By Scott Lucas – eaworldview – April 15 2015 – There may be more good news for rebels and bad news for the regime, this time from the key battlefront south of Idlib city.The rebel coalition Jaish al-Fatah, which took Idlib last month, destroyed a military convoy trying to reinforce the defense of the area near a key military camp, according to a local media activist.“If it weren’t for the regime air support [that saved them], the rebels would have captured them all,” Ghatfan Shibli told Syria Direct.The regime sent the convoy to win control of the town of Qamaenas, located on a hill that overlooks the highway between Idlib city and the Mastoumeh military camp, so it can bomb the rebel supply road.
Aleppo and Deir al-Zour prepare for new battles – By: Al-Araby al-Jadeed/Associated Press – sources from inside Yarmouk told al-Araby al-Jadeed on Monday that IS will retreat from the rest of the camp today after handing over more than 90 percent of their positions by Sunday to al-Nusra Front and Ahrar al-Sham.14 April 2015 – As IS withdraws from Yarmouk, Aleppo and Deir al-Zour prepare for new battles with IS and pro-Assad forces.Syrian government forces attacked St Elias Cathedral in Aleppo on Saturday, killing a Catholic priest, Michel Oubaji, who had met with members of rebel group Islamic Front on Easter a couple of days ago.
MESOP : CONTINUING SEVERE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS BY PYD (PKK) IN WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIA) – KURDWATCH REPORT – April 2015
ʿAfrin: PYD occupies homes of PDK‑S members
KURDWATCH, April 5, 2015—At the end of March 2015, members of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) changed the locks on at least four residences in the village of Sinnarah, twenty kilometers west of ʿAfrin. The legal owners of the homes are members of the Kurdistan Democratic Party – Syria (PDK‑S) currently living in Turkey. In recent years, the PYD has announced several times that it will occupy the homes of those who have left the country.
ʿAyn al‑ʿArab: PYD recruits another minor against parents’ will
KURDWATCH, April 13, 2015—On April 3, 2015, employees of the Asayiş, the security service of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), recruited sixteen-year-old Dilbar Ahmad Haji (b. 1999 in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab) in ʿAyn al‑ʿArab (Kobanî). The girl’s father told KurdWatch: »When we demanded her return from the Asayiş, my wife was beaten, called an honorless traitor, and then thrown out«. According to the Asayiş, Dilbar Haji decided on her own to perform military service and is staying at a camp run by the PYD’s Women’s Defense Units (YPJ).
MESOP : WEITERE ANDAUERNDE SCHWERWIEGENDE MENSCHENRECHTSVERLETZUNGEN DURCH PYD/PKK IN WEST KURDISTAN (SYRIEN) – KURDWATCH REPORT
THE GERMAN KURDISH CHAPTER – ʿAfrin: PYD besetzt Häuser von Mitgliedern der PDK‑S
KURDWATCH, 5. April 2015 – Ende März 2015 haben Mitglieder der Partei der Demokratischen Union (PYD) im zwanzig Kilometer westlich von ʿAfrin gelegenen Ort Sinnara die Schlösser von mindestens vier Wohnhäusern ausgetauscht. Die rechtmäßigen Besitzer der Häuser sind Mitglieder der Demokratischen Partei Kurdistans – Syrien (PDK‑S), die derzeit in der Türkei leben. Die PYD hat in den letzten Jahren mehrfach angekündigt, Häuser zu besetzen, deren Besitzer das Land verlassen haben.
ʿAin al‑ʿArab: PYD rekrutiert erneut Minderjährige gegen Willen der Eltern
KURDWATCH, 13. April 2015 – Am 3. April 2015 haben Mitarbeiter des Asayiş, des Sicherheitsdienstes der Partei der Demokratischen Union (PYD), in ʿAin al‑ʿArab (Kobanî) die sechzehnjährige Dilbar Ahmad Hadschi (geb. 1999 in ʿAin al‑ʿArab) rekrutiert. Der Vater des Mädchens erklärte gegenüber KurdWatch: »Als wir beim Asayiş ihre Rückkehr gefordert haben, wurde meine Frau geschlagen, als Ehrenlose und Verräterin beschimpft und dann rausgeworfen«. Dilbar Hadschi soll sich nach Angaben des Asayiş selbst für den Militärdienst entschieden haben und sich in einem Lager der Frauenverteidigungseinheiten (YPJ) der PYD aufhalten. weiterlesen / click to continue
Kurdish People’s Protection Units [YPG] won control of a group of villages from the Islamic State in A-Raqqa province on Sunday in preparation for attacking an IS-controlled city on the Turkish border, a member of the pro-opposition media campaign Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently told Syria Direct Monday.
The regime continued its bombing of rebel-controlled areas in Aleppo city and the countryside for the third day in a row Monday, targeting civilian installations against the backdrop of Syria’s Grand Mufti reportedly calling for the “total extermination” of any area used to launch attacks against Aleppo.
10 April 2015 – Rubin Center – The conquest by the Islamic State of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus confirms the resilience of the jihadis and is an indicator of their current strategy. Islamic State has lost considerable ground in Iraq, with the recapture of Tikrit constituting its latest setback. IS has no real response to coalition air power, when it is combined with a competent and determined ground force. This was first demonstrated in the organization’s defeat at Kobani in January, and it is now becoming apparent in Iraq. However, Islamic State is responding to this reality in a shrewd and calculated way. Just prior to its eruption into Iraq last June, ISIS carried out a strategic retreat in northwest Syria. In retrospect, this was clearly a preparation for the push into Iraq. In so doing, the movement demonstrated its ability to concentrate its forces and to plan beyond the merely local and tactical.
Kurdish forces just 60km from Caliphate ‘capital city’ Raqqa – Basnews | Luke Coleman -13.04.2015 13:11 – Kurdish forces make progress in Raqqa Province
Rami Abdel Rahman of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has told AFP that People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Sunday “took over a large cement factory and three villages” in Raqqa province. In fierce clashes that last 48 hours, at least six Islamic State (IS) fighters were killed. There was no reports concerning Kurdish casualties. This is the latest in a series of advances by the YPG, as they push east into Raqqa Province from Aleppo. In February the Kurdish forces, backed by coalition airstrikes, took a total of 19 villages in the province. On Saturday the YPG took Tal Tamr from IS, further strangling supply routes between Mosul and Syria.
ARA News – 13 April 2015 – Damascus, Syria – Over the past deadly four years of conflict in Syria, people in the Alawite-majority areas in western Syria have suffered a lot at the hands of the Bathist regime that helped the Alawite sect to escape oppression before the rule of who they used to described as “the savior”, Hafiz al-Assad, former Syrian president and father of today’s Assad.However, many other people in the Alawite community in the coastal countryside of Syria suffered the brutality of a Syrian regime that was supposed to protect them. According to many people who witnessed the rule of Hafiz al-Assad spoke about the “persecution” experienced by the Alawite community at the hands of landlords and owners of factories from Hama, emphasizing that the Alawite areas were neglected by the government and suffered deteriorating conditions in the domains of education, medical care and cultural institutions.
The PKK-Assad regime story: harmony, discord and Ocalan
A history of relations between Damascus, the Kurdistan Workers Party and the party’s ideological leader
Al Hayat & NowMedia – The relationship between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), under the leadership of Abdallah Ocalan, and the Syrian regime goes back to the early 1980s. Yet even before Ocalan left Syria on 10 October 1998, Hafez al-Assad’s regime categorically denied having any relationship with the PKK. Syria denied the presence of the PKK’s bases and its leader on Syrian territory, despite the fact that after the closure of the party’s Bekaa Valley base in 1992, the regime opened three more outside Damascus (in Sahnaya, Shebaa and Al-Nashabiya.) Tens of thousands of fighters were trained at these bases under the protection and observation of the Syrian intelligence services, just like the bases Hezbollah and the armed Palestinian factions ran in Syria.