“They have reduced houses, palaces and churches to ruins. They have damaged hospitals, barracks, universities and unleashed violence against thousands of unarmed people. They have destroyed lives, they have annihilated our hopes.”
That’s how Amal, just 15 years old, sees the war within which he has lived for more than five years. He lives, with his surviving relatives, in al-Hasakah, a city in the northeastern corner of Syria.
He lives in the basement of his old home, not because of the danger of bombing that now everyone has gotten used to, but because the old house was completely razed to the ground. And now, what was the floor of the original house has become the ceiling of the new one. In the al-Hasakah governorate, especially in the Jazira Canton, it all started with an offensive launched in February two years ago by fighters of the Islamic State, who have conquered at least 200 villages.
And at Tell Brak, one of these villages between al-Hasakah and Qamishli, the fighting between ISIS and a militia of the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG) started. Despite the isolation within the southern corridor of the provincial capital, the jihadists have laid down the law.