Syria news/Archive/2019-02

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28 Feb. The situation in Baghouz remains unchanged, although the surrounded remains of ISIS have let go some more civilians, likely due to food shortages, and the SDF says it rescued 24 of their fighters who had been taken as hostages by the terror cult. In the evening ANHA reports that around 200 fighters and their families have just surrendered.

Wladimir van Wilgenburg is in Raqqa and tweets some impressions from the former ISIS capital including from the already renovated central square.

27 Feb. Russia and Syria accuse the US of preventing refugees from leaving the al-Rukhban camp in the shadow of their al-Tanf base to return home.

25 Feb. Assad visits Tehran and meets Khamenei and Rouhani.

22 Feb. The US now says it plans to keep 400 soldiers inside Syria, half of them at al-Tanf and the other half in Rojava.

17 Feb. Assad gives a speech to local lawmakers from around the country.

The US military warns the Kurds that it will "have to" stop any assistance to them in case they "partner" with the Syrian or Russian governments.

16 Feb. Afternoon: According to the SDF, ISIS is besieged in a tiny spot of a few hundred square meters but still holds many civilians as human shields, so the operation isn't finished yet. Meanwhile, the SOHR has already reported that the remaining fighters have surrendered and the pocket, and with it the caliphate, is history.

14 Feb. Putin, Erdogan and Rouhani meet in Sochi for a trilateral summit on Syria.

13 Feb. For the first time in weeks, ISIS releases battle footage from the fight in the former Hajin pocket. Meanwhile, they are trapped in a 1 km² area and have been given a 24 hours ultimatum to surrender by the SDF.

Germany arrests two Syrians on refugee status accused of being involved in systemic torture operations by the government between 2011-2012 allegedly documented in the Torture Photos from "Caesar".

12 Feb. SANA accuses the US-led "coalition" of having killed almost 100 civilians in two air attacks on refugee camps near the last ISIS-occupied territory in al-Baghouz village in the former Hajin pocket.

It is said that an attack with explosives, attributed to IS, has targeted the headquarters of the French military intelligence in Raqqa (no independent confirmation or coverage in mass media; picked on Cassad). It is also reported by Iranian PressTV, by Sputnik in Arabic, and by Lebanese media. It is unclear where those news originate. More strange claims about it here, in French. 1, 2.

11 Feb. The Russian defense minister visits his Turkish counterpart to discuss Idlib ahead of the trilateral meeting including Iran planned for February 14 in Sotchi.

10 Feb. The SDF rescues around 200 civilians used as human shields by ISIS in al-Baghouz village and sends them to refugee camps in the area.

8 Feb. According to British media, alleged ISIS leader al-Baghdadi has fled the Hajin pocket to a desert hide-out after an attempt to kill him by a rival among the "500 remaining fighters" failed.

6 Feb. According to SANA, the Turkish army has transported 1500 foreign jihadists from Turkey into Idlib province in recent days.

5 Feb. Apparently Erdogan still has no success in convincing any other power of his idea about a buffer zone inside northern Syria.

4 Feb. ISIS remains again try to flee the Hajin pocket to Iraq and are stopped by the PMU.

The US State Department calls on foreign nations to take back their citizens among the now over 800 ISIS fighters the SDF is holding captive.

Elijah Magnier explains why the claims by Western analysts that ISIS could return when US troops leave are wrong.

3 Feb. The US air force attacks a SAA artillery position near al-Bukamal west of the Euphrates. Shortly after, the position is attacked by ISIS ground forces.

2 Feb. According to SOHR, 700 recently arrived US Special Forces are searching SDF-controlled areas for ISIS fighters and leaders who fled the Hajin pocket.

The YPG captures alive the known German ISIS torturer Martin Lemke and his two wives.

1 Feb. A certain Dr. Neshat Dihile on Egyptian TV shows alleged Turkish state documents of a plan that amounts to genocide against the Kurds. Today Firat News Agency publishes an English translation of the alleged secret plan.

Iraqi media reports that the PMU have killed a group of ISIS fighters that tried to flee the Hajin pocket to Iraq.