After little more than a month since capturing the Kurdish city of Afrin in northwestern Syria, the Turkish government and its jihadist allies are discussing plans to rule the city by Islamic sharia law.
A meeting recently took place between Turkish authorities and rebel leaders of the al-Rahman Legion to decide how to build an Islamic police force, sharia courts and other religious centers.
Al-Rahman Legion is one of the largest Islamist rebel groups that was in control of the eastern Ghouta, the last rebel-held area in Damascus. The group was recently expelled from the area after a Turkish- and Russian-brokered deal between the Syrian regime and groups rebelling against it, such as Al-Rahman. It has since resettled in the city of Afrin, along with hundreds of families from the Damascus suburban area.
Since 2012, Afrin had been run by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), a U.S.-backed group that had a secular system of governance which rejected political Islam and promoted relatively liberal ideals.