77 months of International Coalition operations in Syria | Security campaigns with SDF result in the arrest of over 60 people, and large reinforcement of 250 trucks enter Syria
Completing the 77th consecutive month of military operations against the “Islamic State” in Syria, the International Coalition continues sending in military reinforcement to SDF-held areas, carrying out raids, arrests and various security operations in several areas controlled by SDF. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, in turn, tracked and monitored all operations and movement of the International Coalition during the last month.
Substantial military reinforcement and US efforts to establish a new base
The International Coalition continues to send in reinforcement to its bases in north-eastern Syria. In the last month alone, the Syrian Observatory monitored the entry of 250 trucks and vehicles carrying logistical and military equipment via the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in seven batches to the bases of the International Coalition in Tel Baydar and Rmilan and other bases in al-Hasakah, Koniko and Al-Omar in Deir ez-Zor countryside.
The first batch entered on February 3, the second on February 6, the third on February 8, the fourth on February 14, and the fifth entered on February 16, and the sixth on February 18, while the last entered on February 19.
The International Coalition has dismissed all media reports on its hectic movements in north-east Syria region regarding the large reinforcement which have been brought in from Kurdistan Region of Iraq and its efforts to establish a new military base in Al-Hasakah countryside. However, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) can confirm all of these movements.
If the International Coalition denies such movements, then why has it seized land plots in Ain Diwar near Iraq-Syria-Turkey border triangle and brought in large number of units and military and logistical supplies?! And what are tens of armoured vehicles, which had entered Syria a few days ago, and other logistical and military equipment doing in the region, as the Coalition claims that all convoys crossing from Iraq to Syria carrying food supplies only?!
On February 20, SOHR sources monitored military trucks of the International Coalition heading to the American bases in the area of Al-Malikiya “Derek” at the Syrian-Turkish border, as part of their preparations for establishing a new military base at the Syria-Iraq-Turkey border triangle in the area of Ain Dewar in al-Hasakah countryside.
Joint security campaigns with SDF
Over the last four weeks, SOHR monitored the International Coalition participating in nine joint security operations with the SDF in Deir ez-Zor and Al-Hasakah, through security crackdowns and air drops which resulted in the arrest of 61 people in the village of Al-Tayana, Al-Zar, Al-Shuhayl and other areas in Deir ez-Zor countryside, Al-Shaddadi, Adla, Al-Tawimin, Um Hamda, Tal al-Shayer, Tal Safouk, Al-Dashisha, Al-Atshana, and Tal Manikh in Al-Shaddadi countryside in al-Hasaka governorate.
Moreover, the Coalition forces conducted unaccompanied patrols in different areas in the north-east of the country, and were concentrated primarily in the al-Hasakeh countryside near the border with Turkey.
Abductees forgotten by Coalition and SDF
23 months have passed since the International Coalition’s official declaration of the elimination of Islamic State as a dominating force over east of the Euphrates River. Despite all the developments that took place over the past month, the Coalition and SDF’s silence continues regarding ISIS abductees. No details on the fate of thousands of abductees are provided; and no information about the results of the interrogations of ISIS member is available, as thousands are held by SDF and the Coalition, east of the Euphrates.
Concerns about the abductees’ lives and fate are growing, including the fate of father Paulo Dall’Oglio, Bishop John Ibrahim, Paul Yaziji, Abdullah al-Khalil, a British journalist, Sky News journalist, and other journalists, and hundreds of abductees from Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) and Afrin and other people from Deir Ezzor.
February 2021… another month passes and no investigation into alleged Coalition massacres
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights renew its appeals to all international actors, International Coalition and SDF to announce the results of interrogations with ISIS detainees and what happened to the thousands of abductees. The Syrian Observatory had previously called upon the international community to investigate reports regarding the killing of 200 ISIS operatives and their families, women and children, in a massacre committed by the Coalition’s jets by bombing al-Baghouz camp on March 21, 2019.
According to SOHR sources, 200 bodies were buried at dawn on that particular day, without information as to whether the International Coalition was aware of the presence of children and women from ISIS families inside the camp or not.
However, all these appeals remain unanswered. Therefore, SOHR renews its appeals to all relevant parties to announce the whole facts and hold accountable those responsible for the massacres and violations over the past five years during which the Coalition were actively involved in the Syrian crisis.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, while providing adequate monitoring of Coalition operations in Syria, stresses once more that it would have been possible to avoid the heavy losses of Syrian civilian lives if the International Coalition had not ignored SOHR’s calls to spare and protect civilians from its military operations, where the presence of Islamic State militants or other jihadist groups in a civilian area does not in any way justify the blank and discriminate bombardment of area and the loss of civilian lives.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also stresses that the negative impact of Turkish military intervention on civilians could have been avoided, if the US President had applied enough pressure on his Turkish counterpart to stop a new humanitarian crisis, displacing thousands and killing and injuring hundreds.
On the other hand, we at SOHR would like to remind the world that the oil and gas resources, controlled by the International Coalition, belong only to the Syrian people. Therefore, all the concerned parties are obliged under international laws and norms to preserve these resources and ensure that they will not be stolen or seized in any way; these resources do not belong to the “regime”, “Iran” or any other party; they belong only to the people of Syria, who have been suffering the brutalities of an ongoing war for over nine years. SOHR also warns of repercussions of exploiting these sources, seizing them or depriving the Syrians of their rights in resources.