“Peace Spring” areas in November 2022 | Ten fatalities in acts of violence…five factional and tribal infightings…ongoing security chaos…growing public anger over deteriorating living conditions
SOHR renews its call to the international community to protect civilians from systematic abuse and violations by Turkish-backed factions
Human rights violations 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 wealth, resources and people.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has monitored and tracked all developments and violations committed in “Peace Spring” areas in November 2022.
In November, ten civilians and combatants were killed in “Peace Spring” areas, and here are further details:
- A woman was murdered by her husband in Ras Al-Ain city.
- A woman was found dead in her house in Tel Abyad city, while uncertainty surrounds the circumstances of her death. According to reliable SOHR sources, the woman was a former member of Woman’s Protection Units (YPJ), and she fled for unknown reasons from SDF-held areas towards Tel Abyad in “Peace Spring” area, where she was arrested by “National Army” factions. She was released two months later. The woman then married to a member of the “National Army” called “Abu Al-Majd.”
- A member of Al-Hamza Division was killed in a grenade explosion in Ras Al-Ain city.
- Three members of Turkish-backed factions, including a commander, were killed in factional infightings.
- Three militiamen were killed by attacks by SDF.
- A commander of Al-Khattab faction was shot dead by unknown gunmen.
Meanwhile, “Peace Spring” area experienced five infightings in November, which left three combatants, including a commander, dead and over ten others injured. These infightings are as follows:
- November 5: A commander of “Al-Hamza Division” was killed by another member of the same faction in Ras Al-Ain city in Al-Hasakah countryside, following disagreements over mechanism of smuggling people via routs leading to Turkish territory.
- November 7: Clashes erupted in Ras Al-Ain city among members of Al-Hamza Division over an earlier retaliation, in which heavy weapons were used. The clashes left several militiamen of the faction injured.
- November 14: Ras Al-Ain city experienced military tension between gunmen from Al-Bosha’ban tribe and Al-Ekaydat tribe following disagreements between two young men from the two tribes which evolved into clashes, before the young man from Al-Ekaydat tribe opened fire on the young man from Al-Bosha’ban tribe, which caused his injury.
- November 14: Clashes erupted between militiamen of Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah faction and others of Shuhadaa Badr faction in Mabroukah town in the west of Ras Al-Ain. The clashes, which followed disagreements over the use of routes used for smuggling people to Turkish-controlled areas, left two members on both sides injured.
- November 28: A fight irrupted in Ras Al-Ain city centre between militiamen of the Turkish-backed faction of “Ahrar Al-Sharqiyah” from Al-Sayyad tribe and gunmen from Al-Qar’an tribe affiliated to “Al-Hamza Division following disagreements over the smuggling of a group of people to Turkey. The clashes between the two groups left two militiamen of Al-Qar’an tribe injured and caused panic among the residents.
Moreover, SOHR documented one explosion in “Peace Spring” area in November when a member of Al-Hamzat Division was killed and another was injured by the explosion of a grenade, on November 11, near the centre of social services “Social” in Al-Abar neighbourhood in Ras Al-Ain city in Al-Hasakah countryside.
On the other hand, two civilians sustained serious injuries, on November 10, when they were chasing by the military police in Ras Al-Ain city in northern Al-Hasakah for “belonging to ISIS.”
In early November, the Turkish-backed military police in Ras Al-Ain (Sere Kaniye) city arrested nearly 200 people including women, children and elderly people, from different areas across Syria.
According to reliable SOHR sources, the military police arrested nearly 200 people, including people displaced from regime-controlled areas, carrying cards issued from the local council in Ras Al-Ain and Tel Abyad. They were arrested for attempting to sneak into Turkey, with the help of smugglers affiliated to Turkish-backed factions, who had not coordinated with the Turkish military police or shared revenue of smuggling operations with them.
The Turkish military police seized the possessions of the detainees, including their jewellery, mobile phones and money. Some of the detainees faced fabricated accusations, the most prominent of which was their “dealing with the Party (Al-Hezb),” in reference to SDF.
On November 16, women went out on protests in front of Tel Abyad border crossing in “Peace Spring” area, demanding improvement of living conditions, in light of the acute shortage of essentials.
This coincided with the failure of authorities of Tel Abyad area to secure basic needs of the residents and unfulfilled promises.
“Peace Spring” area which controlled by Turkish forces and their proxy factions witnessed monopolization of relief aid by organisations, along with the lack of bread and skyrocketing prices.
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 appeal 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 abuse and violations committed by lawless factions, including thefts, murders, looting, arrests and kidnappings.