Syria conflict: Amnesty says ISIS killed seven children in north

Members of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) stand guard in the Kurdish town of al-Qahtaniya of Hassakeh province on 11 May 2014 Kurdish militia groups have been battling Isis incursions in the north for months

Seven children were among 15 civilians killed by jihadist rebels in a feud with Kurds in the north-east of Syria, Amnesty International says.

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isis) targeted families working in a farming community in Hassakeh province in May, it adds.

It followed fighting between Isis and Kurdish armed groups in the area.

The al-Qaeda-linked group is currently battling rival rebels in the north, as well as the Syrian government.

Isis grew out of the former Islamic State of Iraq, a jihadist militant umbrella group that included al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Five men, three women and seven children from two families working on land mainly owned by Yezidi Kurds were killed in the Isis raid on 29 May, the Amnesty report says.

The rights group said that the victims may have been mistaken for Kurds belonging to the Yezidi faith, who had mostly fled the area after Isis fighters took over last year.

Fighting was reportedly taking place in nearby villages between the jihadists and Kurdish militia group the People's Protection Unit (YPG) around the time of the attack.

"Sources in the area told Amnesty that, apart from the likely motive and the fact that ISIS operates there, they believe ISIS was responsible because of the clothing and behaviour of the perpetrators and the flag they were carrying," the rights group said, quoting sources in the area.

A hospital in the area confirmed it had received 15 bodies on the same day, with most victims receiving gunshot wounds to the head.

Officials from the YPG militia and its political affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), say they have lost more than 500 fighters repelling ISIS, al-Nusra and allied Islamist groups.

Map

More on This Story

Syria's war War in Syria

More Middle East stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Abdi Nor IftinGolden ticket

    How a refugee entered a lottery and won a new life in the US


  • Herring in a fur coatMerry herring

    How fish 'in a fur coat' is enough to make Russia's New Year happy


  • Curiosity Self-Portrait at 'Windjana' Drilling SiteIn pictures

    The most stunning space photos of the year


  • Amy Adams, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock and Dame Judi DenchFilm quiz of 2014

    How much do you remember about the past 12 months?


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • GeoguessrWhere in the world...?

    Think you are a geography expert? Test your knowledge with BBC Travel’s interactive game

Programmes

  • Tom BrookTalking Movies Watch

    Tom Brook looks back at some of the best movies of 2014 from around the world

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.