on the night of Nawroz, 20th of March  of this year, by members of the “Jaysh Al-Sharqia” faction of the Syrian National Army in the city of “Jenderes”, which turned into a massive uprising, but the killers haven’t yet been prosecuted.

The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria issued a report covering the period between 27th February and 31th March of this year, consisting of 44 pages, in which it talked about violations by Turkish-backed factions in Idlib and Afrin. The committee stated that the conflict between the parties “has intensified on several fronts, with dire consequences for civilians.”

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