ISIS explosives continue to threaten Kurds in Syria

Explosives seized by Kurdish fighters after ISIS withdrawal from the western countryside of Sere Kaniye in Hasakah province. Photo: ARA News

ARA News 

ERBIL – Two children suffered from serious injuries as a result of the explosion of leftovers of explosives planted by the Islamic State’s (ISIS) militants near Sere Kaniye (Ras al-Ain) in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province, the Kurdish police said on Saturday.

Unexploded devices are a daily threat to Kurdish civilians not only in Kobane, but also in the Hasakah province.

“On Friday, two children with the names A.Z (7) and A.M. (6) were heavily injured in the al-Kantry village near the town of Serikaniye, after playing with a metal object,” the Kurdish police said. They were transported to the al-Salam hospital in the city of Qamislo (Qamishli).

“We note that Asayish Forces warned people not to get close to explosives and report them immediately to the nearest office of Asayish security forces,” the Kurdish police –also known as Asayish in Kurdish– said.

Unexploded devices are a huge threat to Kurdish civilians in Syria. 

“What we saw in Kobane was beyond our worst nightmares: a significant part of the city is vastly destroyed and unexploded weapons contamination of all kinds have reached a density and diversity that
has hardly ever been witnessed before,” said Frédéric Maio, Handicap International’s Mine Action Program Development Manager in a public statement.

“The unexploded devices and booby traps pose a daily threat to the people who fled Kobani (Kobane) and are now trying to return home. This explosive pollution will make it impossible for people to reconstruct their lives, and blocks access to several areas. It also prevents humanitarian organizations from operating safely and providing the necessary support to this vulnerable population.”

It is most likely that the mines will continue to threaten Kurdish civilians and fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Speaking to ARA News, Abdulrahman Hemo, head of the reconstruction board of Kobane, said that the explosives continue to threaten civilian lives, and that more financial support for Kobane is needed. 

“Until now, 50 per cent of the civilian death toll in Kobane was caused by explosives in the ground,” he said. “But we have not seen any practical help yet, so many NGOs got money from donors, but we have not seen any support in Kobane yet,” he said. 

“ISIS militants are experts in the use of mines,” German fighter of YPG Heval Cihan told ARA News, suggesting that ISIS is using traps and decoys, which had killed one of the YPG’s mine experts in Ayn al-Issa town.

“After the liberation of Kobane, most martyrs were not killed by attacks, but by mines,” he said.  “Some of them [YPG fighters] have no discipline, and open doors, or try to take [booby-trapped] weapons,” he added.

A French volunteer agree. “Mines are our biggest threat,” YPG member Heval Ernesto told ARA News in Kobane.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg 

Source: ARA News 

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