“Peace Spring” areas in May 2021 | Ongoing security chaos…escalating protests…more violations
Violations against human rights have been escalating in areas under the control of Turkish forces and their proxy factions in Al-Hasakah and Al-Raqqah, known as “Peace Spring” areas since they were captured in October 2019. These forces’ aim is to accomplish specific economic and political objectives through exploiting the region’s bounties, resources and people.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has monitored and tracked all developments and violations committed in “Peace Spring” areas in May 2021.
In May, four people were killed in “Peace Spring” areas, and they were as follows:
• One member of “Osoud al-Sunna” Turkish-backed faction, in shooting by unknown gunmen who broke into his house in the neighborhood of Sluk.
• A booby-trapped bike owner during the bike explosion in the town of Sluk in north of Raqqa.
• A civilian died due to torture in the pro-Turkish “military police” prisons in the city of Tal Abyad. SOHR sources reported that the young man was a former Amir of the ISIS-affiliated Islamic Police during the group control on the city of Ma’adan in southern Raqqa countryside.
On May 4, pro-Turkish factions arrested eight civilians including women, in the town of Hammam al-Turkman, in the city of Tel Abyad, north of al-Raqqah. According to SOHR sources, the arrested people were taken to the Turkish base in Tel Abyad area. This arrest came after members of the factions and the people of the region have snitched on the arrested people, that their sons and relatives were in the ranks of SDF in Autonomous Administration-held areas. Meanwhile, Turkish-backed factions confiscated and examined the phones of the arrested, and trespassed their houses during the search and arrest process.
In the same day, SOHR sources had said that the “Wali” of the Turkish city of Urfa paid a surprise visit, in the morning, to the city of Tel Abyad in “Peace Spring” areas in northern al-Raqqah, as he was seen touring the markets there. It is worth noting that this is the second visit by the “Wali” of Urfa to areas under the control of “Peace Spring” operations room.
Peace Spring areas witnessed three accidents in May:
• On May 2, SOHR sources reported a motorcycle-bomb explosion at the entrance of al-Sena’a area in Sluk town which is under the control of Turkish forces and factions of the “National Army” in al-Raqqah countryside. The explosion left at least one person dead and five others injured.
• On May 10, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activists in areas controlled by the factions of “Peace Spring” operations room reported an IED explosion in a vegetable market in the town of Sluk in the northern countryside of al-Raqqah, which caused material damage only.
• On May 26, SOHR source reported the murder of a militiaman of “Osoud al-Sunna” Turkish-backed faction, and his wife was wounded in a shooting that took place after unknown persons stormed his house in the neighborhood of Silouk al-Waqiah in the north of Raqqa under the operation of the “Peace Spring”.
Meanwhile, on May 28, Syrian Observatory activists reported that the Turkish-backed military police have arrested three members of the third Corps of the “National Army” in Ras al-Ain city (Sere Kaniye), after investigations that proved that these members were dealing with two women who plant IEDs in the city.
In May, popular protests escalated over the miserable conditions in the areas of “Spring peace” especially the services as follows:
• On May 5, Reliable sources in al-Hasakah countryside informed SOHR that the employees in the hospital of Ras al-Ain (Sere Kaniye) have started a general strike, protesting delaying salary payments of this month by Turkish officials in charge of the hospital.
• On May 17, Syrian Observatory activists reported seeing tens of residents demonstrating in Ras Al-Ain city (Sere Kaniye) in al-Hasakah countryside, in “Peace Spring” areas, demanding the provision of electricity, drinking water and other basic services. It is worth noting that “Peace Spring” areas which are under the control of Turkish forces and their proxy factions are suffering from poor services, especially with the frequent power outages and interruption of water.
• On May 21, Syrian Observatory activists reported seeing tens of residents demonstrating in Ras Al-Ain city (Sere Kaniye) in al-Hasakah countryside, in “Peace Spring” areas, demanding the provision of electricity, drinking water and other basic services.
Turkey- backed military factions continuous fights
On May 7, Reliable sources in “Peace Spring” areas, which are under the control of Turkish forces and their proxies in north-east Syria, reported that clashes erupted last night between the military police and al-Hamzat Division in Ras Al-Ain city (Sere Kaniye) in al-Hasakah countryside. The clashes resulted in the injury of a child after he was hit with an indiscriminate gunshot, and he was taken to the national hospital. According to SOHR sources, the child received needed care in the hospital, as the medics had started a general strike, protesting delaying salary payments.
On May 21, reliable SOHR activists in “Peace Spring” areas revealed the identity of more ISIS “Emirs” (top commanders) and members working for the factions of the Turkish-backed “National Army” in Ras al-Ain city (Sere Kaniye) in al-Hasakah countryside. SOHR activists have documented the names of four Syrian ISIS Emirs from Aleppo and Deir Ezzor provinces in the ranks of the “National Army”.
This development comes as a confirmation of SOHR earlier reports of the presence of ISIS members and commanders in the ranks of the Turkish-backed factions.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights therefore renews its call to the international community not to abandon its responsibility and obligations and find a lasting solution to the tragedy of the region’s civilians that are plagued with systematic practices and violations committed by lawless factions, including thefts, murders, looting, arrests and kidnappings.