“Euphrates Shield” areas and surroundings in October 2022 | Nearly 32 fatalities in acts of violence…seven explosions and infightings…12 kidnaps and arbitrary arrests
SOHR renews its appeals to the international community to protect civilians in “Euphrates Shield” areas from chaos, insecurity, and violations of Turkish-backed factions
Since Turkish forces and their proxy factions captured several areas in Aleppo after a military operation known as “Euphrates Shield”, humanitarian crises have been emerging and worsening gradually, with violations, attacks and explosions occurring almost daily. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has monitored and tracked October’s prominent developments in these areas, which could be summarised in the following main points:
In October 2022, SOHR activists documented the death of 32 people in areas under the control of Turkish forces and factions operating under the banner of “Euphrates Shield” operations room in the northern, eastern and north-eastern countryside of Aleppo. The fatalities’ breakdown is as follows:
-16 civilians, including two women and four children:
- A young man was killed by counter-narcotics forces in eastern Aleppo.
- A media activist and his wife were shot dead by opposition faction in Al-Bab city
- A civilian was shot dead in Mare’ area in northern Aleppo.
- Four civilians, including a woman and a child, were killed in indiscriminate gunfire and shrapnel of shells during a factional infighting in Al-Bab city and countryside.
- A child was murdered in Azaz countryside.
- Five civilians, including a child, were killed in a tribal infighting between Al-Tayy and Al-Jisat families in Jarabulus city.
- A child was killed by the explosion of an unexploded projectile of a machinegun, while playing with it near a camp in Jadidah village in Azaz countryside.
- A young man with special needs was killed in indiscriminate gunfire during a security campaign by counter-narcotics forces in Jarabulus city.
-A Turkish soldier was killed in an attack with a guided missile on the frontline of Abla village in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
- Two militiamen killed in clashes with SDF in Al-Ghandourah countryside.
- A member Al-Hamza Division was killed in artillery and rocket attacks on a post of the Division in Hazawan village in Al-Bab countryside in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
- A member of Al-Hamza Division accused of “killing the activist, Abu Ghannoum,” during exchange of fire with a patrol of the military police in Al-Bab city.
- A member and colonel of the military police were killed in an attack by heavy machineguns on the road to Qabaseen during a factional infighting.
- A member of Ahrar Al-Sham was killed in clashes with Jaysh Al-Islam nearby Susyan town.
- A member of Jaysh Al-Islam was shot dead in Dabiq village in Ikhtarin countryside in the northern countryside of Aleppo during a family fight.
- Two members of “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah” were killed in a missile attack on their car on Mare’ frontline.
- A fighter was killed in bombardment by Kurdish forces on Mare’ frontline.
- A member of “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah” was killed in clashes with regime forces in Tadef city.
-Two ISIS commanders were killed in an airstrikes by the International Coalition in Jarabulus city in the eastern countryside of Aleppo.
SOHR also documented the injury of over 47 people because of acts of violence in “Euphrates Shield” area and its surroundings in October 2022.
Infightings and explosions
Also, in October 2022, SOHR activists documented six infightings in “Euphrates Shield” area and its surroundings, which left nine civilians, including a woman and two children, and five combatants dead. Here are further details:
- October 1: A member of the military police was injured in gunfire by members of “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah,” as the faction had not been invited to a meeting that was held for forming a revolutionary council in Suran town.
- October 5: Three members of the military police and “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah” were injured in clashes with machineguns between a group of “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah” militiamen and members of the military police at Kafr Kalbeen checkpoints in Azaz city in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
- October 11: Clashes erupted between Al-Hamza Division and “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah” during a raid by “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah” into headquarters of Al-Hamza Division in Al-Bab city over implication of commanders of Al-Hamza Division in the killing of the activist, Abu Ghannoum,” and his wife.
- October 22: Sporadic clashes erupted between two families in Kaljebreen town in Azaz countryside, before the interference of military groups operating under the banner of the “National Army” and comprising militiamen from Tel Rifaat city alongside one of the two families and prevented patrols of the military police to interfere to break up the clashes. However, no casualties have been reported.
- October 23: Violent clashes erupted in Jarabulus city centre between Al-Jisat tribesmen from Jarabulus city and displaced gunmen of Al-Tayy family from Sheyoukh town. The clashes left five people, including a child, dead.
The area also experienced two explosions in the past month, with the first taking place on October 9 when an IED exploded in a car in Azaz city centre, which is under the control of Turkish forces and their proxy factions in Aleppo countryside. The explosion left two people injured.
The second explosion took place on October 28 when a child was killed and four others were injured by the explosion of an unexploded projectile of a machinegun, while playing with it near a camp in Jadidah village in Azaz countryside.
Furthermore, SOHR activists documented two assault occurred in “Euphrates Shield” areas in the past month. The first assault was on October 10 when members of Sultan Murad faction stationed at a checkpoint brutally beat a civilian from Tadef town for unknown reasons. The man was taken to the hospital, as he sustained cuts and bruises all over his body.
The second attack took place on October 16 when a civilian from Beza’a town was beaten brutally by members of “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah,” after “Al-Jabha Al-Shamiyyah” had taken control of the town. The man was beaten for “dealing with Al-Hamza Division.”
Arrests and kidnappings
SOHR documented the arbitrary arrest and kidnapping of 12 people in “Euphrates Shield” area and its surroundings in October. They are distributed as follows:
-Arbitrary arrests: 11 cases.
- Nine people were arrested by the military police in Al-Bab city for “belonging to ISIS.”
- Two persons were arrested by the military police in Azaz city while heading to the city from refugee camps on the city’s outskirts for unknown reasons.
-Kidnappings: One case: Members of Ahrar Al-Sham Islamic Movement in a white van kidnapped a civilian from Al-Bab city in order to collect a ransom for his release.
It seems that violations in “Euphrates Shield” area will not stop as long as Turkish forces and their proxies keep breaching all international laws and charters, while no party or international or regional player is exhibiting any willingness to put an end to these “grave” violations, despite SOHR repeated warnings about the dreadful humanitarian situation in the region.