Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
News, September 2019
Iranian Oil Unloaded in Syria, Drone Attacks in Hama, Damages to Churches Recorded, and Anti-Regime Protests in Idlib
September 9, 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.
Drone attacks in Hama, Iranian oil unloaded in Syria, damages to churches recorded and anti-regime protests in Idleb
Syria Observer, September 9, 2019
1. The official Syrian news agency reported that the Syrian army confronted a terrorist attack on a military position in al-Ghab Valley in Hama province, which used drones that were downed without causing any casualties. A military source told SANA that on Friday evening, army defense forces confronted a terrorist attack on a military position in al-Ghab valley, adding that the attack used three drones laden with bombs. Two of the drones were destroyed, according to the agency, and the third was downed and its ammunition dismantled without causing any Syrian Arab Army casualties, according to the source.
2. Satellite images have shown the formerly detained Iranian oil tanker, which triggered a dispute between Tehran and western powers, dock at the Syrian port of Tartous after going dark earlier in the week, according to a US space technology company, Maxar Technologies Inc. Al-Araby al-Jadeed quoted the company as saying that the Adrian Darya, formally named Grace 1, was very close to Tartous on Sept. 6, 2019, after turning off its transponder for more than 13 hours in the Mediterranean west of Syria, Refinitiv ship-tracking data showed on Tuesday. The tanker, which is loaded with Iranian crude oil, was detained off the coast of Gibraltar by the British navy in early July on suspicion of heading towards Tartous to offload oil in contravention of European Union sanctions on the Syrian regime. Gibraltar’s authorities ultimately released the Iranian oil tanker last month, despite repeated US requests to seize the tanker, claiming that it is controlled by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, which it classifies as a terrorist organisation.
3. As many as 124 churches have been damaged or targeted by military forces on all sides of Syria’s civil war, which has stretched on for more than eight years, according to a new report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR). 75 reported attacks involved forces supporting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, 33 involved armed opposition forces, 12 involved the Islamic State or other Islamic extremist groups and four incidents involved other fighting groups.
4. UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet says her office has recorded more than 1,000 civilian deaths in northern Syria over the last four months, the majority of them due to airstrikes and ground attacks by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and their allies. On Wednesday, she told reporters in Geneva that 1,089 civilians in the war-battered country were killed between Apr. 29 and Aug. 29, 2019, including 304 children. She was quoted by Asharq al-Awsat as saying, “nearly all, 1,031 of the deaths, were reportedly attributable to government forces and their allies in Idleb and Hama provinces. Another 58 were caused by “non-state actors.”
5. On Friday, hundreds of Syrians held anti-regime protests in rebel-held Idlib province where a fragile ceasefire has paused a deadly months-old offensive. Some demonstrators gathered near the Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey, where Turkish border guards last week fired warning shots and tear gas to disperse Syrian protesters. They waved the three-star flag of the eight-year-old uprising and chanted against Bashar al-Assad’s regime, while some called on rebel backer Turkey to open its borders. “We only want the Turkish government to open its borders for our brothers who live under the olive trees,” protester Abou Haytham told AFP, referring to displaced Syrians living in the open air.
The US-Turkish joint patrols in the Syrian al-Jazeera region have been described as a violation of Syria's sovereignty and territorial integrity reports SANA.
Syria Observer, September 9, 2019
Syria vehemently condemned as a “flagrant violation of international law” the launching of US-Turkish joint patrols in the Syrian al-Jazeera region.
“The Syrian Arab Republic condemns in the strongest terms the launching of joint patrols by the US administration and the Turkish regime in the Syrian al-Jazeera region as a flagrant violation of international law and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic,” an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said Sunday, in a statement to SANA.
The source depicted this step as an aggression that aims to complicate and prolong the crisis in Syria after the achievements made by the Syrian Arab Army in pursuing the remnants of terrorist groups.
The source reiterated Syria’s absolute rejection of the so-called safe zone, affirming its determination to foil all the schemes that target Syria’s safety and territorial integrity.
The following are news stories from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) website (http://www.syriahr.com/en/):
Against the backdrop of assaulting an old man from the Eastern Ghouta…Jaysh Al-Islam and gunmen from Damascus and it countryside attack military headquarters of a pro-Turkey faction in Afrin
Aleppo Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: clashes by light weapons erupted today evening between gunmen affiliated to Jaysh Al-Islam Faction and young men from the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus on one hand, and military groups affiliated to the pro-Turkey faction of Sultan Murad on the other, in Afrin city, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights; the clash erupted after the gunmen of to Jaysh Al-Islam Faction and some young men from the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus attacked military headquarters of Sultan Murad in Raju Market and Al-Villat Neighborhood in Afrin city center against the backdrop of assaulting an old man of the displaced people of the Eastern Ghouta by a gunman of the Sultan Murad; after a verbal altercation between both parties about the price of one of the goods at the shop of the displaced from Ghouta, followed by insults by the members against people of Ghouta, while the SOHR learned that the Turkish forces intervened to break up the dispute in Afrin amid cautious calm prevailing the city.
And the SOHR published earlier this day, that it monitored violent clashes in Raju Market at Afrin city, which is controlled by the Turkish Forces and the Syrian factions loyal to them in the northwestern countryside of Aleppo, between members of the Sultan Murad faction against Jaysh al-Islam and gunmen from the Eastern Ghouta, and information about casualties in the ranks of both parties, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: members of the Sultan Murad assaulted a man of the displaced people of the Eastern Ghouta; after a verbal altercation between both parties about one of the goods at the shop of the displaced from Ghouta, followed by insults by the members against people of Ghouta which led to the outbreak of armed clashes between both parties, amid attempts to calm the situation, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 27th of August 2019 that activists of the Syrian Observatory monitored the outbreak of violent clashes between factions of “the Islamic Movement of Ahrar al-Sham” against groups of “al-Sultan Murad” faction in Sosyan village in the countryside of al-Bab city northwest of al-Bab city, during attempts by members of Ahrar al-Sham to arrest some members of al-Sultan Murad faction, this developed to an armed fight between them bit no information about casualties so far.
The Syrian Observatory published on the 7th of September 2019 that it documented the death of a member of the pro-Turkish Rahman Corps faction, where he was killed in a mine explosion near Qibar village in the former 155th Brigade in Afrin area northwest of Aleppo city, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 6th of September 2019, that an explosion rocked Afrin city which is under the control of the Turkish forces and Syrian factions loyal to them in the north-western countryside of Aleppo, it turned out to be caused by a landmine explosion near the Brigade 135 in the city, without information about casualties so far, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 3rd of September 2019, that a second explosion was heard in Azaz city, it was caused by the explosion of a booby-trapped bicycle in front of the orphanage building in the middle of the city, which is controlled by pro-Turkish factions in the northern countryside of Aleppo, and the explosion injured more than 6 people, and the Syrian Observatory published a little while ago that a violent explosion shook Azaz city north of Aleppo which is controlled by Turkey-loyal factions, caused by the explosion of a motorcycle bomb near Azaz city market on a day when the market is crowded with civilians, which caused casualties and injuries where the rescue operations and help continue, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 1st of September 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the body of a leader of the Turkey-loyal factions and his wife were found Sunday morning in their home in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, and in details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: unknown people entered the house of the leader in Jarabulus town and killed him with his wife with pistols equipped with silencers, where the leader was the commander of the central force in “Humat al-Aqida” of the 3rd Corps, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 30th of August 2019 that the insecurity phenomenon and targeting of members of the pro-Turkish factions continues within the areas of “Olive Branch” and “Euphrates Shield” operations, where 2 explosions were heard on the road of al-Nu’man – Sousian in the countryside of al-Bab city north of Aleppo last night, caused by the explosive of 2 IEDs as a military vehicle of a pro-Turkish faction passed by, which injured at least one member.
The Syrian Observatory published on the 27th of August 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored a landmine explosion believed to planted by that Kurdish Forces on the road of Azaz – Kaljibrin in the northern countryside of Aleppo, where it exploded when a minibus carrying members of the police passed on the road, which killed 2 members at least and injured 9 others, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation, and the Syrian Observatory published yesterday, that the military police, factions of the 1st Corps, al-Jaysh al-Watani (the National Army), Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah, Jaysh al-Sharqiyyah, al-Sultan Murad, and other Turkish-backed factions carried out a “new security operation” within their controlled areas in Aleppo countryside, where they arrested a whole group of Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement who joined al-Shamiyyah front recently, after violent clashes between both parties after dawn of today in al-Ashrafyyeh neighborhood in Afrin city, they also arrested a leader of al-Hamzat Division and other fighters of other factions, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 22nd of August 2019 that the security chose phenomenon in areas of control of Turkish-backed factions is still taking place, it is prominently manifested in targeting members of the factions through bombings and assassinations, where unknown people threw a bomb at Deir Ballut Checkpoint which belongs to a corps close to Turkey, which seriously injured one member at least, while the sound of heavy gunfire were heard and it caused panic among residents of the area, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 20th of August 2019 that chaos and insecurity continue to be at the forefront of events within areas of control of the Turkish-backed factions in Aleppo countryside, where an IED exploded Tuesday morning in the industrial area of al-Bab city northeast of Aleppo, which caused material but no information about injuries until the moment, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 18th of August 2019 that an explosion was heard east of al-Bab city in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo on Sunday morning, it was caused by an IED explosion near the junction of the pro-Turkish factions controlled town of Qabasin, which caused material damage but no information about casualties, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 17th of August 2019 that the bombings continue in areas of control of the Turkish-backed factions, especially areas of “Euphrates Shield” in Aleppo countryside, where a new explosion hit Azaz city north of Aleppo after midnight of yesterday, it was caused by an IED explosion in a vehicle near the automated bread furnace in the city, which caused injuries in varying situations and material damage, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 15th of August 2019 a violent explosion was heard today evening in Afrin city, it turned out to be caused by an IED explosion in a military vehicle affiliated to one of the pro-Turkey factions in “Al-Service” Street in Afrin city north-west of Aleppo, without information about casualties.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 12th of August 2019, that the members of the pro-Turkey factions are still the targets of unidentified gunmen who target them at times through detonations and at other times through the direct killing, where a violent explosion was heard today evening in the northern countryside of Aleppo, it turned out to be caused by the explosion of a booby-trapped vehicle in front of a headquarters of the pro-Turkey faction “al-Jabha al-Shamiyyah”, in Hazwan village in the countryside of Al-Bab city north-east of Aleppo, without confirmed information about casualties so far.
The Autonomous Administration in the north-east of Syria hands over 4 children of ISIS families to the Russian government
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the Autonomous Administration in the north-east of Syria has handed over 4 children of the families of the “Islamic State” organization, to representatives of the Russian government, and these children (one Dagestani and 3 Chechen) are orphans and they were in “Al-Hool Statelet” in the far south-east of Al-Hasakah.
And the Syrian Observatory published on the 5th of September 2019, that the “Autonomous Administration” on Thursday, the 5th of September 2019, handed over 3 children from families of the “Islamic State” Organization of Nigerian nationality to representatives of the Nigerian government, after a press conference between both parties in Qameshly city, where the children were orphans and were present in “al-Hol mini-state” located in the far southeast of Hasakah, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 30th of May 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that the self-administration of the Syria Democratic forces under a supervision of the International Coalition; handed over hundreds of people of families of the “Islamic State” Organization to their countries, where more than 310 children and women of the Organization’s families of European and Asian nationalities have been handed over their countries, after the Syria Democratic Forces kept them in camps in their areas after ending the presence of the “Islamic State” Organization as a dominant force east of Euphrates.
And the SOHR published on Thursday, that an Iraqi youth was killed in al-Hol camp in the far southeast of Hasakah, and in the details obtained by the Syrian Observatory: two people dressed as women of the “Islamic State” Organization infiltrated the tent of the man at night, and beat him with a sharp object on his head which led to his death, also reliable sources confirmed that the deceased was accused of “Ridda” (apostasy) which is leaving the religion and did that he did not accept the thought adopted ideology of families of the “Islamic State” Organization in the camp, especially the Iraqis, and it is believed that he was killed to apply the “Hudud” against him by supporters of the Organization there, and the Syrian Observatory published on the 4th of September 2019 that the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned from reliable sources that 2 women from the families of the “Islamic State” organization of non-Syrian nationalities, managed to escape after being transported from Al-Hool Camp to receive treatment in the hospitals of Tal Tamr and Al-Hekmah in Al-Hasaka province.
Also, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 4th September 2019 that death continues to spread his arms around al-Hol camp, claiming the lives of more children in light of the disastrous conditions in the medical side within al-Hol camp, and the failure of all international bodies to provide support and find a solution to the humanitarian disaster in “children’s death” camp, where the Syrian Observatory documented the death of 23 children as a result of poor health and living conditions, shortages of medicines and food, and severe shortages of medical care, due to the inaction of the international organizations, raising to 409 the number of children who have died since the start of January 2019 until the night of the 21st of July 2019, in a continuation for the death chain in the camp, which is suffering difficult humanitarian conditions after being transformed into a small state with mostly children and women members of the “Islamic” Organization, and reliable sources from inside the camp confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that the people in the camp are suffering mainly from the lack of medical supplies and health care, in addition to the decrease of food and lack of movements by the international organizations, and the absence of some others about what is happening in al-Hool camp, in which the daily problems are starting to worsen, and the SOHR published on Saturday, that the humanitarian situation in al-Hool camp in the northeast of al-Hasaka continues to decline, where the great number of people who were displaced in recent months to the camp prevented the local and international relief and medical agencies from continuously providing all the requirements of tens of thousands of people living in al-Hool camp which has been transformed into a statelet due to the massive wave of displacement.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 3rd of September 2019 that international silence continues towards all the disasters that occur in the “al-Hol mini-state” northeast of al-Hasaka province, and perhaps the biggest disaster which is worsening day after day is the lack of rehabilitation of children of the “Islamic State” Organization who are present in the camp, where the camp has become a fertile ground for planting extremism and “jihadism” in minds of these children by women of the organization, who are planting the ideology of the Organization in minds of their children and teach them the teachings of terrorist Organization, and by that, the camp become to training camp to training the children the ideology of the “Islamic State” Organization, in the light of the full international disregard for consequences of the disaster, and in another context, the Syrian Observatory monitored decline in numbers of people present in “al-Hol mini- state.” following the recent exits and the extradition of foreign children to their countries, where this “mini-state” includes at least 68607 people, they are: 8450 Iraqi families within of the total 30765 Iraqi nationality people there, and 7809 Syrian families of the 28069 Syrian nationality people, while the rest– who are 9773 people– are of European, Asian, African and other nationalities are among both 2824 families.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published on the 22nd of August 2019 that the Syrian Observatory published on the 22nd of August 2019 that it monitored a new quarrel in al-Hol camp northeast of Hasakah, between families of the “Islamic State” organization against the internal security forces “Asayish”, where several women from families of the organization threw stones at Asayish members in the camp after an altercation between both parties, where the arm of a member of the Asayish was broken and 4 women of families of the organization were arrested, this comes within the context of similar incidents that became repetitive almost daily in the “al-Hol mini-state”, amid constant international silence towards what is going on, at a time when it is necessary to work on rehabilitation of children and expelling ideas of the organization from their minds at a young age.
In shadow of the deliberate blindness by the Turks towards the factions’ violations against citizens in Afrin…a citizen was killed in the basements of the pro-Turkey Military Police
Aleppo Province – The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights: the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of a citizen from Balilku village in Afrin countryside in the basements of the Military Police loyal to Turkey in Raju Township in Afrin north of Aleppo after being arrested before days with a group of citizens without clarifying the reasons for arresting them.
And the SOHR published on the 5th of September 2019, that it documented the death of an old woman affected by the injury she had after being beaten hard by members of al-Jabha al-Shamiyyah faction on the 25th of August 2019, where her husband died at that time after being beaten by the same members while trying to rob the couple’s house in Al-Ashrafiyah neighborhood in Afrin city, where the SOHR published at that time that gunmen stormed a house of a man from Atama village in Afrin countryside and lives in Al-Ashrafiyah neighborhood in Afrin city, where sums of money were stolen from his house at dawn, and when the old man tried to defend his house, the gunmen beat and choked him and shackled his wife, which resulted in the death of the man affected by the beating and punches he was subjected to, it is noteworthy that this incident took place near a headquarter and a checkpoint of al-Jabha al-Shamiyyah in the area.
And the SOHR published hours ago that the “local council” of Sharan area in Afrin countryside, which is controlled by the Turkish Forces and the Syrian factions loyal to them northwest of Aleppo, issued a circular stating: “it is strictly prohibited the issuance of any identification card for our brothers coming from Idlib and Hama provinces until further notice based on the instructions from his highness, al-Wali,” this comes as a new proof that Afrin’s completely follows the Turkish decision, and in the same context, Afrin city witnessed the visit of the president of the Turkish University of Gaziantep with a delegation from the university, and they met with the “Afrin Local Council,” to see the preparations for opening of a branch of Gaziantep University in Afrin city, as if the Syrian Afrin has become administratively following the Turkish city of Gaziantep, and the SOHR published on the 5th of September 2019, that the Turkish-backed faction of Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah carried out raids and arrests in Jandairis township in Afrin countryside northwest of Aleppo, where 6 people were arrested on charges of “dealing with former Autonomous Administration and conscription”, and they were taken to an unknown destination until now, and the Syrian Observatory published yesterday that in the shadow of ongoing violations by the Turkish-backed factions operating within the operation “Olive Branch” against the Kurdish citizens in Afrin city and its countryside, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights learned that Turkish-backed factions carried out a raid in Deir Sawwan village of Sharran Township in the countryside of Afrin city, during which 5 citizen women from the town were arrested and taken to unknown destination without clarifying the reasons for arresting them, and in connection to this, the SOHR learned from reliable sources that “Al-Amshat” faction which operates under the banner of the operation “Olive Branch”, has kidnapped a citizen from Jaqla Wastani village of Shiah Township in Afrin countryside, local sources told the SOHR that “Al-Amshat” asked the family of the kidnapped person to pay 10000 USD in return for releasing him.
And the SOHR published on the 2nd of September 2019, that the Turkish-backed “military police” arrested today, Monday, more than 22 people in Marata village in Afrin countryside northwest of Aleppo, on charges of “dealing with the former Autonomous Administration”, also another civilian was arrested in Kafrshil village in Afrin countryside, while unknown people burned the picture of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and took down the Turkish flag from a headquarters belongs to a Turkey-loyal faction in Afrin city, which led to a major security alert in the city and large-scale search and raid operations.
The Syrian Observatory published yesterday that Mohammad al-Jassim, aka “Abu Amsha”, who is the leader of the Turkish-backed Suleiman Shah Brigade faction, which is known among the people as “al-Amshat” faction; appeared in a video about the demonstration against the Turkish policy at the border with Iskenderun and burning of picture of the Turkish president, he appeared with his supporters Jandairis area in Afrin countryside, and the Syrian Observatory obtained a copy of the video in which he says: “who does not thank the people does not thank Allah, no one is left with us except Turkey,” to support his position he mentioned the number of people living in Turkey saying that it is greater than the number of people in the liberated area, and that most of those living in the liberated area have children working in Turkey and support their families in Syria, then he chanted: “Thank you Turkey, Thank you Recep Tayyip Erdogan, we the Syrian people do not deny the favor,” then he said describing those who burned the picture of the “Muslim President Recep Tayyip Erdogan” that they do not represent the Syrian people and they are agents and tails of the regime, Abu Amsha added: “the Turkish flag -O brothers- is our history, and the history of our ancestors who fought, and the names of our martyrs are there in Turkey when we fought colonialism together, the Turkish flag represents the blood of Arab and Turkish martyrs, especially the Syrians” then he chanted along with those around him: “This flag is not to be stepped over, it is to be put over the head.” (which is a gesture of high respect)
And in conjunction with speeches of Abu Amsha who is considered as notorious person among the people, he and his faction members continue to practice violations and steal the citizens in Afrin, where the Syrian Observatory learned that members of al-Amshat faction in Sheikh Hadid area kidnapped a citizen in Alkana village, and demanded his relatives to pay $20,000 USD in order to be released, also 5 other citizens were kidnapped by al-Hamzat faction and the military police in Jandairis Township on charges of “dealing with former self-administration,” while the process of imposing royalties against the citizens continues under ridiculous pretexts by the pro-Turkish factions, the most recent of which was al-Hamzat faction imposing varying amounts of money on citizens under the pretext of “protecting them from theft”.
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