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INVESTIGATIONS

Attack impacts church, school, and civilian homes in Tal Tawil in the Hasakah countryside

November 22, 2022

open source investigation about hitting a church and a school in Tal Tawil

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About the Incident

  • Place of incident: The village of Tal Tawil (Bani Roumta) in the Tal Tamir countryside west of the city of Al Hasakah. The village is inhabited by Assyrians belonging to the Assyrian Church of the East. 
  • Impact site: Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church, Um Waghfa School, and the surrounding areas in the village
  • Date: 29 May 2022
  • Timing: Between 23:00 Damascus time (EEST - UTC +3) on 28 May 2022 and sunrise of 29 May 2022
  • Victims: Unknown
  • Type of attack: Artillery and missile attacks 
  • Munitions used: Unknown
  • Potentially responsible: It is likely that shells were fired by Turkish forces or Syrian National Army factions affiliated with the Turkish government’s “Peace Spring” operation

Introduction

The Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church, Umm Waghfa Primary School, and their surrounding areas in the Tal Tamir village were hit on the night of 28 May 2022 between 23:00 and sunrise of 29 May with artillery shelling that caused significant damage to the area. Craters in and around the church and school suggest at least three shells hit the area, causing holes in the walls and ceilings of the church and school. 

In its report on the attack, the Violations Documentation Center claimed that the church and village were hit by Turkish forces present in the area. This attack coincided with statements by Turkey’s president concerning his intention to launch a new military operation on Turkey’s southern border to establish a safe zone of 30 km. The operation was set to begin as soon as military forces and intelligence services completed their preparations.

Methodology

Syrian Archive conducted an investigation into the incident by: 

  • Preserving, analysing, and verifying 60 videos, photos, and reports shared online showing the impact site, the first moments of the attack, the direction of the shelling, the damage to the area, and the distribution of military forces in the region; 
  • Confirming the location of the impact sites by matching prominent landmarks visible in the audiovisual content with satellite images; 
  • Analysing satellite imagery showing the impact sites before and after the attack; and
  • Analysing previous attacks on the impact sites, and the strategic importance of the area. 

In all, this investigation is a summary of multiple stages of analysis of available open source information. These sources provided information on the date, timing, locations, victims, and impacts of the attacks. By examining all available information, the Syrian Archive investigation team developed an understanding of the incident and its likely perpetrator. For more details about Syrian Archive’s methodology, please visit our site.

About the incident site

The village of Tal Tawil, also known as Bani Roumta, is west of Tal Tamir and about 55 km from Al Hasakah city. The village serves as an area of direct contact between the Syrian Democratic Forces and factions of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army, which has taken control of the villages and towns in and around Ras Al Ain since October 2019.

Within the so-called Operation Peace Spring, which began on 9 October 2019 and continued for 13 days, Turkish forces and factions of the Syrian national Army took control of 2419 km off the Ras Al Ain and Tal Abyad areas.

The location of the Tal Tawil village in orange, the areas of operation Peace Spring in blue, and the areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces in yellow  - Source: Syria LiveUAMap

Assyrians belonging to the Assyrian Church of the East lived in Tal Tawil beginning in the 1930s up until 2015, when Assyrians fled and Arabs and Kurds from the surrounding areas took up residence in the village. Tal Tawil is one of 33 villages in the Al Khabour region lived in by Assyrians since 1933. According to a census in 1994 and 2011, the population of Assyrians in the region grew from 20,000 in 1994 to 30,000 in 2011.

Tal Tawil and other Assyrian villages in the area were attacked by the Islamic State on 23 February 2015. Five churches were destroyed and a number of Assyrians were kidnapped. A few days later, the villages were recaptured by Assyrian forces that had formed in the area in 2012 with the support of the Syrian Democratic Forces, which controls them today.

The majority of Assyrians left their villages to neighbouring cities or to countries such as Canada and Australia to seek asylum. Only a few families, about 700 people, remain in the villages, according to Gabriel Moshe Corea, head of the Relations Office of the Assyrian Democratic Organisation. Of these families, more than 75 people live in Tal Tawil. Kurds and Arabs have also sought residence in these villages.

What happened (and when)?

Available information—detailed later in this report—indicates that between between 23:00 Damascus time of 28 May and the sunrise of 29 May 2022, shells hit a church and primary school in the village of Tal Tawil in the Tal Tamir district in Al Hasakah. Media and activists reported news—with video and photos—confirming the attack on the church and school.

First: Mar Sawa Al Hakim

First reports of the incident were posted on 28 May 2022 at 23:01 by the Assyrian Khabour Guard Council Facebook page. The page posted a video with a caption claiming that factions of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army targeted the villages of Aghbesh, Tal Tawil, Al Tawila, and Tal Kaifji with mortars and heavy artillery. In the video is the sound of fired shells and visuals of their impact. Syrian Archive was unable to verify the location where the video was taken or exactly where the shells fell because the video was taken at night. 

SDF spokesperson, Aram Hanna, posted on his Twitter account at 17:06 on Sunday, 29 May 2022, pictures of the damage to the church. At 20:07, the same account also posted pictures showing damage inside the church. At 23:11, the account also posted a video showing the damage to the church and its surrounding areas, blaming Turkish forces for the attack and likening it to what the Islamic State carried out in the Al Khabour area in 2015.

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A picture of the damage to the Mar Sawa Al Hakim church in Tal Tawil in the Tal Tamir countryside - Source: Aram Hanna Twitter account

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A still from a video showing the damage inside the church - Source: Aram Hanna Twitter account

On 29 May 2022, between 21:51 and 24:00, the ANB SAT website, Khabourna Facebook page, Sar Waqt Nahki Facebook page, and Mohammed Mahmoud Bashar Twitter account, posted pictures and alerts of an attack on the church and the area

At 09:48 on 28 May 2016, RojarTV posted on Twitter pictures of the church. On the same day, Hawar News Network posted pictures of the church and its surroundings. Pictures taken from approximately the same area show the church before the attack on 28 May and the damage to it on 29 May, following the attack.

The People’s Committee of the Assyrian Guard and the page Assyrians Without Borders on Facebook posted photos and videos showing the damage to the church in addition to previous damage to civilian homes in Tal Tawil. Syrian Archive compared photos of the homes with old photos posted by the Syrian Violations Documentation Center on Twitter of the damage to the same house on 17 April 2022. The Syriac Military Council - MFS Facebook page also reported news of the attack with pictures of the damage to the church. 

On 30 May 2022, Hawar News Agency reported with videos and photos the news of an attack on Tal Tawil on Saturday evening, blaming the bombing on “the Turkish forces and its military factions.” The video and photos show the extent of damage to the church, the village’s two schools, and houses west of the village. The report mentioned that the correspondent was not able to reach the village because of its proximity to Al Aresha and a Turkish base in the nearby village of Al Daoudia. 

A video report from Ronahi TV showed the damage to the church and nearby homes. The report mentioned the bombing of villages and towns in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria and blamed the attack on Turkish forces and its affiliated military factions. The video specified that 41 shells hit the area the three days before the attack on the church and mentioned a large exodus from Assyrian to Syriac villages throughout the past few years. The journalist, Ronakshekhe, also reported news of an attack on the church by the Turkish army. 

Moutamir Star and Al Ittihad Media posted pictures and a report on the attack on the church. Al Ittihad Media quoted Aram Hanna, spokesperson for the Syrian Democratic Forces, as saying that the bombing targeted “Mar Sawa Church in the Assyrian village of Tal Tawil, coinciding the the targeting of areas of the same village with a barrage of artillery shells.”

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A geolocation of the church using footage from Hawar News Agency and satellite imagery from Maxar

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The Syrian Archive team analysed shadows in a video posted by the Hawar News Agency on 20 May 2022 taken after the incident. When matched with the position of the sun according to the shadowcalculator tool, the shadows in the video suggest that the video was taken between 06:30 - 07:30 AM.

The RojarTV Twitter page posted a series of tweets, photos, and videos of the attack on the village of Tal Tawil with artillery shells. The first seconds of one of these videos, published on 20 May, shows the moment of impact of three shells as well as the smoke plumes from the impact. Syrian Archive was unable to determine the impact sites of these shells. The footage was likely unrelated to the incident under investigation because the church was likely hit in a nighttime shelling.

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A still from a video posted by RojarTV on Twitter, allegedly showing the attack on Tal Tawil in the Tal Tamir countryside

Pictures on Telegram show the impact of shelling, the smoke of which appears in three places on the eastern side of the horizon, as well as the damage inside the church, and the fence, part of which was from a shelling on 16 April 2022 that will be discussed later in this investigation. 

Ronahi TV and the Violations Documentation Center posted videos and photos of the damage to the church and the holes in the church’s eastern and northern walls as well as the holes in the Umm Waghfa school, which was hit in the same attack. A section of the church fence was damaged as a result of an attack on 16 April 2022.

Through photos and videos posted by the Violations and Documentation Center, the Syrian Archive investigation team identified three impact sites. One impact site at the Umm Waghfa School and two impact sites on the church’s eastern corner and another on the ground, which spread shrapnel that hit the church’s northern facade.

The three impact sites identified by Syrian Archive - Source: Google Earth

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A picture posted by the Violations Documentation Center and annotated by Syrian Archive to show the estimated general direction of the shell

Stills from a video posted by Ronahi TV demonstrating—from the crater and shrapnel on the northern facade of the church—that a shell may have hit the church from the north or east

Because of limited information, Syrian Archive was unable to accurately determine the time of the attack on the church. Syrian Archive used the timestamps of reports to establish the estimated time of the attack. The first report of the attack was posted at around 23:00 on 28 May. This timing of the attack is corroborated by reports published in the days following the attack, claiming the attack occurred on Saturday evening. Pictures showing the damage to the church taken on Sunday morning confirm that the church was hit sometime after 23:00 on Saturday evening and before sunrise on Sunday.

Damage

To analyse the damage to the church, the Syrian Archive investigations team used old photos and videos of the church and compared them with audiovisual content that was published shortly after the church was attacked. 

A video posted by Ronahi TV on YouTube shows the impact site of a shell in the top eastern corner of the church. The video also shows a burned generator as well as a crater on the northern side of the church with shrapnel on the opposite wall. Additionally, the video shows a hole at the bottom of the same wall. The video shows the internal damage to the church including fallen curtains, broken glass, broken seats, and a partial collapse of the church’s internal ceiling. 

Pictures posted by the Violations Documentation Center on Telegram show the damage inside the church including holes caused by the shelling. This is in addition to a partial crack and collapse of the ceiling where a shell hit the church. 

One shell that hit the church damaged and penetrated the church’s eastern facade, leaving a hole that extended from the top of the east window to the ceiling. Another shell, which hit the bottom of the church’s northern facade, left smaller holes in the wall from shrapnel. 

The two shells damaged parts of the church’s ceiling and exterior walls, in addition to an electric generator on the eastern side of the church, causing a partial collapse of the church’s ceiling. Inside the church, the shelling damaged church lamps, broke the iron and glass of the church windows, tore the curtains, and damaged the church pews.

Stills showing the damage to the windows, seats, and wooden cupboards inside the Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church - Source: Hawar News Agency

The first image showing Mar Sawa Church before it was attacked from the Church of the East Facebook page and the second image from Hawar News Agency showing the church after the attack

Previous attacks

On the eve of easter on 16 April 2022, about a month and a half before the latest attack on Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church, the church and the Umm Waghfa School—in addition to civilian homes— were reportedly hit with mortars according to a report by the Violations Documentation Center.

Pictures and videos posted by the Violations Documentation Center, Assyrian Kahbour Guard Council - MNK, Syriac Military Council - MFS show the damage to a church wall as well as shrapnel marks and broken trees in the Umm Waghfa School. They also show rubble and holes in civilian homes in the village as well damage to the village’s main road including tractors and cars nearby.

Damage to the wall of the Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church in the Tal Tawil village from 16 April 2022, suggests that the shell came from east to northeast of the church - Source: Assyrian Khabour Guard Council - MNK

From the direction of the crater and the surrounding shrapnel and rubble, Syrian Archive investigations team estimated the general direction of the shell’s fall near a wall on the southern side of the church. The trajectory of the shell was likely from the eastern to northeastern side of the town. 

The Violations Documentation Center, Assyrian Khabour Guard Council, and the Media Office of the Syriac Military Council - MFS claimed Turkish forces and affiliated Syrian National Army factions as responsible for the incident.

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A still from a video posted by the media Office of the Syriac Military Council

In a video posted after the incident, Mattai Hanna, the official spokesperson for the Syriac Military Council, held the Turkish forces and the Syrian National Army responsible for targeting the area.

Potentially responsible

Media websites and social media accounts blamed Turkish forces and the Syrian National Army for the attack on the Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church. Using the craters and shrapnel damage left by the shells, the Syrian Archive team estimated the general direction of the shells, concluding that two shells that hit the church were likely fired from east and/or northeast of the church.

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A map from BNN_SYR on Telegram of areas of control with the Syrian National Army in green and Syrian Democratic Forces in yellow

By determining the general direction of the shells, Syrian Archive can estimate that they were likely launched from an area under the control of Turkish-backed Syrian National Army or from areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces. 

For a more accurate estimation of the perpetrator, Syrian Archive identified the location of nearby military bases: 

The ANHA News Agency reported about 30 Turkish bases in the Ras Al Ain (Serê Kaniyê) - Zerkan triangle area. Published in July 2022, a report from Hawar News Agency also mentioned that 10 military bases were deployed on the front lines in the Tal Tamir district in Hasakah. The news agency reported these bases as the source of attacks launched on the surrounding areas.

A map from the Jusoor Center also shows the locations of Turkish bases in the region at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022.

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An additional map from the Jusoor Center also shows two Russian military bases near the Ras Al Ain - Zekan triangle, in addition to the presence of Syrian Democratic Forces in the area.

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The Violations Documentation Center claimed Turkish forces and the affiliated Syrian National Army were responsible for the incident. Rojava TV, Assyrians Without Borders, the People’s Committee of the Assyrian Guard, The Natoura Forces, and the Assyrian Democratic Forces also blamed the Turkish forces for the bombing of Tal Tawil and its church. 

The website North Press also blamed Turkish forces for the attack. In its report on the attack, Mar Maurice Amseh, the Metropolitan of the Diocese of Al Jazirah and Euphrates for the Syriac Orthodox, Aram Hanna, the spokesperson of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Nabil Warda, a member of the General Command of the Assyrian Khabour Guards, the Democratic Union Party, and the website Kurd Online were quoted blaming Turkish forces for the attack. 

Researching the available sources led Syrian Archive to a myriad of conflicting claims concerning the responsibility for the incident of targeting the church. While news websites and online activists blamed the Turkish forces and Syrian National Army, residents and activists in the area blamed the Syrian Democratic Forces and its affiliated forces for the attack. 

In the comments of a post on the attack by the People’s Committee of the Assyrian Guard, commenters mentioned the Syrian Democratic Forces setting up a missile platform near the church, the bombing of Turkish forces from areas near the church, and Turkish forces responding to the source of the fire.

Screenshots of comments made on a post by People’s Committee of the Assyrian Guard About the attack on the church

In a comment, a user claims that the Syrian Democratic Forces are using Assyrian residents in the villages of Tal Tamir as human shields and the forces seek to displace them after seizing their homes and land in the area. Another user also mentioned the Syrian Democratic Forces bombing of Turkish forces from Assyrian villages, provoking Turkish forces to bomb the villages in response.

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A screenshot of the comments

In a report by Syria TV published at the end of September 2021, people in Tal Tawil were quoted saying that the Syrian Democratic Forces had set up artillery and mortar launchers near the church of the village of Tal Tawil.   

In a statement on Facebook, the Assyrian Observatory for Human Rights said that members of the Syrian Democratic Forces installed artillery and mortar launches in the middle of the villages of Umm Waghfa/Tal Tawil and near the villages’ churches. The forces reportedly prevented residents from returning to their villages under the pretext of military operations, using the villages as training camps for the Kurdish forces.

In a report published on 23 February 2022, Al Araby Al Jadid quoted the Assyrian Democratic Organisation stating that the Syrian Democratic Forces are militarising civilian life by digging tunnels and trenches in residential areas in the villages of Al Khabour and turning homes into observatories and shooting areas.  

For a more accurate understanding of the military situation in the Tal Tamir area, Syrian Archive searched for military forces present in the villages of the Al Khabour region namely the Syriac Military Council, the Sotouro, the Khabour Guard, and the Natoura Forces, all of which are Assyrian components affiliated with the Syrian Democratic Forces since 2015. 

Photos and videos posted online by the Syriac Military Council on three different dates, the last of which in June 2021, showing the presence of armed fighters with insignia similar to the emblem of the Syriac Military Council stationed nearby the church. Pictures show fighters in combat positions and the presence of trenches on the eastern side of the church.

Videos posted online showing a military presence near the church

Videos and photos also show a military presence on the roads adjacent to the church including sand mounds to protect fighters and dug trenches for firing squads. The videos and photos also show fighters with light to medium weapons.

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Trenches for fighters from the Syriac Military Council in the village of Tal Tawil - Source: Syriac Military Council Facebook page

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A still from a video released by the Syriac Military Council of a fighter inside a trench near the Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church

Second: Umm Waghfa School

The Umm Waghfa village is located on the southern bank of the Khabour River. It is attached to the village of Tal Tawil from the western side. The Al Hasakah - Ras Al Ain highway passes through the village from the north and is bordered by the Umm Al Kaif village from the east. There were around 700 people that lived in the village in 2015. 

Between the night of 28 May 2022 and morning of 29 May 2022, the Umm Waghfa Primary School was also hit with artillery shells, damaging both the school and the nearby Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church, around 140 metres west of the school.

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Satellite imagery from Google Earth of the distance between the Umm Waghfa School and the Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church

Pictures of the Umm Waghfa Primary School after it was hit - Source: Violations and Documentation Center on Telegram

A video posted by the Violations Documentation Center on its Telegram channel shows the damage to the Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church. At minute 2:25 of the video, a dirt road is shown between the church and the school as well as broken trees on both sides of the road, possibly from a previous strike on the school on 16 April 2022.  

A still from a video posted by the Violations Documentation Center on Telegram compared to a satellite image from Google Earth of the same road

The video shows a damaged tractor on the side of the road, the school yard, and the school’s “L” shaped building with the long part of the building facing north to south and the short part from west to east.

A still from a video posted by the Violations Documentation Center on Telegram compared with satellite imagery from Google Earth

At minute 3:28, the video shows a wide hole in the ceiling in the second room of the long section in the school’s “L” shaped building. The iron rebar in the ceiling is broken and there is an additional hole on the western wall near the hole in the ceiling. The window on the western wall is also shown as damaged.

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Stills showing the holes on the ceiling and wall of the Umm Waghfa Primary School left by shelling - Source: Violations and Documentation Center on Telegram

Video footage showing the school’s western facing window also makes the school yard and Mar Al Sawa Al Hakim church visible.

Stills from a video posted by the Violations Documentation Center on its Telegram channel, an old photo uploaded to Google Maps showing the school yard of the Umm Waghfa School, and a picture of the Umm Waghfa School from 2008 - Source: The village of Umm Waghfa Sarspedo

Through photos and videos uploaded by the Violations Documentation Center on Telegram and its website, Syrian Archive estimated the general direction of the shell that hit the Umm Waghfa School as likely from east. 

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Annotated satellite imagery showing the location of the school and church

The Violations Documentation Center website published a report stating that the bombing in Tal Tawil targeted the Mar Sawa Al Hakim church, in addition to schools in the village. Another report mentioned the bombing of around 32 schools the end of May 2022 by what the report called “armed groups.” 

Hawar News Agency posted a video on 30 May that included witness testimony. The witness said that the bombing targeted places of worship and schools, in addition to public infrastructure in the area. Moreover, a report by Al Alam TV accused the Turkish army and its affiliated forces of targeting a church, schools, and civilians homes in the Tal Tawil.   

The school was also previously attacked on 15 April 2022. The Assyrian Khabour Guard Council posted on its Facebook page showing shrapnel marks on the school’s wall.

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A picture showing shrapnel marks on the eastern wall of the school - Source: The Khabour Assyrian Guard’s Facebook page

Other pictures also show damaged trees near the school and house that was damaged in the attack as well as a hole in the school’s outer fence.

Pictures showing the damage to trees near the school and civilian homes and the school’s outer wall - Source:  The Khabour Assyrian Guards Facebook page

A video posted by Ronahi TV reported on the attack including testimony from a woman who specified that the attack occurred before and after Iftar (Maghrib prayer in Ramadan) on 15 April 2022. The witness stated that a group of shells fell at once, making them difficult to count. 

A picture from Sarspedo News shows damage to a home in the village, in the photo parts of the Umm Waghfa School and Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church are visible.

A picture of a destroyed home near the Umm Waghfa School and Mar Sawa Al Hakim church - Source: Sarspedo News on Facebook

Churches are vulnerable to attacks: Five Assyrian churches that suffered from previous attacks

In a report published by the Syrian Network for Human Rights on churches that were bombed since 2015, the organisation documented 63 churches that were attacked by various parties and Syrian military forces. Syrian Archive’s investigations team documented the attacks on Assyrian churches in the villages of Al Khabour, the most recent of which was the attack on the Mar Sawa Al Hakim Church in April and May 2022, as mentioned previously in this report. 

Media reports mentioned the destruction of about eight churches as a result of attacks launched by the Islamic State on the area in late February 2015. Syrian Archive was only able to confirm five church attacks using pictures showing damage to the churches.

Mariam Al Aadhra Church (Church of the Virgin Mary) in Tal Nasri

The Mariam Al Aadhra Church was bombed by the Islamic State on 5 April 2015 at around 08:15. The bombing of the church coincided with Easter holidays. The church, which was originally built in 1934, is located in Tal Nasri in the Tal Tamir countryside and was renovated and rebuilt in 2005.  

Nothing remains of the church except for its outer structure after the attack. The Assyrian Network for Human Rights reported that the Islamic State was stationed inside the church building before destroying it on 5 April 2015. 

Previously on 14 November 2012, the church was attacked by Syrian government warplanes, which damaged it internally.

Stills from a video showing the Mariam Al Aadhra Church in Tal Nasri - Source: Waji Al Haqq - Rumaf YouTube channel, picutres from North Press and Suroyo fm

St. Mar Bishoua Church

The church is located in the Assyrian village of Tal Shamiram in the Al Hasakah countryside. Pictures posted by local media and Facebook pages show the complete destruction of the church on 24 May 2015, allegedly by the Islamic State. 

Pictures carried by local media and Facebook pages showed the complete destruction of the church on 24 May 2015 after it was destroyed by ISIS.

Pictures of the Mar Bishoua Church after it was destroyed - Source: Yousif Qutta Facebook page and Hawar News Agency Video on Facebook

Markurekis Church

Markurekis Church is located in the village of Dizn Qabr Shamiya along the Al Khabour River in the Al Hasakah countryside. The church was burned by the Islamic State on 23 February 2015 after the group entered the city.

Pictures showing the Markurekis Church before and after the attack

Rabban Mathew Church

The church is located in the village of Tal Hormuz in the Al Hasakah countryside and is one of the oldest Syrian churches. On 24 February 2015, local media and Facebook pages circulated news and pictures reporting of a burning of the church by the Islamic State after it entered the village. 

Pictures taken before and after the attack showing the damage to the Rabban Matthew Church in Tal Hormuz - Source: Al Sued News Facebook page and Christian Civil Gathering in Qamishli Facebook page

The Mar Qariaqus and Mar Shmaoun bin Sabaghin Church

This church is located in the village of Tal Baloua in the Al Hasakah countryside. According to news pages and websites, the church was burned by the Islamic State on 6 June 2015.

Pictures showing the damage to the the Mar Qariaqus and Mar Shmaoun bin Sabaghin Church in Tal Balouah - Source: Assyrians Without Borders Facebook page

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The confirmed locations of five Assyrian churches destroyed by the Islamic State in the Tal Tamir area in 2015

Conclusion

Through the information described above, Syrian Archive was able to confirm that the village of Tal Tawil in the countryside of Tal Tamir was attacked by at least three shells between 23:01 on 28 May 2022 and the sunrise of 29 May 2022. 

The shells hit the Mar Sawa Al Haim Church and the Umm Waghfa School damaging both places. 

Because of limited information about the weapons used in the attack, Syrian Archive was unable to definitively identify the party responsible for the attack. Open source information collected by the Syrian Archive suggests the Turkish forces and military factions belonging to the Turkish-backed National Army are potentially responsible for the incident. Open source information also confirms the presence of armed forces near the impact sites, including the presence of the Natoura Forces and the Assyrian Military Council of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

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