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YPG and FSA Fighters on the Outskirts...
Tal Abiyad, Syria
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Kurdish Army and Free Syrian Army fighters gather on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad while the battle to wrestle the frontier town from ISIS remains underway. The offensive launched by the fighting groups was eventually successful with anti-ISIS forces taking full control of the town. 

Tal Abiyad was a strategic conduit for supplies going to the Islamic State Group's self-declared capital of Raqqa. By capturing the town, YPG and FSA forces dealt a strategic blow to ISIS' hold on northereastern Syria 

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 02
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Free Syrian Army fighters, who coordinated the offensive with the Kurdish YPG, pray beside a river in the vicinity of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 03
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Free Syrian Army fighters patrol the areas around Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 04
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Fighters relax against a combat embankment on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 05
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Kurdish YPG fighters with an improvised armored vehicle on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 07
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Female Kurdish YPG fighters relax on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 08
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Male and Female Kurdish YPG fighters gather on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 09
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Fighters keep watch of the area in the vicinity of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 10
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

A female Kurdish YPG fighters watches the battle of Tal Abiyad unfold in the distance.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 12
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

An anti-ISIS fighter photographs a destroyed ISIS sign on a road on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 13
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
15 Jun 2015

Kurdish YPG fighters pose for a photo on the outskirts of Tal Abiyad.

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Kurds Celebrate Nowruz in Turkey
Turkey, Diyarbakir
By Omar Al Khani
24 Mar 2015

Thousands of Kurds celebrate Kurdish New Years (Nowruz) in the city of Diyarbakir, in eastern Turkey. An ancient Persian tradition, Nowruz is the biggest holiday in the Kurdish calendar and this year it took on a particularly strong political tone in light of the nearby conflicts in Syria.

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Kurds Celebrate Nowruz 01
Diyarbakir, Turkey
By Omar Al Khani
21 Mar 2015

A huge gathering of Kurds celebrating the Nowruz holiday.

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Kurds Celebrate Nowruz 03
Diyarbakir, Turkey
By Omar Al Khani
21 Mar 2015

Kurds raise the flags of Kurdish political parties, including the outlawed PKK or Kurdistan Workers Party, as they celebrate Nowruz holiday.

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Kurds Celebrate Nowruz 04
Diyarbakir, Turkey
By Yasmin.m
21 Mar 2015

Kurds raise the flags of Kurdish political parties, including the outlawed PKK or Kurdistan Workers Party, as they celebrate Nowruz holiday.

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Kurds Celebrate Nowruz 05
Diyarbakir, Turkey
By Omar Al Khani
21 Mar 2015

A celebration attendee uses umbrella to protect from the rain.

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Kurds Celebrate Nowruz 06
Diyarbakir, Turkey
By Omar Al Khani
21 Mar 2015

A flame of fire during the celebration of Nowruz holiday.

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Kurds Celebrate Nowruz 07
Diyarbakir, Turkey
By Omar Al Khani
21 Mar 2015

A Kurdish woman waves a flag during the Nowruz celebration in Diyarbakir, Turkey.

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President of Kurdistan Meets Arab Tribes
Dohuk
By Jawdat Ahmed
16 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Duhuk, Iraq


(IraqiNews.com) President of Kurdistan Massoud Barzani said on Sunday, that the doors are open for Arabs to fight in the ranks of the Kurdish Peshmerga forces, calling the federal government to do its duty in the liberated areas. Barzani said during a meeting with Arab tribal elders attended by IraqiNews.com, “The doors are open for Arabs to join the Peshmerga ranks in their fight against terrorism, and without discrimination,” urging the federal government to do its duty and provide services in the liberated areas. Barzani added, “We should not feed grudges and hatred. Those who refused loyalty to ISIS must live freely and with dignity, while those who chose to be with ISIS, their fate will be like ISIS’ fate.” “All Kurdish areas have been liberated and are now ready to contribute in the operations to liberate the rest of Iraq,” calling on everyone to cooperate in order to build a spirit of cooperation and brotherhood.

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Kurdish Women Help Liberate Village f...
Al Hassakah
By TTM Contributor 33
03 Mar 2015

Telbrak, Rojava, Syria

This video depicts the March 3 liberation of the village of Telbrak, a part of Hasakah province in northeastern Syria, 45km south of Qamishli, a strategic point in the war between ISIS and Kurdish forces. The latter included the Women's Protection Units, People's Protection Units, the al-Sanadeed forces, who are descendants of the tribes of Al-Shummar, and the al-Mondaweya tribe, which fights under the umbrella of the Kurdish forces. The international coalition also took part.

Telbrak and its rural areas had been under the control of al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate. According to the contributor of this video, Syrian regime forces declared they had in fact liberated the area and were occupying the village. However, the heavy presence of Kurdish forces and Kurdish delegations proves the contrary, according to the contributor.

Video description:

Shots of the destruction caused by fighting between Kurdish forces and ISIS; ISIS writings and mottos; shots of the city streets; shots of the Kurdish forces in the city, in addition to Kurdish military vehicles and flags.

(02:03-03:42) An interview with Doctor Nasser Haj Mansour, the responsible of Kurdish forces affairs: (Man, Arabic)
This visit is for many reasons, one of the most important reasons is to visit the People's Protection Units and al-Sanadeed forces, to encourage them after their successful operation in Telhamis, and liberating Telbrak, and to check on people around here. And to deny what have been said about violations and killings in the area, the committee includes officials from the self-directory, most of them are in the level of ministers and committee officials, we are here and we did not see any violations, not in the villages nor in the center of Telbrak.
Interviewer: What is the total area that you have liberated?
I cannot determine a certain number of the size of the liberated area, but i can tell you that from the line of Telbrak, until Jazaa, and the Iraqi-Iranian borders is free of ISIS members. Now the battles are in the south of Telbrak and Telhamis going towards the southern rural side of this area.

(03:42-04:51) Interview with Akram Mahshoush, leader of Kurdish delegation: (Man, Arabic) The operation taken by the People's Protection Units YPG, Women's Protection Units (YPJ) , and al-Sanadeed forces to clean the area of Tebrak located between al-Hasakah and Qamishli from ISIS members who killed people and destroyed areas, confiscated people's farms, and forced them to pay Zaka.
We came to see what happened, and to say to the people who are claiming that People's Protection Units have come to invade the area, we tell them, we did not come to invade the area. People's Protection Units worked on liberating the area because it is a part of Syria and we are all Syrians, and what we want is for life to return to this area.

(05:28-05:57) Interview with Hussein al-Khattab, an Arab member of Kurdish forces: (Man, Arabic)
We came here to retrieve Telhamis, we went through many villages and reached Telbrak, we liberated the areas and thank God none of our men died.

(08:05-09:03) Interview with a female Kurdish field leader, Narkaz Botan, (Woman, Kurdish)
“We began the liberation operation of Telhamis and Telbrak, and we liberated the two towns and many villages and compounds. We have strong willpower, and our fighters were persistent in finishing off ISIS and kicking them out of the area. So the people of our area – Arabs, Kurds, Syriacs and Assyrians – can live peacefully. Our raid was huge and successful. We killed many ISIS members and the area in general has come under our control. The raid will continue until we clean the entire Jazira area of them."

(09:0-10:15) Interview with a Kurdish female fighter, Jinda Kamishlo: (Woman, Kurdish)
“We are very happy to have liberated Telbrak and Telhamis from the cruelty of ISIS, who were raping and lashing women. The liberation process was successful. We are now in March; Women's Day is approaching and this holiday, the women of the two towns will be free, safe and away from ISIS. We will celebrate Women's Day in Telbrak, the single biggest blow against ISIS ideology, which considers women to be objects that are bought and sold. People in this area and in Kurdistan and Rojava are happy with this victory. And we ask God to give us more power to be able to eliminate ISIS from Rojava and Syria. We are happy, and I do not know how to describe it. Victory is ours and is dedicated to our people, and our great leader Ocalan, who is considered the leader of the revolution of Kurdish women and led us to this level, thanks to his ideology and instructions.”

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Family Returns to Recaptured Kobane V...
Kobane, Syria
By Bedir
16 Feb 2015

The Rashad Muslim family returns to their village of Qara Maga, east of Kobane, after it was recently recaptured by Kurdish YPG and YPJ forces from ISIS. While the city of Kobane has fallen to Kurdish forces, many of the surrounding villages remain under the control of ISIS and Kurdish forces are now in the midst of campaign capture the villages as well. 

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Together in Kobane: Former Refugee Re...
Kobane
By Bedir
10 Feb 2015

Kobani, Syria
February 10, 2015

After leaving her hometown of Kobani and living in Turkey for several months, Siddiqa Barkal was happily reunited with her husband and two sons who remained in the city to fight against ISIS. Siddiqa’s three daughters and her youngest son were also rejoiced to return with her.
Siddiqa’s husband, Ismat Sheikh Hassan, is the head of the Defense Committee in the Kobani Canton, part of the autonomous district proclaimed by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, known by the Kurdish acronym PYD. He was widely quoted by Western media during the battle for Kobani.
Siddiqa says that she was very sad to leave her hometown and live in exile, despite the warm welcome she received in Turkey. She took the risk of returning to Kobani even before ISIS fighters were defeated because her young children could not bear living outside their city.
In Kobani, Siddiqa stood by her husband, sons and other fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) during the battles and made them food until they won over the battle against ISIS.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of family in living room

SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Woman) Siddiqa Barkal, Refugee Who Returned to Kobani

01:01 - 09:45

“We left when ISIS attacked Kobani on [September] 20. We did not leave willingly. We wanted to stay in Kobani and live with the comrades and fighters. We wanted to be martyred with them. Seven days after I left Kobani with my children, they convinced me of returning. We returned but could not enter. My children and I stayed in Suruc. They did not tolerate to live outside Kobani. They kept saying that they wanted to return. I had three girls and a young boy with me. Even though my children could not live outside of Kobani, the situation there did not allow us to return. The father of my children and two of my children were fighting in the city. The rest of my children and I were very worried about them. My young son Hamza used to cry and say, ‘I cannot stand living outside Kobani because my friends are not here. I feel lonely when I am outside my city.’ In Suruc, my children and I were living in a house. My children never left the house during the day. On certain days, they used to sleep during the day and stay up at night watching television. On the 25th of the month, my older daughter went to Kobani. She called me, saying, ‘I cannot take it anymore. My father and two brothers are in Kobani and I need to go and see them. I want to stay in my city, Kobani.’
“I had many friends and acquaintances in northern Turkey who offered to let me live in their homes. I went near to Kobani on several occasions. My young son and I cried as smoke was rising from the buildings. The sound of explosions and gunshots was heard. Warplanes were bombing and the city was being destroyed. We were very worried about our friends who were fighting to defend the city. One day, I decided to return to Kobani while ISIS mercenaries were still there. I called my daughter then to tell her that we were coming and she told her father. My husband called me, saying: ‘Why did you not tell us that you were coming?’ I returned to Kobani and he was very happy. Some were worried that my children would be affected by the scenes of killing and destruction. There were also worried that ISIS was still there. “I used to make dinner for the fighters on the front and help them. We never thought that ISIS could have control over us. Many people used to ask me whether Kobani will fall or not. I used to say to them that Kobani will never fall and that it shall be victorious. 'We will fight until the last drop of our blood and the last stone in the city.’ I kept saying this to the women and mothers. The ideas of leader Abdullah Ocalan were behind the victory. Male and female fighters are fighting by relying on their own capabilities and conviction. They were not pushed by anyone; they were not forced to do this. They are fighting with their hearts, which is why they will achieve victory. For example, when you make a child carry something, he will carry it but he might fail. If he carries it with his own will and strength, he will succeed. The young men and women came from all parts of Kurdistan. We consider the member of the People’s Protection Units and the Women’s Protection Units our sons and daughters and parts of our bodies. They are sacrificing their lives for their land, which is why we will achieve victory. “I cannot describe the way I felt when we returned to Kobani. We felt so much joy. My little son Hamza was thrilled because he returned to his friends. I asked my son on our way back, ‘Who do you want to see first, your brothers or your father?’ He said: ‘I want to return to my friends.’ Friendship is more important for him. When I was in Kobani, I was very happy to see the comrade fighters. I did not believe that I was actually with them, and that I was embraced by Kobani. When the comrade fighters liberated Kobani from ISIS mercenaries, I was trembling. I was so happy that I did not understand what was happening. I asked a woman near me: ‘Am I in Kobani? Has it been liberated?’ “I cannot describe the joy I felt. When I left Kobani, I felt as if one of my sons or the father of my children was martyred. We all cried when we left. Even my young son went to the comrades and held their hands, saying: ‘I want to stay in Kobani and be martyred.’ When I left Kobani, I was told that I would return in seven days. My son was fighting on the eastern front, where battles were the fiercest. I did not tell anyone that I was leaving. When my son heard about it he said: ‘Mother, why are you leaving?’ I told him that I was not leaving willingly, and that I was leaving because the comrades wanted me to. When I left, I did not bid my sons farewell. It was a very painful moment. I cannot forget that moment. The moment I crossed the border was very painful. I cannot describe it. “Now that Kobani has been liberated, people will return to the city in the next few weeks. Those whose houses were destroyed will rebuild their houses. We have to help each other, take care of ourselves and return to our previous lives. We will live a happy life. Rojava [Syrian part of Kurdistan] will be fully liberated from ISIS mercenaries, especially that they were defeated in Kobani. The People’s Protection Units and the Women’s Protection Units have pledged to fight ISIS wherever they were. We, the people, should help the members of these forces who are sacrificing their lives for the homeland.”

Various of family inside the house
Various of young Hamza
Various of family and guests in front of the house

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Returning to Kobane
Kobane
By Bedir
07 Feb 2015

After four months of war and siege, residents of the Syrian city of Kobani have begun returning to the city to see what is left of their homes. 

The fighting left %50 of the city destroyed and for many, there is little left to come home to. While residents salvage the remains of their homes, the battle continues in the surrounding villages between the Kurdish YPG and ISIS.

Syrian photographer Massoud Mohamad accompanied the returning residents to document their journey. 

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Returning to Kobani 03
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
07 Feb 2015

An unexploded shell sits in a hole in the pavement in Kobane. Unexploded ordinance and booby-traps remain a danger in the recently recaptured city.

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Returning to Kobani 02
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

Municipal workers in the city Kobane are in the process of cleaning up the city from the remains of the bodies of dead IS fighters.

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Returning to Kobani 07
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

A general view of destroyed houses in Kobane after the city was fully recaptured by Kurdish forces.

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Returning to Kobani 05
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

A general view of Kobane shows the hill of "Meshteh Nour" from the north, after the liberation of city.

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Returning to Kobani 06
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

YPG flag on the east hill of Kobane after it was fully recaptured by Kurdish forces.

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Returning to Kobani 09
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

A YPG fighter stands on a hill overlooking Kobane.

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Returning to Kobani 10
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

A general view of Kobane after its recapture from ISIS forces.

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Returning to Kobani 11
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

Meshteh Nour hill after it was fully recaptured by Kurdish forces.

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Returning to Kobani 15
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

A general view of destroyed houses in Kobane.

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Returning to Kobani 14
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

A general view of destroyed houses in Kobane.

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Returning to Kobani 13
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

A wounded YPG fighter gets out of a truck in Kobane.