YPG and US army base prevent civilians from coming back to their houses in Aleppo eastern countryside and demolish their houses

US soldier on machine gun-mounted truck in YPG-held village in Aleppo countryside-Reuters

In a small village west Euphrates River 5 km north Sarin village in Aleppo eastern countryside US-led coalition built a military base.

Sabet is the name of the base among civilians in nearby area and it is the same name of the village which contained 800 civilians from Arabian tribe “al-Aoun” before it was tuned into coalition’s base and an airfield is being built next to it.

Since February 2015 when majority of the residents fled the village they left in SDF-held Manbij, in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Manbij city NSO met one of “Sabet” residents called Abu Yasser who prefer to stay anonymous for security reasons.

In Abu Yasser humble house which consist of 3 rooms and contain more than 10 of his family, Abu Yasser goes back in memory 2 years ago and told NSO reporter: in early 2015 our village became clashes point between ISIS who controlled the village and “People’s Protection Units YPG” and we had to leave the village due to the fight and intense coalition bombardment, as soon as YPG captured the village we backed our baggage and went back to our village but YPG banned us from entering it under the pretext that it is now a military area.

Abu Yasser works now as vegetables street vendor in Manbij after he worked in agriculture and cattle in his village, he pays at least 30k SYP for rent which is his monthly income approximately, he told NSO: our living conditions are bad and I spent majority of my income on the rent.

Not far from Abu Yasser house we met another displaced civilian from Sabet village called “A-Q” whose living conditions are not better than Abu Yasser and he told NSO: I tried many times to enter the village to check my house and farm but YPG banned me and said it is a military area.

NSO met other displaced civilians from Sabet village who confirmed that they were banned from entering the village and many sources from the village said majority of houses were demolished among them two houses belong to “Mohamad Hamad al-Wali” and “Hussain Othman” and many people said the houses were demolished after ISIS withdrew from the area and said the two houses could be seen from long distance on Manbij-Raqqa highway.

Abu Yasser told us how YPG started demolishing houses in Sabet village after about 3 months of controlling it and how it burned the corps and farms in addition to paving it so it became US-led coalition base and airfield where helicopters use it in battles against ISIS in Raqqa.

According to the residents of nearby villages they heard explosions and saw smoke rises over the village after YPG captured it on February 2015 and expected the explosions are for demolishing houses and buildings to build the airfield and the base.

On the outskirts of the village a banner say “no photos or stopping” is seen few meters before the village’s entrance which is a branch street on the left of Manbij-Raqqa highway.

The airfield can be seen from this area and two watch towers on the northern and northern western side of the airfield in addition to 6 hangars in the middle of the airport.

Nearby villages residents told NSO that at least 10 air sorties take off from the airbase and the heavily airbase is secured by 4 sides from YPG fighters.

According to Sabet village residents that Sabet al-Akrad village east the airport still there and the reason is that its residents are Kurd which is the ethnic of majority of US-backed YPG fighters therefore Sabet residents accuse YPG of ethnic cleansing of Arabs in the area.

Not only Sabet village in Sarrin area which was cleansed from its residents, also nearby “Khirbet Kafer and Kharous” villages in addition to Maryatin where YPG demolished 165 houses and Malha village where YPG demolished 83 houses in July 2015.

But Tal Ahmer village has a different story told by one of its residents who prefer to stay anonymous and told NSO: three months after YPG kicked ISIS out of the village but in late 2015 several ISIS fighters sneaked into the village and beheaded 3 YPG fighters then fled the village.

YPG wrath fell on the residents and detained 107 of its residents for months and set up military points around the village then later they started blowing up houses under the pretext of searching for monuments.

Worth to mention that “People’s Protection Units YPG” is accused of ethnic cleansing dozens of villages’ residents in Haskah, Raqqa and Aleppo countryside, most important villages where residents were forcibly displaced in Aleppo eastern countryside are: al-Shyoukh Tahtani, al-Shyoukh Foqani, al-Awasi, Jib alFaraj, al-Nasryie, al-Semryie, al-Atto and Dwierat.

Dirar Khattab

The Chief Editor, A Syrian journalist who worked as an editor of electronic press since 2009, and a Co-Producer of several documentaries since 2014. A banking and finance faculty from Aleppo University.