A Twitter user shared a video which shows children and women emerging out of a truck. The user claimed that the truck from Syria to Iraq was investigated by police at the Kurdistan border for human and child trafficking.
Tweeted on 3 October, the 2:20 minute video garnered nearly 3K likes and 2.6K retweets. The video shows semi-conscious children being pulled out of a truck along with a couple of bags. Another video posted in the same thread shows women emerging out of the same truck.
The tweet reads, “Truck from Syria to Iraq was being investigated by lady police on Kurdistan border. No one can imagine what are the materials inside the oil tanker ! Heights of human & child trafficking. These are Kurd Peshmerga women soldiers, tough and strong people ..”
Fact Check/ Verification
A keyword search on Google led us to an article by basnews titled, “IS Women Captured While Escaping from al-Hol Camp inside Tank Truck.”
With the longer version of the video included, the article states that “Kurdish security forces in northeast Syria captured a group of Islamic State (IS) women inside a water tank truck while attempting to escape the al-Hol camp in Hasakah.”
The al-Hol camp is a refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the town of al-Hawl in northern Syria. Controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, it holds over 65,000 displaced individuals.
An article published by Rudaw, a Kurdish media network, describes that “the video, posted online on September 11, shows a number of Kurdish Asayesh (internal security) officers opening a compartment on the side of water truck, revealing four women and six semi-conscious children under the age of eight.”
“The video is new and the residents were smuggled out of the overcrowded Al-Hol camp,” confirms Sheikhmous Ahmad, head of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria office for internally displaced persons and refugees to Rudaw English.
Rudaw English tweeted about the same in September, 2020.
Newschecker was unable to independently verify the original source of this video.
However, we reached out to Rojava Information Center (RIC), an independent, volunteer-staffed organisation based in North East Syria. They clarified that the claim in context is false. “They are ISIS-linked women who have paid smugglers to take them out of Hol Camp, a secure detention facility in North and East Syria,” Thomas from RIC confirmed.
The claim in context was fact checked by the Reuters Fact Check team as well.
Our research which includes confirmation from Rojava Information Center and local media reports strongly suggest that video in context is not related to human or child trafficking. It shows Islamic State-linked women and children, residents of the Al-Hol camp in Syria, being smuggled out.
Rojava Information Center
Rudaw English: https://www.rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/160920201
Prathmesh Kunt contributed towards research for this fact check.