88 months of International Coalition operations in Syria | Aircraft participate in foiling the deadliest ISIS attack in three years, while new reinforcement arrives in NE Syria • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

88 months of International Coalition operations in Syria | Aircraft participate in foiling the deadliest ISIS attack in three years, while new reinforcement arrives in NE Syria

Completing the 88th 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.


In the 85th month of International Coalition operations in Syria, 130 trucks and vehicles affiliated to the Coalition, carrying military and logistical supplies, crossed into Syria from Kurdistan Region of Iraq in four batches, where they headed to the Coalition’s military bases in Al-Hasakah and Deir Ezzor in north-east Syria region.


In the past month, SOHR activists also documented the participation of the International Coalition in four joint security campaign with SDF, including raids and airdrops. These campaigns resulted in the arrest of 11 people, including ISIS commanders, in Deir Ezzor and Al-Hasakah provinces.


SOHR activists documented the death of an ISIS commander in Hawy Al-Hawayej region in Hartha in the eastern Deir Ezzor countryside during an SDF security operation, on January 17, backed by International Coalition aircraft which executed an airdrop .


The commander was from Al-Mayadeen, and he was entrusted to lead an ISIS cell in eastern Euphrates area in Deir Ezzor countryside. He had been the leader of a battalion responsible for earlier attacks in Deir Ezzor airport. Military forces found weapons and explosive belt while searching the house that the commander was hiding in.


Meanwhile, the International Coalition Forces participated in the recent development in Ghuwayran prison and its surrounding areas in Al-Hasakah city through attacks and aerial operations by fighter jets and helicopters which targeted ISIS hideouts, killing nearly 25 ISIS members and injuring others.


On January 3, a large group of the International Coalition Forces stationed in Al-Tanaf base in the Syrian desert at Iraq-Jordan-Syria borders triangle withdrew from the base towards Jordan as a precautionary measure, fearing possible rocket or aerial attacks that could be carried out by Iranian-backed militias, especially since the Iranians were commemorating the second anniversary of Qassem Soleimani’s death. According to SOHR sources, the Coalition left a smaller group of its forces in the base inside special shelters that could not be penetrated easily. It is worth noting that the group which had been withdrawn from the base, returned again a few hours later.


Also, the explosions rocked positions in the eastern and western Euphrates on January 5, caused by the exchange of fires between Coalition forces and Iranian-backed militias.


Iranian proxies fired three rockets from Al-Mayadeen desert in west Euphrates region, targeting Al-Omar oil field, the largest Coalition base in Syria, in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor.


According to Syrian Observatory sources, one the shells hit a helipad at the base, while the two other shells hit empty positions, causing material damage only. Coalition forces reacted to the Iranian bombardment by firing two shells on Al-Mayadeen desert, but no casualties were reported.


January 2022: another month passes and no investigation into alleged Coalition massacres

Despite SOHR repeated and “unheeded” appeals, International Coalition and SDF have not announced 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 calls and appeals to all relevant parties to disclose and 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 US Presidents had applied enough pressure on their 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.

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