Child killed after SDF open fire on women at Syria's Al-Hol refugee camp

Child killed after SDF open fire on women at Syria's Al-Hol refugee camp
3 min read
08 February, 2022
A child has been killed as Kurdish-led SDF militia fired on 'IS-linked' women at the Al-Hol camp in northeastern Syria, while three people were killed in an exchange of fire between the SDF and Assad regime forces.
Clashes broke out between women and SDF guards in the Al-Hol camp [file photo-AFP]

One child was killed and six other people on injured on Monday at the Al-Hol refugee camp near Hasakeh in northeastern Syria when militiamen from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) opened fire on women.

Elsewhere in eastern Syria two children and a woman were killed during a rare clash between regime and SDF forces near the city of Deirezzor.

Local sources told The New Arab's Arabic-language service that an SDF patrol opened fire in the overcrowded Al-Hol camp, which hosts women - some linked to the Islamic State group - and children, after a clash broke out between SDF guards and a group of residents at the camp.

They said one child was killed and six women and children were injured, some of them critically.

Videos shared by activists online showed SDF fighters running through the camp and firing guns, shouting at women to get back into their tents.

They also detained some women and drove them away in a military vehicle.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the head of the Kurdish-led administration's department for refugees and displaced Shixmus Ehmed said that the clashes broke out when "IS-linked" women tried to kidnap SDF guards.

Another Kurdish official working at the camp said he was not aware of a kidnap attempt but said a riot had broken out in a small section of the camp.

The camp is fenced off an multiple families are often crammed together in tents, medical facilities are minimal and access to clean water and sanitation limited.

Some 50,000 Syrians and Iraqis are located in the camp and nearly 20,000 of them are children.

Last year, Save the Children said that two children die a week in the camp from violence, diseases, and accidents and while some of the camp's residents have had previous ties to IS, others had simply fled the extremist group's occupation of their homes and villages.

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In the town of Jardhi in eastern Deir az-Zour province a woman and two children were killed in a rare exchange of fire between the SDF and regime forces, a media activist told The New Arab's Arabic-language service.

Regime forces control the west bank of the Euphrates in the area while SDF militiamen control the east bank.

No information was available regarding the reasons for the fighting.

Two SDF fighters were also killed in an attack by unknown forces in the Ghwayran district of Hasakeh, where last month IS militants stormed an SDF-run prison, leading to intense fighting which killed around 500 people before the SDF reasserted control of the prison and surrounding area.