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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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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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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.

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Returning to Kobani 18
Kobani, Syria
By Bedir
06 Feb 2015

A destroyed tank on "Meshteh Nour" hill.

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Kobane Victory : War Is Over but Res...
Suruç
By Ibrahim Karci
02 Feb 2015

Suruç, Turkey
February 2, 2015

Since the beginning of fighting between ISIS and Kurdish fighters in Kobane, many volunteers from different areas of Turkey gathered in villages on the Turkish side of across the border from Kobani. They organized patrols to prevent ISIS fighters from sneaking into Turkey. Kobane was liberated after 134 day of fighting, when Kurdish fighters expelled ISIS. Volunteers, however, still patrol the villages near the border.

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“Until the Last Drop of Blood”; Syria...
Hasaka
By TTM Contributor 33
01 Feb 2015

Hasaka, Syria
February 1, 2015

Dozens of Kurdish fighters killed in various battles were buried during a large ceremony at the Martyr Khelil Sarukhan cemetery in the city of Hasaka, northeast Syria.
There have been heavy battles between ISIS and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) for several months, mostly centered in the city of Kobane. Unprecedented clashes also erupted on January 17 between the YPG and Syrian regime forces outside the city of Hasaka, killing more than 20 Kurdish fighters and civilians were killed in this fighting.
Hasaka is part of the autonomous region in Syria proclaimed in by the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the umbrella group with which the YPG is affiliated.
The PYD has been previously accused by members of Syrian opposition of collaborating with the Syrian regime.
This video shows the burial ceremony, during which families of killed fighters appear gathering, holding YPG flags and reading verses from the Quran. Video also includes interviews with a female Kurdish political militant and the wives of two fighters killed in battles with ISIS.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of Asayesh (Kurdish security force) members
Various of women weeping next to graves
Medium of boys watering plant on a grave
Wide of fighter talking to woman in the graveyard
Various of woman crying next to fighter’s grave
Wide of male and female fighters standing next to a grave
Wide of people at cemetery entrance
Various of children holding YPG flag in the cemetery
Wide of people at cemetery entrance
Various of mourners near the grave of Asayish member
Wide of graves
Wide of women sitting near a grave
Medium of woman reading Quran
Wide of a dug grave
Wide of people at cemetery entrance
Wide of female militants searching a woman at the entrance of cemetery
Various of cemetery entrance
Wide of convoy
Various of procession to carry bodies of fighters to the cemetery
Wide of coffin
Various of female fighters preparing for ceremony
Wide of people gathered at the entrance of cemetery
Wide of Nawal Kelo, Kurdish Political Militant

SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Woman), Nawal Kelo, Kurdish Political Militant
04:49 - 07:06

“About the latest events in Rojava [Syrian part of Kurdistan], the Syrian regime was not convinced that the YPG was an umbrella for all the free people in Rojava and Syria, without consideration of religion or race. The regime did not acknowledge that the YPG will win against ISIS, which the regime has created, especially in Kobane. “The regime tried to relieve ISIS from pressure in Hasaka, thinking that it could have full control over the events. The regime wanted to destroy everyone and then destroy the YPG, but it was faced with strong fighting form the side of the YPG, which has also been strong in the face of ISIS. Many died from the regime’s side, also about 20 Kurdish civilians and fighters died. The YPG will protect the area and all of Syria, and it will not disappoint the public. ISIS is the creation of the Syrian regime and its former friend [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. At the end, they will taste their own medicine and they will be forced to acknowledge the power of the Kurdish people and its free will, which are above all other laws.”
“The resistance and victory in Kobane proved to the world the free will of the Kurdish people as well as the rest of the Syrian population. We will lead ourselves. We have institutions lead by the Kurdish administration; we have councils and military forces. We will resist until the last drop of blood. Our people have free will and are bonded to their land. Those who do not have free will or a higher aim are ISIS and the Syrian regime.”

Various of Zouzan, Female Asayish Member whose husband was killed in a battle with ISIS

SOUNDBITE (Kurdish, Woman) Zouzan, Female Asayish Member whose husband was killed in a battle with ISIS
07:18 – 08:28

“I am a member of the Asayish, the Kurdish security forces, and the wife of martyr Hoker. I carried my husband's weapon after he died and swore to continue his fight until we clean Rojava from ISIS and the regime. I have children, and I insist to avenge my husband and defend my country and my land, we will fight until the last drop of blood.” “I do not know why everyone is against us, Kurds. They want to take our women, kill our children, evict us, murder us. We are Kurds and Muslims. What do they want from us? With the blood of our martyrs we will destroy the terrorists, and live safely and freely.”

Medium of Zouzan, Female Asayish Member whose husband was killed in a battle with ISIS
Various of Salma Muhammad, the widow of a fighter killed during a battles with ISIS

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Salma Muhammad, the widow of a fighter was killed by ISIS
08:49 – 09:50

“What is happening is not in ISIS’ interest. If ISIS goes a step or two in the direction of Rojava, especially Qamishli, the young and adults will carry weapons. We will not leave them. We will resist in the west of Kurdistan. The regime should recall what the sacrifices and martyrs offered by the Kurds to revive Syria. Now, we want Syrian to be a democratic nation. We are not demanding independence. Why are these martyrs falling? Each martyr… we send a thousand salutes to the leader Abdullah Ocalan – salutes that bear the scent of martyrs’ blood. ‘Apo’ should know that we are sacrificing to have democracy according to his great ideas. We do not accept any other form of democracy.”

Cutaway – medium of Salma Muhammad
Various of burial
Wide of group carrying flags

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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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Swiss Citizen Fighting With YPG Force...
Ras Al-Ayn
By Andrew Nunn
26 Jan 2015

An interview with Swiss military veteran, Johann Koser about fighting with the YPG in Rojava, Syrian Kurdistan against the Islamic State militants. Rough cut Raw footage of the interview and broll without voice overs.

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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.

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

In the Kurdish controlled city of Qamishili, Syria, 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, Iraq, where the battle against the Islamic State is in full swing.

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Western Lions of Rojava: Dutch Citize...
YPG Hospital Qamishili
By Andrew Nunn
20 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.

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Swiss Fighter in YPG/Assyriac Militar...
Sari Kani, Syria
By Andrew Nunn
30 Dec 2014

Raw footage of Swiss citizen former Swiss military medic that is fighting alongside the YPG "Lions" in the struggle to rid Rojava of Islamic State militants.

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German Citizen YPG Fighter Interview ...
YPG Base in Ras Al Ayn
By Andrew Nunn
29 Dec 2014

40 minutes of raw footage, B-roll and, interview of westerner from Germany fighting with YPG "Lions"

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Captive ISIS Member: "I was Forced to...
Rojava
By Andrea Milluzzi
11 Dec 2014

Fighting between ISIS militants and Kurdish groups in northeastern Syria has left a large number of killed or injured fighters as well as many prisoners of war on both sides.

When ISIS took control over rebel-held cities in Syria, many men joined ISIS, either by choice or by force.

This is a video of interviews with two ISIS militants captured by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the province of Hasakah. They both claim that they were coerced into joining the militia group and were given “hallucinogenic pills” before fighting. One of the prisoners was preparing for a suicide bomb.

The captive fighters talk about their experience before joining ISIS, while they fought with the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the reasons why they joined ISIS and their future plans if they were freed by the YPG.

ABBAS HUSSEIN AL ASSI

(00:03) Tell me your name, your age, where do you come from and why did you join ISIS

(00:12) My name is Abbas Hussein Al Assi, I am 25 years old, and I come from Tal Hamis in Al Hasaka Governorate. I started fighting with the FSA and I joined the Islamic State by force.

(00:34) What year did you join ISIS and for how long? And how long did you stay with the FSA?

(00:47) I stayed for almost a year with ISIS. I also fought with the FSA for a year, too.

(00:58) Where and when did they capture you?

(01:02) They captured me while I was preparing myself for a suicide attack, nearly a month ago.

(01:15) Why did you join the FSA?

(01:21) The main reason I joined the FSA is the salary they gave me. I was paid 25,000 Syrian pounds (around $142) [a month].

(01:31)What was that monthly salary that ISIS paid you?

(01:33) ISIS did not give me any salary.

(01:37) Do you have any news from your relatives?

(01:40) No.

(01:42) What was the purpose of your suicide attack?

(01:48) My purpose was to go to heaven.

(01:56) Are you 100% sure that after a suicide attack you will go to heaven?

(02:02) Yes.

(02:08) When you took the decision of doing a suicide attack, did you not think that you will leave your family and friends and die?

(02:25) They [ISIS] were brainwashing us.

(02:29) What do you think now of the Islamic State?

(02:33) I regret [joining] it.

(02:36) If they [YPG] set you free, will you still think of carrying out a suicide attack?

(02:44) No. I want to join them [YPG] against ISIS.

(02:48) So, do you hate the Islamic State now?

(02:50) Yes.

(02:52) Do you think ISIS does it work by brainwashing people?

(02:58) Yes. They use drugs to brainwash us.

(03:03) Are you religious?

(03:11) Yes, I am very religious.

(03:13) But using drugs is against Islam, right?

(03:20) It is, but they issue a fatwa to make it religiously lawful.

HUSSEIN AL ABDUL

(03:22) Tell me about yourself

(03:26) My name is Hussein Al Abdul, and I am 23 years old. I come from Tal Hamis in Al Hasakah Governorate. I started as a Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter before I joined the Islamic State.

(03:44) Why did you join?

(03:46) I joined by force.

(03:53) I was fighting with the FSA for almost eight months before ISIS took control over the city and I was obliged to join them. I fought with them for almost a year and four months.

(04:03) When and why were you captured?

(04:06) It has been almost 13 days that the [Kurdish] People’s Protection Units [YPG] captured me; I was ambushed during the fighting.

(04:14) Do you believe in the idea of an Islamic State and the Caliphate and why?

(04:23) At first I never accepted the idea of an Islamic State, but once I joined, I started to support it. We were taught lessons about [fighting] in the field and Sharia.

(04:45) Do you think the Islamic State is right? What are the goals you wish to achieve with the Islamic State?

(05:01) The path of the Islamic State is the right path. I wish that an Islamic State will be established.

(05:05) In which areas have you fought since you joined the Islamic State?

(05:13) I fought in Iraq, mostly in Mosul.

(05:36) When ISIS first invaded Mosul, were you one of the fighters?

(05:38) Yes.

(05:40) In your opinion, is life in Mosul now better than it was before ISIS?

(05:55) No. We thought that when we occupied Mosul life would be better, but when we took over from the Iraqi government, things did not go as expected.

(06:05) This means life in the areas under ISIS control is not better now

(06:12) We always thought we could make things better in the cities we occupy. But then insecurity and instability spread in these areas.

(06:20) Do you think the Islamic State will win this war?

(06:27) At first, I thought ISIS will win, but considering the number of killed and injured ISIS fighters I don’t think the group will win.

(06:42) Do you have Christian friends?

(06:44) No, I do not.

(06:47) Have you never had any encounter with a Christian person?

(06:55) When I was fighting with the FSA I had relationships with people from all sects. But when I joined ISIS, we had to kill them.

(07:08) You say you never had any problem with being in contact with a person from another sect. Why, after you joined the Islamic State, did you start to think that these people should be killed?

(07:28) After we took lessons in Sharia, we realized that Christians should either be killed or convert to Islam.

(07:34) Don’t you think that what you learned from the Islamic State is wrong and inhumane?

(07:44) At first, we thought it was right. But when they [YPG members] captured us and treated us in a good way, we realized that what we learned from ISIS is wrong.

(07:54) Are you married? Do you have children?

(07:56) Yes I am married but I do not have children.

(08:00) What does your wife think about you?

(08:02)) She does not know about all this.

(08:03) Does your family have the same ideology as ISIS?

(08:05) No.

(08:08) How could you be with your wife if she does not like the Islamic State?

(08:12) I left her.

(08:15) When did you leave her and why?

(08:18) I left her almost a month before I joined ISIS. We faced some problems in our relationship.

(08:24) If they [YPG] set you free, what will you do?

(08:33) At first I thought I will join the Islamic State again. But now, after they treated me in a good way and after I realized I was wrong; I will not join ISIS again.

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Abbas Hussein al Assi - ISIS Prisoner
Til Kocer
By Andrea Milluzzi
11 Dec 2014

Abbas Hussein is an Isis fighter. He is 25 years old and he comes from Syria. He is a former member of the Free Syrian army and she fought with Isis for almost one year. Ypg captured it while he was preparing a suicide attack.

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Exclusive Video of Aftermath of Alleg...
Kobani, Syria
By TTM Contributor 9
22 Jul 2014

Kobani, Syria

July 22, 2014

This video shows victims of an alleged chemical attack by ISIS on Kurdish fighters

near Kobani, Syria on July 18 and 19, 2014.

Transterra Media cannot confirm the use of chemical weapons.

At the time, the official spokesperson of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG)

Redur Khalil and the Health Minister of the Kobani Canton Dr. Na’ssan Ahmad said that they believed that chemical or biological agents were used.

In the video, what appear to be burns are visible on the bodies of two males wearing military fatigues at a hospital in Kobani.

Dr. Ahmad said that he and his colleagues inspected the bodies and found signs of burning but no bullet wounds or other similar war injuries.

Interviews:

Interview with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) official spokesperson Redur Khalil (Arabic)

00:56 ISIS’s use of chemical and biological weapons in the city of Kobani – in its war on the city of Kobani – is a very sensitive issue and we don’t want to anticipate events.

01:10 The indices that appeared and the traces on the bodies of martyrs and the wounded definitely show that ISIS used unconventional weapons.

01:30 There is a probability that these were chemical and biological weapons.

01:34 A committee of specialized physicians was formed in the Jazeera Canton [autonomous Kurdish district in northeast Syria] and it conducted necessary procedures and medical tests.

01:43 It was proven that ISIS has used biological weapons in its war on Kobani. However, the type of the weapons has not been determined, due to the limited means of the medical labs in the canton and the siege imposed on the city of Kobani.

02:09 There are unremitting attempts by the assigned medical committee as well as calls for [human] rights groups and aid organisations to head to Kobani to supervise this operation and analyze the substance that was used by ISIS in its war on Kobani.

02:32 The medical committee is now carrying out its duties.

02:39 The traces left by [these] weapons include burns on bodies that were not hit by bullets or bomb shrapnel. They were blue and white burns.

03:01 In some places where ISIS used these weapons, YPG members could smell a very weird odor. The smell was not that of gunpowder or explosives, which shows that the weapons used against Kobani in these locations were unconventional.

Interview with Health Minister of Kobani Canton Dr. Na’ssan Ahmad (Kurdish)

03:48 – 04:29

We have experienced war conditions for a while and we have seen a lot of injured people and martyrs, but [until now] we have not seen bodies that were burnt and not wounded.

The bodies had burns on the hands and legs [and other] exposed parts. We do not know what this substance is, because we do not have the necessary means [to analyze it].

In the future, it could be possible to conduct some tests to determine the kind of the substance that was used.

My colleagues who assisted me and I, in my capacity as a supervising physician, came to the conclusion that this substance was chemical and internationally banned.

Shot list:

00:00 – 00:39

The bodies of dead YPG fighters show skin burns but not wounds. The bodies were filmed at the Amal Hospital in Kobani.

03:29 – 03:47

Medical staff and an officer in military fatigues stand near the bodies of two dead fighters at the Amal Hospital in Kobani.

04:30 – 05:17

Close shots of a dead fighter’s body show burns on the face, arms.

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Iraq - Kawrgosk Refugee Camp
Erbil, Iraq
By Victor Point
02 May 2014

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011, around 210 000 refugees, mostly Kurdish, have found refuge in Iraqi kurdistan. The Kawrgosk camp is one of the eight camps of the region and the closest to the capital, Erbil. It opened in August 2013, after the border with Syria re-opened. Today, the camp hosts around 12,000 people, packed in 1,800 tents. The majority of them are from Qamishli in Syria.

Facilities and medicine are scarce. Funding also remains an issue for the NGOs working in the camp. Refugees who want to work outside the camp need a permit from the Iraqi authorities and have to go through long administrative procedures to obtain one. Those who are able to get a work permit are only allowed to do manual jobs. The money they earn allows them to buy items they don't received through humanitarian aid from the Kurdish government and the NGOs.

Children make half of the camp population. Only those above seven can attend school, as there are no classes for the youngest. Teachers are refugees also living in the camp. However, school is not mandatory and many children don't attend.