Sinjar district in Idlib endured many practices against civilians carried out by the Syrian army and its pro-militias in November and December 2018. Testimonies obtained by STJ said that since the Syrian army fully controlled Sinjar in January 2018, it arrested many returnees, and its fighters seized, confiscated and looted public and private properties.
The residents reported that the Syrian army prevented them from returning home until they paid big amounts of money. Numerous of media activists also confirmed that the Syrian army bombed their houses because they were regime opponents.
Sinjar is a tribal area where the clan law dominates. Several armed groups, including Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), have controlled Sinjar since 2015, but the actual influence was that of the clans, STJ’s field researcher said.
Sinjar, before the Syrian army controlled it, was inhabited by about 500,000 people, mostly those who displaced from east Hama and south Aleppo. Knowing it contained 75 agglomerations, such as farms, villages and towns like Khayara, Hawa, Ejaz, al-Jahman, al-Mutawasita, Bekrateen and Sinjar.