Syria: Army Planting Banned Landmines

A 28-year-old former Syrian army deminer from Jisr al-Shughour in Syria’s northern Idlib Governorate told Human Rights Watch that in January, local residents saw the Syrian army plant landmines at Hasanieih (حسانية), Derwand (دروند) and Jiftlek (جفتلك), along routes used by refugees to reach Turkey. In early February, he visited Hasanieih and found landmines planted “between the fruit trees” 3 meters from the border in two parallel lines, each approximately 500 meters long. Local villagers told him that the army had informed farmers in the area that they need army permission to enter the orchards, but had not told them that the area was mined. At the beginning of March, the deminer, together with his cousin and three volunteers, removed approximately 300 PMN-2 antipersonnel mines from Hasanieih.