445 people killed in Syria in 1st half of April

Syria in the first half of April

Security chaos and military escalation increased in the first half of April 2023 by about 48 percent, violations against civilians by 18 percent, Islamic State (ISIS) activity by 27 percent in comparison with March and based on data analysis by Monitoring and Documentation Department of North Press.

The report addresses the main human rights violations recorded since the beginning of April, depending on information the department has obtained through sources on ground in all Syrian areas.

It includes the outcome of human rights violations at the hands of parties to the conflict in Syria, including kidnappings, torture, arrest indiscriminate shelling, and killings in addition to ISIS activity.

The report documented the following:

266 civilians were killed, including eight children and a woman; and 136 were injured, 13 of them were children and two women. Most of the victims were killed or injured illegally at the hands of unknown people and military personnel who belong to the parties to the conflict, due to the lack of oversight, increase of security chaos, and impunity.

Additionally, remnants of war caused the death of 44 people, including four children; and the injury of 13 others, including six children.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front), summarily executed eight people who were previously arrested, including four foreigners, in jail 107 run by Public Security Service affiliated to the HTS.   

Turkish-backed armed opposition factions, aka as the Syrian National Army (SNA), killed five people, one of them died under torture, following four months of arrest, wounded 12 others including a child, toppled 516 fruitful trees belonging to residents of Afrin region, northwest Syria.

Turkish border guards assaulted Syrian asylum seekers, injured 20 people, and arrested 32 others, including six women and a number of children, while they were trying to illegally get into Turkey. In addition, an armored vehicle of the guards ran over a man in Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), north of Hasakah Governorate, northeast Syria, resulting in his death.

ISIS activity in the region increased during the first half of the month by 27 percent, targeting civilians and military personnel, as the group implemented 18 attacks, killing 19 people and injuring 14 others.

Most of the attacks were carried out against Syrian government forces, as three soldiers were kidnapped in Homs Governorate, central Syria.

ISIS also carried out eight attacks against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir ez-Zor Governorate, eastern Syria; and Hasakah.

In turn, the SDF, with the support of US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, launched four security operations, as a result, 13 people were arrested on charges of belonging to ISIS.

In addition, the Global Coalition killed an ISIS militant.

Moreover, 106 military personnel were killed and 84 others were injured, and they are distributed as the following:

Sixty-seven soldiers of the government forces were killed and 54 were injured.

Seven fighters of the SDF were injured.

Five militants of the HTS were killed and four others were wounded.

Five militants of the SNA were killed and another was injured.

Sixteen Iranian-backed militants were killed and eight others were wounded.

Most of the military personnel were killed in the recent military escalation that took place between the parties to the conflict, as 57 posts of the government forces were targeted by 87 strikes, 51 of them by the HTS. In addition, Israel targeted six posts of the government forces in Damascus, Homs, Daraa, and Qunaitra by six airstrikes.

On the other hand, the government forces targeted ten posts of the Syrian opposition with ten strikes.

In addition, 42 posts of the HTS were attacked by 195 strikes, as the government forces targeted 40 of their posts with 193 strikes.

Regarding to arrests, 115 people were arrested in the first half of April, most of them hail from the northern countryside of Aleppo and Idlib, as the government forces arbitrarily arrested 13 people, the HTS arrested 60 people, most of them work for Sham Legion (Faylaq al-Sham), a faction affiliated with the SNA, and the SNA factions arrested 34 people on charges of belonging to Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) and participating in protests that broke out in Jindires, northwest Syria, following the killing of five Kurdish civilians by SNA militants for celebrating Newroz, in addition to arresting eight people by the SDF on charges of belonging to ISIS.

It is expected that the pace of violations would surge more in Syria, leaving more victims and suffering, unless the parties to the conflict abide by their obligations to protect civilians, grant them a decent life, and stop attacking and humiliating them.