A 21-year-old former soldier originally from Al-Hasaka, in northeastern Syria, told German news outlet Spiegel Online International about being forced to rape women held in detention. The man alleged that the rapes occurred at a sugar factory used by the Syrian army in Idlib.
“The colonel from the military intelligence service selected me and 14 others for the operation as a ‘reward,’ but it was an order,’” he told Spiegel Online.
He says that the group of men was forced to repeatedly rape women. “The first time it was three of them, and they’d already been drugged,” he said. “The security men undressed them, and they raped them first. Then it was our turn, in two shifts, and the men from security watched. They said they would shoot us if we didn’t do it.”
Raping the women was difficult at first, he said, but became easier.
The man explained that the “women were young” and “chosen specifically because they hadn’t been arrested together with other relatives who might have asked after them. “At first they chose the women from the prisoners, then they took some with them from checkpoints,” he said.
He told the website that he took part in these rapes 11 times, but did not specify how many victims there were.
When asked what happened to the women after being raped, the man simply said, “They were taken away.”
The dates of the reported rapes are unknown. Because Syrian government officials currently refuse to allow access to journalists, researchers, and aid workers, Women Under Siege cannot independently verify this report of sexualized violence in Syria.
Source: Women Under Siege