SDF-held areas in September 2022 | Nearly 27 deaths in acts of violence…noticeable escalation of ISIS cells’ activity met with large-scale security campaigns…ten infightings and crimes • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SDF-held areas in September 2022 | Nearly 27 deaths in acts of violence…noticeable escalation of ISIS cells’ activity met with large-scale security campaigns…ten infightings and crimes

SOHR calls for protecting civilians, guaranteeing their rights, and putting an end to violations by “Al-Shabiba Al-Thawriyah”

Areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), (SDF-held areas) experienced in September 2022 scores of incidents of security disorder and violations against human rights. In this context, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has monitored and tracked all key developments in SDF-held areas in the past month.



Deaths in acts of violence 


SOHR documented the death of 72 people in September 2022 in light of the ongoing acts of violence in SDF-held areas. Here are further details of those deaths:


-13 civilians, including three woman and four children; they are as follows:


  • A man and a woman were killed by ISIS.


  • Two children were killed in Turkish bombardment.


  • A little girl and a woman were killed in Turkish airstrikes.


  • A civilian was shot dead by Turkish forces.


  • A child was killed by the explosion of an unexploded projectile.


  • A civilian was killed in the explosion of a booby-trapped motorcycle.


-30 combatants of military formations operating in SDF-controlled areas:


  • 17 killed by ISIS.


  • Nine killed by Turkish airstrikes.


  • Two were shot dead by a prisoner.


  • One killed in clashes with smugglers.


  • One killed in clashes with Turkish-backed factions.


-Six gunmen:


  • Four killed in family fights.


  • Two were killed in clashes with SDF.


-Five ISIS members were killed in security operations by SDF and Coalition, one of whom blew himself up.


-Three regime soldiers were killed in Turkish bombardment on Ain Al-Arab countryside (Kobani).


-15 people were executed for “spying for Turkish intelligence.”



Ongoing activity by ISIS cells met by large-scale security campaigns


ISIS continued its operations in areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration, where it carried out several armed attacks and assassinations through gunfire, attacks with sharp tools and planting IEDs and landmines.


The Syrian Observatory documented over 16 operations, including armed attacks and explosions, carried out by ISIS cells in SDF-held areas in September 2022. According to SOHR statistics, these attacks left 17 people: two civilians, including a woman, and 15 combatants, dead.


Meanwhile, Syria Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by the International Coalition, continued their large-scale security campaigns to curb the escalating activity by the organisation and its affiliated cells in SDF-held areas, particularly in Deir Ezzor, Al-Hasakah and Al-Raqqah.


According to SOHR activists, anti-ISIS campaigns in September 2022 led to the arrest of 196 people for “communicating with and belonging to ISIS.”


Moreover, military forces arrested nearly 60 people with the aim of interrogate them following the Turkish airstrikes which targeted a senior commander in Ain Issa. In addition, SOHR activists documented the arrest of 24 persons by military forces operating in SDF-controlled areas for unknown reasons.



Ongoing crises and escalating public protests


On September 4, SOHR activists reported seeing long lines of vehicles in front of petrol stations in Al-Malikiyah city (Dayrik) in areas controlled by the “Autonomous Administration,” because of lack of fuel provided by public fuel service, where car owners were forced to wait for long hours.


According to Observatory activists, the amount of diesel distributed by the public fuel service did not meet the civilians’ needs.


Civilians had appealed to Al-Qamishli public fuel service to increase fuel allocations provided to Al-Malikiyah city (Dayrik), but they received no response.


It is worth noting that diesel allocations specified to every petrol station reach 20,000 litres in order to meet the consumption of civilian cars. However, most of the car owners do not receive enough diesel after waiting for long hours in front of petrol stations because of the lack of monitoring and accountability by the fuel services.


While on September 6, teachers in the towns of Al-Jerzi and Abu Hardoub in east Deir Ezzor countryside staged a sit-in protest, rejecting the proposal by the “Education Department” of the “Autonomous Administration” in Deir Ezzor in areas under the control of SDF.


According to SOHR activists, the teachers released a statement in which they expressed their rejection of changing the structure of Al-Jazeera educational complex and appointing a new head for the educational complex. The main demand of the teachers was the appointment of qualified teachers.


Similarly, on September 20, many teachers staged protests in Ghranij educational complex in the SDF-held area of Al-Sh’aytat in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, expressing their rejection of the new curriculum developed by the “Autonomous Administration,” The teachers considered the new curriculum unacceptable, because it violates fundamental concepts of religion and the region’s social traditions.


According to SOHR activists, the teachers demanded the abolition of the new curriculum, as well as demands of salary increase, delivery of salaries in the US dollar, because of the freefall of the Syrian currency, improvement of the the teacher’s living conditions. The teachers also demanded hiring of guards to protect schools from repeated looting and vandalism.


To days later, September 22, several male and female teachers participated in protest staged at Euphrates educational complex in Abu Hamam and Al-Kashkiyah towns in east Deir Ezzor countryside to express their rejection of the new educational curriculum developed by the “Autonomous Administration” in north-east Syria.


The protestors also demanded a monthly salary increase, as the current salaries approximate 260,000 SYP to each teacher, equivalent to only 57 USD.


According to Observatory activists, the teachers demanded hiring guards at the region’s schools and the delivery of maternity entitlement salaries as well.


The protestors also called on the “teaching staff” of the “Autonomous Administration” to stop providing the new curriculum at Deir Ezzor’s schools, so that students would back to schools, as the students’ parents refuse to send their children to schools due to their rejection of the new curriculum.


On the same day, SOHR sources reported that the teaching staff at Al-Shaddadi educational complex in south Al-Hasakah countryside started a general strike in Al-Shaddadi city, protesting the low monthly salaries and demanding that schools be provided with the necessary supplies to complete the educational process.


The general education committee for schools denied any intention to provide curriculum containing religious, scientific or historical violations to students of the area.



Escalating security chaos: Scores of infightings and crimes


Also, in September, tribal and family infightings escalated dramatically in SDF-controlled areas, as Observatory activists documented six bloody infightings: three in Deir Ezzor, one in Al-Raqqah, one in Al-Hasakah and one in Aleppo, which left four gunmen dead.


Furthermore, SOHR activists documented four murder crimes in areas controlled by the Autonomous Administration in September, which left three men and one woman dead.



Subsiding Turkish airstrikes


Turkish military operations, mainly ground bombardment, were documented in areas under the control of the Autonomous Administration on a daily basis in September. Specifically, SOHR sources reported bombardment with hundreds of rockets and artillery shells fired by Turkish forces and their proxy factions over the past month, targeting different positions in Al-Hasakah, Al-Raqqah and Aleppo countryside, which killed two children.


In addition, SOHR activists documented four attacks by Turkish drones which killed a female commander of the Autonomous Administrations and nine combatants and injured seven others.



Execution of suspects accused of “spying for Turkish intelligence”


On September 11, Al-Raqqah city witnessed the trial of 15 people accused of “spying for Turkish intelligence.” It is worth noting that a large number of families of civilians and combatants, who had been killed in the latest Turkish ground and aerial attacks, attended the closed trial.


According to SOHR sources, the indictees pleaded guilty to providing the Turkish intelligence with coordinates of the whereabouts of military figures and commanders of the “Autonomous Administration” and “Syria Democratic Forces” with the aim of attacking them by Turkish forces. The indictees also told off details about their communications with the Turkish intelligence.


The indictees, who were arrested earlier, included a man and his wife from Afrin canton and a woman from Idlib. According to SOHR sources, one of the indictees confessed that he reached a deal with the Turkish intelligence a few weeks earlier, according to which he would take 50,000 USD in return for providing the Turks with coordinates of the whereabouts of a senior commander in Ain Al-Arab (Kobani). The indictee added that he received 200 USD before the attack, but the Turkish intelligence sent nothing after the attack.


Accordingly, the court imposed death penalty on 13 of indictees who had confessed to spying for the Turkish intelligence. Meanwhile, the remaining two indictees were not sentenced, as there was no enough evidence against them, although they had confessed to spying for the Turkish intelligence.


During the trial, the families of victims attempted to attack the indictees.


While on September 22, members of the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) gathered the families of the victims who were killed in Turkish aerial and ground attacks to attend the public execution in Al-Jibsa residences in the southern countryside of Al-Hasakah.


Two young men from Ekaydat and Al-Jabour tribes were executed for “spying for Turkish intelligence.”


The verdict, capital punishment, was publicly executed in full view of the attendees, after the verdict was handed down by a court affiliated to the “Autonomous Administration.”



Ongoing recruitment of children by “Al-Shabiba Al-Thawriyah”


“Al-Shabiba Al-Thawriyah” (the Revolutionary Youth) continues attracting and luring minors to serve in its military ranks, blatantly violating human rights and international resolutions that the Autonomous Administrations and Syria Democratic Forces have signed, while neither the residents’ demands to stop exploiting and recruiting children to military ranks nor the international charters managed to put an end to the recruitment of children by “Al-Shabiba Al-Thawriyah.”


On September 8, “Al-Shabiba Al-Thawriyah” kidnapped a little girl in Aleppo city and sent her to its military camp.


In addition, a 15-year-old girl was kidnapped in Aleppo countryside on September 14.



We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), call upon the authorities in SDF-held areas to fulfil people’s demands that call for the improvement of social and living conditions and not punish them for demanding their rights. We also call on the International Coalition and SDF to intensify their security campaigns against active and sleeping ISIS cells in various areas in east Euphrates to prevent the revival of ISIS which poses a threat to local, regional and international security.


SOHR calls upon the Autonomous Administration in north and east Syria, Syria Democratic Forces, and all relevant authorities to put an end to the ongoing violations by “Al-Shabiba Al-Thawriyah” (the Revolutionary Youth) in the east Euphrates region.