With a video posted on social media and news websites such as Bercem TV, it was claimed that In Afrin, the Free Syrian Army militants demolished the tombstones in the Christian cemetery. The video was shared more than one thousand and five hundred times and was viewed more than 50 thousands times.
However, the claims that say the video shows the Free Syrian Army disintegrating the tombs of Christians in Afrin is not true. The video actually shows the attack on the tombstones by the Anti-Gaddafi Islamist group in British Commonwealth War Cemetery in Libya. It is seen in the video that the militants whose numbers are up to thirty are smashing the tombstones with sledgehammers and kicking them.
The gravestone attack on the War Cemetery in Libya in 2012
The incident happened in 2012 in the east of Benghazi where the British Nationals fought against Germany and Italy during the Second World War and it is the place where there are tombstones of the soldiers who passed away in the war.
During the Libyan Civil War, the Provisional National Council, which was established by the anti-Muhammad Gaddafi group, announced after the attack on the cemeteries that the incident was sad and that it would not be associated with Islam.
In the attack on the cemetery, in the 1214 tombs belonging to the British Commonwealth, nearly 200 of the tombstones of those, who passed away in North Africa during the Second World War and were buried in Benghazi War Cemetery, were damaged. Other damaged tombstones include Australian, Canadian, New Zealand, South African and Indian soldiers.
According to the Guardian, no one was arrested following this incident. The British Commonwealth War Cemetery Commission declared that no employee was harmed, but another cemetery near Benghazi was damaged.
It is indicated that the video, which was investigated by Snopes in 2015, shows the militants of Libya damaging the tombstones.
The claim that says the Free Syrian Army militants loot houses in Afrin
The AFP news agency and the Syrian Human Rights Observatory claimed that the Free Syrian Army militants who had entered Afrin looted homes and shops. Over these discussions and to clarify the situation, the Presidential Spokesman Abraham Kalin explained to CNN International saying that; “These incidents are happening because some groups do not carry out the orders. The main purpose of Turkey’s military operation in Afrin is to ensure the safety of the people living in the district. These aforementioned incidents are being studied seriously.”