Boris Ruge, Minister and Deputy Chief of Mission of the German Embassy to the United States, on Wednesday signed a memorandum of understanding at the US State Department to support demining operations in Syria’s northern city of Manbij.
“Deputy Chief Boris Ruge at State Deptartment signing MOU: EUR 2 million supporting ongoing operations for removal of explosive hazards in Manbij,” the German embassy in the United States tweeted on Wednesday.
The city of Manbij was liberated by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) after a months-long campaign against ISIS extremists.
However, according to a report of Human Rights Watch (HRW) released in October last year, mines still pose a threat to civilians.
“Homemade landmines have killed and injured hundreds of civilians, including dozens of children,” HRW said.
“ISIS mined virtually everything including, quite literally, the kitchen sink before they left,” said Ole Solvang, HRW’s deputy emergencies director. “These explosive devices have already killed and injured hundreds of civilians, but these numbers will increase even further as more people return to their homes.”
Survivors of mines and their families told Human Rights Watch that civilians returning to their homes after the liberation of Manbij had been injured or killed by explosive devices placed in doorways and windows, under mattresses and piles of shoes, in refrigerators and bags of clothes, and in television sets and kitchen sink taps.