The child "Nazmi" after being assaulted by gunmen - Photo source: exclusive to "Lêlûn"
The child "Nazmi" after being assaulted by gunmen - Photo source: exclusive to "Lêlûn"

Afrin: A new attack on a member of the “Peshmerg” family by gunmen

Violations against the “Peshmerg” family did not stop at the “Newroz 2023” crime in Jenderees, in which four young Kurds from one family were killed by “Sharqiya Army” faction. Rather, these violations continued to include repeated threats and attempts to target family’s members. The latest of which was the attack on grandson of the family by an armed group believed to be from the same faction.

On 25th of July 2023, the fifteen-years-old grandson of the Peshmerga family, Nazmi Ashraf Othman, was beaten by a masked armed group.[1]

“Lêlûn” communicated with a number of the victim’s relatives, through her field researcher, who gave a detailed testimony about the circumstances of the attack, as the source preferred not to be named for security reasons and fear of reprisals. The following statement stated:

“There were no previous enmities between Nazmi and any of the members of the Eastern Army faction before this incident. However, at around 10:30 p.m in the evening of 25th of July 2023, Nazmi went to the barber salon where he works to bring the shop’s floor fan to his house, because he wasn’t able to sleep that day because of the intense heat wave that swept the area. After closing the shop and reaching the street corner of his house, a masked person attacked him and put a knife on his neck telling him, “Don’t say any word, as soon as you speak, I will slaughter you immediately, we are Al-Sharqiya (meaning Al-Sharqiya Army) and it is permissible for us to take our revenge.” Nazmi saw that he was surrounded by a group of five people, who were about to beat him on his stomach and all over his body, then they threw him on the ground and threw a large stone on his back, and they got into the car quickly and the driver shouted at them: “Why didn’t you kill him and slaughter him? He deserves to die. He is Kurdish,” so the driver ran over his hands, leaving the child behind in the middle of the street.”

After that, Nazmi crawled on the ground with difficulty until he was able to reach the house, so that his father, “Ashraf”, opened the door and took him to “Al-Raja” Hospital in the “Aqrabat” area of ​​Idleb Governorate, adjacent to the town of Jenderes. After the medical examination, it became clear that the child had been subjected to severely beaten, result severe fractures in his back and both hands, and strong bruises. After treatment and bringing him home, his health condition deteriorated, so he was transferred back to “Avrîn” hospital and a catheter was installed for him, where his treatment was continued at home.

This is the third incident after the Nawroz crime against the “Peshmerg” family, after some of the family members were subjected to interrogation, provocation and threats by the armed factions’ checkpoints deployed on the road extending from the town of Al-Rai to Afrin on 20th June 2023 while they were returning from the second trial session in the case of killing of the four young men, which took place in the town of “Al-Ra’i” in the Azaz region.

In another incident, the family was previously threatened by a member of the “Al-Sharqiya Army” called “Muhammad Bouqras” known as “Abu Jassim” on 30th May, 2023, when he attacked their house and fired in the air, which created an atmosphere from the fear and terror of the family members, he fled later without being arrested or held accountable.

The Jenderes crime, after the killing of four young Kurds from the “Peshmerg” family on the eve of Nawroz night on 20th March, 2023, received wide echoes and condemnation by international bodies and Syrian civil and human rights organizations. They calling for the accountability of the perpetrators who were involved in the crime of killing family members and an end to the systematic violations against the Kurdish population in Afrin since its occupation in 2018, however, the perpetrators have not yet been prosecuted.

The incident of assaulting the child “Nazmi” exacerbated the fears of the families of the victims of the recurrence of new violations against them due to the lack of independent security institutions to stop them and protect the family. As the shooting incidents are repeated by members of the “Al-Sharqiya Army” in front of the homes of the “Peshmerg” family with the intention of threatening and intimidating them to force them to concede about their right to claim.

[1] Local media and social media circulated the news of the attack and indicated that “Nazmi” was 19 years old, but the “Lêlûn Association for Victims” verified that the victim was a minor child, after seeing a copy of his identification card.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *