North Press documents 212 people killed, injured in Syria in 1st half of May

Syria in the first half of May

The toll of victims in the first half of May reached 212 individuals, the second lowest recorded by the Monitoring and Documentation Department of North Press Agency since the beginning of 2023 after the February 6 earthquake.

The percentage of victims in Syria declined by about 53 percent in the first half of the month. The frequency of violations against civilians decreased by 48 percent. Meanwhile, the intensity of the escalation between the parties to the conflict dropped by 36 percent. Based on an analysis of data recorded by the Department, the Islamic State (ISIS) activity decreased by 83 percent compared to the first half of April.

This report addresses the most prominent human rights violations recorded since the beginning of May based on information obtained by the Department from a network of field sources in various Syrian territories. 

The report includes the toll of human rights violations carried out by the parties to the conflict, such as killings, abductions, torture, arbitrary arrests, indiscriminate shelling, and ISIS activity.

The Department recorded 136 civilian casualties, where 69 were killed, including 13 children and seven women, and 67 were wounded, including 10 children and eight women. Most victims were extrajudicially killed and injured by unidentified individuals and military personnel affiliated with one of the parties to the conflict due to the absence of censorship, increased security chaos, and impunity.

Among the recorded number of civilian victims, 21 people were killed and injured due to remnants of war, eight individuals were killed, including two children, and 13 were injured, including eight children and a woman. 

The number of military victims reached 76, including 43 dead and 33 wounded. They varied between the four zones of control [those of the government, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS, formerly al-Nusra Front), Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA), and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The casualties toll reached 30 dead and 29 wounded in government-held areas, whereas seven fighters of the SDF were killed. Five militants of the HTS were killed, and another was injured. As for the SNA militants, one was killed, and three others were wounded. 

Unlike the previous months that recorded the highest toll for military casualties due to shelling and military escalation between parties to the conflict, this month recorded the highest toll for direct targeting of military personnel.

Meanwhile, toll of shelling cases between parties to the conflict in Syria and the number of victims has decreased by about 36 percent, recording 24 shelling cases against the government forces’ sites, 18 of which carried out by the HTS, two by Israel, and two by Jordan, in which it targeted a drug warehouse and a drug trader in southern Syria. In the aforementioned shelling cases, 14 individuals, including civilians and military personnel, six children, and a woman, were killed, and ten individuals among them was a child were wounded.

As for the government forces, they targeted 39 sites of the HTS, killing four militants and wounding another.

The Turkish forces shelled ten sites in northeast Syria with 16 attacks, killing six individuals, including civilians and military personnel and among them was a woman, and wounding three others.

ISIS activity in the region also witnessed a decrease by 83 percent during the first half of the month, targeting civilians and military personnel, as the group implemented 3 attacks, killing 4 people and injuring 3 others.

One of the attacks was carried out in Damascus, one in Homs, and another in Raqqa.

In turn, the SDF, with the support of US-led Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, launched six security operations, including and airdrop operation, as a result, 16 people were arrested on charges of belonging to ISIS.

The government forces carried out three security operations, in which three people accused of belonging to ISIS were killed.

Regarding to arrests, 145 people were arrested in the first half of May, 113 of them, including a woman, three activists of the opposition, and a number of the Turkish-backed SNA militants, were arrested by HTS.

The SNA arrested eight people under different pretexts, and the Turkish intelligence arrested an individual, as for the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES)-held areas, two individuals were arrested.

The Syrian government also arrested 22 individuals, among them were four ladies, most of whom were arrested in Aleppo in the restricting campaign and the siege the government has been imposing on the two Kurdish-majority neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafiyeh for months.

As for the violations of human rights committed by the SNA factions and the Turkish border guards in areas in northwest Syria, the SNA factions killed one individual and wounded six others including a lady. The Monitoring and Documentation Department recorded ten cases of imposing royalties by the SNA and five by the Amshat, one kidnapping case of a lady, and chopping of 100 trees. 

As for the violations carried out by the Turkish border guards, they killed an individual and wounded six others, including three ladies and one child, while trying to cross Syrian-Turkish border, as well as they arrested six individuals.

The human rights violations against Syrians have been continuing for over 12 years and resulted in the killing of hundreds of thousands of civilians due to security chaos and simmering tension between the parties to the conflict and the failure to comply with human rights international law, turning the Syrian crisis to almost unsolved human rights and humanitarian crises.