Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, August 2019
121 Syrians Killed in 3 Days, Mostly in Russian-Regime Air Strikes, Humanitarian Catastrophe at Al-Hoal Detention Camp of ISIS Families
August 5, 2019
The following news stories are just examples of the daily horrors of war in Syria. Readers can find more detailed daily news stories at the sources below as well as many other sources in the internet.
The following are news stories from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) website (http://www.syriahr.com/en/):
7 martyrs joined yesterday the convoy of martyrs of the Syrian revolution
SOHR, Monday, August 5, 2019
In Idlib Province, 3 citizens were killed, they are: a woman was killed in rocket shelling on Bidama, and the Syrian Observatory documented the death of 2 children affected by wounded they had in air and ground shelling on “Putin – Erdogan” area, one of them died affected by injuries he had in bombing on Marshourin village in the countryside of Maarrat al-Nu’man a few days ago, and the other one died affected by injuries he had in rocket shelling by the regime forces on Jisr al-Shughur city 3 days ago.
In Daraa Province, two civilians of the same family were killed by unknown gunmen, their bodies were found in al-Harbi road southwest of Daraa city with gunshot wounds and torture over them.
In Aleppo Province, a civilian was killed in an IED explosion in his car on Sunday morning east Azaz city in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
The Syrian Observatory also documented the death of a child affected by injuries he had in shooting by the Turkish border guards “Jandarma” near Saftak village, in the western countryside of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) city northeast of Aleppo on the Syrian-Turkish border.
A member of Azaz city’s pro-Turkish police was shot dead by unknown gunmen on Kaljibrin – Marea road in the northern countryside of Aleppo
6 fighters of the Turkey-loyal factions were killed in clashes against the Kurdish Forces in Hazwan – Abla Area in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo.
Two Kurdish forces also spent clashes against Turkish-backed factions in the Area of Hazwan-Abla, northeast of Aleppo.
8 members of the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them were killed in an attack by the “Islamic State” Organization in the desert of the villages of al-Dwayr, Salhiya, and Sayyal in the countryside of al-Bokamal city.
5 members of the “Islamic State” Organization were killed in clashes against the regime in al-Bokamal desert east of Deir Ezzor.
The Syrian Observatory also documented the killing of 2 of the jihadi faction “Hurras al-Dien” Organization in Khirbet al-Naqous area in Sahl al-Ghab at the northwestern countryside of Hama, where they were assassinated by unknown gunmen.
SOHR, Monday, August 4, 2019
A member of the Islamic factions was killed in an IED explosion in a military vehicle at Taftanaz town in the eastern countryside of Idlib
The Syrian Observatory learned that unidentified gunmen attacked one of the military headquarters of the “Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham” in al-Tamanah town south Idlib, after which clashes broke out with individual weapons between members of the headquarters and the unknown people, which killed 3 fighters of Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham.
While 32 fighters of the regime forces and their loyal militias including 4 officers, were killed in the explosion of new munitions at al-Shayrat Airbase in the southeastern countryside of Homs.
And 2 members of the regime forces were killed, one by sniper of the Jihadi groups in al-Hakura area at the northwestern countryside of Hama, and the other one in targeting a tank by Tahrir al-Sham on al-Jabin area in the same countryside.
5 martyrs joined the convoy of martyrs of the Syrian revolution
SOHR, Monday, August 3, 2019
In Idlib Province, 4 citizens were killed, they are two female children were killed in rocket shelling by the regime forces on Jisr al-Shughur city in the western countryside of Idlib, and a woman was killed in airstrikes by regime’s warplanes on Kafr Nubl town south of Idlib, and a child died affected by injuries he had in shelling by regime’s warplanes on Jisr al-Shughur city in the western countryside of Idlib days ago.
In Hama Province, a citizen was killed while he was trying to rescue the people who were injured in airstrikes carried out by regime’s warplanes on Latmin village north of Hama.
11 members of Soqur al-Sham were killed in shooting by clan gunmen loyal to the regime, who infiltrated one of the faction’s headquarters in al-Sha’rah village in the eastern countryside of Idlib.
4 fighters of the FNL faction were shot by snipers of the regime forces in Sahl al-Ghab area.
While 16 fighters (14 Jihadis and 2 of the factions) were killed in aerial and ground shelling and clashes against the regime forces in the vicinity of Hasraya and al-Zakat in the northern countryside of Hama.
While 16 members of the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them were killed in booby-trapped explosion, targeting, and clashes against the factions and the jihadi groups on the outskirts of al-Zakat and Hasraya north of Hama.
Warplanes of the Syrian regime and the Russian “guarantor” step up their bombardment on the “de-escalation” zone and target the countryside of Idlib and Hama as well as the Syrian coastline by more than 50 airstrikes
SOHR, Monday, August 5, 2019
The bombardment is continuing in an escalating pace within “Putin – Erdogan” area, by the regime’s warplanes and helicopters and the Russian warplanes, after a bout 88 hours of absence from the airspace, where it rose to 26, the number of raids carried out by the regime’s warplanes on Khan Shaykhun, Kafr Sajna, Hish and Sheikh Damis in the southern countryside of Idlib, and Al-Lataminah and Kafr Zita in the northern countryside of Hama, also the helicopters dropped more than 17 barrel bombs on Khan Shaykhun south of Idlib, and Kafr Zita and Al-Lataminah north of Hama, while the Russian warplanes carried out 8 raids on Al-Khudur area and Tardin in Jabal Al-Akrad, and Khan Shaykhun in the southern sector of Idlib countryside, and the Syrian Observatory published that it monitored that the aerial bombardment was resumed today afternoon on “Putin – Erdogan” area, where the regime’s warplanes carried out raids on Khan Shaykhun city in the southern countryside of Idlib, in conjunction with the flight of warplanes and helicopters over the area, after the aerial bombardment has been halted for about 3 days and half, where the Syrian regime’s Ministry of Defense issued a statement hours ago, in which it talked about its intention to resume the military operations because the “factions and jihadis” have not complied with the agreement.
And with the fall of more casualties, it rose to at least 2921, the number of people who were killed since the 30th of April 2019, the date of start of the most violent escalation in terms of aerial and ground bombardment, shelling, and targeting since Putin – Erdogan agreement, until the 4th of August 2019, and they are: 868 civilians including 217 children and 161 citizen women, and they are 149 including 31 children and 35 women, and 6 of the civil defense and 3 of the ambulance team were killed in Russian aerial bombardment on the countryside of Idlib and Hama, and 63 including 15 women and 10 children were killed in the fall of barrel bombs, and 474 including 131 children, 78 women, and 4 members of the rescue teams were killed in targeting by regime’s warplanes, also 108 people including 20 women and 20 children were killed in a ground shelling carried out by the regime forces, and 76 citizens including 25 children and 13 women were killed in shelling by the factions on al-Suqaylabiyah, Qamhana, Al-Rasif, Al-Aziziyah, Karnaz, Jurin, Al-Nairab Camp, neighborhoods in Aleppo city and its southern countryside, while at least 1069 fighters were killed in the Russian airstrikes and the regime’s aerial and ground shelling including 669 of the Jihadis, in addition to the killing of 984 members of the regime forces in targeting and shelling by jihadi groups and factions.
And during the period between the 15th of February 2019; the date of the meeting of “Rouhani – Erdogan – Putin” until the 4th of August 2019, the and Syrian Observatory documented the death of 3450 people in the Russian – Turkish truce areas, they are 1154 civilians including 299 children under the age of eighteen and 225 women over the age of eighteen, they were killed in the Russian aerial bombardment and the rocket shelling by the regime forces and the factions, and among the death toll of civilians there are 102 people including 30 children under the age of eighteen and 17 citizen women over the age of eighteen, they were killed in the fall of shells launched by the factions, and 1155 fighters were killed in different conditions within the demilitarized area since Putin – Erdogan agreement, including 714 fighters of the “Jihadis” and 1141 of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them.
While the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented since the start of the Russian – Turkish truce the death of 3680 people in areas of Erdogan – Putin agreement, they are: 1237 civilians including 328 children and 239 women, were killed in shelling by the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them, targeting, and bombardment by warplanes, and among them there are 103 people including 30 children and 16 women, were killed in the fall of shells launched by the factions, and 1222 fighters were killed in deferent circumstances within the demilitarized area since Putin – Erdogan agreement, including 727 of the “Jihadi” fighters, and 1221 members of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them.
Camp of Al-Hoal Statelet Threatens with A New Explosion in The Face of The World
In al-Hol statelet: 70,000 people mostly members of the ISIS Organization’s families including 10,000 foreigners whose countries have abandoned, and the tragic humanitarian and health conditions claim the lives of more than 385 children
SOHR, Monday, August 5, 2019
Although the military phase in defeating the Organization of the “Islamic State” is over; the battle is not over yet… this is how everyone realizes in the light of the worsening crises which were caused by the control of the Organization for nearly 4 years of vast territories in Syria and Iraq, and perhaps the most prominent of these crises which were caused by the existence of the “Islamic State” Organization is the families and children left behind by fighters of the Organization, especially after the end of the last battle north Syria, al-Baghuz battle, this crisis is specifically represented by “al-Hol” camp in the southeast of al-Hasaka which has become a small “state” for the “Islamic State” Organization; or at least, for families of the Organization, where, according to the information and statistics of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: at least 70422 people mostly of families of the Organization and they are: 8552 Iraqi families their numbered 30774 people, and 8334 Syrian families numbered 29484 members, while the rest are 10146 people and they are of European, Asian, African and other nationalities among 3038 families.
On the 13th of March 2019, the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdurrahman warned in a television interview that al-Hol Camp would be transformed into “a state of ISIS or at least families of the Organization,” which has already happened by monitoring the events and developments that have taken place inside the camp throughout nearly 4 months since announcing the defeat of the Organization and the increase of number of people in “al-Hol Camp” to more than 73 thousand people, and then the number of people inside the camp decreased through smuggling operations of the women members of the Organization, or by delivering some women and children by the Syria Democratic Forces to their families with mediation of some tribal Sheikhs.
Humanitarian Catastrophe and International Silence, Children Die in The Statelet Of Death
Crises of the camp or the “statelet” do not end, but the most notable of them are the humanitarian conditions, poor health, and living conditions, and the shortage of medicines, food, and medical care, where failure of international Organizations to provide assistance to the camps’ population has caused the deaths of at least 386 children under the age of eighteen due to a shortage of medical care, and since the beginning of January 2019 according to statistics of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and what has been confirmed by reliable sources for the Observatory: most of the children who died are nationals of Britain, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Belgium, China, Chechnya, Turkestan, Morocco, Tunisia, Maldives, Indonesia. Somalia, and India, as well as other nationalities from Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that in case it was not possible to provide medical care for patients in al-Hol camp; they are transferred to other hospitals, they are: “al-Shaab” and “al-Hikmah” in al-Hasakah and “Faman” in Qameshly, and according to the sources: the camp’s residents suffer mainly from shortages of medical supplies and health care, in addition to food shortages as a result of the inaction of international Organizations towards what is happening in al-Hol camp, amid increase in numbers of people displaced to the camp in recent months, which has made the relief and local medical agency unable to continue securing requirements of tens of thousands who live in the camp, or the statelet of “al-Hol”, in addition to another problem, which is stealing aid and transferring it by some members of relief teams to people who payed bribes to them, making the aid reaches some people without others, which intensified the spread of diseases and worsening the health conditions and led to shortages in the medicines, food, and children’s supplies of diapers, milk, and children’s medicines.
According to reliable sources of the Syrian Observatory: the committees working in the camp who supervise the distribution of humanitarian aid, are taking bribes in exchange for distributing the equipment, tents, and aid stacked in stores of UNHCR, while reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that one of the administrators of distribution who is an employee of UNHCR and the United Nations, insults displaced people and considers them as members of the “Islamic State” Organization.
On the 3rd of July 2019, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the injury of several people of the families of members of the “Islamic State” Organization with burns, as a result of the breakout of fire in several tents inhabited by these families, and reliable sources indicated that the fires were caused by the lack of kitchens in the newly established sections, and because of that the families use unsafe means, reliable sources also pointed out that the poor humanitarian conditions in the “al-Hol Statelet” have worsened as hundreds of families of the Organization returned to live out in the open again, after a storm uprooted more than 100 tents in their camp’s area.
On the 18th of May 2018, the Director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed that the Syria Democratic Forces are the ones responsible medical care for al-Hol camp, but Organizations inside the camp are receiving huge funds from the European Union and international health care providers; in order to provide medical care to the camp’s residents, however, some assistance does not go to its designated destinations, and the health care and needs of the camp’s residents are not provided, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has previously called for investigations by these international parties and supporters in these Organizations, to expose the corruption inside al-Hol camp, and as an emphasis on the critical humanitarian situation in “al-Hol Statelet”; “Doctors Without Borders” Organization said that “the humanitarian situation in al-Hol is critical, water comes sporadically, foods is not provided regularly, and the medical care is not acceptable,” while Will Turner, the area’s emergency program officer for Syria said: “many pregnant women are forced to give birth under their tents, and there are cases of children who have died in tents.”
Chaos and extremism, the “Statelet of Death” is a new bomb on its way to explode
The deplorable conditions of the camp do not stop at the point of poor health and food services provided to its residents, where a tension prevails throughout the camp as a result of chaos and extremism that dominates its population, making it a new bomb on its way to explode threatening to destabilize the area again, where from time to time some tensions, quarrels, and clashes take place inside al-Hol camp, include attacks by women members of the Organization against security units to demand the release of their detained husbands, or through clashes between families of the Organization against each other especially of different nationalities, not to mention the leaking of a video of some members women and children of families of the “Islamic State” Organization, sending a message to those who they call ” their mujahideen brothers”, calling on them to “save them from the prisons of the infidels”, stressing that they “used to live in the land of the caliphate, the State of Islam, bring back the pride of the caliphate,” the women added in the leaked video: “Do you think we will forget what you did to us in Baghuz you infidels? And do you think that by holding women in the rotten camp you will win over us?” also some children appeared in the same video saying: “we will destroy you one by one by the willing of Allah.”
Sources of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored a fight between families of the Organization of Iraqi and Syrian nationalities, which injured several people, where the fight began when a displaced Syrian hit an Iraqi woman in the camp, then it turned into a battle with white weapons between both families, and on the 4th of July 2019 a woman from the family members of the “Islamic State” Organization stabbing a member of the Asayish forces from behind, but no information about the reasons behind it and the motives yet, followed by shooting by Asayish forces to disperse the crowd which came after the Asayish pursuit the lady, but she managed to disappear from sight and escape after tens of the families of the Organization gathering, reliable sources confirmed that insults and threats were observed by members of the organization saying to the camp’s protection members: “we want our husbands from your jails, we are not afraid of you, you must be afraid of us, we want to get out of the camp.” they also attacked a medical point in the camp and smashed its windows demanding the release of their men and relatives detained at prisons of Syria Democratic Forces.
On the 28th of July 2019, sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that a woman of the families of the “State Organization” was injured in shooting by a women’s patrol of “Asayish” in al-Hol camp, after a group of women of the families of the Organization carried out a protest inside the camp, which made the “Asayish” patrol shoot to disperse the protesters, which injurie that woman.
Dollars for Escape: Complicity and Popular Discontent Due to Flee of Women of The “Islamic State” Organization
Over the past period and as the catastrophic humanitarian situation worsened, there has been an increase in escapes from the “statelet of death”, where many families of members and leaders of the “Islamic State” Organization have fled the camp through smugglers dealing with corrupt members of the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) who protect the camp, where smuggling operations are carried out periodically in exchange for large sums of money, On the 26th of March 2019, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored clashes between the “Asayish” who are guarding the camp against smugglers in the vicinity of the camp, after an attempt to smuggle several families of members of the Organization and move them to new destinations.
On the 20th of July 2019, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from several reliable sources that the Syria Democratic Forces arrested 2 of their members from one of the checkpoints of Manbij city in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: 2 of the SDF (one of them is a commander in People’s Protection Units) smuggled 5 women of the families of the “Islamic State” organization from al-Hol camp for up to 10000$ USD for each woman, where they were discovered at the last checkpoint in Manbij city northeast of Aleppo and they were arrested yesterday, amid great public discontent about the smuggling and how they were able to pass through all the checkpoints undetected, which is not a new incidents of its kind, where the Syrian Observatory published on the 9th of July 2019 that reliable sources told the Syrian Observatory that smuggling operations continue within al-Hol “statelet” at the far southeast of al-Hasaka Province, where the smuggling of women and children of family members of the “Islamic State” organization takes place towards factions’ controlled areas in the Syrian north, in return for huge amounts of money through the Smuggling networks, the sources added to the Syrian Observatory that the amounts of money vary between the Syrian people, Arabs, and foreigners, where the families of the organization of foreign nationalities are smuggled in return for amounts of money starting from 5000$ US dollars a person, while the amounts of money for families of the organization of Syrian nationality start from $500 USD up to $2,500 per person.
The same sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory the involvement of many entities within al-Hol “statelet” in these smuggling operations, from military figures of the intelligence there to the medical crews who are active in the camp, as well as other groups, including members of the Internal Security (Asayish), sources revealed to the Syrian Observatory that some of the group’s families fled towards the Turkish territory or areas of control of the “Euphrates Shield” Operation Forces in the northeastern sector of Aleppo countryside, by paying to smugglers about $650 per person.
Guarantees of The Clans: A Legal Exit Means Through a “Guarantor”
Amid attempts to contain Crisis of “al-Hol” Statelet, the Syria Democratic Forces organized a meeting of the Syrian tribes in Ain Issa town in the northwestern countryside of al-Raqqah, where leaders and representatives of the Syria Democratic Forces met with hundreds of representatives of Syrian tribes on the 3rd of May 2019, and about one month or so after the conference, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the exit of hundreds of displaced people from al-Hol camp, where sources of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights revealed that more than 900 people mostly women and children of Deir Ezzor, al-Raqqah, and al-Tabaqa”, have gotten out of camp towards their areas east of Euphrates, and according to reliable information, those who go out to the Syria Democratic Forces’ controlled areas have to secure a guarantor for those who are foreigners to the area, meaning that the son of Deir Ezzor province cannot go to Manbij without a guarantor there, the sources revealed to the Syrian Observatory that the process of exit of other batches will take place toward various areas in the Syrian territory in the coming period, against the background of the meetings that took place in “Ain Issa” in early May.
On the 24th of July 2019, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the exit of a new batch of tens of ISIS families from al-Hol camp, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: more than 125 children and women among about 30 families of the Organization have gotten out of “al-Hol State” towards Manbij city, which is under the control of the Syria Democratic Forces, and sources of the Syrian Observatory informed that all of them are from Manbij city and were taken out in response to demands of tribal elders in the “Meeting of Syrian Tribes”.
Attempts to contain crisis of al-Hol camp and reduce its population do not stop at the limit of agreements with the tribes, where the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights obtained confirmed information about an agreement with the Iraqi government to get the Iraqi families of the Organization out of the camp and transfer them to the Iraqi territory, however, sources of the Syrian Observatory indicated that there is a situation of refusal among the Iraqi civilians and families of the Organization to be handed over to the Iraqi authorities, fearing for their lives of the possibility of issuing execution against them, especially since the Iraqis make up about half of people in al-Hol camp.
The West Abandons Its Responsibility: Attempts to Avoid Taking Back Families Of the “Islamic State” Organization
With all the attempts to reduce the population density within “al-Hol Statelet”, the biggest problem concerns those who are of the western nationalities and present in the camp, where the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights Rami Abdurrahman, stressed on the 18th of May 2019 that western countries refuse to talk or raise the issue of al-Hol camp, and do not address the issue of the humanitarian situation within it, so they do not become forced to take their citizens of women and children back to their country, pointing out that what is happening is deliberate in order to keep the situation of al-Hol camp away inside Syrian territory, and in an attempt to exploit the situation, on the 19th of June 2019, the Russian and Syrian coordination headquarters accused the United Nations of reducing the scale of the humanitarian disaster in al-Hol camp, “We are concerned by the assessments of some UN bodies regarding the situation in al-Hol camp, which significantly reduce the range of the humanitarian disaster in the camp,” a joint statement of both headquarters said, it also added: “to date, not even one of the problems experienced by refugees has been solved, contrary to the repeated U.S. promises… about 72000 people -91% of whom are women and children- live in al-Hol camp in terrible conditions, especially that 65% of whom are children under the age of 12.”
Despite some western countries’ abandonment, some countries have received several children through their representatives, also Kamal Akif, the spokesman of the Self-Administration of north and East Syria said in a statement on the 5th of June 2019, that “the Kurdish authorities in Syria have returned to the United States 2 American women and 6 children of families of Jihadis in the “Islamic State” Organization,” and he added: “This was done by a request from the U.S. government and the free and voluntary desire by the American citizens to return home, without any pressure or coercion,” and days before that, the Kurdish authorities returned 5 Norwegian orphans of ISIS-linked families to their countries, and about one week after sending 148 Uzbek women and children to their countries.
The crisis in al-Hol camp or the “state of death” continues to threaten more instability northeast Syria, which require decisive international intervention to improve the humanitarian conditions of the camp’s residents, and provide health and food care and provide for their needs, as well as to investigate the smuggling of family members of the “Islamic State” Organization, and the corruption in distributing aid and services to the displaced people inside the camp, not to mention the need to intervene to contain the extremism and chaos inside the “al-Hol State”, so that the situation in the camp -which become a “time bomb” threatens to explode in the face of the world at any time- does not explode.
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