“Peace Spring” areas in June 2021 | Nearly 15 people arbitrary arrested, while ongoing security chaos leads to death of ten others
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 June 2021.
In June, nine people were killed in “Peace Spring” areas, and they were as follows:
- A civilian from Tel Diyab village in Ras al-Ain countryside killed by a member of the Turkish-backed faction of Ahrar al-Sharqiyah.
- A civilian from al-Mahmoudiyah village in Ras al-Ain countryside was found dead and dumped on a farmland, and the residents blamed Turkish-backed militiamen of killing him.
- Three members of al-Hamzah Division who were killed in fight among the faction’s members in Ras al-Ain city.
- Three members of al-Hamzah Division who were killed in an infiltration operation on their positions in the eastern countryside of Ras al-Ain.
- A member of the 20th Division was strangled to death, as his body was found with marks of torture in the faction’s headquarters in Fuwaylan village of Sluk district in the eastern countryside of al-Raqqah.
Meanwhile, violations continued in “Peace Spring” areas, as SOHR documented, in June 2021, the arbitrary arrest of 13 people, including five women among them there were four nurses, in Tel Abad, Ras al-Ain and Hammam al-Turkman in Tel Abyad countryside.
SOHR also documented three armed fights among the Turkish-backed factions, and they were concentrated in Ras al-Ain city. These fights left several casualties and caused a state of panic among the region’s residents.
On June 2, a civilian from Tel Diyab in Ras al-Ain countryside (Sere Kaniye) was murdered in cold blood by members of the Turkish backed faction of “Ahrar al-Sharqiya”. Sources said that the victim demanded “Ahrar al-Sharqiya” members pay for his work in repairing several houses for them, but one of the faction’s officers shot him in the head and dumped his body out of the village of “Tel Diyab”. In this contest, victim’s family and village residents demanded that killers had to be held accountable for their crime but to no avail. Meanwhile, faction members arrested victim’s brother and took him to civil police security center in Ras al-Ain city.
Three days later, SOHR sources reported a meeting between the dignitaries of the tribe of the killed civilian, Harb tribe, and dignitaries of the killer’s tribe, al-Ekaydat tribe, after mediation by dignitaries of Harb and Adawan tribes. A luncheon was held in the murdered civilian’s funeral reception tent in an attempt by the elders of Harb and Adawan tribes to defuse the tension between the two tribes with the aim to prevent any probable retaliations. The incident was explained as a manslaughter. This reconciliation came at light of Ahrar al-Sham’s fears of attacks in its headquarters in “Peace Spring” areas in northern al-Hasakah by members of Harb tribe.
The tribes issued a statement, of which the Syrian Observatory received a copy, which included the following:
“Thanks to Allah, and after mediation and great efforts by dignitaries and the elder of Harb tribe in Ras al-Ain, Ahmed Abid al-Khalil, and Adawan tribe’s elder, NasserSab’ al-Rashou, and after tracking the investigation on the circumstances of the incident which resulted in the death of a man form Harb tribe in Tel Thyab village, it was found that the incident was just manslaughter. A man of Harb tribe was hit with a gunshot fired by mistake by a man of al-Ekaydat tribe, and there was no deliberate intention to kill this man. There are strong ties connecting the two tribes for long time.”
Overall, this bleak picture remains in place with the widespread corruption and tyranny of the Turkish-backed factions without any deterrent preventing them from committing further humanitarian crimes against Syrian civilians in the “Peace Spring” areas.
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.