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News, November 2016
As Fighting Continues, Syrians Flee Al-Raqqa Countryside for Fear of Being Massacred by Regime and Coalition Air Strikes
November 12, 2016
The coalition which fights the Islamic State and other Sunni groups in Syria consists of US-led NATO forces, Russian forces, Syrian Alewite government forces, Iranian-backed Shi'i militias, and Kurdish peshmerga forces. The coalition's continuous attacks have resulted in the killing of thousands of Iraqi Sunni Muslim Arabs and the eviction of thousands as a result of the destruction of their cities and villages.
Millions of Sunni Muslim Arabs have already left their cities and villages as the fighting intensifies towards an all-attack by the US-led coalition on Raqqa and Mosul, as well as by the Russian-regime attacks on other cities. The end outcome is evicting (ethnic cleansing of) Sunni Muslim Arabs from Syria, particularly the upper Euphrates region of northwestern Iraq and northeastern Syria.
For a background, read:
The following are news stories from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) website (http://www.syriahr.com/en/):
Shelling target Daraa city and arrests in Sahem Golan at the western countryside
Daraa Province, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:
The factions and Fath al-Sham Front carried out an operation of raids and arrests in the town of Sahem Golan in the western countryside Daraa, where two persons were arrested on charges of “belonging to Daesh”, were they were taken to an unknown destination, while the regime forces shelled areas in Daraa camp at the outskirts of Daraa city, the regime forces also shelled areas in Zmaren town in the northern countryside of Daraa, no information about injuries.
Airstrikes target Palmyra desert and violent continuous clash in the vicinity of the besieged Khan al-Shih
Homs Province, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:
Warplanes targeted positions of the “Islamic State” in the northeast of Palmyra in the eastern countryside of Homs, which caused casualties in the ranks of the organization, also the factions targeted areas in the vicinity of al-Wa’er neighborhood in Homs city, accompanied by targeting the regime forces’ positions in areas at al-Wa’er neighborhood.
Rif Dimashq Province, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: The clash are still taking places between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them against the rebel and Islamic Factions and Fath al-Sham Front in several areas area at Khan al-Shih in the Western Ghouta, amid intense shelling by the regime forces and helicopters targeting areas in Khan al-Shih and in the clash areas, and information about more casualties in the ranks of both parties.
4 casualties in bombing by regime’s helicopters on areas in the city of Khan Shaykhun
Idlib Province, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:
The helicopters dropped several barrel bombs on areas in the city of Khan Shaykhun south of Idlib province, they targeted a fuel station area and other areas in the city, resulting in the break out of fires in the station, which killed 4 people and injured others, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation, followed by targeting areas in Khan Shaykhun by warplanes, no information about casualties.
A video shows the fire at the fuel station caused by dropping barrel bombs by helicopters on areas at Khan Shaykhun city south of Idlib province, which killed at least 4 people and injured others, and some people were injured badly.
Continuous clashes west of Aleppo city, warplanes continue the intensified bombardment on the city’s western countryside
Aleppo Province, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:
The warplanes bombed places in the towns of Kafrnaha, Salloum and Qebtan al-Jabal, and the area of Jam’eyyat al-Ma’ari in the western countryside of Aleppo, also the regime forces shelled areas in Jabal Bdur area in Aleppo city, which injured several people, also clashes renewed between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them against the rebel and Islamic Factions in areas at the outskirts of Jam’eyyat al-Zahra’a neighborhood west of Aleppo city, amid targeting by the regime forces using the fire of heavy machineguns and missiles at the clash areas, while the regime forces intensively targeted areas in the neighborhood of Sheikh Saeed south of Aleppo, while the people of Afrin held a funeral for two fighters from the Syria Democratic Forces who were killed during the bombing and clashes against the factions of “Euphrates Shield” operation in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
In another context, the violent clashes continue between the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them of Syrian, Arab and Asian nationalities against the rebel and Islamic Factions and Fath al-Sham Front in the areas of Al-Assad Suburb and Menyan southwest of Aleppo, accompanied by heavy and intense shelling by the regime forces and warplanes targeting the clash areas and positions of the factions in the area, and information about casualties in the ranks of both parties.
8 casualties at least in Kafr Dael town and the regime forces regain control of Menyan
Aleppo Province, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:
8 people at least including 3 children under the age of 18 were killed in a massacre carried out by warplanes, when they targeted areas in Kafr Dael town in the western countryside of Aleppo, also a person was killed when the warplanes bombed areas in the village of Salloum in the western countryside of Aleppo, while warplanes targeted places in Beauty Hospital area at Kafrnaha town in the western countryside of Aleppo, which put the hospital out of service, also the warplanes renewed the bombing on areas at the town of Darat Azza in the western countryside of Aleppo, while the military commander in Jaish al-Mujahideen was killed during clashes against the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them in Aleppo city, also random shooting took place in Aleppo city between members from the regime forces at the checkpoints located in Aleppo city, while two shells launched by factions and landed on areas in Jam’eyyat al-Zahra’a neighborhood in Aleppo city, no information about casualties.
In another context, the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities managed to regain control of Menyan area and factories around it west of Aleppo, after violent clashes against Fath al-Sham Front and the rebel and Islamic Factions, combined with air and missile bombing with hundreds of raids and shells, where tens of the ranks of both parties were killed and injured, amid continued violent clashes in the vicinity of Menyan in an attempt by the regime forces to advance more in the area, where the regime forces are trying restore the entire areas they have lost in the battle of “Abu Omar Saraqeb” in order to break the siege of the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo.
Continuous displacement movement from the northern countryside of Al-Raqqah due to the fear of renewed bombardment by coalition after the massacre of Heisha
Al-Raqqah Province, The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights:
The vicinity of Heisha village and Khniz village in the northern countryside of Al-Raqqah and other areas in the same countryside are still witnessing continuous clashes between The Syria Democratic Forces backed by the warplanes of the International Coalition against of the “Islamic State, where SDF are trying to advance further and control more areas to advance toward the city of Al-Raqqah, in an attempt to isolate it from its eastern and northern countryside, in preparation to take control of it and expel the” Islamic State “out of the city which is their stronghold.
The clashes were accompanied by exchange of shelling between members of the organization and SDF, and information about more casualties in their ranks, amid a new advancement for the Syria Democratic Forces in a hill in the area, where it rose to 19 at least, the number of farms and villages controlled by the forces since the start of Al-Raqqah isolation battle, in the 6th of November 2016, in conjunction with intensive targeting by the warplanes of the international coalition on areas at Khnizat village in the countryside of Al-Raqqah, also the villages of al-Kalta and al-Abbara witnessed displacement movement for people, accompanied with targeting by the organization of water tanks in both villages.
Yesterday night the 8th of November was difficult and tragic to the residents of Heisha village which is about 40 kilometers away from Al-Raqqah to the north, where more than 20 families of them reached the city of Al-Raqqah, after hours of walking through villages and the roads of the northern countryside which is observed by the warplanes of the coalition.
Several residents told the sources and activists of the Syrian Observatory for human rights in Al-Raqqah city the details of the terrifying night, one of them said: “we were sitting in our homes in the village of Heisha, and the coalition’s warplanes -as we got used to them- were flying in the sky of the village back and forth, and they were not showing any kind of provocation to the people of the village, but it was only minutes, when these warplanes raided with their missiles on the village, and started targeting the center of the village with rockets that caused explosions shocked the area.
The villagers rushed out -especially those in the houses at the outskirts of the village- to try to flee with their children to a safe haven, shielding them from the death by the missiles of the warplanes which used to fly over their heads without being targeted” Another one of them said: “those who got out of the village could not get to anywhere, it was only minutes after getting out of their homes, carrying their children, not knowing any destination to go to, until the Coalition’s warplanes took them off guard with electrical shocks.”
Tthen the group continue and said: “These warplanes remained flying in the sky of the village for about 15 minutes, in conjunction with their besiege to the village, by targeting its surroundings with heavy machine guns and electrical shocks, and one of the families were killed by the machineguns fire of the coalition’s warplanes” Another one concluded by saying: “We could not recover all bodies, and we still do not know where some of our relatives are, we do not know if they were killed, injured or managed to escape to another destination, and there maybe still bodies under the rubble of the houses which were destroyed by the warplanes in the village, and we were displaced out of fear of targeting the village again.”
The activists of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in the city of Al-Raqqah monitored the “Islamic State” transfer families that arrived to the city of Al-Raqqah from the village of Heisha and other areas in the countryside of Al-Raqqah, and then they distributed them to schools and shelter centers in the city, while the city of Al-Raqqah is witnessing discontent among the citizens, amid fears of the developments of Al-Raqqah battle, which aims to isolate the city from its countryside, preparing to control it and expel the “Islamic State” out of it, and some said: “” This is our situation now… if Daesh didn’t displace us the Coalition will.””
The following are news stories from the US Department of Defense website (http://www.defense.gov/News) :
Coalition Strikes Continue Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq
SOUTHWEST ASIA, Nov. 11, 2016 —
Strikes in Syria
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 14 strikes in Syria:
-- Near Raqqah, a strike destroyed three ISIL oil production machines and an oil storage tank.
-- Near Ayn Isa, 11 strikes engaged five ISIL tactical units; destroyed three fighting positions, two vehicles, a command and control node, a storage facility, a heavy weapons system and a bulldozer; and damaged three supply routes and a tunnel system.
-- Near Manbij, a strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle, a heavy machine gun and a fighting position.
-- Near Palmyra, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a fighting position.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft and rocket artillery conducted 10 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Huwayjah, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two vehicles.
-- Near Baghdad, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Mosul, seven strikes engaged six ISIL tactical units and a staging area; destroyed six mortar systems, three vehicles, two weapons caches and an artillery system; and damaged a mortar system.
-- Near Rawah, a strike destroyed an ISIL storage container.
Coalition Targets ISIL in Syria, Iraq
SOUTHWEST ASIA, Nov. 10, 2016 —
Strikes in Syria
Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Syria:
-- Near Abu Kamal, a strike damaged an ISIL supply route.
-- Near Raqqah, three strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and destroyed a fighting position and a vehicle.
-- Near Ayn Isa, 13 strikes engaged eight ISIL tactical units and destroyed seven fighting positions, a vehicle, a cave, a bridge and an improvised explosive device.
Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
-- Near Baghdad, a strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit.
-- Near Mosul, seven strikes engaged two ISIL tactical units and destroyed five ISIL-held buildings, four vehicles, three mortar systems, three medium machine guns, four tunnels and two vehicle bombs; and damaged two supply routes, a solar panel, a rocket-propelled grenade, a vehicle bomb facility and a fighting position.
-- Near Rawah, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit, destroyed an oil tanker and damaged a tunnel.
-- Near Tal Afar, a strike engaged an ISIL vehicle bomb facility
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