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Scores of Syrians Killed in the Ruins of Various Cities, Final Baghouz Assault Looming

March 12, 2019 

Editor's Note:

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. 


Smoke rises from a makeshift camp for Islamic State members and their families,
in the town of Baghuz, Syria, March 9, 2019
Destruction of Aleppo, Syria, file, March 11, 2019


The following are news stories from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) website (


More than 15 ISIS members were killed including 3 suicidal bombers as the decisive battle that was launched by the SDF and the International Coalition continuing within Al-Baghuz farms east of the Euphrates

SOHR, 12/03/2019

Deir Ezzor Province –

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the continued rocket and aerial bombardment by the Syria Democratic Forces and the International Coalition warplanes, on the positions of those remain of the “Islamic State” organization within Al-Baghuz farms in the eastern sector of Deir Ezzor countryside.

The continued shelling is coincided with renewed exchange of targeting by medium and heavy machineguns between the SDF against ISIS members in the area, the Syrian Observatory have documented more human losses against the backdrop of the decisive battle launched by the SDF and the International Coalition, where it rose to at least 17 members including 3 suicidal bombers, the number of casualties in the ranks of the organization who were killed in shelling and clashes against the SDF in Al-Baghuz farms, while 5 fighters of the SDF were also killed in the same operations.

In addition, 8 other fighters of the SDF were injured, and the death toll is expected to increase due to the presence of injured cases in serious conditions, as well as information about other casualties

After the deployment of the Turkish patrols on Saturday…attacks by the factions and Jihadi groups within “Putin – Erdogan” demilitarized zone leave 13 members of the regime forces and gunmen loyal to them dead

SOHR, 12/03/2019

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored a new operation by Jihadi factions today evening, Monday the 11th of March 2019, within the demilitarized zone, where Jihadi fighters attacked positions of the regime forces and gunmen loyal to them in the area of Shezer in the northern sector of Hama countryside, in a suicidal operation, which resulted in the death of 5 members of the regime forces and gunmen loyal to them, amid information about the fall of human losses in the ranks of the attacks, it is noteworthy that this is the third attack of kind to be carried out by the factions since Friday.

With the fall of more human losses, it rose to at least 423, the number of people who were killed since Erdogan – Putin agreement, 176 civilians including 62 children and 33 women, were killed in shelling by the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them, among them 7 citizens including 2 children, who were killed in the fall of shells launched by the factions, and 103 fighters were killed in deferent circumstances within the demilitarized area since Putin – Erdogan agreement, including 26 of the “Jihadi” fighters and 23 fighters of Jaysh al-Izza, who were killed in ambushes and clashes including a commander at least, they were killed in ambushes and attack by the regime forces in the northern countryside of Hama, and 144 members of the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them.

In the same context, the SOHR monitored clashes today evening, Monday, between the regime forces and the militiamen loyal to them against the factions, in the areas of Al-Leiramon and the scientific research center in the outskirts of Aleppo city, the regime forces also shelled places today evening, in Al-Lataminah, Al-Zakah, Kafr Zita and Al-Homayrat in both northern and north-western countryside of Hama, which injured a person in Al-Homayrat, also areas in Al-Hbit and Sahyan in the southern countryside of Idlib were shelled today evening by the regime forces.

16 were killed on March 9, 2019, including 6 members of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them and 10 other people

It rose to 7, the number of people who joined yesterday Saturday to the convoy of casualties of the Syrian revolution.

SOHR, 10/03/2019

In Idlib Province, 5 citizens were killed, they are a member of the civil defense, 2 women, and child, they were killed in raids on areas in al-Mentar village in Jisr al-Shughur countryside, and a child was killed in shelling by warplanes in areas in Saraqib country.

In Hama Province, 2 children were killed in the explosion of a bomb that did not exploded earlier in Najm al-Zohur in the northern countryside of Salamiyah within the eastern countryside of Hama.

The Syrian Observatory also documented the killing of 3 jihadi fighters in an attack in the western countryside of Hama in area of al-Suqaylabiyah countryside

And 6 members of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them were killed in shelling and clashes against the “Islamic State” Organization and the factions.

58 were killed on March 8, 2019, including 8 members of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them, and 50 other people

SOHR, 09/03/2019

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the rise in numbers of casualties due to the poor sanitary conditions and the bad weather conditions that accompanied the displacement from al-Baghuz farms, all of that raised the number of casualties to about 90 children since the beginning of December 2018.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of 3 of the engineering members of “Euphrates Shield” factions, where they were killed in the explosion of a booby-trapped motorcycle in Jarabulus town in the northeastern sector of Aleppo countryside, where the bicycle exploded while they were trying to dismantle the explosives of it.

3 siblings children died, and their mother was injured after their tent was burned, where the woman was transferred to the hospital in al-Hasakah city for treatment, and the incident took place within al-Rouj camp in al-Malkiyyeh area (Dirik) in the eastern countryside of Qamishli city near the Syrian-Iraqi border.

The Syrian Observatory also documented the killing of 5 jihadi fighters in targeting by the regime forces for their positions in the triangle of Latakia mountain – Hama – Idlib.

And 8 members of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them were killed in shelling and clashes against the “Islamic State” organization and factions.


US-Backed Forces in Final Assault to Wipe Out IS Enclave

March 11, 2019 10:32 AM

Jeff Seldon, VOA, WASHINGTON — 

Clashes and fierce fighting continued in northeastern Syria Monday, where U.S.-backed forces say their final assault on the Islamic State terror group enclave of Baghuz is underway.

A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, Mustafa Bali, said IS militants are fighting back with suicide bombers and damaged an SDF minesweeper. Writing on Twitter, he said the fighting has killed one SDF member and wounded four others. He added that U.S-led coalition airstrikes are destroying IS storage facilities and vehicles.

On, Sunday he announced the offensive to wipe out the last remnant of the terror group’s self-declared caliphate resumed at 6 p.m. local time.

Officials with both the SDF and the United States are expecting a difficult battle over the collection of tents and wrecked buildings spanning no more than 1.6 square kilometers on the outskirts of the northeastern Syrian town of Baghuz.

They say IS has been using a network of tunnels, caves and trenches to hide and launch counter attacks. They describe the tunnel system as complex, extending possibly for more than two kilometers, and rigged with explosives and booby traps.

There are also questions about how many IS fighters are left to defend the last shred of the terror group’s self-declared caliphate.

In late February, SDF officials estimated that no more than 1,000 people remained the bombed-out farming community on the banks of the Euphrates River, including perhaps 300 of the terror group’s most hardened and devoted fighters.

But as more than 20,000 civilians and fighters have emerged from the area to surrender over the past week, taking advantage of a brief cease-fire, they have been forced to reassess their estimates. Officials now say it is possible thousands of IS fighters are still there, prepared to fight to the death.

“We have been consistently wrong as have our SDF [Syrian Democratic Force] partners on how big this is,” a senior U.S. defense official said Friday.

“The number of civilians coming out of Baghuz has exceeded any prediction of humanitarian actors,” Hedinn Halldorsson, with the U.N.’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Damascus, told VOA late last week.

Yet as surprising as the numbers have been, U.S. defense officials do not believe it is an accident or a happenstance of the campaign to liberate this part of Syria from IS rule.

“What we are seeing now is not the surrender of ISIS as an organization but a calculated decision,” the commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, Gen. Joseph Votel, told U.S. lawmakers Thursday.

He, and other officials, warn IS’ goal is to preserve as much of the group’s capabilities as possible as it completes a transition from an almost traditional army to a clandestine insurgency, counting on every man, woman and child to do their part.

"The vast majority of these are assessed not to be innocent civilians," the senior defense official said of the thousands of stragglers who evacuated Baghuz in recent days.

The prolonged battle to wrest Baghuz from the control of IS has played out as U.S. President Donald trump has repeatedly declared victory over IS and its caliphate.

"We have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency," he tweeted Dec. 19, 2018, adding in a video released by the White House that "we have beaten them and we have beaten them badly."

Most recently, on February 28, he told troops at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska of the self-declared caliphate’s demise, "You kept hearing it was 90 percent, 92 percent, the caliphate in Syria. Now it's 100 percent.”

"We have the whole thing," he added.

Trump’s national security adviser defended the president’s comments Sunday.

“The president has been, I think, as clear as clear can be when he talks about the defeat of the ISIS territorial caliphate," Bolton said told ABC News’ “This Week.” "He has never said that the elimination of the territorial caliphate means the end of ISIS in total. We know that's not the case.”

“We know right now that there are ISIS fighters scattered still around Syria and Iraq and that ISIS itself is growing in other parts of the world,” Bolton added. “The ISIS threat will remain"

Despite losing administrative control over almost all the land it once held in Syria and Iraq, U.S. defense officials warns IS still has “tens of thousands” of fighters working either as part of sleeper cells or as part of an active, clandestine insurgency.

A series of reports issued starting last year warned IS could have as many as 30,000 followers and fighters in Syria and Iraq, with officials cautioning they remain “well-positioned” to rebuild a physical caliphate.

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters and is national security correspondent. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.


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