Three children killed and six others injured when an improvised explosive device exploded in al-Jisr al-Abyad area located west of al-Hasakah city on May 2, 2018. According to many testimonies obtained by STJ, the improvised explosive device was one of the remnants of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) after it left the region and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) controlled it in 2015. STJ's field researcher stated that the explosion occurred while nine children were looking at the dump for anything they could sell. He said the impact site filled with bloodstains and some pieces, and that most of the wounded children were in a very critical condition after they were affected with shrapnel in the head, foot and chest.
Several regions in al-Hasakah countryside have also witnessed similar incidents, such as Shadadi, al-Hol, and Markadah due to the remnants that ISIS organization left behind in those areas, the field researcher added.
First: Where the Explosion Took Place
In October 2015, Syrian democratic Forces (SDF) were able to extract the areas surrounding Mount Abdulaziz, which lie west of al-Hasakah city, from ISIS's grip after it controlled them in 2013. Pose the seizure, the Autonomous Administration in al-Hasakeh converted one of these areas, called al-Jisr al-Abyad into a landfill.
The landfill is approximately 600 meters long, and 500 meters wide; they are considered deserts. Prior to the control of the SDF, the areas were an extension of the western Nashwa neighborhood located in al-Hasakah.
Second: When and How the Explosion Happened
At 1:00 p.m. May 2, 2018, three children were dispatched to "Loaloa'a" the state hospital inside the security box in al-Hasakah following an explosion in the landfill in al-Jisr al-Abyad. The explosion took place while nine children were searching in the landfill for plastic material to sell.
A special medical source from Loaloa'a Hospital said that initially, a civilian dispatched three children to the hospital, then the hospital's ambulances rushed to transport the other six children to hospital. The nine children were aged 6-15 years old.
The same source added that injuries of the children ranged from severe to moderate. For the children who had died from their wounds, they were seriously injured in the head and the chest. Moreover, according to eyewitnesses, as well as visits of ambulance teams to the impact site, it was sure that the explosion was caused by an improvised explosive device and not a mine; if it was a mine, it would have exploded earlier as a result of the continuous passage of garbage trucks from that area.
Khawla Salmo, 15, one of the children who survived the explosion,told STJ that the explosion occurred on the southern part of the landfill near the highway and this made drivers of the vehicles noticed the children and dispatched some of them. In this regard, she added:
"I was with a few kids while we were looking at the dump for anything so we could sell it, and as usual, we came to that area after nearly 10:00 am because it is the time when garbage trucks come to al-Jisr al-Abyad area to throw the garbage. More than an hour after our search, we took a break, and then we completed work, and at approximately 12:00, while we gathered on some garbage bags, one of the bags detonated, and suddenly we found ourselves lying on the hospital beds."
In another testimony to STJ obtained from Samir Ali, a resident from the western Nashwa neighborhood, said that the area that stretch from the Nashwa neighborhood to Mount Abdulaziz, passing "Abyad Lands" area contains many improvised explosive devices and mines as well as remnants of some unexploded mortar shells; they have been there since ISIS entered the area in 2013. In this regard, he added:
"It is not the first time when an explosion like this occurs in that area. In August 2018, an improvised explosive device, perhaps a mine, exploded when a shepherd was grazing his cattle in al-Jisr al-Abyad area behind the western Nashwa neighborhood. However, the shepherd was not harmed, but he lost more than 7 sheep besides some of them were injured due to the explosion."
STJ's field researcher was able to document names of the dead and wounded children as a result of explosion of an improvised explosive device west of al-Hasakah, on May 2, 2018. They are:
The dead children are:
Hamoud Ahmad al-Hussein, 6 years old.
Mona as-Sadeq, 10 years old.
Salih ash-Shehadeh, 10 years old.
The wounded children are:
Rima al-Owayed, 15 years old.
Khawla Abd Salmo, 13 years old.
Hajer Dawood, 11 years old.
Ghazaleh al-Kheder, 10 years old.
Majid al-Hussein, 10 years old.
Hussein Ahmad al-Hussein, 9 years old.