At least 70 civilians, including children and women, mostly from Daraa governorate, were reportedly caught in a minefield in an area of northern Aleppo governorate on the night of August 12, 2020, as they tried to flee from a regime-controlled area to one controlled by the opposition, with at least five dying as a result and around 20 more injured. The group had reached an area in northern Aleppo governorate between Nebbel town, which is under the control of Syrian regime forces and the Hezbollah militia, and the Brad area, which is controlled by the Syrian National Army.
According to the latest information received by the SNHR, the group’s straying into the minefield resulted in the deaths of at least five individuals, injuring about 20 others. As an additional result of this tragic incident, around 30 of the civilians were forced to return to the areas under the control of the Syrian regime, resulting in their arrest. SNHR has not yet been able to obtain any details about the place of their arrest and the party responsible for it. SNHR is still investigating this incident and trying to collect as much information as possible on it.
The main reason for the flight and displacement of Syrian citizens from areas controlled by the Syrian regime is fear of arrest, torture and acts of terror carried out by the security bodies. All parties to the conflict in Syria have planted minefields whose location and details they withhold. We have documented hundreds of deaths and injuries resulting from landmine explosions, which will continue to constitute a real threat to local people, particularly children, for several years to come. SNHR has warned of the risk of these mines which may last for several years as it is difficult to reveal the sites of these mines and ignore the importance of removing them after the end of the battle for control.