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YPG fighter. Refugee camp
Kobanî, Syria
By Felipe Passolas
22 Nov 2014

17 years old girl and 20 years old YPG talking about how the army shoot them and kill their wounded fellowships when looking for medical support in the Turkish side of the border.Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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refugee families, syrians
Kobanî, Syria
By Felipe Passolas
22 Nov 2014

Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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refugee families, syrians
Kobanî, Syria
By Felipe Passolas
22 Nov 2014

Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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YPG fighter. Refugee camp
Kobanî, Syria
By Felipe Passolas
22 Nov 2014

YPG fighter recovering in a refugee camp. Again shot by the Turkish army when he as heading the border looking for medical assistance.Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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syrian border refugee families
Gaziantep
By Felipe Passolas
21 Nov 2014

Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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syrian border refugee families
Kobanî, Syria
By Felipe Passolas
20 Nov 2014

Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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Suruç, girls in a village
Unnamed Road, Alanyurt/Şanlıurfa,Turkey
By Felipe Passolas
19 Nov 2014

Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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turkish army. tanks
Unnamed Road, Alanyurt/Şanlıurfa,Turkey
By Felipe Passolas
19 Nov 2014

Turkish mobile artillery 155mm next to Kobane. No activity at all of this artillery since the beginning of the crisis in this area.Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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kobane's border
Unnamed Road, Alanyurt/Şanlıurfa,Turkey
By Felipe Passolas
19 Nov 2014

Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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Turkis army. tanks
Yumurtalık Köyü Yolu, Yumurtalık/Şanlıurfa,Turkey
By Felipe Passolas
19 Nov 2014

Turkish mobile artillery 155mm next to Kobane. No activity at all of this artillery since the beginning of the crisis in this area.Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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turkish army near kobane
Yumurtalık Köyü Yolu, Yumurtalık/Şanlıurfa,Turkey
By Felipe Passolas
19 Nov 2014

Turkish mobile artillery 155mm next to Kobane. No activity at all of this artillery since the beginning of the crisis in this area.Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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turkish army near kobane
Kobanî, Syria
By Felipe Passolas
19 Nov 2014

Turkish mobile artillery 155mm next to Kobane. No activity at all of this artillery since the beginning of the crisis in this area.Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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suruç refugee camps
Gaziantep
By Felipe Passolas
19 Nov 2014

Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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suruç refugee camps
Gaziantep
By Felipe Passolas
19 Nov 2014

Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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suruç refugee camps
Gaziantep
By Felipe Passolas
19 Nov 2014

Suruç, Turkish border. Kobane. Syrian war. Refugees and soldiers. ISIS

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Training Women Fighters of the Kurdis...
Qamishle, Syria
By TTM Contributor 4
13 Nov 2014

Qamishle, Syria
November 8, 2014

Kurdish women have had a leading role in defending Kobane against ISIS. More than 1,000 women are actively involved in the fight, according to Heboun Derik, an official in the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), the women’s branch in the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia.

This video shows life inside a training camp in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli in northeast Syria. In this camp, young women in their twenties leave the comfort of civilian life behind them to receive basic military training before they head to Kobane, one Syria’s fiercest frontlines.

Shot list:

00:00 – 01:25

Various shots show female fighters during field training.

01:26 – 01:48

Various shots show fighters during shooting practice.

01:49 – 02:17

Various shots show marching fighters, returning from the training field.

02:18 – 02:56
Various shots show fighters during lunch.

02:57 - 03:18
Various shots shows fighters dancing dabkeh.

03:19 – 03:49

Interview with 26-year-old trainer Furat, woman, Kurdish/ interview transcript below

03:50 – 04:17
Interview with Gulistan, the head of a 20-fighter unit in the YPJ, woman, Kurdish/ interview transcript below

04:18 – 05:04

Interview with Dijla, a female fighter, Kurdish/ interview transcript below

Interview with Gulistan, the head of a 20-fighter unit in the YPJ, woman, Kurdish/ interview transcript below

“I am 20 years old. I volunteered with the YPJ a year and a half ago. After I received my baccalaureate, I did not want to continue my studies at university. I decided to enlist in the YPJ after extremist groups attacked Kurdish areas.

“I am here to prove to the male-dominated society that women are not weak; they can protect their honor against the attacks carried out by ISIS, which is hiding behind Islam. Most of the girls who joined the YPJ have the same feeling. They have the will to free women from the restrictions that have governed them for so long.

“I am very happy to be at this training camp with the rest of my female comrades, even though we have been deprived of the leisure of civilian life; our military outfits are who we are. The attacks by ISIS against our areas increased our resilience. All of this created in us a stronger will to fight and give up everything for the sake of the homeland.

Interview with Dijla, a female fighter, Kurdish/ interview transcript below

I am 20 years old. I left my studies and joined the YPJ three years ago. At a certain moment, I realized that I had to offer something for my homeland and have a value among the society members. I call upon all girls to join the YPJ.
The attacks against our Kurdish areas were motivated many women to join the YPJ and pick up arms in order to save women’s dignity and honor.

Interview with Beritan, a female fighter, Kurdish/ interview transcript below

I am 21 years old. I obtained my middle school diploma and joined the YPJ when terrorist organizations attacked Sari Kaniyeh [Ras al-Ain] two years ago. It was my national duty to defend our homeland alongside men, and I am happy with this decision.

Interview with 26-year-old trainer Furat, woman, Kurdish/ interview transcript below

“Here, at the YPJ’s Martyr Sheilan training camp, I supervise the training of female fighters who have recently enlisted. In each training cycle, 20 trainees undergo physical and tactical training for two consecutive months. “The training program starts at 7 am with a physical fitness class, followed by an orientation session that covers fighting ethics, loyalty and love for the homeland and combat comrades, and an introduction to women’s rights.

“After that, fighters are taught how to use all kinds of light weapons – Kalashnikov rifles, machine guns, pistols and sniper rifles. We also simulate battles so that fighters would be accustomed to real fighting. Fighters in this training camp have enlisted voluntarily. They are between 20 and 25 years of age, and are very happy because they are convinced with their choice of a new life, which made them independent.

“After the training, there is lunch followed by a recreation time, during which the fighters practice their hobbies. They sing, dance dabkeh, play games or read. We try, as much as possible, to create an atmosphere of intimacy and love among the fighters so that they would not feel bored or tired, and so they do not feel far from their families.

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Securing the Sanctuary: YPG Fighters ...
Afrin
By Shirwan Qasim
04 Nov 2014

November 4, 2014
Afrin, Syria

While the Syrian-Kurdish cantons of Kobane and Qamishle remain under ISIS pressure and siege, the third Kurdish canton of Afrin is preparing to face any threats that may come its way and continue to be a refuge for minorities and other civilians fleeing ISIS, al-Nusra Front, and the Syrian Government. Part of these preparations involve the establishment of training camps for fighters from the Kurdish People's Protection Units, also known as the YPG. The commando training camp on the outskirts of Afrin is run by a woman named Busayna, who honed her military skills in the Qandil mountains of Iraq and now teaches them to the fighters of Afrin. Together with their male counterparts, the women of the YPG are now playing an integral part in securing one of the last safe Kurdish refuges in Syria.

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Free Syrian Army Fights in Kobane
kobane
By adrian
30 Oct 2014

October 30-31, 2014 Kobane, Syria A number of Free Syrian Army units have arrived in Kobane to assist Kurdish YPG forces in their struggle against IS. The two groups have joined forces directly on the frontlines and now fight side-by-side.

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Inside Kobane (Video)
Kobane
By Shirwan Qasim
27 Oct 2014

Kobane, Syria

This video shows the destruction inside Kobane after weeks of ISIS siege. Conditions in the city are dire as medications are not available. All Kurdish fighters in the city are volunteers. This footage was shot on Kobane's eastern front, approximately 400 meters from the nearest ISIS position.

Male YPG Fighter:

"Nobody can beat the Kurdish population. I want to ensure the Kurds that no power can take Kobane, or evict us from Kobane. We will not allow anyone to enter our land. If we lose our land, we lose our dignity and honor."

Injured Child:

"ISIS have attacked us from the telecommunication tower. My mother and I were going to get water, and we were attacked by snipers."

A female fighter from the women protection unit of the YPG:

"I joined the women protection unit to protect my people and my country."

"The criminals who are attacking our homes, our children, and our siblings have taken everything in the city and left nothing for us. I ask all the men who left the city to return to it and defend it. I invite them to carry their weapons because each and every one of us is entitled to do something for Kobane."

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Inside Kobane
Kobane
By Shirwan Qasim
18 Oct 2014

Kobane, Syria
October 18-22, 2014

As the battle for Kobane rages, one journalist smuggled himself into the besieged battle zone get a first hand look at the destruction wrought on the this small, but strategically important Syrian city.

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Syrian Kurdish Female Fighter Trainin...
Kobani
By hoger
17 Oct 2014

October 17, 2014
Kurdish training camp located between Qamishli and Kobane, Syria

Kurdish women who signed up for a military training camp to defend their towns from ISIS, speak about the reasons why they decided to join the Kurdish Peoples Protection Unit (YPG). Most are motivated by a desire to help repel ISIS attacks on their homes. They speak also about their lives in the camp.

Note that any woman who joins the force is given a new name, different from her original.

Shot list:

Fighters training (both women and men)
Interview with female fighters
Female fighters eating lunch
Female fighters shooting
Kurdish female fighter at checkpoint
Photos of fighters who lost their lives in the conflicts
Female fighters marching

Sound Bites:

(02:38) Naline, a 19-year-old fighter from al-Qamishli: I was a school student, every time I went to school I felt fear, so I quit temporarily to defend my land and country, to protect my friends from the fear that I felt and to help people live in safety and security. I sacrificed my future to help build other's (02:45).

نالين (19 سنة) من قرى ريف القامشلي تقول: "كنت طالبة، وكنت اذهب دائما الى مدرستي والخوف ينتابني لذلك تركت المدرسة مؤقتا كي ادافع عن ارضي ووطني وازيل الخوف عن صديقاتي الاخريات ولكي ينعم الناس جميعا بالامان". وتضيف: "ضحيت بمستقبلي كي أبني مستقبل غيري".

(01:25) Zaline, a 21-year-old fighter: We carried our weapons and went to the front to fight ISIS, our enemy. They fear our weapons and are shocked by our strength. Life here is not ordinary, you do not find the lies, the betrayal and the hypocrisy you find in a normal life. Here you find true friendship. We want everyone to know that a woman is not different to a man when it comes to defending her country. We ask women all over the world not to underestimate themselves and believe that they are able to accomplish anything (02:00).

زالين (21 سنة) المقاتلة تقول: "حملنا السلاح لنقاتل في جبهة واحدة، يدا بيد. العدو المتمثل بتنظيم "داعش" وغيره (من المجموعات) يخشى سلاحنا وقد تفاجأ بقوتنا. الحياة هنا تختلف عن الحياة العادية، فهنا لا يوجد كذب أو نفاق أو خيانة. هنا، تفتدي (كل مقاتلة) الأخريات بروحها، والصداقة موجودة بأسمى صورها ومعانيها. نريد ان يقتنع الجميع بأن المرأة لا تقل عن الرجل في ما يخص الدفاع عن الوطن، كما نطالب نساء العالم جميعا بألا يقللن من شأن أنفسهن، وأن يقتنعن بأن المراة باستطاعتها فعل أي شيء".

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Kobane: FSA Faction Joins Fight Again...
Kobane
By TTM Contributor 4
05 Oct 2014

October 5-6, 2014
Kobane, Syria

The frontlines in the city of Kobani/Ain al-Arab where several FSA battalions have a arrived from different fronts to fight along side the Kurdish fighters defending the city against IS. This footage was shot on the edges and inside the city of Kobane on the 5th and 6th of October, 2014.

Shot List
1- statement of formation of the joint operations room under the name of Tigris Volcano
2- shot if fighters from the Al kasas Army
3- shots of clashes between Al Kasas army and IS
4- shot of a fighter firing an RPG during the clashes
4- shots of clashes with light and medium weapons
5- shots of fighters from Al Kasas army heading to the clashes area
6- shots of snipers and sniper activity
7- shots of clashes with IS

interviews and transcripts:

00:03-00:27 "In the name of God, the merciful, the almighty, he said: 'be united under God and do not be dispersed. Remember God's graces, for you are only enemies if you are so in your heart, but with God's grace you will be brothers.' The formation of a joint operations room under the name of Tigris Volcano is meant to stand against the injustice of the Baghdadi Mobs (IS)."

01:40-01:52 (Abu Abdallah) Commander of the Al Kasas battalion: "This is the formation of a unified operations room is meant to merge and organize operations. Of course, as he said in the statement, we are going to liberate Menbej, Raqqa and it's outskirts in the direction of Deir Ez Zour, God willing."

01:52-02:40 (Abu Abdallah) Commander of the Al Kasas battalion: "Of course the city of Ain al-Arab is a Syrian city and it's people are Syrian. We are fighting on Syrian soil and protecting the Syrian people. We are like those fighting in Qalamoun and Deraa and Ghouta, Idlib and Aleppo. God forbid, if we are forced to do a certain thing [retreat], we will go to another place and deploy our forces in more than one place and we will fight them everywhere. We will fight them to the last breath.
We have not received any support from the the government, or the Coalition, or the FSA, or their joint staff, or anyone at all. Be it through men, or gear or ammunition, we have not received anything at all, as if we are not part of the FSA

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Interviews with Captured IS Fighters
al-Jazeera
By TTM Contributor 25
23 Sep 2014

26 September 2014
A city in al-Jazeera district, North-East of Syria (exact location withheld)

Two IS prisoners, one of them injured, held captive by the Syrian-Kurdish People's Protection Unit (YPG) recount their experience fighting with the Islamic State group. Among other things, they provide an inside account of how training and bombing operations are carried out.

Shotlist:

Various shots of Mohamad, IS fighter
Various shots of Abd al-Kareem Mefleh (IS fighter) and the injuries on his body.

Soundbites:

Mohamad, IS fighter from the villages of al-Jazeera (Arabic):
(01:12) I've been working with them [IS] for 4 months. I was communicating with them through someone. They used to ask us to plant explosives in certain places. We made two explosions in the village of Hamkar and two explosions on the road to al-Jazaa in order to block the road and the confine the battles to the area of al-Jazaa. They [IS] paid us 100,000 SYP [625 USD] for each explosion.

We used to go to Tel Khamees, to al-Ghol, and they took us to Raqqa once. They taught us how to plant explosives and when to blow them up so we can cause as many injuries and as much damage as possible. Afghan experts used to sit me down, bring a bomb, and teach me how to connect it to the right machines. [They taught me] How to plant it [bomb] and burry it. [They taught me] how far away I should go [from the bomb] before I set it off and how long it takes to explode after I click the button. I was trained in al-Shaddade. They used to bring all of their fighters and people who work with them to al-Shaddade and train them there. Once you have completed the learning process, you are allowed to deal with bombs and you will have to set up an explosion in any area they request. The communication was via cell phones. They call you and tell you to come to a specific village in the night and to go meet a specific person that will help you cross over. He [the person] provided me with a motorcycle, and told me to meet him in a specific place so he can give me bomb. He gave me the bomb and an amount of money and told me, “if you kill people from the PKK”-that is the area they were targeting back then-“if you kill people from the PKK, then you will get more money. If you do not kill people from the PKK then you will get nothing.”

They used to allow whoever wants to watch [executions] to gather in the square. It would be known that for example, tomorrow there will be an execution. They used to gather people to watch people get decapitated, so people would fear them". (04:03)

Abd al-Kareem Mefleh, IS fighter from the villages of al-Jazeera (Arabic):
(04:04) I was a fighter in over 4 brigades: al-Waha, al-Jazeera, al-Tawheed and al-Jihad movement of Ahrar al-Sham, and ISIS. I participated in so many of their battles and was injured here in my arm once and in my stomach. I was badly injured in one of the PPK battles and they [the PKK] took me to their hospitals and treated me and operated on me. I stayed in the hospital of the PPK for a long time getting treatments, they were kind to me and I want to thank them for their treatment.

They convinced us to fight with them to protect the area, and they convinced us that the PPK is going to take over the area and destroy all the Arabs. They convinced everyone of that idea. What we saw in reality was completely different, they treated us really well, even the PPK checkpoints here in the area, they treat us in a very good way.

After I was with al-Nusra, I switched to Ahrar al-Sham. They took me to a training camp. The camp was in Ras al-Ain. They told us we need to train in order to fight with them [PKK]. Saudi Arabia and Turkey were supporting us [Ahrar al Sham] the most, they used to send food baskets for us, our salaries and all our needs.

ISIS comes to an area, and those who do not follow their rules, will be either deported or mostly killed. According to the area, if the inhabitants of the area obey them, they will treat them well. If they do not obey them, they will deport them. The houses of the deported people are either burnt down or taken as a residence for IS members.
I saw on al-Arabiya that al-Nusra brigade punished an Alawite, accusing him of firing a canon against them from Kawkab to Tel Khamis. They punished him by cutting off his head.

They [IS] used to get people from Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and deport the men, and only let the women stay, and then marry them to the fighters. (08:04)

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Yazidis Take Refuge in Kurdish Contro...
Jezaa, Syria
By TTM Contributor 25
21 Aug 2014

August 11, 12, 13, 2014
Jezaa, Syria

Iraqi-Yazidi refugees from Sinjar arrive in Kurdish controlled areas of Syria after escaping the Sinjar mountains. Syrian-Kurdish forces secured a 90km passage to allow approximately 100,000 Yazidis escape the SInjar mountain range and take refuge in the Kurdish areas in Syria.

Speakers: (In Kurdish language)

Sound bite 1: Kleizar Hussein/Refugee: "We are starving and dehydrated, there is no milk for the children. Nobody came to rescue us and nobody is supporting us, we are homeless".

Sound bite 2: Saeed Qawad/Refugee: "At 5 o'clock they started their attack against us. They told us there were 6000 fighters from the Peshmerga, but we did not see any of them. The attack continued until the morning, when the peshmerga withdrew and left us alone. They [ISIS] kidnapped thousands of our women and slaughtered thousands.

We could not even bury the dead bodies lying on the ground.

We do not care about Iraq or the oil in Iraq. We do not want Kurdistan either, all we want is America. We are a minority, they should have us moved somewhere else far away from Muslims. We are not a nation, we do not kill people, we do not have any profession. They slaughtered thousands with a knife, what religion and what prophet would accept that? There are nearly 3000 corpses left on the ground in the Sinjar area, and hundreds of children dead from dehydration".

Sound bite 3: Sido Ali/Refugee: "We are all refugees, and poor. We have no food or water, or even a place to sleep in. They should provide us with our needs".

Sound bite 4: Khedr Khedr/Refugee: "When an ISIS member recognized me, he covered his face immediately and told the other to not take my car. We grew up together and that is why they did not take me, but still they killed two uncles of mine, Sido and Juko. They caught them while they were returning home, placed them on the sidewalk and killed them. It was very painful for me to see that, there are thousands of victims, I swear."

Shot list:

Shots of Sinjar refugees as they speak.

Shots of the passage they walk in.

Shots of the transportation units that arrived from the Syrian-Kurdish area to take the Yazidis from the mountain.

Shots of receiving the refugees in the Syrian area of Jezaa.

Shots of the refugees as they wait to be transferred into a safe area.

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Inside Kobane: Prices Surge and Secur...
Kobane ('Ayn al Arab)
By TTM Contributor 6
10 Aug 2014

August 10, 2014
"Mahlya Market", Kobane (Ayn Al Arab), Syria

"Mahlya" market is a clothing market in the center of the Syrian-Kurdish city of Kobane ('Ayn al Arab). With the city under IS siege, we visited the market to find out how life has been affected by the IS threat.

In the market, we meet the owner of a cosmetics and bridal shop. Also, we meet "Bahzad," the owner of a men's clothing store. Footage includes various shots of the main market, where meat and vegetables are sold.

(00:23) Shop owner 1: "Everything is really expensive here, even the taxis are now charging more than before. Plus, roads are no longer safe, you can never know what will happen to you when you're in your car; ISIS might seize you and steal your car and money." (00:57)

(00:57) "For example, the price of the tomatoes rose from 35 SYP [$0.20] to 140 [$0.85], bananas from 65 SYP to 225, oranges were 15 SYP now 50, whereas the apple prices were 50 SYP [$0.30] now the prices are 175 SYP [$1.05]. (01:15)

(01:53) Shop owner 2: "We used to get our goods from Aleppo back in the times when the infrastructure was good. We were able to call our merchants and ask them to ship us specific products for our shops. Now the situation is very bad, we can't ship from Aleppo anymore because of the bad roads. Our situation became even worse when we were put under siege. It's causing us four times more to transport the goods." (02:31)

(03:16) Shop owner 3: "The situation is very hard now. For the past 3 years, the roads to Turkey and Aleppo are blocked and we can't get new products to sell. Plus, the roads are dangerous, you can never know what to expect on the road; you might get captured and kidnapped, and treated in a very bad way (03:47).

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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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Homemade Oil Refineries On an ISIL Fr...
Msheirfeh, Qamishli, northeast Syria
By Rozh
16 Jun 2014

February 26, 2014
Msheirfeh, Qamishli, Syria

Desperate conditions in northeastern Syria have caused some residents to turn to the dangerous practice of homemade, roadside oil-refining in the hope of earning enough to survive. The village of Msheirfeh is located on a volatile frontline between ISIL and and an alliance of Kurdish and Christian militias. Everyday, self-made oilmen risk their lives to refine raw crude oil, facing warfare and precarious working conditions. The oil refining process produces an uncontrollable amount of poisonous and explosive fumes and the unregulated working conditions have led to accidents with exploding refineries and poison-related amputations. Despite this, many young men see this kind of work as their only chance of earning a living, with schools and universities closed due to the civil war.

Interviews with workers:

First Interview (no name given):
''These are three barrels. We fill up three and we get from it one; gas, fuel and diesel. First we get the fuel. The bigger the fire, the more the product, this is the process.''

Second Interview (no name given):
''First we get the oil here; there’s water with it. We burn it for around 12 hours. First we get the fuel, after 4 or 5 hours. By then the water will be gone. Then we start getting gas and then diesel at the end. The barrel gets us 3000 liras, the gas 7 or 7 and a half, and the diesel 45 or 50. We’re not really making any money from it. We don’t want to do this anymore.”

Q: How long have you been working here and how does this effect on your health?

“It has been a month that I have worked here, there is nothing else to do. We make around 5000 Syrian Pounds ($33) on every barrel, sometimes 4000 ($26). Sometimes we only break even because the oil is expensive. In terms of side effects, your lungs get clogged. Some people are getting sick, major headaches. It is death, slow death. Sometimes there are explosions. Up until now we witnessed 5 explosions. One guy got cut in half. It doesn’t usually happen, but when you re-heat gasoline it often explodes. Someone did it and died. However this one here, if anything goes wrong, is not supposed to explode. We don’t trust the media, they’re bias. You guys might be here to stop us from work, but this is where we get our livelihood.
I don’t want to give my name because you might shut us down and I don’t have another way to make money. Find us another job and we will shut down the refineries. I am 18 years old, I was in college studying law but I stopped."

Q: Why did you come here? What were the circumstances for you leaving college?

"I was in law school, first year. I couldn’t sustain myself, I was begging for bread. So I came here, started working and started to make a little bit of money. Eventually I left college for good. We hope things go back to the way they were so I can move on with my life. Before it was much better, we were able to travel to Damascus and Lebanon. Now we can’t because of the stealing and killing that happens on the road. So I started working in these refineries, as you can see there’s nothing else. No more studies. Even the kids are working here. We hope things get back to normal and oil prices go down, because we’re barely making it.''

General talking:
First person: “Come and see the fuel coming up.”
Second Person: “This is oil with gas.”

Second Interview (no name given):
''There is a bit of water here with the fuel. Sometimes we get better oil that’s water-free, but nowadays we’re mostly getting oil mixed with water from the wells. We can’t tell where the problem is from, if it’s from the wells or the transporter. Oil prices are soaring, we get the oil for 3200 Syrian Pounds ($21) and pay an extra 500 ($3.30) to the guy. So in all you pay 3700 Syrian Pounds ($24), sometimes you break even, sometimes you lose 1000 ($6.6) or 1500 Syrian Pounds ($10).''

Third Interview - Maher Hussein:
“I scratched my hand on metal scrap from the barrels and I got oil on it. Now it’s been numb for a few weeks. Someone else got oil in his wounds so he went to a clinic and they cut off his hand. I’ve been working here for two months. I stopped working around a month ago, because of my hand."

Q: Are you scared they might cut off your hand as well?

“Of course I am afraid. I’ve been going to the doctor and getting some medicine but my hand’s not getting any better.”

Q: What did you do before working in the fields?

“I used to study and now I even stopped working here because of my hand and without oil there is no work.”

Fourth Interview – Ahmad Hamdosh:
“Before I was a schoolteacher, now I stopped school and I’m working here in the fields. We’re not sleeping at night because of the coughing. We were comfortable and happy working at the school. Now we work in oil and it’s full of sicknesses. Some guy got cancer working here. God knows what’s going to happen to my hand. There’s one guy they cut off three of his fingers because of a small scratch that he got oil on it. If they hadn’t cut them off, his whole hand would’ve been infected and they would have had cut it all off. Before you used to get compensation, now no one gives you anything and you can’t even work.

Most importantly, from the bottom of my heart I wish for security to come back. Security is the most important thing, security and affordable prices. I wish even it’d be half of what it was before. The barrels are getting here for 3500 Syrian Pounds ($23), which is almost nothing, and I’m still making sure it’s the exact amount on the scale. Now they’re charging us on the milliliter, before people used to make millions in the oil business.

My name is Ahmad and I’m 22 years old. You open this here and put in the oil, and then you turn on the fire under it. The smoke fills the upper half of the barrel, and then it goes into the tube and the pipe goes through the water and you get the fuel on the other side. After the fuel you get the gas, after the gas you get the diesel. At the end we open it here to take out the waste. We call it ‘zero’ and we keep it to fuel the fire for the barrels. A teapot, we’re heating water for tea here. We’re already getting all the smoke in our lungs; it is not going to make a difference if we boil the tea here.”

Fifth interview – Mehdi Darwish:
“I’m a business graduate. There’s nothing else to do around here. There’s no work in Hassake other then this. Working in oil is all right but the prices per barrel are getting higher and higher and the oil is coming mixed with water. We’re working hard through sweat and blood and we’re exhausting ourselves. We put in place a new oil refinery to enhance the production. The smoke goes through the tube, through the water, to cool it down and we get fuel, diesel and gas. There has to be two people working, one on the burner and the other one has to fill the tank. Out of three oil barrels we get one barrel of diesel and around 150(?) fuel and gas.”

Interview 6 – Awad Al Jasim:
“I used to work as a mechanic. I am 18 years old. I came here to work in the burners and I also have heart problems. Thank you!”

Interview 7 – Mohamed Monther:
“They [ISIL] throw the oil on the ground and take the cars and say that it is theirs now. They take the car sell it, or use it in car-bomb operations. We have nothing here we are barely getting by. They come from Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan looking for Nymphs (female sex jihadists) here. We don’t have any Nymphs here. Look at the state the Syrian people are in. This is no way to live.”

Interview 8 – No Name Given:
“Once they [ISIL] say ‘Allah Akbar’, they cut the person's head off. Is that halal? Are we chickens?”

Shot List: (Description of various shots in the video)

The rest of shots are wide shots of the refineries spread all over the main road and shots of the interviewees working, walking and talking with each other while on the makeshift refineries. The shots show the daily routine of life at the refineries.

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Syria's Anti-Assad Christian Militia
Qamishli
By Rozh
08 Jun 2014

‘Sutoro’ (‘Security’ or ‘Police’ in the ancient Syriac-Aramaic language) is an anti-Assad Christian security force operating in the predominantly Kurdish autonomous regions of northeastern Syria. Sutoro, whose members come from the ancient Syriac minority, patrol and protect the Christian neighborhoods in the area. They also fight alongside Kurdish forces against both Bashar al-Assad and islamist rebel groups like ISIS. Although Syriacs were not persecuted for being Christians under Assad's secular Baathist government, they claim that they were nationally oppressed because the Baath regime had declared Syria an Arab-only state and denied the existence of all other ethnic minorities.

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Kurdish female fighters of Women Prot...
Kurdish Areas
By Rozh
07 Jun 2014

"Yekîneyên Parastina Jin" (YPJ) {Women Protection Units} militia, commonly known by its Kurdish acronym, YPJ, is a female-only and pro-Kurdish militia estimated to have around 15,000 fighters stationed across the predominantly Kurdish cities and towns north northeast Syria. The YPJ was founded in 2013 by female fighters of the various pro-Kurdish rebel groups in Syria and now claims to fight amid the civil war for Kurdish rights, gender equality and the rights of all nations to "democratic autonomy". These female fighters are engaged in simultaneous clashes with Assad's soldiers as well as the various Islamic jihadist rebels stationed nearby the Kurdish areas, including the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS). These female fighters are mostly Kurdish, but they also have Syriac Christians and Arab women in their ranks too. They are young, but have an intensive combat experience because many have fought in battles for the past three years, while new comers rapidly expanding the rank and file membership are generally attracted by the militia's ideology advocating gender equality, multiculturalism and autonomy .

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Battles between the Islamists and the...
Syria
By Transterra Editor
01 Sep 2013

Attacks by jihadists from Jabhat Al-Nusra and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) against the Kurdish population in Northern Syria have made it difficult for ordinary Kurds to flee to neighboring Turkey. The PYG, the military wing of the PYD (Partiya Yekîtiya Demokrat), is officially responsible for the safety of the Kurdish province of Al-Hasakah and has been under attack by Islamists from 2012. Since there is no official border crossing open at the moment, the journey to safety for the elderly, the sick and children is near impossible.

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The Frontline in Ras al-Ayn, Syria
Ras al Ayn, Syria
By Balint Szlanko
31 Aug 2013

This short film shows Ras al-Ayn under mortar fire from mainly Arab rebel groups stationed west of the town. The journalist documented the front line in Ras al-Ayn, numbered with snipers and militants. This front line is just west of the city where the Kurdish YPG militia, who has been fighting against the rebels for months, is positioned.

Also included at the end of the video is an interview with a YPG female commander.

TRANSCRIPT:
All the shots were taken on 30 August in Ras el Ayn, currently controlled by the Kurdish militia.

0:00-0:13 shot was filmed on the street with the sound of some mortar shells coming in (these were fired by the Free Syrian Army-Jabhat al Nusra-various others Arab rebel groups then positioned west of the town).

0:13-0:22 is the approach to the border gate. Streets in this area are deserted completely, though the eastern part of the city had a fair few people still.

0:22-0:32 is the walk from the border post to the last YPG (Kurdish militia) line which is currently about 50 meters to the west of the gate, running perpendicular to the border.

0:32-0:42 is the border, you can see the fence and everything (here a shot rings out), and this blown-through wall gives way to a little fighting position on a large clearing.

0:42-0:49 is the western wall of a large building overlooking this clearing.

0:50-0:59 is the walk across the clearing to the very last line. 1:00-1:06 is the climb up to the firing position.

Then in 1:07-1:12 a shot rings out, 1:13-1:23 we see the YPG dude aiming his rifle, then 1:23-1:37 we run back across the clearing.

1:38-1:51 we are entering the building overlooking the clearing. This building is full of snipers loking west over the clearing. 1:51-2:01 we see a sniper with an old bolt-action rifle.

2:02-2:06, a dude peeks over the sniper's head to see through his hole.

2:07-2:13, I peek over his head to see through the hole. The camera I think was on full zoom, those houses should about 500-800 meters out, and they are held by the Arab rebels.

2:14-2:32 is another sniper.

2:33-2:42 are two guys looking through a hole pondering tactical possibilities.

2:42-2:50 is spent ammunition cases on the floor.

2:51-2:55 is a tea can along with some other rubbish.

2:56-3:04 is some YPG dudes milling about in a building outside not far from the sniper's building.

3:05-3:25 is an interview with one of the commanders here, a woman, which I think is a nice little touch.

3:26-3:34 is a building in town, in the western part of the city.

3:35-3:45 is in a street close by.

3:46-3:53 is exactly the same place except looking at a different street and some sandbags.

3:54-to the end is just the street with some shots ringing out in the background.

The interview: "The fighting here began about 40 days ago. We are in our positions and we are fighting against these groups [referring to the enemy]. All our people are ready and we are going to clean our land, Rojava [western Kurdistan, that is to say the northeast of Syria], from these groups.

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Kurdish YPG Rebels in Syria
Syria
By Mais Istanbuli
15 Jul 2013

In northern Syria near the city of Ras al-Ayn, young Kurds have been prepared for battle at the Kurdish People’s Defense Forces (YPG) training camp. Here, teenagers and young adults are trained to conduct guerilla warfare against any threatening enemy. They have also been educated and inspired by the philosophies of Abdullah Ocalan, who is one of the founding members of militant organization the Kurdish Worker’s Party (PKK). Unlike the typical Syrian opposition fighter, these trainees are fighting for a democratic society based on Marxist-Leninist philosophies. Most YPG soldiers believe that after President Bashar al-Assad falls, an all-out war against every faction involved is imminent.

One young female, Ahsi, said on her first day of training for the Kurdish Women Defense Forces, "'We train to defend ourselves. We never attack. We do not want FSA/Nusra forces here. We also don't want Assad's forces. We just want to be free."

Training of these young rebels came in before recent fighting in the city where the Islamist fighters were pushed out of Ras al-Ayn by Kurdish forces on July 17.

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Serekaniye or Ras al Ayn (8 of 17)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
13 Jul 2013

April 12, 2013. Ziad, an FSA fighter, rides one of the local neighborhood children's bicycles. When there is no fighting, the rebels are often bored.

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Serekaniye or Ras al Ayn (4 of 17)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
13 Jul 2013

April 13, 2013. Three children talk in front of their family homes. This used to be the frontline in the YPG-FSA fights.

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Serekaniye or Ras al Ayn (6 of 17)
Ras al Ain, Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
12 Jul 2013

April 12, 2013. Entering Serekaniye from the YPG side, the war seems forgotten on the soccer field.

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Serekaniye or Ras al Ayn (17 of 17)
Syria
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
12 Jul 2013

Roken fights with the YPJ, the Kurdish Women's Defense Forces. She joined the YPJ after she saw the devastation of the fights with the Free Syrian Army last November.

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YPG and FSA Fighters in Tal Abiyad 14
Tal Abiyad
By hosheen issa
20 Jun 2013

Kurdish YPG fighters at a position on the edge of Tal Abiyad.

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Syria's Christians Caught Between Mil...
Ras al-Ayn, Syria
By Annabell Van den Berghe
04 Jun 2013

In Serekaniya, or Ras al-Ayn (the Arabic name for the same city, dominated by a Kurdish population) Christians fear for their future.