KurdWatch, December 11, 2015—During the bombing of areas close to the small city of al‑Hawl (fourty kilometers east of al‑Hasakah) by the US-led coalition on December 7, 2015, it was reported that up to twenty-six civilians were killed. A spokesperson for the coalition said that if this is proven to be true, a proper investigation will be conducted and the results made public. The area was captured at the beginning of November 2015 by the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is dominated by the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) People’s Defense Units (YPG) [further information]. This military alliance cooperates with the coalition forces by providing coordinates which the coalition uses to organize air attacks on the Islamic State (IS). Arab activists accuse the YPG of abusing its position to retaliate against persons or groups critical of the PYD.
Human rights activists from the Tall Abyad region, as well captured by the YPG, confirmed to KurdWatch that the YPG also intimidated village residents in this area by threatening to pass on the coordinates of their villages to the military alliance. Amnesty International has raised similar charges.