On the 16th of August, 2023, at least four civilians, including a child and a woman, were injured in an outbreak of violence between two reportedly Turkish backed armed factions in the Al Mahatta neighborhood of the city of Ras Al Ayn, in Syria’s Al Hasakah Governorate.
The clashes allegedly began after raids carried out by the military police and the Hamza Division on homes belonging to members of the Al Mawali and the Suleiman Shah Brigade. The raids were aimed at smugglers that refused to pay their share of the proceeds to the police and to the Hamza Division, according to reports from both the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Foxpress. Both sources also reported that civilian women were assaulted during the raids and civilian’s possessions were stolen. In retaliation, according to a source speaking to the North Press Agency, “Nawaf al-Tarkawi, one of Suleiman Shah’s leaders in the city of Ras al-Ain, attacked the headquarters of the Abu Qafs group of the Hamzah faction with [12.7 mm] medium machine guns and RPGs in the center of the city, which led to six casualties, including two civilians, one of whom was a child. In critical condition, they were taken to the city hospital.” In addition, NPA and Foxpress reported the injury of a woman and three men after a stray shell breached the wall of their house, with NPA mentioning material damage in addition to the civilian injuries from the clashes.
All sources covering the incident have reported the Turkish backed factions as belligerents, and the violence between them as the reason for the civilian injuries – however, at present it is not clear which of the factions are responsible for each of these casualties.
The local time of the incident is unknown.