December 2 marks the first anniversary of the horrific massacre by the Turkish occupation army and its mercenaries, where 10 of Afrin displaced lost their lives, eight of whom were children under 15, in addition to the injury of dozens of children and the elderly, some of them lost their parts.
On Monday afternoon, the second of December 2019, Turkish artillery shelled the area of Tal Rifaat, the densely populated town with civilians, from the Turkish base stationed in the occupied Azaz area.
The Tal Rifaat massacre claimed the lives of 10 people: Hussein Abdullah, born (1945), Ali Mahmoud Othman, born (1965), in addition to the children: Hamouda Muhammad Ali (12 years old), Mustafa Muhammad Majeed (11 years), Muhammad Omar Hami (8 years), Aref Muhammad (7 years old), Imad Ahmed Kifo (10 years), Abdel Fattah Aliko (4 years), Samir Abdul Rahman Hasso (13 years), and Muhammad Abdul Rahman Hasso (10 years). “
The injured were: Anisa Kilu (21 years) – Abdullah Tawfiq Hanan (21 years), in addition to eight children: Hanif Muhammad Hamo (10 years), Dijwar (4 years), Muhammad Kifo. (11 years) – Khalil Muhammad (4 years) – Hassan Omar (11 years) – Eliyas Hassoun (8 years) – Adham Hassoun (7 years) – Bayram Hussein Aklo (11 years).
‘Another massacre in Aqiba village in Sherawa district.’
The Turkish occupation not only committed Tal Rifaat Massacre, it also targeted civilians on a daily basis and committed another massacre in the village of Aqiba on February 25, 2020, in which three members of the same family were killed, Hassan Hajj, Izzat Muhammad, mother Fatima Ali, and the child Sarujet Izzat Muhammad, in addition to the injury of a number of civilians.
Since the occupation of Afrin by the Turkish occupation state and its mercenaries, and the displacement to al-Shahba canton continued, and the displaced in the al-Shahba areas, especially the Tal Rifat district and the villages of Sherawa district were under attacks on an almost daily basis.
The number of Afrin IDPs in Tal Rifaat district exceeds 15,000, in addition to 7,000 in al-Shahba.
According to the statistics of the Human Rights Organization Afrin – Syria, more than 67 children have lost their lives since the Turkish occupation of Afrin, while more than 330 others were injured.
Mother of the two martyrs, Aziza Ibraim whose sons Samir Abdel-Rahman Hassou and Muhammad Abdel-Rahman Hassou, were martyred in the Tal Rifaat massacre, says that the scenes of the massacre are still stuck in her mind.
Ibrahim says, “After a week of bad weather, the children gathered in the neighborhood to play. However, the Turkish occupation and its terrorist mercenaries bombed the neighborhoods and massacred the children.”
She added, “a very felt-long year passed and life stopped after the martyrdom of the children.”
Ibrahim also denounced the “suspicious” international silence about the Tal Rifaat massacre and the rest of the massacres by the Turkish occupation.
As for Muhammad Ali Suleiman, the father of the martyr Hammouda Muhammad Ali, who left his home in Tal Rifaat to be displaced in the village of Tal Qaraah due to the horrific crime against their children.
“With the advent of the massacre anniversary, our pain renewed over our children, who were martyred in a hideous way,” said Muhammad Suleiman.
Suleiman continued his speech: “What is our children’s in? What sin did we do in order to be forcibly evicted from our homes, and be massacred?
He also added, “Where are the human rights organizations, the international community? Why did the international community not dare to hold the Turkish state to account for what its crimes.”
On her part, Roken Bilal, the mother of the two children, Elias Hassoun, who was wounded during the massacre, and Adham Hassoun (7 years old), whose leg was amputated after he was hit by shrapnel, said: “One year after the horrific massacre against children and our wounds are renewed.”
Bilal confirmed that they left the Tal Rifaat area to the village of Tal Sussin, due to the constant bombardment on the area and the panic and fear that the children lived as a result of the continuous bombing.
Bilal added that her son, Adham, “always wondered why his leg was amputated, and he could no longer play with his friends?”
She indicated that the Turkish occupation is trying over and over to target the displaced children of Afrin, in front of suspicious international silence and the Russian and Syrian guarantor forces in the region.
On the role of international organizations in helping injured children, she said, “Humanitarian organizations have failed to assist those hildren. The Kurdish Red Crescent helped to secure artificial limbs for them.”
It is noteworthy that the People’s Municipality in Tal Rifaat, in coordination with the Future Syria Party, worked to establish a roundabout in the same place of the massacre, and engrave the names of the massacre martyrs, in addition to a memorial for the victims of the massacre.