ISIS Claims Explosions and Assassinations Targeting SDF Leaders
Over the last few days, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) controlled areas have witnessed a number of explosions that targeted their forces as well as the “Asayish,” with the Islamic State (ISIS) claiming responsibility for most of these attacks.
Last Saturday, the Self-Administration’s Hawar news agency said that a motorcycle had been remotely detonated, after it was placed in the Industrial Faculty Square near the al-tala’eh Square in the al-Salihiyeh district in Hassakeh, adding that two people were wounded. Their wounds were said to be light, and the Asayish set up a security cordon around the area to investigate the incident.
A source in Hassakeh hospital, who asked not to be named for security reasons, where the wounded were brought, told Alsouria Net that the wounded were members of the Asayish and that, “one of them is in critical condition because his head was hit by shrapnel. He was immediately brought to surgery.”
Coinciding with that, ISIS announced that it had killed three SDF commanders after they were hit by one of their cells in the southern Hassakeh countryside.
On Saturday, the organization’s Amaq news agency said that what it called “soldiers of the Caliphate” had hit two SDF commanders with silenced rifles in the Ghoweeran district in Hassakeh “which killed them immediately.” The group also announced that it killed another commander—also with a silenced rifle—in the Howsh al-Baer area in the Hassakeh countryside. The SDF did not comment on the attacks.
Bawar Khalaf, a journalist from Hassakeh, told Alsouria Net that, “with the loss of all the areas that it had controlled in the province’s east and south, ISIS has resorted to a security war, which it carries out by depending on sleeper cells that mostly strike military points or SDF checkpoints with explosives and motorcycle bombs, as well as using silenced weapons if they can single out an SDF fighter or commander. They have not conducted any suicide operations for more than a year inside the province’s main cities.”
The area under the Self-Administration’s control has in recent weeks and before that witnessed a series of explosions, most of them using motorcycles. On Jun. 8, 2019, a motorcycle blew in the al-Bassel Square in the Ghoweeran district in Hassakeh city, which wounded two people. Self-Administration sources at the time said that: “two masked men had parked the motorcycles at the square and had then disappeared and detonated them.” ISIS later claimed responsibility for the incident.
Over the last four days, the city of Raqqa has witnessed a chain of explosions that have shaken various parts of the city. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that “three explosions were heard in the city of Raqqa” three days ago.
The first explosion occurred near the al-Fardous Mosque, the second was near the al-Mashadani Hospital, and the third was in a cafe near the al-Rashid park. According to local sources, the last explosion killed two women from the YPJ, as well as a civilian who died of his wounds. A first responder medic from the Raqqa Civil Council was also killed, while four others were wounded, according to media sources.
Civil activist Sultan Sultan from Raqqa told Alsouria Net that the security situation in Raqqa “is still unsafe.” ISIS has not been hesitant about carrying out suicide attacks or bombings in any part of Raqqa, without distinguishing between civilians and militants, while its cells have exploited tribal relationships for the most part to hide themselves and maneuver.