War against ISIS/Daesh: YPG reaches toward Jarablus, al-Raqqa threatened, another British fighter joins YPG (Kurdistan)
Above: Kurdish joint forces intensify anti-ISIS operations in Syria.
On Wednesday, the Kurdish joint forces (People’s Protection Units “YPG” and the Peshmerga) pounded locations of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) in the city of Jarablus, in northern Syria. The Kurdish forces launched rockets from the village of al-Bayadiya in the countryside of the Jarablus, targeting military units of IS. Speaking to ARA News in Jarablus, media activist Ali Mahmoud reported that more than six rockets hit IS strongholds in the city center and Safa neighborhood. No casualties were reported.
Nuha Mustafa, a teacher based in Jarablus, said that the Kurdish rockets caused a state of alert among IS militants, who started to move weapons from the targeted areas to other neighborhoods in the city.
“Civilians were trying to escape, but all roads were blocked by IS militants who were preparing for confrontations with the Kurdish forces,” said Mustafa.
In a related development, Fawaz Mustafa, commander of the al-Tawhid Brigade of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), told ARA News: “We demanded that the civilians evacuate the city, so that our troops in Manbij could prepare to head to Jarablus soon in order to back the Kurdish forces against ISIS.”
Reporting by: Beri Mohammed
Suruc, Turkey – Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), in cooperation with the Peshmerga forces and rebels of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), were able to regain more areas in western Kobane (Ain al-Arab) in the province of Aleppo, northern Syria, military sources reported on Tuesday.
The newly regained areas are only 3 km from the city of Jarablus, a Syrian border city controlled by the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) for more than one year.
Speaking to ARA News on the phone, Saeed Judi, a fighter in the YPG ranks, said that the Kurdish fighters took control of the village of Khirbet Atto (administratively linked to the town of Shuyookh) near Jarablus.
“Thus, the city of Jarablus is about 3 km away, and now the entire city, which is one of the most strategic strongholds of the radical group, is under the crossfire of the Peshmerga and the YPG military units,” he said.
Judi also reported that the YPG fighters were able to enter the town of Jalabiya, in the southeastern countryside of Kobane, where fierce clashes continue in the vicinity of the French Cement plant, adding that more than 80% of Kobane’s countryside has come under the control of the defending forces of Kobane.
On the other hand, high ranking leaders of the YPG asked for extending the mission of the Peshmerga forces in Kobane, where a base for these forces will be built on the outskirts of the city to be a launching pad for military operations against the hardline group of the Islamic State, a Kurdish military source told ARA News.
“However, the decision of the Peshmerga’s remaining in Kobane is up to the approval of President Massoud Barzani, president of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq,” the source added.
Subsequent to the remarkable advancement made by the joint forces defending Kobane and the attacks on IS headquarters in Manbij and Jarabalus, the IS group declared a state of alert in the remaining villages under its control in the countryside of Kobane, calling for more reinforcements there.
Reporting by: Mohammed Ali Ahmed
Islamic State blocks roads around Raqqa, trying to secure headquarters
Erbil, Kurdistan Region – Militants of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) blocked the main roads of transportation between the province of Raqqa and the rest of the Syrian territories, restricting the exit of residents from the city, locals reported on Thursday.
Those who insist to leaving the city are required to hand over documents of their home ownership.
Speaking to ARA News in Raqqa, Yasser al-Harbi, 29, said that the group started storming houses in some neighborhoods, trying to oblige people to abide by the new regulations.
“People can only leave through a guarantor (third party who apparently will be responsible for his return) or paper signed by the governor or for critical health conditions,” the source added, pointing out that in the case of non-return the group will imprison the guarantor and confiscate his property.
“They are watching every move, and preventing women from leaving their houses,” said al-Harbi.
Under the rule of the Islamic State for nearly two years, the city of Raqqa has suffered from poor health conditions, lack of medicine and contaminated drinking water, all of which threaten the health of thousands of civilians.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yusuf
ISIS punishes civilians amid military losses
On Thursday, extremists of the Islamic State (IS/ISIL) whipped nine elderly people in the village of Qibba Shekh in al-Bab area in the province of Aleppo, northern Syria, on charges of having sons fighting in the ranks of Syrian rebel factions.
A 60-year-old man, who was whipped in public by IS militants, told ARA News (under condition of anonymity): “Several IS militants arrested me and took me to the village’s public square, then hit me with fifty lashes.”
“They punished me because my son is fighting in the ranks of Ahrar al-Sham Brigade (linked to the Free Syrian Army “FSA”),” he said. “I saw other nine men gathered for the same reason.”
Speaking to ARA News, the wife of a whipped man said that the radical group has kept her husband lying on the ground for an hour after whipping him with fifty lashes.
“I saw blood covering his back. I was so helpless and could do nothing for him,” she said.
In a related development, activist Abdel Qader Shihab from al-Bab told ARA News that the power of IS has remarkably declined in the recent weeks.
“The group is trying to compensate its losses in other areas by showing an increasing degree of brutality against civilians in al-Bab,” Shihab said.
He added that the IS insurgents are launching arrest campaigns against the youth of the city without any specific reasons.
Reporting by: Beri Mohammed
Source: ARA News
A British man currently serving in the Army has travelled to the Middle East to join Kurdish troops fighting the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
NB: The unnamed man was located and returned by British forces who requested that the fighter leave to his base in Cyprus.
The unnamed man is believed to be a 19-year-old serving with 2nd Battalion, The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment. It is understood he was stationed in Cyprus, but left his base after telling family members he was joining the Kurdish fighters. The soldier, who is on annual leave, intends to spend a year with the Kurdish forces. If he doesn’t return to the Cypriot base when his leave ends, he will be officially reported AWOL (Absent Without Leave). Government sources say the priority is to ensure he’s safe, rather than punish him, which echoes the reports that it has become an unspoken policy of the British regime to allow Brits to join the Kurds fighting Daesh. The ranks of Daesh reportedly include 2,000 British Muslim recruits.
“I’ve gone to join the Kurds in Syria and Iraq,” he wrote to his family. “I’m with other British people and a Canadian at the moment.
“I don’t know how to explain it to you, but I really want and need to do this and I will be safe.”
The solider joined the army at the age of 16, and is said to have been learning Arabic.
“I have good skills and I can speak the language, I can help these people and help with this fight.”
Members of his battalion have been part of the UK’s operation against IS, helping to train Kurdish forces in infantry tactics, but it’s not known whether the soldier had taken part in training.
The teenager joins a number of young Europeans who have travelled to the region to fight in solidarity with the Kurds who are defending their communities from the advance of the Sunni Islamist extremists.
While he is believed to be the first serving soldier to travel to the region to fight, hundreds of former soldiers from Britain, the US and Canada are planning to do so. In December, the mainstream media reported that two British ex-soldiers had traveled to Syria to fight the Islamic State after feeling compelled to join Kurdish forces following the murder of British aid worker Alan Henning.
The British Army is reported to be operating out of 4 US bases in Kurdistan-Iraq. A small team of 50 UK soldiers is already training Iraqi forces and Kurdish fighters. Part of the training given is basic infantry and first aid skills, with a focus on learning how to deal with Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) from lessons from the conflict in Afghanistan. British special forces teams are also reported to be operating in Rojava, and since September, the UK are also conducting airstrikes against Daesh from bases in Cyprus.
The intention of the coalition air strikes is to force the murdering fanatics to change their tactics, leave the open countryside and concentrate in towns and villages, so the ground forces can draw them out and destroy them.
Long live the Lions of Rojava
This entry was posted on Friday, February 20th, 2015 at 9:57 pm and is filed under Autonomy.