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Kurdish Forces Take Back ISIS-held Vi...
Tal Hamis
By TTM Contributor 33
24 Feb 2015

Tal Hamis, Syria

February 24, 2015

The YPG began a military operation on 21 February 2015 to retake a village 42km southeast of Qamishli called Tal Hamis and which had been occupied by ISIS for over a year. With the support of the coalition air force, they were able to reclaim 25 villages and a residential area of roughly 50 square kilometers, in addition to killing over 16 ISIS members and taking their munitions.

The battle began on three fronts, southeast of Qamishli, south of the town of Tel Maarouf, and southwest of Kahtaneya. The YPG used heavy weaponry, tanks, armors and cannons. Meanwhile, the coalition air force targeted many areas controlled by ISIS, leading to the death of dozens of its members.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of YPG fighters preparing for military operation

Wide of shops

These photographs depict the conflict

Travelling of smoke

Moving shot of armoured excavation vehicle

Various of YPG tanks and military vehicles
Various of YPG fighters
Wide of shots with broken windows
Wide of YPG fighters
Wide of smoke rising
Traveling of field, smoke rising
Traveling of closed shops
Traveling of fallen electric cables
Wide of YPG armored personnel carrier
Various of fighters

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Younes al-Jabouri, Arab YPG fighter
03:52- 04:45
“In the name of God, The operation began yesterday when the YPG liberated 30 villages all the way to [UNINTELLIGIBLE] and we killed around seven [fighters]. We will continue; we are getting closer to Tell Hamis, and we will keep going from Syria into Iraq. Wherever we find terrorism, we will fight it. My nom de guerre is Abu Kassar [UNINTELLIGIBLE].

SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Man) Yasser Khaniqa, YPG field commander

04:48 – 05:30
“We started the operation yesterday to liberate most of the areas occupied by ISIS. We liberated 30 villages starting with rural Qamishli and heading toward Tel Hamees in the southeast. The operation is continuing with positive results: dozens of villages have been liberated, such as Taya, Kherbet Tair, Farsook, Taweel, Deibe, Naege, not to mention many farms. They also killed over 16 members of ISIS. The operation will continue until we have liberated all the areas and the people can return to their villages.”

Various of Yasser Khaniqa handling weapon
Various of fighters preparing food in the outdoors
Various of military vehicles
Traveling of two fighters walking with their rifles

SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Man) Javan Mohamad, Kurdish fighter

08: 01 – 08:30
“We were able to reach Tel Hamees; we liberated dozens of villages; members of ISIS are escaping because of our strikes; we killed dozens of ISIS members; our operations will continue; we will win.”

Traveling of road

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Fighters and Civilians Celebrate Kurd...
Countryside of Al-Qamishli
By Bedir
23 Feb 2015

NOTE Graphic scenes were removed from this video. If you are interested in obtaining them please contact Transterra Media.

People’s Protection Units (YPG) are advancing near Qamishli and have already retaken over 25 villages in military operations against ISIS all throughout Syria. The YPG began a military campaign about two days ago against villages and urban centers controlled by ISIS located in rural areas to the south of Qamishli.

The military operation continues for the third consecutive day with the support of coalition air forces. With their help, the YPG were able to liberate dozens of villages.
This operation was well received by both the Arab and Kurdish inhabitants of these villages, who both demonstrated their support when the YPG entered their villages to free them from the control of ISIS, which is restricting them and denying them their freedom.

Soundbites

(Arabic, man) Ali al-Hameed, Arab YPG fighter:
“Our goal is to rid all the villages in the area of ISIS; the YPG are quickly advancing. We are all brothers in fighting ISIS.

(Kurdish, man) Hoker Hussein, Kurdish fighter:
“We are here to avenge our martyrs who died in previous battles in Tilhamis. We get our strength and determination from the blood of the martyrs and the support of our people and, thanks to them, we shall win against ISIS.”

(Kurdish, woman) Mother of female fighter:
“We are here today to show loyalty to the blood of our martyrs. We have a good spirit and we have complete faith in our victory and that we are going to liberate our area from ISIS.”

(Kurdish, man) Idris Taher Aziz, Kurdish civilian from the village of Kherbet Jehash:
“When ISIS came close to our villages, we escaped their violent assaults. Now we have decided to return to our village after it was liberated by the YPG. We are happy to return home and, thanks to the YPG, life is slowly getting back to normal.”

(Arab, man) Majeed al-Habib, an Arab from the village of Bazoona:
“ISIS treated us horribly. They used to implement tough laws; they banned us from smoking; they forced women to wear the Niqab; and threatened our religious sites in the village. When the YPG entered and liberated us, we were very happy and welcomed them.”

(Kurdish, man): Nori, Kurdish fighter:

“When you look at those documents and papers, you see strange laws and regulations, as if you were living 2000 years before this time. It really indicates how retrograde their mentality is and how much suffering they have imposed on people. We have 7 ISIS fighters’ corpses, some are Arabs, some are foreigners. One had a Saudi flag, indicating the Saudi identity of some of them.”

Shotlist

Interviews with the fighters and shots of the liberated villages.
Shots of the liberated villages and their civilians
Interviews with the civilians
Various of YPG’s military forces
Various of remnants, documents and possessions, including flag of Saudi Arabia, presumably left behind by ISIS
Various of Nori, the fighter, speaking

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Fighters and Civilians Celebrate Kurd...
Countryside of Al-Qamishli
By Bedir
23 Feb 2015

People’s Protection Units (YPG) are advancing near Qamishli and have already retaken over 25 villages in military operations against ISIS all throughout Syria. The YPG began a military campaign about two days ago against villages and urban centers controlled by ISIS located in rural areas to the south of Qamishli.

The military operation continues for the third consecutive day with the support of coalition air forces. With their help, the YPG were able to liberate dozens of villages.
This operation was well received by both the Arab and Kurdish inhabitants of these villages, who both demonstrated their support when the YPG entered their villages to free them from the control of ISIS, which is restricting them and denying them their freedom.

Soundbites

(Arabic, man) Ali al-Hameed, Arab YPG fighter:
“Our goal is to rid all the villages in the area of ISIS; the YPG are quickly advancing. We are all brothers in fighting ISIS.

(Kurdish, man) Hoker Hussein, Kurdish fighter:
“We are here to avenge our martyrs who died in previous battles in Tilhamis. We get our strength and determination from the blood of the martyrs and the support of our people and, thanks to them, we shall win against ISIS.”

(Kurdish, woman) Mother of female fighter:
“We are here today to show loyalty to the blood of our martyrs. We have a good spirit and we have complete faith in our victory and that we are going to liberate our area from ISIS.”

(Kurdish, man) Idris Taher Aziz, Kurdish civilian from the village of Kherbet Jehash:
“When ISIS came close to our villages, we escaped their violent assaults. Now we have decided to return to our village after it was liberated by the YPG. We are happy to return home and, thanks to the YPG, life is slowly getting back to normal.”

(Arab, man) Majeed al-Habib, an Arab from the village of Bazoona:
“ISIS treated us horribly. They used to implement tough laws; they banned us from smoking; they forced women to wear the Niqab; and threatened our religious sites in the village. When the YPG entered and liberated us, we were very happy and welcomed them.”

(Kurdish, man): Nori, Kurdish fighter:

“When you look at those documents and papers, you see strange laws and regulations, as if you were living 2000 years before this time. It really indicates how retrograde their mentality is and how much suffering they have imposed on people. We have 7 ISIS fighters’ corpses, some are Arabs, some are foreigners. One had a Saudi flag, indicating the Saudi identity of some of them.”

Shotlist

Interviews with the fighters and shots of the liberated villages.
Shots of the liberated villages and their civilians
Interviews with the civilians
Shots of YPG’s military forces
Various of remnants, documents and possessions presumably left by left behind by ISIS fighters, including Saudi Arabia flag
Various of Nori, the fighter, speaking
Various of ISIS fighters corpses being held by the YPG

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Iraqi Assyrians Denounce ISIS Transgr...
Erbil
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
23 Feb 2015

Opinions of Assyrians in Erbil, Iraq about the abduction of 150 Assyrians in Syria and the destruction of historical artifacts in Mosul.

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IS attack on Makhmour District South ...
Makhmour
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
21 Feb 2015

NOTE: No audio from 3:30 to 4:17

In the evening of Feb. 21st, IS launched their second attack in three days on the Makhmour District 35 miles south of Erbil. The Makhmour District is important to the IS because it is their lifeline to Kirkuk and Mosul. Around 21.00 PM an estimated 200 IS fighters entered the village of Tel Rim. After 3 hours of fighting and 8 airstrikes 63 IS fighters died and IS retreated.

This footage shows Makhmour commander Najat Ali Salih arriving in Tel Rim on the morning of 22 Feb. He surveys the village and boasts about knowing about the attack beforehand because of his IS spies. After seeing many dead IS fighters he leaves the town. On the road back one of the Humvees in his convoy hits an IED and three wounded Peshmerga are driven off.

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Norwegian Shiaa Militia Commander: "I...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
20 Feb 2015

February 18, 2015
Karbala, Iraq

Norwegian Shiite Militia Commander Abass al Assadi appears in a second video, interviewed at his home in Karbala. Despite video evidence and what he claimed in is first video on Transterra Media, he now says that he did not and will not take his son to war. The Transterra contributor visited Abass at his home in Hay al-Ghadir, Karbala, where he lives with his wife and two sons Ali and Hussein. The day before the interview Abass had arrived home for a nine-day vacation, but he then received a call from his commanders with orders to head back to Samarrah with some of his fighters. Accodring to Abass his eldest son Ahmed, who travels between California and Oslo, has been arrested and questioned by the Norwegian authorities before being released. The same thing happened to his own brother who also lives in Oslo. In the previous video Abass and his youngest son Hussein appeared to be in a training camp for the al-Hashid al-Shaabi or “Popular Crowd”, Shiite militias, where the boy is seen spending time in training with the fighters and firing a weapon. The boy said that he had participated in battles against ISIS, such as in Jurf al-Sakher.

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Anti-Terrorism Protest in Benghazi Ca...
Benghazi
By Mohammad Salama
20 Feb 2015

February 20, 2015
Benghazi, Libya

Scores of Libyans staged an anti-terrorism demonstration in al-Keesh Square Benghazi on Friday, February 20, 2015.

The demonstrators called for the backing of the Libyan army and for the international community to support the Tobruk based government's demand at the UN Security Council to lift the ban on arms sales, and to provide the army with the necessary support to fight terrorism.

The demonstrations came following a triple suicide bomb attack in the eastern town of al-Qubbah, which claimed more than 40 lives.

The attacks were claimed by the 'Islamic State' in retaliation, they said, for the air strikes carried out on the IS stronghold of Derna earlier this week.

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Islamic State Militants Attack Peshme...
Makhmour
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
19 Feb 2015

General Sirwan Barzani, Commander Najat Salih and Peshmerga soldier Rokan comment on the IS attack in Makhmour two nights ago.

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Norwegian Shiaa Militia Commander: "I...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
18 Feb 2015

February 18, 2015
Karbala, Iraq

Norwegian Shiite Militia Commander Abass al Assadi appears in a second video, interviewed at his home in Karbala. Despite video evidence and what he claimed in is first video on Transterra Media, he now says that he did not and will not take his son to war.

The Transterra contributor visited Abass at his home in Hay al-Ghadir, Karbala, where he lives with his wife and two sons Ali and Hussein. The day before the interview Abass had arrived home for a nine-day vacation, but he then received a call from his commanders with orders to head back to Samarrah with some of his fighters.

Accodring to Abass his eldest son Ahmed, who travels between California and Oslo, has been arrested and questioned by the Norwegian authorities before being released. The same thing happened to his own brother who also lives in Oslo.

In the previous video Abass and his youngest son Hussein appeared to be in a training camp for the al-Hashid al-Shaabi or “Popular Crowd”, Shiite militias, where the boy is seen spending time in training with the fighters and firing a weapon.
The boy said that he had participated in battles against ISIS, such as in Jurf al-Sakher.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Hussein al-Assadi , Iraqi-Norwegian Teenage Fighter
09:17 – 12:19
Why do you not speak Norwegian?
I do not know how to.
Why?
I came to Iraq a long time ago and I cannot speak [Norwegian].
Did you not learn Norwegian at school?
I was young. When I came from Norway I was young. I had not gone to school.
How old were you?
About four years old.
Do you wish to return?
Yes.
Why? Why do you want to return?
The country there is better and safer.
What are you doing in Iraq?
I study at the hawza [Shiite religious school].
UNINTELLIGIBLE QUESTION
In Iraq there are holy shrines which I visited. My father came here to practice jihad. He went to Jarf al-Sakhr. I am proud of him for practicing jihad. I went with him after they liberated the area. I wore his military vest and went with him.
That was after the liberation?
Yes, after the liberation was over.
UNINTELLIGIBLE QUESTION
I am proud of him. I am proud of my father and his position as an Iraqi military.
Do you feel scared sometimes?
No.
Do you feel scared that ISIS is killing people in Iraq?
No. I do not feel scared.
You do not feel scared?
No.
Are you scared of getting killed?
No, I am not.
Why not?
There is nothing to worry about here.
Did you participate in any major battle?
No. I used to go with my father to [the battlefield] after the battle was over.
Do you not think that you are too young [to be part of an armed group]?
No.
I have not fought. I used to go to a certain area after the liberation was over.
Do you think that young men of your age should come from Norway and other European countries to fight against ISIS?
No.
Do you think that young men of your age should come from Norway to and other European countries to fight against ISIS?
I did not come to Iraq to fight. I came to study and be with my people and near the holy shrines.
Is there anything that you miss in Norway? Do you miss any people? Do you have certain good memories? Do you miss any friends or neighbors?
I miss them sometimes but we came to Iraq for the sake of the Imams and to study.

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Norwegian Shiaa Militia Commander: "I...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
18 Feb 2015

February 18, 2015
Karbala, Iraq

Norwegian Shiite Militia Commander Abass al Assadi appears in a second video, interviewed at his home in Karbala. Despite video evidence and what he claimed in is first video on Transterra Media, he now says that he did not and will not take his son to war.

The Transterra contributor visited Abass at his home in Hay al-Ghadir, Karbala, where he lives with his wife and two sons Ali and Hussein. The day before the interview Abass had arrived home for a nine-day vacation, but he then received a call from his commanders with orders to head back to Samarrah with some of his fighters.

Accodring to Abass his eldest son Ahmed, who travels between California and Oslo, has been arrested and questioned by the Norwegian authorities before being released. The same thing happened to his own brother who also lives in Oslo.

In the previous video Abass and his youngest son Hussein appeared to be in a training camp for the al-Hashid al-Shaabi or “Popular Crowd”, Shiite militias, where the boy is seen spending time in training with the fighters and firing a weapon.
The boy said that he had participated in battles against ISIS, such as in Jurf al-Sakher.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abbas al-Assadi , Iraqi-Norwegian Shiaa Militia Commander:

Abbas al-Asadi: “I will be heading to Samaraa, after this interview a car will come and pick us up and we will go there.

Interviewer: Did you just return from Samaraa for this interview?

Abbas: “No, I came to see my family but they [Army commanders] called me and told me to return. I am now in the army fighting ISIS but I need to return. They need me there. I took a few days off and went there, but now they need me, they called me and I have to return.”

Interviewer: Don't you think you are breaking the Norwegian law, or technically the law in all of Europe, by letting your children participate in war?

Abbas: “I will not break the Norwegian law or the Arabic law. My children came with me after the area was liberated, after the area became safe and the families returned to it. But my little child likes to wear my uniform and I taught him how to shoot just so he can have some experience. But he does not participate in war with me. I know he cannot participate in war, war is not for him.”

Interviewer: The last time we met with them, your children told us that they participated in war and in victories and in fighting ISIS. What is the reason for such statements?

Abbas: “He considers himself to be one with his father, and since his father participated and he entered Jurf al-Sakher after it was liberated, he considered himself as a participant. Of course he did not participate in the battles in Jurf al-Sakher, do you think I would want death for my son? It is impossible.”

Interviewer: When was the last time you went to Norway?

Abbas: “I was there last in 2008.”

Interviewer: Do you intend to return to Norway and if so, when?

Abbas: “Yes I intend to return to Norway, after the war with ISIS ends.”

Interviewer: How many are in your family?

Abbas: “Some of them are living in Oslo, and I have another son who is a doctor in America. According to our beliefs, a person who leaves jihad is an infidel. We ask God to help us and support us.”

Interviewer: Is your wife pleased with what you are doing?

Abbas: “Yes my wife is proud of me because I am fighting with the good people against the enemies.”
Interviewer: What do you want to tell the Norwegian government and the European Union who might think that you brought your son to participate in war?
Abbas: “I did not and will not involve my son in war, I repeat that, I did not and will not involve any of my youngest children in war. They go to school.. just like in anywhere else. When we liberated the area, many people and journalists came and my son was one of those people. He wanted to wear my uniform, and I allowed him to. It has nothing to do with war. We fought him the Arabic traditions, such as shooting, horseback riding, and other simple things. If a war happens in Norway, God forbid, I am willing to fight alongside them. If Norway or Europe needs me to fight, I will definitely help them. Norway is my country and Iraq is my country.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Hussein al-Assadi , Iraqi-Norwegian Teenage Fighter
09:17 – 12:19
Why do you not speak Norwegian?
I do not know how to.
Why?
I came to Iraq a long time ago and I cannot speak [Norwegian].
Did you not learn Norwegian at school?
I was young. When I came from Norway I was young. I had not gone to school.
How old were you?
About four years old.
Do you wish to return?
Yes.
Why? Why do you want to return?
The country there is better and safer.
What are you doing in Iraq?
I study at the hawza [Shiite religious school].
UNINTELLIGIBLE QUESTION
In Iraq there are holy shrines which I visited. My father came here to practice jihad. He went to Jarf al-Sakhr. I am proud of him for practicing jihad. I went with him after they liberated the area. I wore his military vest and went with him.
That was after the liberation?
Yes, after the liberation was over.
UNINTELLIGIBLE QUESTION
I am proud of him. I am proud of my father and his position as an Iraqi military.
Do you feel scared sometimes?
No.
Do you feel scared that ISIS is killing people in Iraq?
No. I do not feel scared.
You do not feel scared?
No.
Are you scared of getting killed?
No, I am not.
Why not?
There is nothing to worry about here.
Did you participate in any major battle?
No. I used to go with my father to [the battlefield] after the battle was over.
Do you not think that you are too young [to be part of an armed group]?
No.
I have not fought. I used to go to a certain area after the liberation was over.
Do you think that young men of your age should come from Norway and other European countries to fight against ISIS?
No.
Do you think that young men of your age should come from Norway to and other European countries to fight against ISIS?
I did not come to Iraq to fight. I came to study and be with my people and near the holy shrines.
Is there anything that you miss in Norway? Do you miss any people? Do you have certain good memories? Do you miss any friends or neighbors?
I miss them sometimes but we came to Iraq for the sake of the Imams and to study.

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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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ISIS Beheaded Her Father
Dohuk
By rsoufi
16 Feb 2015

The family of a kidnapped Kurdish soldier found out about of his death through a video of his beheading, released by ISIS on January 26. Houkan Surji was captured by the jihadist group after he was wounded in battle on August 6, 2014. Over the six months of his imprisonment his family had absolutely no contact with him and only found out about his death via an online video.

The Transterra Media contributor visited the family home in the village of Berdsur, east of Dohuk and found that they were in the process of moving house. Donors from their community came together and bought the family a new home elsewhere in Dohuk, as their old house held too many painful memories.

This public video released by ISIS is an edited version of the beheading:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWWK0lfd8wU

Transcript:

The family of a kidnapped Kurdish soldier found out about of his death through a video of his beheading, released by ISIS on January 26. Houkan Surji was captured by the jihadist group after he was wounded in battle on August 6, 2014. Over the six months of his imprisonment his family had absolutely no contact with him and only found out about his death via an online video.
The Transterra Media contributor visited the family home in the village of Berdsur, east of Dohuk and found that they were in the process of moving house. Donors from their community came together and bought the family a new home elsewhere in Dohuk, as their old house held too many painful memories.

SOUNDBITE (Woman, Kurdish) Avin Hojam, daughter of Kurdish fighter decapitated by ISIS
00:07 - 05:06
How did you father treat his family?
He treated us very well.
How?
He treated us well and was jovial. He treated all his relatives and friends with innocence and a spirit full of love and appreciation.
When he headed to fulfill his military duties, did you not stop him from going to the battlefield?
No, we did not, because he was defending the honor, dignity and land of Kurdistan. My father was willing to defend the land of Kurdistan for the sake of honor and dignity.
There are other people who were killed by ISIS. What do you think of this, given that ISIS claim to be Muslims?
They are not Muslims. Had they been Muslims, they would not have treated Muslims like this. Did your father communicate with you while he was on the frontline fighting against ISIS? Yes, he spoke with us all the time.
How did you find out that he was detained by ISIS?
We knew that he was with a group of people, some of whom were killed while the others were injured. My father was among the injured. He was shot in the leg and taken prisoner by ISIS. They took him on August 6, 2014 and on January 26, 2015, he was martyred by ISIS.
When your father was on the front, what did he talk to you about?
He spoke about honor, dignity, and his willingness to die to defend the land of Kurdistan.
When he was at home, did he use to talk about the frontline as well?
Yes, he spoke with us a lot about that.
What do you think about ISIS practices, especially with Yezidi women?
These acts are unfair, whether they are committed against Muslims or others.
What do think should be done to correct this situation?
I call on all people to defend Kurdistan and protect their honor and dignity. I even call on civilians to head to the frontlines.
How many members are there in your family?
We are six boys and five girls.
Who supports your family at the moment?
All of our relatives, as well as benefactors, offer us help.
Do you need anything?
Our situation is good at the moment. The government and benefactors have offered us a lot of aid.
Do you feel that your family lacks anything after your father died?
Yes.
Can you talk about the void that your father’s [death] has left in your life?
It had a great impact on us. We had not seen him for six months, during which he was detained. We were always avidly waiting to know what he had in his heart. We wanted him to tell what he was thinking. We are very touched and realize quite well the void he has left in our life.
Have you received his body?
No. We were longing to see him and we had not received any call from him for six months.
While he was detained, were you not able to communicate with him?
No. I swear to God, we did not receive any news of him from August 6 to January 26, 2015.
What would you like to say to the Islamic State group?
They are not Muslims. Had they been Muslims, they would not have acted as such.
What would you like to say to the international community?
I pray that my father’s blood does not go in vain, and that work is done to give us his body. I pray that these countries are not allowed to exist in any country.

SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Man) Issa, the cousin of the Kurdish fighter Hojam, decapitated by ISIS
00:03 - 03:20
How did you find out about Hojam’s killing?
I knew through Facebook.
Did you see the video of his execution?
What did you see and how did you feel?
I was moved a lot.
How?
I was very moved because he was killed in an unusual way.
What did you feel that moment?
I swear to God that I wished to have revenge against them and exterminate them.
How can you describe this [act]?
This is an inhumane act.
Why?
It is an inhumane act and even infidels do not do what these monsters have done.
What do you think should be done?
We call on foreign countries, such as the international coalition, the United States, Britain, Germany and France to strike and exterminate them.
Does this mean that this is not a personal issue?
No, it is not a personal issue. Even though the person who killed Hojam was Kurdish, he belonged to ISIS.
Do you mean that this danger affect everybody.
Yes, this is a danger that affects everybody – Arab countries, foreign countries and everybody else.
Do you think that Hojam’s killing has caused a void in your family?
No, no. God willing, there will not be any void.
Are you part of the Peshmerga?
We are all part of the Peshemerga. Those who were not part of the Peshmerga are now part of it.
In which area do you perform your duties with the Peshmerga?
In Zumar, which is near Tal Afar.
Was Hojam in Zumar?
No, he was in Oweiza.
Where was he taken prisoner?
In the Shallallat area.
After that, what did you hear about him?
No… We know that he was alive, but we did not know any information about him until he was killed.
Did you not try to have him released with the mediation of certain people or Arab tribes?
We tried a lot, with all our means, but it was in vain. They are not part of a government or a state and nobody can deal with them.
How do you think this organization should be dealt with? What do you think about its future?
By God, in the future they shall fail. They have no future. God willing, they will be destroyed.
What about the future of these children?
They are not guilty of anything; they have been betrayed.
What would you like to say to the world?
We say that the countries of the coalition, the Gulf and all the other countries should stand against these people.

لقاء مع أفين هوجام أبنة المقاتل هوجام الذي ذبحته داعش :

السؤال (00:07) كيف كان تعامل والدك مع العائلة؟ (00:09) الجواب (00:10) والدي كان جيدا جدا في تعامله معنا (00:11) السؤال (00:12) كيف (00:13)؟ الجواب(00:15) كان جيدا في تعامله معنا وكان مرحاً معنا وكان يتعامل مع الجميع من أهله وأصدقائه ببراءة وروح مليئة بالحب والتقدير (00:33) السؤال (00:34) عندما توجه إلى واجبه العسكري في المعركة ألم تمنعوه عن الذهاب إلى جبهة القتال؟ (00:40) الجواب (00:41) لا .. لا لم نقله له ذلك لأنه كان يدافع عن شرف وكرامة كردستان ويحمي أرضها.. كان والدي مستعدا للدفاع عن كردستان من أجل الشرف والكرامة (00:56) السؤال (01:00) هناك ناس آخرون أيضا قتلتهم داعش كيف ترون هذا الشيء بينما يدعي أعضاء التنظيم أنهم مسلمون؟ (01:10) الجواب (00:11) هؤلاء ليسوا مسلمين، وإن كانوا مسلمين فيجب ألا يعاملون المسلمين بهذا الشكل. (00:15) السؤال (01:17) عندما كان والدك في جبهة القتال ضد داعش هل كان يتواصل معكم؟ (01:23) الجواب (01:24) نعم كان يتواصل معنا بإستمرار(00:27) السؤال(01:28) كيف عرفتم بأسره من قبل داعش؟ (01:319) الجواب (00:31) نعم علمنا أنه كان مع عدد من الأشخاص بعضهم قتلوا والبعض الآخر أصيب بجروح وكان والدي من بين الجرحى وأصيب رصاص برجله عندما أعتقله مسلحو داعش وأخذوه في يوم (6 من شهر آب 2014). تم أسره. وفي يوم (26 كانون الثاني 2015) استشهد على أيدي داعش (01:53) السؤال (01:55) عندما كان والدكم في الجبهة وكنتم تتواصلون معه عن ماذا كان يتحدث معكم؟ (02:00) الجواب (02:01) يتحدث عن الشرف والكرامة والإستعداد بالتضحية من اجل حماية أرض كردستان لحد الموت (02:10) السؤال (02:11) وعندما كان في البيت هل كان يتحدث عن جبهات القتال أيضاً (02:24) الجواب (02:25) نعم كان يتحدث معنا كثيرا عن ذلك (02:27) السؤال (02:29) كيف ترين ممارسات داعش إتجاه هذه الأعمال خصوصا تجاه النساء الإيزيديات أو غيرهن (02:42) الجوال(02:43) هذه الأعمال غير عادلة، لا مع المسلمين ولا مع غيرهم (02:45) السؤال (02:46) كيف ترين السبيل إلى معالجة هذه الأوضاع؟(00:49) الجواب (02:49) أدعو جميع الناس إلى الدفاع عن كردستان وحماية شرفهم وكرامتهم، وادعو حتى المدنيين للتوجه إلى جبهات القتال (03:00) السؤال (03:01) كم يبلغ عدد أعضاء أسرتكم؟ (03:05) الجواب (03:06) نحن 6 أولاد و5 أخوات (03:08) السؤال (03:09) من يعيل أسرتكم حالياً؟ (03:10) الجواب (03:11) الجميع من أقاربنا والناس الخيريين يقدمون لنا المساعدة (03:16) السؤال (03:18) هل تحتاجون حاليا إلى أي شيء؟(03:22) الجواب (03:24) وضعنا جيد حاليا الحكومة والأشخاص الخيريين قدموا لنا المساعدة كثيرا (03:27) السؤال (03:28) بعد مقتل والدك هل تشعرون أن شيء ما نقص من عائلتك(03:42) الجواب (03:43) نعم (03:44) السؤال (03:44) هل بإمكانك التحدث عن الفراغ الذي تركه والدك في حياتكم (03:55) الجواب (03:56) كانه له تأثير كبير علينا .. لم نره بقي ستة أشهر معتقلا في السجن وكنا دائما تواقين لمعرفة ماكان في قلبه ليقول لنا قبل رحيله. نحن متأثرون جدا وندرك جيدا الفراغ الذي تركه في حياتنا (04:14) السؤال (04:15) هل استلمتم جثته؟(04:15) الجواب(04:16) لا .. نحن كنا مشتاقون لرؤيته ولم نتلق أي اغتصال منه منذ ستة أشهر (04:22) السؤال (04:24) عندما كان أسيرا ألم تستطيعوا الاتصال به؟ (04:27) الجواب (04:28) لا لا والله منذ يوم 6 آب وإلى 26 كانون الثاني 2015 لم نتلق أي خبر عنه(04:34) السؤال (04:37) ماذا تريدين أن تقولي لتنظيم الدولة الإسلامية؟ (04:44) الجواب (04:45) أنهم ليسوا مسلمين وإذا كانوا مسلمون كيف يتعاملون بهذا الشكل (04:49) السؤال (04:50) ماذا تريدين أن تقولي للمجتمع الدولي؟(04:54) الجواب (04:54) أدعو أن لا يدع دم والدي يذهب هدرا والعمل على تسليمنا جثته وأن لايسمح بوجود هؤلاء الوحوش في أية دولة(05:06)

2 مقابلة مع (عيسى ) أبن عم المقاتل هوجام الذي ذبح من قبل داعش

السؤال (00:03) كيف عرفت بمقتل هوجام (00:06) الجواب (00:07) عرفت بواسطة الفيسبوك (00:11) السؤال (00:13) هل رأيت المشهد عن كيفية قتله(00:13) الجواب (00:14) نعم (00:14) السؤال (00:15) ماذا رأيت و بماذا شعرت؟(00:16) الجواب (00:17) والله تأثرت كثيرا(00:18) السؤال (00:18) كيف (00:18) الجواب (00:19) والله تأثرت كثيرا لأنه قتل بشكل غريب (00:24) السؤال (00:25) يعني ماذا كان شعورك في تلك اللحظة؟(00:28) الجواب (00:29) والله كنت أتنمى الإنتقام منهم وإبادتهم (00:34) السؤال (00:35) كيف يمكنه وصفه؟(00:36) الجواب (00:38) هذا عمل غير إنساني (00:39) السؤال (00:40) كيف؟ (00:41) الجواب (00:41) عمل لا إنساني وحتى الكفار لايمارسون العمل هؤلاء وحوش (00:47) السؤال (00:48) برأيك مالذي يجب فعله؟ (00:49) الجواب (00:50) نحن نطالب الدول الأجنبية مثل دول التحالف و أمريكا وبريطانيا وألمانيا وفرنسا بضربهم وإبادتهم (00:59) السؤال (01:00) هذه ليست قضية شخصية؟(01:01) الجواب (01:01) لا ليست قضية شخصية، صحيح أن الذي قتل هوجام كان كرديا لكنه ينتمي لداعش (01:07) السؤال (01:08) تقصد أن هذا الخطر يطال الجميع؟ (01:09) الجواب(01:10) نعم هذا خطر على جميع الناس وحتى الدول الأجنبية والعربية وعلى الجميع(01:17) السؤال (01:22) هل ترى أن مقتل هوجام أحدث فراغا في عائلتكم؟ (01:25) الجواب (01:26) لا لا إنشاء الله لن يحدث أي فراغ (01:31) السؤال (01:32) هل أنتم أعضاء في البيشمركة؟ (01:32) الجواب(01:33) نعم نحن جميعا بيشمركة والذي لم يكن ينتمي للبيشمركة أصبح ضمن البيشمركة(01:39) السؤال (01:45) في أي منطقة تؤدي واجبك في قوات البيشمركة؟ (01:46) الجواب (01:46) في منطقة زمار القريبة من تلعفر(01:49) السؤال (01:50) وهل كان هوجام في منطقة زمار؟(01:50) الجواب (01:51) لا كان في منطقة بعويزة (01:52) السؤال (01:52) وأين أعتقل؟ (01:54) الجواب (01:54) في منطقة الشلالات (01:57) السؤال(01:58) وبعدها ماذا كانت أخباره؟ (01:59) الجواب (02:00) لا .. كنا نعرف أنه حي لكننا لم نعرف أية معلومات عنه لحين قتله (02:10) السؤال (02:11) ألم تحاولوا إطلاق سراحه عبر تدخل أو بواسطة بعض الأشخاص أو روؤساء العشائرالعربية؟ (02:18) الجواب(02:19) والله حاولنا كثيرا وبكل إمكانياتنا لكن دون جدوى هؤلاء ليسوا حكومة ولادولة ولا أحد يستطيع التعامل معهم (02:35) السؤال (02:36) برأيك كيف يكون التعامل مع هذا التنظيم وماهو مستقبله؟ (02:45) الجواب (02:46) والله هؤلاء مستقبلهم فاشل ولا مستقبل لهم إنشاء الله وسيدمرون (02:53) السؤال (02:54) وهؤلاء الأطفال كيف سيكون (مستقبلهم)؟ (02:55) الجواب (02:56) لا ذنب لهم وهم تعرضوا للغدر(03:01) السؤال (03:03) أنتم ماذا تريدون أن قوله للعالم (03:11) الجواب (03:12) نقول لهم قوموا بوجه هؤلاء يا دول التحالف ودول الخليج العربي وكلهم (03:20)

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Living Conditions “Extremely Bad” in ...
Jarabulus
By TTM Contributor 34
13 Feb 2015

Jarabulus, Syria
February 13, 2015

This video offers a rare glimpse of daily life in Jarabulus, an ISIS-controlled Syrian town on the border with Turkey, located around 120 km northwest of Aleppo.
Video contains interviews with two anonymous residents who complained about their economic conditions, saying that basic commodities are unaffordable while there are few employment opportunities.

The footage, which was shot secretly, shows what is believed to be ISIS headquarters destroyed by international coalition-led airstrikes. It also shows local residents in markets and agriculture fields inside and near Jarabulus.

Fighters from the Nusra Front, considered the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda, took over the town in 2013 and later pledged allegiance to ISIS. More than 200,000 Kurds and Arabs in Jarabulus and the surrounding villages have lived under ISIS since early 2014.

The name of the contributor has been withheld for security reasons.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Traveling of fields/ road sign “Jarablus”
Wide of destroyed bridge on river
Wide of lettering on a wall (ISIS religious teachings)
Various of destroyed buildings
Wide of ISIS religious teachings
Traveling of street
Wide of lettering on a wall (ISIS religious teachings)
Various of official printed announcements by ISIS posted outside a building/ close up of seal “The Islamic State, Department of Agriculture, Jarabulus District”
L-R pan of field
Wide of children sliding down a hill
Various of boat rowing in the Euphrates River
Wide of planted vegetables
Wide/ L-R pan of orchard
Various of sheep grazing
Close-up of a person cutting firewood
Various of woman cooking using a stove
Various of a woman milking a cow
Various of oil containers for sale on the roadside
Medium of man at fish market
Various of vegetables for sale at market
Wide of field and sheep herd
Traveling of people in an outdoor market
Various of clothes and shoes for sale
Various of spices for sale
Various of market
Various of crowd at market
Various of food items for sale
Wide/ traveling inside health center

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Jarabulus Resident
09:54 – 12:16

“The situation is not good. I cannot say that we are comfortable. Our situation is very bad. A diesel barrel costs 20,000 [Syrian pounds]. How can we afford it? A gas canister costs 4,000 [Syrian pounds] and a liter of kerosene costs 225 pounds. A pack of bread costs 130 pounds. How can we afford this? I have two young men who are unemployed. Where can they go? “The [Islamic] State is good. They have caught the debauched and the thieves who have hurt people, but they provide electricity and water for only two hours [a day]. For more than a year, people have barely seen electricity. It is provided during two hours but the grid is overloaded and the current is interrupted after half an hour. The bakery was not functioning; they repaired it but bread is expensive. We cannot afford it. I bake bread myself.

“As for warplanes… Our houses have been fractured. These countries have formed a coalition against us. We live in a border town. Bombing goes on night and day.

“They should have bombed the tyrant who has deprived us of everything. He has ruined everything. Whenever our children went out to look for work they were accused of being criminals and caught. All our young men have been put in jail. What can we do? The situation is bad.

“We use firewood. We had olive trees but we cut them down and burned them in the stove to have heat in this cold weather.

“I have a cow. Animal feed is expensive. A kilogram of hay costs 50 pounds. A bale of barely that contains 40 kg costs 2,700 pounds. We need this cow to feed us. All the people who have cattle suffer the same crisis that we do. It is not only me; all of us suffer a bad situation. We wish that we die. There is not a single house that has not been fractured due to warplanes.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Jarabulus Resident
12:17 – 13: 19

“Conditions under the Islamic State are extremely bad. Under the Islamic State, a barrel of diesel costs more than $100. A ton of firewood costs 22,000 [pounds]. This crisis has never been witnessed before.

“Nothing has improved under the Islamic State. Everything has deteriorated. They should create employment for the people. The people work in agricultural lands, which do not provide any revenue. We have abandoned our land. Not all the plots are being cultivated. People have cut down olive groves and used them as firewood. The situation is extremely miserable. There are no services and foreign countries are not providing aid. The Islamic State is in control of the situation. Turkey has closed the border and aid cannot reach people. The situation is very bad under the Islamic State.”

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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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Turkey: Anti-ISIS Civilian Border Pat...
Turkey-Syria Border
By Ibrahim Karci
08 Feb 2015

From the beginning of the battle for Kobane, many volunteers from numerous districts around Turkey gathered in the villages close to the border to help patrol the border and prevent ISIS fighters from slipping in and out of Syria. Despite the fact that that Kurdish forces have now cleared Kobane of ISIS fighters, volunteers still patrol in the villages close to the border, fearing ISIS remnants will slip through.

TRANSCRIPT

Interview with Halit Çelikarslan – Villager
00.37– 00.50: Since the first day of the resistance, from different parts of Turkey, even from abroad, people came here, with the aim of helping the people resisting in Kobane.

00.52 – 00.56: We received help from them.

00.57 – 01.26: Usually young people and women were coming here. They worked united, stayed in tents for days in bad weather conditions and served the cause in many ways.

Interview with Emin Baran – Lawyer and Volunteer aid worker in Suruc
Journalist:
01.31 – 01.36: Why were the border patrols initially started?

Emin:
01.36 – 01.43 People were passing the border from Kobane to here, so people felt obligated to welcome them, since their passage was stopped frequently [by Turkish border patrols].
01.44 – 01.46 [Turkish] Soldiers tried to keep them in restricted areas.
01.47 – 01.53 Some of them [refugees] were injured. So, to have a front group on the border became necessary.
01.56 – 02.04 After the displacement came to the end, people kept patrolling in order to ensure that ISIS would not get help in Kobane.
02.05 – 02.10 Essentially, it was aimed to not letting ISIS gain strength in Kobane by using Turkish land.
02.18 – 02.28 The border patrols had two purposes. First, to show the people of Kobane that others are supporting them in their resistance.
02.29 – 02.35 Second, to narrow the movements of ISIS in Turkey. [Turkish] Soldiers blockaded the villages in which people were border guarding.
02.36 – 02.46 Every time the [Turkish] soldiers tried to force people to leave the [border] villages [which were located literally right beside ISIS held areas]. ISIS attacks gained enormous strength, immediately after.
02.47 – 02.50 Without exception, this happened each and every time.

Interview with Figen Yaşar-Mayor of Mus Bulanik from HDP
02.52 – 02.56 We initially came here during the beginning of the resistance in Kobane.
02.57 – 03.02 We first watched the border for seven days, during the peak of the clashes.
03.03 – 03.07 After, we went back to Muş and Bulanık, where we came.
03.09 – 03.16 During our second shift [on the border] we stayed here for nine days. Those days the clashes were really severe.
03.17 – 03.23 From Kobane to the air, smoke and fire clouds were raising.
03.24 – 03.30 We brought 12-13 martyr bodies to our village alone.
03.31 – 03.37 They were all the children of this land. Some of them joined to the war three months ago, some five months, and some six years.
03.39 – 03.46 Kobane has been cleansed [of ISIS fighters], but there are hundreds of villages connected to the Kobane [which ISIS controls].
03.47 – 04.02 Until the villages of Kobane are liberated, until the people of Kobane go back their homes and settle there, the people of Kurdistan and Turkey will guard and keep guarding.

Interview with Head of the security in the Village-(Name withheld)
04.07 – 04.13 I am responsible for the security of this district. I have been here for 95 days.
04.13 – 04.19 We explain to the border guards how to prevent ISIS from crossing.
04.20 – 04.23 Usually they cross from this district.
04.25 – 04.29 The ones who want to participate can easily cross the border.
04.30 – 04.36 As you see, that's the border for the guards. Between 6 pm and 6 am people [civilians] keep guarding.
04.38 – 04.42 There are other check points in other villages.
04.43 – 04.50 When they see them [refugees] from the distance, they inform us and we help them through.
04.54 – 04.57 The border guards notices us.
05.03 – 05.04 “hello” “hello”
05.10 – 05.11 Are taking over the shift?
05.11 – 05.12 Yes, two people in each shift.
05.19 – 05.20 Thank you.

05.28 – 05.29 We keep guard here, we can't leave.
05.29 – 05.31 We came for the shift change. You can leave now.

Filiz Aydın - Volunteer Watch Guard
05.34 – 05.42 We began guarding when ISIS come to Kobane. Not only in this village, but also in others.
05.43 – 05.55 The reason I keep guard is to prevent ISIS soldiers crossing the border. I also lost my brother at the war.
05.56 – 05.58 Not in Kobane, but in Rojava, in Serikani, I lost my brother.
05.59 – 06.04 My brother might be still alive if we watched the borders in Serikani.
06.06 – 06.14 It was his cause, and if we have the same cause, if we want his dreams to come true, we can also contribute.
06.15 – 06.25 Not everyone can get involved in armed battles in the mountains. Not everyone can fight in Kobane, but you can do whatever your hands find to do.
06.27 – 06.32 We say Kobane got liberated, but some of the villages are still under the siege.
06.33 – 06.39 Even if Kobane is cleansed [of ISIS], it's not just Kobane. Until Rojava gets liberated...
06.41 – 06.47 As I said it's not only about ISIS, it was first Al-Nusrah, Al-Qaida, and now ISIS.
06.48 – 06.54 There is Qamishle, Afrin... Until Rojava is completely cleansed,
06.55 – 07.05 Until the canton's [Rojava] political autonomy is recognized by the world, this is my opinion, the threat won't be defeated.

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Peshmerga Units Clear Explosives Laid...
Kirkuk, Makhmour
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
08 Feb 2015

The amount of IEDs left by the Islamic State is staggering. 'Not normal', says the mayor of Makhmour. According to Kurdish government and Peshmerga officials, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines planted by Islamic State militants are the biggest cause of casualties for Peshmerga forces. ISIS has adopted the tactic of heavily seeding all of the territory it withdraws from with the deadly devices, with the intent of slowing down Peshmerga advances. Some IEDs are also intentionally left in fields and homes to target civilians according to Kurdish officials. We go to the frontlines with a Peshmerga engineer team specialized in dismantling the devices, and speak to a farmer who is affected by Islamic State IEDs. The mayor of the city of Makhmour, whose community is still dealing with getting rid of massive amounts of IEDs ISIS left in August, also weighs in on the subject.

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Defiant People of Kobane Return to De...
Kobane
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

Kobane , Syria
February 6, 2015

Large numbers of Kurdish refugees returned from the Turkish city of Suruc to their hometown of Kobane .
ISIS withdrew from the city in late January under the weight of attacks from Kurdish fighters and airstrikes by international coalition.
Video shows refugees queuing to enter Kobane through a border crossing and walking amid the rubble and others cheering for Kurdish fighters.

Two interviewed returning refugees said that they are determined to stay in Kobane and that they are not scared of ISIS. Video also shows large-scale destruction in the city.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Wide of family walking amid destroyed buildings
Wide of boy carrying large bag
Various of refugees queuing to enter Kobane

SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Woman) Unnamed refugee returning to Kobane
01:33 – 02:24
God willing, we shall achieve victory. We could no longer bear living in the tents, so we returned to Kobane because it is our land. We will never abandon Kobane because it is our honor. We will live amid this destruction. We will set up tents and live in Kobane . We are not afraid of ISIS. We used to be scared of it before, but now, we are not scared of anyone. Whoever wants to come, let them come. We are not scared of ISIS or anyone else.”
Various of refugees queueing at border crossing
Wide of refugees standing next to fighter
Wide of refugees walking through into Kobane
Wide of fighters

SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Man) Unnamed refugees returning to Kobane
03:50 – 04:25

“I am from Kobane , and now I return to my city. I am returning to my land and hometown. Long live the YPG [Kurdish People’s Protection Units]. Long live the leader Abdullah Ocalan. Kobane has overcome terrorism. I am not scared. I am now returning to Kobane , the city of resistance.”

Various of people in pickup trucks cheering for Kurdish fighters
Wide of destroyed house and car
Wide of destroyed homes

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Sample media
Peshmerga IED Disposal Units at War w...
Kirkuk
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
05 Feb 2015

According to Kurdish government and Peshmerga officials, improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and mines planted by Islamic State militants are the biggest cause of death for Peshmerga forces. ISIS has adopted the tactic of heavily seeding all of the territory it withdraws from with the devices with the intent of slowing down Peshmerga advances. Some IEDs are also intentionally left in fields and homes to target civilians according to Kurdish officials. We go to the frontlines with a Kurdish military engineer team specialized in dismantling the devices, and speak to a farmer who is affected by IEDs. Mining NGO MAG also weighs in on the issue, as does the mayor of the Kurdish city of Makhmour, whose community is still dealing with getting rid of massive amounts of IEDs ISIS left in August.

Story can be extended with interviews of experts on mine dismantling and victims of the explosive devices.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Mass Grave discovered in Iraq - Nineveh
Nineveh
By rsoufi
05 Feb 2015

Forensics and legal personnel inspect a mass grave of bodies, allegedly Yazidis killed by ISIS, in the area of Nineveh, Iraq, on February 8, 2015. They are working in coordination with international human rights organizations (such as ICMP and the UN) with the aim of documenting and proving that the radical group, known as ISIS, is guilty of committing genocide.

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Waiting Out the Siege: Kobane Refugee...
Seher Sokak No:34, 63800 Suruç/Şanlıurfa,Turkey
By Antoine E. R. Delaunay
02 Feb 2015

A photo reportage, realized at the end of November 2014, illustrating the challenging situation faced in the Kurdish city of Suruç and its region overwhelmed by Syrian refugees. Heavy fighting between Kurdish forces and Daesh have been raging inside the city of Kobane, located only a few kilometers away on the other side of the Turkish-Syrian border, for more than three months at that time.

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Coalition Peshmerga Training: Graduat...
outside of Erbil in a discreet area
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
31 Jan 2015

On January 28th 2015 the first group of Peshmerga trained by the Dutch military forces finished their course. After a four week training the commander of the Dutch allied forces gives a speech to 40 recrutes that have finished their training and are now ready to fight with the Peshmerga to defend Kurdistan against the Islamic State.

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Coalition Peshmerga Training: Intervi...
PEshmerga Barracks
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
31 Jan 2015

An interview conducted on January 28th 2015, with Bakhtiar, a Dutch speaking Kurdish military recrute trained by the Dutch coalition forces.

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Frontline Battle for Mullah Abdullah ...
Kirkuk
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
31 Jan 2015

Responding to an incursion by Islamic State fighters on the southern outskirts of Kirkuk on Jan. 30, Saturday Peshmerga PUK fighters went on the offensive, launching an attack on the ISIS-held village of Mula Abdulla just five kilometers south of Maktab Khaled.

Supported by anti-ISIS coalition airstrikes from A-10 and F-16 aircraft, approximately 600 Peshmerga fighters used tanks, RPGs, and small arms to assault what they estimated to be 250 ISIS fighters holed up in the village. ISIS responded with mortars and small arms, and as of dusk, the battle for Mula Abdulla was still at a standstill. However, ISIS return fire greatly diminished after several passes by an A-10, which struck their mortar positions to the cheers of Peshmerga fighters taking cover behind a berm just 30 feet away.

An improvised explosive device struck at least one Peshmerga vehicle; the Kurds warned that many of the devices in the immediate area—held by ISIS just days before—could pose a threat to Kurdish operations. Peshmerga authorities conducted controlled detonations of some the devices they found, as well as buried with a bulldozer the corpses of ISIS fighters killed the day before.

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Coalition Peshmerga Training: Close C...
Outside of Erbil city in a discrete location
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
31 Jan 2015

Peshmarga training excercise in urban warfare, led by a coalition of Dutch, English, German and American forces.

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Coalition Peshmerga Training: Intervi...
Erbil
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
31 Jan 2015

Interviews with three recruites who were trained by coalition forces. Interviews conducted on 28 January 2015, after the military graduation ceremony.

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Norwegian Father and Son Fight ISIS T...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
29 Jan 2015

January 29, 2015
Karbala, Iraq

Former Iraqi army Commander Abass al-Assadi fled to Norway and became a citizen in 1991 following the popular revolution against Saddam Hussein. In 2013 he returned to Syria with his daughter and two sons, to fight with the Assad regime and “protect Shiite shrines.”His daughter was killed in an artillery strike.
After the call to jihad by the Shiite spiritual leader Ali al-Sistani in 2014, Abass returned with his family to Iraq to fight ISIS. His sons began training with the Shiite militia. The video shows one of them, 14 year-old Hussein, with his father in a training camp in western Karbala. Abass and other Iranian and Iraqi Shiite officers are teaching Iraqi volunteers urban warfare and combat drills. Hussein calls all young European Shiite Muslims to join the fight against the "Islamic State".

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abbas al-Assadi
01:58 – 03:45
I was part of the opposition against Saddam Hussein. I participated in the 1991 uprising. After that, I moved to Saudi Arabia and from there to Norway. I obtained the Norwegian citizenship, and I came here after I heard the call of the marjaeia [Ayatollah Ali Sistani] to participate in jihad and obtain material benefit… no, sorry I meant gains in the afterword. This will grant us honor in life and after death and strengthen our sense of jihad. God willing, we shall all be soldiers who serve the marjaeia and the Iraqi people.
Q: As you know, the European Union has imposed sanctions on Europeans of foreign origins who conspire with ISIS. Do you not fear that this measure will also affect the members of the Popular Crowd [Shiite militia loyal to Ayatollah Ali Sistani]?

No, the Popular Crowd has nothing to do with Europe. I am fulfilling the call of the marjaeia, which represents me. European countries would be happy that I am fighting against ISIS. If they have an agreement with ISIS, that would be something else. We came to fulfil the call of the marjaeia and exterminate ISIS members wherever they were in Iraq. I am not concerned with any sanctions.
My children and I have Iraqi citizenship and I am not ashamed of being Iraqi. I am originally Iraqi and I shall remain Iraqi.
Q: What is your name?
Abbas al-Assad; Abu Ali.
Q: Abbas, you have brought your son from Norway.
He would gain experience and learn in the future… Q: Are you not scared for his safety?
I am not scared for his, mine or my family’s safety… All of Iraq is in the same situation. I am not worried about individuals. Everybody, including my family, would be sacrificed for the sake of the Marjaia [spiritual leader] and the honorable Iraqi people.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Hussein Abbas al-Assadi, Child soldier
03:47
Q: What is your name, dear?
Hussein Abbas.
Q: Why are you here?
I am practicing jihad.
Q: what do you think about Norway and Iraq?
They are nice, but Iraq is better.
Q: Are you not afraid of ISIS?
No.
Father: We have just come here after finishing a battle. It was fulfilment of the marjaeia’s call. I have two other children. My daughter was martyred in Syria, when ISIS bombarded the town of Nubbul.
Q (addressed to boy): Are you willing to take part in a battle?
Boy: Yes.
Q: Why?
Boy: I want to fulfill the call of the Marjaia [spiritual leader].
[Unseen man]: …and to protect the Iraqi people. Boy: and to protect the Iraqi people.
Q: Are you not scared of death?
Boy: No.
Q: You are Norwegian and had a comfortable life [in Norway], where there is a good economy and safety. You came to Iraq, where there are plenty of ISIS members. Are you not scared of this?
Boy: No. Q: Why?
Boy: I am fulfilling the call of the Marjaia [spiritual leader].
[Unseen man]: … and you have resolution. Boy: … I have courage.
Q: What would you say to your friends in Europe? How did you find the situation? Is there safety? Terrorism? Were you afraid? How did people welcome you?
(Boy smiles and remains quiet) Q: Talk to me…
Father: Tell him, my son, that we are here among our family and people, and the Iraqi people are all our family.
Q: Do not pay attention to the camera. Talk to me.
Boy: It was better that we came here to be our people. The Iraqi people are our family.
Q:Do you advise others in Europe to come and fight against ISIS?
Boy: They should fight against ISIS and defend the holy shrines and protect their people.
Q: Did you quit school?
Boy: Yes.
Q: What is your name?
Boy: Hussein Abbas Assadi.

06:08 – 06:39
Boy: I want to fulfill the call of the Marjaia [spiritual leader] and protect the holy shrines.
Q: You seem so young. Why did you come here?
Boy: I came with my father.
Q: Are you not afraid of ISIS?
Boy: No, I am not.
Q: Have you taken part in battles?
Boy: Yes, in Jaruf al-Sakhr and Fadlia and Buhairat.
Q: You went there?
Boy: Yes, I did.
Q: What do you think about the fighting?
(Boy smiles) Q: What do you say to young men of your age in Europe?
Boy: They should come to fight against ISIS.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man), Abu Khaled, officer in Popular Crowd
06:58 – 07:14
Today, he will head to the firing practice field to train using live ammunition. This is in preparation for a future duty, the liberation of the remaining occupied areas of Salahuddine.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Jaafar, Shiite cleric
07:26 – 08:02
These young mujahidin they came to fulfill the call of the Marjaia [spiritual leader] led by ayatollah Sayyed Ali Sistani. God willing, the students of the hawza (institute for cleric formation) shall be with them on the battle fronts. We will be at the barricades before them. We will support their religious morale. We also give them religious lessons.

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Rough Cut: Peshmerga Recruit Bakhtiar...
kirkuk front lines outskirts of Mula Abdul
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
27 Jan 2015

A day after going through coalition training and graduation, Bakhtiar goes to the frontlines to fight in the battle for Kirkuk. We follow him and get a closer look into his life as a Peshmerga soldier recently trained by Coalition advisors.

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Iraqi special forces patrol around Sa...
Samarra - Qulah Road, Samarra,Iraq
By mushtaq mohammed
27 Jan 2015

Iraqi special forces soldiers and popular troops from 9th Division, lead by General Neemat Jawdat Al Ankushi, patrol in the area of Samerra, Iraq, on January 22, 2015 just after villages of this area have been liberated from Daech or ISIS militants.

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Jordanian Pilot’s Father Wants Son Tr...
Amman
By hamzaeqab
27 Jan 2015

Amman, Jordan
January 27, 2015

The father of Jordanian pilot Moath al-Kasasbeh, who is held by ISIS, demanded that the Jordanian government releases Sajida al-Rishawai, a woman affiliated with al-Qaeda who tried to commit a suicide attack in 2005, in a bid to facilitate his son’s release.

The father, Safi al-Kasasbeh, spoke during a sit-in organised by the Kasasbeh, Bani Sakhr, Abbadi and Tarawneh clans.

ISIS threatened to execute Moath Kasasbeh and Japanese hostage Kenji Goto if the Jordanian government did not release Rishawi.

Social media accounts affiliated with ISIS members have mentioned that Sajida al-Rishawi, who was imprisoned after failing to commit a suicide attack against a hotel in Amman, was given to Iraqi mediators from the influential Dulaimai clan in preparation of releasing her.
The Jordanian society is tribal. Clan leaders can usually pressure the government into fulfilling their demands.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Safi al-Kasasbeh, Father of Jordanian pilot held by ISIS

We ask the government very strongly and loudly, God willing this have effect on the ground… if Moath comes under any threat, we will hold the government responsible, from the top of the ruling pyramid downward. We will hold them responsible of whatever happens to Moath. This is a very difficult phase. I ask His Majesty the King, the armed forces and every official to start working as fast as possible to liberate Moath by setting free all the political prisoners in Jordan. They are demanding that Sajida al-Rishawi be set free; Sajida al-Rishawi is not worth Moath’s shoe. Why are we keeping Sajida al-Rishawi? She is a criminal who blew up a hotel while we are keeping her and paying her living expenses. Why would she not be released? Why would she not be exchanged? I demand the government to release Sajida al-Rishawi immediately.

From the first day… Moath has been detained for 36 days, and the government hid from us the actions it said it was taking. We found out that there were no actions of negotiations. We do not accept this. These times are very difficult and the government must act accordingly.
Unseen man: This process takes time. It cannot be done in five minutes.

We now have time. The government must send someone to let us know what they have done in order for to know our son’s fate. He is a military who was sent to carry out a military mission. We will hold responsible the people who sent Moath on this mission. Moath’s blood is very, very dear.
Unseen man: Did they not tell you about what is going on?
No they did not.

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Western Lions of Rojava: American Fig...
Ras Al Ayn, Syria
By Andrew Nunn
26 Jan 2015

An interview with American citizen and US military veteran Richard Jones about fighting with the YPG in Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan. He explains his life there and his dreams of home and why he choose to travel to Syria and fight for the Lions of Rojava.

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Wounded Dutch Kurdish YPG Fighter (re...
Qamishili, Syria
By Andrew Nunn
23 Jan 2015

Interview with Richard Jansen (aka "Sarahat Bhotan") at Qamishili YPG Military Hospital, "Nexwesxaneya S.Xebat"

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Dutch Fighter Wounded in Battle for S...
YPG medical clinic in Al-Qamishili, Syria
By Andrew Nunn
23 Jan 2015

In the city of Qamishili, inside of Rojava Syrian Kurdistan, a Dutch man is recovering inside of a hospital for the Kurdish fighters of the YPG. He was reportedly wounded by an Improvised Explosive Device in the city of Shingal, where the battle against the Islamic State is in full swing.

“I just don’t know what happened. Someone got I.E.D. on me. I don’t remember anything. I just remember, they told me I got an I.E.D. on my head. They screwed me over. I just don’t know what happened, man. Just blacked out.”

Dr Abat Abu Mohammad, "Sarahat Bhotan... (Alias, actual identity withheld) When he came to us from Shingal, he'd been hit with shrapnel and he was in shock. When he came the surgeon and all the doctors gathered in. We called more doctors, and all of them came. The comrade was in a coma when he got here and there was some shrapnel in his head and his face and hands. The shrapnel came from bombs and a mortar rocket -- what the Islamic State terrorists are using. We did an operation, and took the Shrapnel out of his head, two pieces of the shrapnel were large pieces, and we were just hoping for our comrade to live. He spent five days in the intensive care unit. He's been on IV infusion and some things and he's started to get better and better.”

While the Dutchman known as Bhotan by his comrades in the YPG, fights to make a full recovery, the YPG and many other Kurdish factions of the Peshmerga continue to fight for the city of Shingal and Sinjar Mountain.