This documentary paper reviews the shelling by GOS (government of Syria) and its Russia ally on many cities, towns and villages of Deir-ez-Zor in 2017, in addition to Hmeidiyeh, AL omal and AL urdi neighborhoods which were the most targeted according to Justice for Life organization (JFL) documentations.
A photo explains the geographical location of Deir-ez-Zor
2017 was a crucial year in Deir-ez-Zor governorate because of changes in the map of control.in July 2012 it was controlled by armed opposition factions then it became under control the armed Islamic forces, especially by AL Nusra front which is on the international terrorism list and ended with ISIS that controlled the most of governorate in Jun 2014.
GOS forces which were controlling some neighborhoods of Deir-ez-Zor began a campaign to re-control the governorate since Jun 2017 and succeed in controlling all villages and towns which are on the south of Euphrates river in the eastern and western countryside in addition to full control on the southern countryside. In Nov 2017 GOS controlled all the city of Deir-ez-Zor, Al Mayadin and Abu Kamal cities, SDF (Syria Democratic Forces), supported by International alliance that is led by USA, controlled most the villages and towns on the north of Euphrates throughout (Island Storm battle0 in Sep 2017.
Secondly: Importance of the paper:
2017 is considered the bloodiest year in Deir-ez-Zor governorate. According to “Like Doomsday” report by JFL, Hundreds were killed, thousands were displaced because of shelling by GOS and its Russia ally and dozens were killed by mines during their displacement.
Syrian authorities claimed that their operations targeted military locations of ISIS.
Houses and shops in areas controlled by GOS and its allies in Deir-ez-Zor were looted and the stolen things were publicly sold in some neighborhoods of in Deir-ez-Zor city.
Civilians, who left the GOS controlled areas, fear of being arrested by security system if they come back, in addition that thousands of men between 18-52 are threated of being enrolled by military service if they come back.
JFL documented the death of (1273) civilians in all Deir-ez-Zor governorate because of GOS air forces shelling and its Russia ally in 2017, out of them (263) children and (244) women. (60%) of them are killed in the period between Sep and the end of Nov in 2017.
Thirdly: bombing, killing and displacement of thousands:
Center of Deir-ez-Zor district with its sub-districts: Basira, Tabni, Khasham, Muhasan and Kasra
The whole city of Deir-ez-Zor now is controlled by GOS.
Deir-ez-Zor neighborhoods, which are controlled by GOS at the end of 2017
Neighborhoods under the control of ISIS exposed a sever aircraft and missiles bombing in 2017 by the Syrian-Russia alliance in attempt to control these neighborhoods and they do.
JFL documented the death of (50) civilians in 2017 in Hameidiyyeh, AL Omal and AL ordi neighborhoods, out of them (6) children and (15) women.
Abu Kamal city:
It is a Syrian city on the east of Deir-ez-Zor, a Border area through which Euphrates passes and the last point for Euphrates river in Syria before it enters The Iraqi lands.
Abu Kamal sub districts are: Hajin, Sosa and Jalaa.
JFL documented the death of (181) civilians because of air forces shelling by GOS and its Russia ally in 2017, out of them (42) children and (44) women.
Death of 72 were documented between Jun and Jul in 2017, out pf them (24) civilians on 18-4-2017 were killed by shelling near Masriyeh in Abu Kamal city.
Death of (28) civilians on 15-5-2017.
Death of (109) civilians between Sep and Nov in 2017, out of the (28) were killed by shelling on Sokkariyeh neighborhood in the northwest of Abu Kamal city.
Shelling on Sokkariyeh neighborhood on 30-10-2017-
The source of photo is social media sites where Justice for Life verified its validity
Because of shelling on Abu Kamal city, dozens of families fled to Shafa and set up collective accommodation.
Dozens of fleeing families gathered in the town of Abu Kamal in the town and set up residential compounds there.
On Nov and Dec 2017, Shafa was shelled by GOS and Russia air forces which caused the death of (92) civilians, out of them (11) children and (23) women.
Elsayal is northwest of Abu Kamal, its population is 13.000 before the entrance of GOS where 10 civilians were killed on 10-11-2017, out of them 3 children and a woman.
Swiaa is on Abu Kamal district.
JFL documented the death of (7) civilians on Nov 2017 because of air forces shelling by GOS and its Russia ally, out of them (2) children and (2) women.
Al Mayadin city:
It is a Syrian city and the center of Al Mayadin district on the Euphrates river about 45 km southeast of Deir-ez-Zor.
Sub districts of Al Mayadin district: Thiban and Ashara.
JFL documented the death of (125) civilians on 2017 because of air forces shelling by GOS and its Russia ally, out of them (36) children and (28) women.
About the half of victims, (62) were killed in the period between Sep and the end of Nov on 2017.
Photo of the shelling on Al Mayadin city on 14 -9-2017
The source of photo is social media sites where Justice for Life verified its validity.
Qetet Elbuleil town:
Elbuleil is in the east of Deir-ez-Zor and related to Muhasan sub district.
JFL documented the death of (62) civilians on 2017 because of air forces shelling by GOS and its Russia ally,(53) civilians were killed in the period between Sep and the end of Nov 2017 because of targeting the town and water crossing that connect Elbuleil with villages and towns on the north of Euphrates river.
Mathlum is in the northern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor and related to Khasham sub-district in the north of Euphrates river.
In 2017, Mathlum village witnessed repeated attempts to be controlled by SDF and GOS who wanted to control Konico Gas field in Khasham town.
JFL enumerators documented the death of (14) civilians because of air forces shelling by GOS and its Russia ally, out of them a child and 3 women.
Upper Baqras and Lower Baqras towns:
Upper Baqras and Lower Baqras towns are in eastern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor and related to Al Mayadin district. The two towns exposed to hundreds of airs raid in the period between 30-9-2017 and 6-10-2017 according to testimonies were documented by JFL.
JFL documented the death of (33) civilians in the two cities on 2017 because of air forces shelling by GOS and its Russia ally, out of them (7) children and (5) women, about (70%) of them were killed in the period between Sep and the end of Oct in 2017.
Thiban Haweij village:
It is in the western countryside of Deir-ez-Zor south the Euphrates river and relates to Tabni Sub-district.
(15) civilians were killed in Sep 2017, (2) women out of them.(8) civilians killed on 11-9-2017 because of shelling on crossing water which connects the village with the north of Euphrates river.
Kharita is in the western countryside of Deir-ez-Zor on the south of Euphrates river and related to Tabni sub district.
The town exposed to severe shelling in the second half of 2017 in the attempt of GOS to control the eastern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor, which obligate people to leave their houses.
JFL documented the death of (17) civilians on 2017, out of them (5) children and (5) women. Because of air forces shelling by GOS and its Russia ally, which targeted a camp of IDPs in the town on the river near the town.
GOS and its allies targeted the crossings that connect among villages and towns on the south of Euphrates river with those on the north of river in Abu Kamal and Al Mayadin districts. Also, water rafting and boats which people use to escape shelling.
JFL documented the death of (53) civilians in the period between 1-9-2017 to 30-11-2017 because of shelling the following crossings:
- Ashara and Mahkan crossings which related to Al Mayadin in the east of Deir-ez-Zor.
- Al Abbas, Hajin, Baguz, Elsayal, Hasrat, baqaan, Marashdeh and Sosa crossings in Abu Kamal in the east of Deir-ez-Zor.
Justice for Life claims:
– UN Special Envoy of Syria to pressure GOS to facilitate the return of fleeing civilians to the GOS areas in Deir-ez-Zor and guaranty their safety from arrest, murder and any other violation.
– Take the necessary steps to refer the situation in Syria to the judiciary, including International Criminal Court or special court and ask the Security Council to take responsibility in this matter and begins actual proceedings to guaranty prosecution and not escaping punishment.
-Exercising pressure on authorities and stakeholders to engage in a comprehensive peace process that respect human rights and international humanitarian law.