Hasakah – The Islamic State (ISIS) has been on the back foot for months, losing hundreds of villages and towns in northern Syria. As the jihadists withdraw they are planting landmines, near communities and along public roads.
Unmarked explosive devices have killed dozens of people in Hasakah Governorate, especially in the countryside where civilians are often unaware of the danger. The landmines also hamper resettlement efforts and preclude crop cultivation.
Responding to the challenge, Northern Syria – Rojava (NSR) established the Roj Organization to demine Hasakah Governorate. The organization was established four months ago, with a modest budget and a staff of Kurdish volunteers. Their work is exceptionally dangerous.
Muhammad al-Himas, a member of the Roj Organization, told ARA News that his colleagues have been “encountering mounting difficulties while trying to dismantle the explosives.”
“Operating with such modest equipment affects the progress of our work,” al-Himas said. “We haven’t received any support from the international community.”
The Roj Organization has recently started working near the town of al-Hawl. The demining volunteers want to clear the Iraqi-Syrian border so refugees can safely cross into NSR territory. Their work has taken on added urgency, as thousands of people have fled the war-torn city of Mosul.
“We came to the al-Hawl to dismantle the landmines [and thereby] make a secure passage available for Iraqi refugees,” Malik Ahmed, another Roj Organization volunteer, told ARA News. “Those people need a safe passage, and we are doing our best to assist them.”
Reporting by: Adnan Hassan | Source: ARA News