Thumb sm
Escape to Europe Hidden in the Back o...
Bastad
By Tracey Shelton
03 Nov 2015

Two teenage Syrian girls describe the harrowing journey from Syria to Sweden, just two of 1,049,716 who made the journey to Europe to seek asylum from conflict in 2015.

Full Stroy:

BÅSTAD, Sweden – The two girls huddled together bracing against the bumps and jerks of the long journey. In the darkness they could see the outline of the other refugees who shared their ride, but it was too dark to see their faces.

Suddenly, a small window slid open at the front of the truck container. A man’s voice yelled to the group of occupants to be silent. A hush fell over the travelers as the girls wondered where they were, and what danger was lurking on the other side of their metal box.

“The hardest part is not knowing where you are – just the inside of a truck,” said Reny Borro, 15, who now lives in a refugee camp in Sweden. Sitting next to her at the table was her best friend and former travel companion Hanin Atbash.

“We didn’t even know if it was night or day because we were always in the dark. It smelled so horrible in there,” recalled Hanin, who lives in another camp 15km away.

The girls were on a 10-day journey set to change their lives entirely. Any hope of going home had been shattered years ago by the conflict that ignited in 2011, forcing their families to flee to Turkey. Now, they were on route to Sweden.

“The [driver] would open the door and he would just say ‘Move! Move! Fast! Fast!’” Hanin said, recalling how every few days the group would change vehicles. “He was really rude with us. We’d just move from this truck to another truck. He’d say don’t ask where we are or what we’re doing. Just move. That’s how we came here.”

Together with their mothers, young brothers and Hanin’s father, they were a living cargo being shipped across the continent for tens of thousands in cash.

Life in Syria

The girls, now 15, were not yet teenagers when the conflict began four and half years ago.

“Life was normal, happy,” said Reny as she described her childhood in Aleppo, Syria. “Going to school, going to my grandmothers. Being cooked the best food. We had our home. I had my room, my friends. Then all the problems started.”

Reny is Kurdish, a minority group that make up around 10% of the Syrian population. Before the revolution began, Reny said her class paid no attention to religious and ethnic differences.

“We were all friends,” she said.

But as the revolution gained momentum divisions and distrust set in.

“We weren’t a class anymore,” Reny said.

One day, Reny’s brother, then 7, came home in tears. His best friend, also a Kurd, had been beaten by Arab students at school.

“He saw this happen and was so scared and crying,” she said. “From that time on, we didn’t go to school.”

The day the bombing started in Aleppo, Reny’s father booked them all bus tickets to stay with his relatives in the Kurdish town of Qamishli. They packed light planning to return within a few days, leaving almost everything they owned behind including crucial documents and personal treasures.

“I have no idea if my house is still there, or if my room is still standing,” said Reny.

Meanwhile, in Damascus, things were heating up in Hanin’s neighborhood.

“When the protests started it was pretty scary because there were a lot of kidnappings and things, so we stayed at home mostly. But in our area, bombs might come over at any time,” Hanin said.

People had begun to disappear. Thousands were arrested first by government forces and later by ad hoc rebel groups and criminal gangs. Kidnappings to extort money from families were on the increase by all sides. Anyone, young or old, could be targeted.

Hanin spoke of one incident when her mother, held up by street protests and road blocks, was late in picking her up from school. As she waited alone, a group of young men began to gather across the street, staring and pointing in her direction. Scared she walked on but the group followed, all the time watching her.

“I was so scared they were going to kidnap me,” Hanin said. “Then my mother came. I was so scared I was shouting at her in the car for being late. From that day on, I stopped going to school.”

Escaping the chaos

Soon after, Hanin’s father, who had already fled conflict in his native Palestine over a decade before, decided to pack up his family and flee again. But leaving was not so easy. Others who had tried were arrested and imprisoned by the government, disappeared at checkpoints, or simply vanished on route. They were going to need a smuggler.

“We didn’t know who this man was. We didn’t know anything about him,” Hanin said, describing the driver who collected them from her grandfather’s house silently in the dead of night. “He covered his face so we couldn’t even see him. We just gave him the money and got into the truck.”

The trip from Damascus to the Turkish border, normally a mere 4-hour drive, took one week.

“There were other families [in the truck] but we didn’t know them or even speak with them. We couldn’t even see each other. We’d just see some bodies when the door opened,” Hanin said.

The family had no idea where they were or what was going on around them. Silently they prayed in the darkness they were heading out of Syria and no one would catch them along the way.

“[The driver] would give us something – I can’t call it food – just something to stop the hunger. For the bathroom we had to hold it most of the time."

When they arrived safely in Turkey, Hanin said they saw their travel companions for the first time. 

"We were all like, “Oh my God, were you the families with us in the truck?” It was kind of like freedom because I was so scared in Syria and then in the truck thinking the police could take us at ay time. We were really scared. So it was a relief.”

In Turkey, Hanin met Reny whose family had also fled there from the Kurdish region which was now under threat from extremist forces who had developed a bitter rivalry with the Kurdish militia groups.

To Europe in the back of a truck

For more than a year, the two families struggled in Turkey without legal status or decent work. Finally, with all hope of returning to Syria lost, they began planning an escape to Europe.

Reny’s mother ruled out sea travel as stories of boat wrecks and drowning’s trickled back to them every week. Last year, the Missing Migrants Project recorded 3,771 dead or missing in the Mediterranean Sea on route to Europe.  

So a journey by truck was planned. But the smugglers were notorious for swindles and more deadly deceits, so Reny’s father stayed behind in Turkey with the smugglers, ready to pay as soon as he received word that the two families had arrived safely.

Again Hanin sat in the dark, never knowing where they were or if they would make it. But on this journey she had a friend and the girls became a great comfort to each other.

“This time if we die, we die together,” Hanin said. But still she became overwhelmed by fear and sadness as she thought of her grandparents and others she left behind.

“I was terrified and overthinking. Our parents tried their best to comfort us and talk with us. I was mostly in my mother’s arms. Then one day, [the driver] just opened the door and said ok you are here, go and do whatever you want. That was it. We didn’t have anything to say to each other, even thank you because he was so rude with us.”

The girls found themselves in Sweden. This time it was Reny who struggled. She missed her father deeply and had received news that he was ill and would undergo surgery in Turkey alone.

“I felt so bad inside,” Reny said. “Everything was different. I couldn’t understand the language. I was feeling so empty…[The immigration center] was full of people smelling so bad. It was horrible.”

After a few days they were sent to a camp. Reny described their tiny room as smelly and dirty.

“Our room didn’t even have a toilet.”

The family soon moved to a second camp in Bastad. Although the room she shared with her brother and mother was small, it was clean, but still Reny struggled with her emotions.

“For 10 days I didn’t leave the room. I didn’t eat. I didn’t talk to anyone.”

The start of a new life

Reny soon settled and began making friends and attending Swedish classes with other refugee students. Seven months later, both families are still waiting for a decision to be made about their residency applications. But already the girls are enjoying their new stable lives and making plans for their futures.

With her passion for languages, Reny hopes to work as a translator. Hanin wants to study psychology.

“It’s great in Sweden! We can look up at the sky and nothing is following us. There’s no danger. Its quiet, no people screaming,” Hanin said. ”Here I can reach my dreams.”

Overall, they say the Swedes have been kind and welcoming, but things aren’t always smooth.

“There are some Swedish people that don’t want us here,” Reny said. “Cars come past the camp and they stick up their fingers or yell bad words – these are the people that have closed minds. But on the other hand, there are many good people and I’ve made a lot of friends.”

Hanin added the Swedes “have taken us all into their hearts” and have provided well for the many immigrants that continue to arrive. But religious stereotypes in the West have come as a shock.

“When people think that I am someone who would kill them, or I’m a bad person just because I’m Muslim, it makes me sad,” Hanin said.

“Everyone loves his own country. There are reasons we come here. The judgment is not good,” Reny added.

Even within the camp, it’s not always easy. Without a man in the family, Reny says she has received some harassment.

“There are some bad guys so I got hassled. Most of the women wear hijabs. As Kurdish we have a more open culture so as you can see I don’t wear one. But the camp is full of people from all over the world. Some are bad, but most are good.”

In the days following this interview, Reny’s father finally arrived in Sweden to an emotional reunion. Both families are confident they will receive their decision soon.

“When I was in Syria I felt like it’s over – everything was hopeless,” Hanin said as they reminisced about the day they emerged from the back of a truck into a very different world. “In 10 days your whole life has changed.”

Wherever they end up, the one thing the girls say they are sure of is that they will always be friends.

“We’d lived a really interesting and horrible and successful story together,” said Reny as Hanin nodded and laughed in agreement. “These days we call it an adventure. But, it was really scary. I don’t want to live it again, but it’s a memory that will never disappear.”

 

Thumb sm
Journey to Europe
Bastad
By Tracey Shelton
03 Nov 2015

Syrian refugee Reny Borro, 15, in her new home in Bastad, Sweden.

Thumb sm
Journey to Europe
Bastad
By Tracey Shelton
03 Nov 2015

Syrian refugee Hanin Atbash, 15, in her new home in Bastad, Sweden.

Thumb sm
Journey to Europe
Bastad
By Tracey Shelton
03 Nov 2015

Hanin Atbash and Reny Borro pose together for a photo in Bastad, Sweden. The two best friends hid in the back of a truck to escape the conflict in Syria and travel to Europe to begin a new life. They now live in refugee camps in Southern Sweden awaiting their refugee application decisions.

Thumb sm
Journey to Europe
Bastad
By Tracey Shelton
03 Nov 2015

Volunteers conduct free Swedish lessons in a camp in Bastad, Sweden.

Thumb sm
Journey to Europe
Bastad
By Tracey Shelton
02 Nov 2015

Asylum seekers receive food at a camp in Bastad, Sweden.

Thumb sm
Journey to Europe
Bastad
By Tracey Shelton
28 Oct 2015

Rooms for single men at the refugee camp in Bastad, Sweden.

Thumb sm
Journey to Europe
Bastad
By Tracey Shelton
28 Oct 2015

Refugees awaiting asylum play football at a camp in Bastad, Sweden.

Frame 0004
French Fighter Joins Kurdish Militia ...
Outskirts of Ras al-Ayn (Serekaniye)
By Bedir
21 May 2015

Ras al-Ayn (Serekaniye), Syria

A French fighter, who introduced himself as 'Roj William,' explains in an interview why he joined the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia's fight against ISIS. The interview was conducted in French.

Frame 0004
Yarmouk Camp Residents Suffer Bombing...
Damascus
By Rame ALsayaed
10 Apr 2015

Yarmouk Camp (Damascus), Syria
April 10, 2015

This video shows the aftermath of air bombing carried out by Syrian government forces on Yarmouk camp for Palestinian refugees, located in the outskirts of Damascus.
Interviewed camp residents aired their frustration, saying that the bombing has added to their to their long suffering due to a military siege by Syrian government forces and a dire shortage of food supplies, which has lasted for the past four years.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various night shots of destroyed buildings

VOICE OVER (Arabic)
00:16 – 00:21
“This is the aftermath of barrel bombs dropped on Yarmouk camp by regime forces after midnight.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
00:26 – 01:12

“I was sleeping at home in the lounge. There was suddenly falling; something very loud was falling. As I lifted my head to see what was going on, I felt an earthquake… it was something like an earthquake. Something hit… as my head was up something hit me in the face. What was that? I did not know. I looked around and I saw dust. I opened the door and walked outside and started to shout, calling on the neighbors. One said, ‘I’m hit’ while the other did not answer. The one who did not answer me, may God rest his soul. He has been martyred.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
01:13 – 01:55

“People were sleeping in peace. Are there any fighters here? Are there any rifles or mortars? Civilians were crushed under explosive barrels. Fear God! Have fear for God, Bashar! See how the civilians have been torn to pieces at the hospital – Palestine Hospital. Have fear for God, people. There are no fighters here. All the people here are civilians and children. Where can people go? We are suffering! We are suffering from hunger and thirst, and now you bomb us with explosive barrels at night? God is sufficient for us and He is the best guardian.”
[Standing next to dead cat] “We want to safeguard animal rights, not human rights. Westerners consider animals to be sacred.”

Wide of smoke rising during daytime

VOICE OVER (Arabic)
01:55 – 02:01

“God is greatest! Regime forces are bombing Yarmouk camp intensely. God is greatest!”

Wide of severely damaged buildings during daytime
Various of civilians walking amid the rubble

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
03:10 – 05:05

“I am an old woman. I am 70 years old. I have been under siege alone for four years. My only son is outside the camp. My name is Um Mohamad. My only son and four daughters are outside the camp. We are suffering a lot. This is enough. We need bread, anything to feed on. I live in hunger. I am alone at home. What is happening to us is pitiful. We have had enough. We have suffered a lot we left Palestine and we are still suffering, while the entire world is standing against us. What is happening to us is pitiful. It is really pitiful. I do not have any energy to walk. Whenever I stand up I fall again. I live in the camp on my own.
This is outrageous! Until when will this keep going? All the other towns are receiving food – Beit Sahm, Yalda and Babilla – they have everything they need.
They say that we are receiving food aid; this is a lie. God is witness that we are not even getting a piece of bread or an egg. God knows where this food ends up.
I live on my own, and no one has knocked on my door to give me a loaf of bread or an egg. What is happening to us is pitiful. They should open the road before us. I want to leave; I do not want to stay here anymore. I have had enough. If they open the road I will leave. I stayed here to guard my house, because I have suffered a lot in my life and my husband 40 years ago. I struggled to build this three-story house and raise orphaned children. I cannot leave to be looted.
For God’s sake, find a solution for our camp. We have had enough. This is pitiful. What can I say? Everything is befalling the camp. Everything is befalling Palestinians. What have we done to deserve this?
This is outrageous. Everybody has a decent life except for us. What is our fault?”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
05:05 – 05:32

“We have been under siege in the camp for four years. We have not gotten anything. We have not received any aid. All the organizations are giving aid to Beit Sahm and Babilla. We shall remain steadfast in Yarmouk camp. We thank you, Ahmed Majdalani [Palestinian Authority envoy to Syria], for the gifts you have sent three or four days ago. You have done this instead of giving us food or securing the road for us.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed Camp Resident
05:33- 06:17

“We live in the Yarmouk camp. We will not leave our homes, no matter what happens; even if they keep bombing us with barrels until we die. We want to eat and drink. Organizations are distributing food in Yalda and Babilla because they move there. We went there and registered our names, but we were told that only people living at schools can receive food. What about people living under bombing? What about someone who does not want to leave his home? They should open a safe road and let food in. We are suffering to get food. Only people with money can secure electricity. The problem is the same with water; you would have to keep going back and forth, carrying water with containers to be able to fill half a tank. How will this situation end?”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
06:18 – 06:37

“We are civilians, living in Yarmouk camp. We have children and sick people. Treatment is not available. We do not have food or water. Let them open the road for us. We need to eat and drink. They should give us aid. We do not have food. What can we do? We cannot leave our homes. If we leave our homes our problem will even bigger.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
06:38 – 06:42

“God willing, we will stay in the camp until we either die or return to Palestine.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Woman) Unnamed Camp Resident
06:42 – 07:15

“When we left Palestine I was seven years old. But I will not leave Yarmouk camp, now that I am 76 years old. Yarmouk camp is my soul. I dug its ground with my own hands. I transported construction material over my head to build my house – one building block at a time. I dug the foundations with my own hands. We shall remain steadfast in the camp, whatever happens.”

Thumb sm
Life in the Largest Syrian Refugee Ca...
Erbil
By Younes Mohammad
30 Mar 2015

March 30, 2015

Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan



Syrian refugees fled their country and arrived in Iraqi Kurdistan looking for assistance and a safe place to settle after the heavy clashes between the YPG and Al-Nusra front that took place in Rojava. The Kawrgosk refugee camp is currently the largest in Iraq but many of the refugees prefer to live on the outskirts of the city of Erbil. Iraq has recorded a total of 19, 844 Syrian refugees in the camps and aid is distributed to them by the UN, NGOs, and local and national bodies.

Frame 0004
Body of Slain Female German Fighter t...
Qamishli
By TTM Contributor 33
11 Mar 2015

Qamishli, Syria
March 11, 2015

The body of Ivana Hoffman, a German national and member of the Turkish Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) who died battling ISIS, was returned to her bereaved mother and friends who had been waiting on the Turkish side of the border with northwestern Syria. Believed to be the first female foreign fighter to die fighting ISIS, she was killed Saturday as the YPG and YPJ fought to take back the Assyrian town of Tal Tamr. Known under her nom de guerre as Avasin Tekosin Gunes, she had joined the Kurdish Women's Protection Units (YPJ) six months ago.

SHOTLIST

Wide of Ivana Hoffman’s mother weeping on the Turkish side of the border
Wide of Kurdish men and women carrying Ivana Hoffman’s coffin on the Syrian side of the border
Close-up of Ivana Hoffman’s coffin
R-L pan of woman holding Ivana Hoffman’s picture and Ivana Hoffman’s mother
Wide of Kurdish officials and citizens surrounding Ivana Hoffman’s coffin
Wide of woman holding Ivana Hoffman’s picture and Ivana Hoffman’s mother
Wide of Kurdish officials and citizens surrounding Ivana Hoffman’s coffin
Medium of woman comforting Ivana Hoffman’s mother on the Turkish side of the border
Medium of Ivan Hoffman’s friends and mother and Turkish security officers on the Turkish side of the border
Wide of Ivana Hoffman’s mother weeping her coffin and surrounded by Kurdish officials and citizens
Wide of Ivana Hoffman’s mother receiving condolences next to her coffin
Wide of MLKP members and other women carrying Ivana Hoffman’s coffin into Turkey and chanting

Frame 0004
Life Underground: Syrians Seek Surviv...
Hama
By TTM Contributor 9
11 Mar 2015

Hama, Syria
March 11, 2015

Rebels and civilians in the Latamina area of northern Syria have taken to digging mountain shelters in order to protect themselves from government forces. A rebel battalion called Tajmmu al-Izza (Pride Gathering), aligned to the Free Syrian Army and operative in rural parts of Idlib and Hama provinces, is doing the bulk of the digging.

The ensuing network of artificial caves provides a base for combatants, as well as a shelter for the dwindling numbers of civilians who have not fled the area. These caves also house a field hospital and pharmacy with 30 meter walls and continue to serve civilians and fighters alike. On the other hand, any makeshift medical centers built above ground were routinely bombed by Assad forces, according to an interviewed rebel spokesman.

This video shows detailed scenes of workers digging one of these makeshift caves with only simple tools, a task that usually takes about 12-15 days to be completed. Footage also includes interviews with the spokesman and the head of Tajmmu al-Izza.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Wide of rebel vehicles outside cave
Wide of entry point to caves guarded by rebels

Wide of workers digging
Wide of worker taking debris out using wheel barrow
Various of workers drilling rocks
Various of workers taking debris out using wheel barrow
Various of workers building protection wall to shield cave entrance from bomb shrapnel

Wide of makeshift pharmacy
Wide of nurse working in pharmacy
Wide of entrance and emergency room in makeshift medical center
Various of nurse handling medication
Various of medical workers setting up operation room
Close-up of nurse preparing injection

Various of medical worker setting up operation room
Interview with Ubada al-Hamwi, rebel spokesperson
Various/ cutaways of Ubada al-Hamwi
Various of makeshift medical center and other caves
Various of rebel fighters inside caves

Medium of batteries used to provide lighting
Various of rebels in an office inside a cave Various/ Cutaways of Major Jamil al-Saleh, head of Tajmmu al-Izza Rebel Group
Interview with Major Jamil al-Saleh, head of Tajmmu al-Izza Rebel Group
Various/ Cutaways of Major Jamil al-Saleh, head of Tajmmu al-Izza Rebel Group

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Ubada al-Hamwi, rebel spokesperson
05:26 – 07:22

“The hospital was built underground in a rocky cliff. The rocks above it are about 30 meters high. This was done because of the bombing carried out by the regime, using explosive barrels and rockets. There was a need for an underground hospital to be built in order to protect medical staff, as well civilians and [fighters] who are being treated from injuries. The hospital has been established about 11 months ago. Most of the cases involve civilians injured in bombings. They could be injured by bomb shrapnel or suffer amputation. [The hospital provides] first aid to civilians. Fighters are usually treated from gunshots; undergo chest catheterization; and have shrapnel removed from their bodies as a result of mortar bombing. They also undergo surgery, which includes cutting the abdomen.
We needed a building that could protect doctors and medical workers, as well as the injured receiving treatment. An injured person feels more comfortable in a safe location.
Before we came up with this idea, we had an ordinary building that was repeatedly hit. We came up with this idea to provide the injured with safe and healthy conditions.
Digging was carried out using simple tools, such as drill compressors. The human effort involved was very large.”

07:02 – 07:22
“I am 23 years old. I studied Physics – I was in my second year at Tishreen University in Lattakia. I left university and joined the revolution since the outbreak of the early demonstrations.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Major Jamil al-Saleh, head of Tajmmu al-Izza Rebel Group

08:58 - 13:01
"We resorted to building underground shelters and caves to protect ourselves from the barbaric air and artillery bombing carried out by the regime. We went to the mountains because the altitudes above the caves are quite high. Caves have at least 20 or 30 meters of altitude above them. This provides more protection for our men and equipment. Hence, we have become able to last longer under air and artillery bombing carried out by the regime, thanks be to God. This gives us more strength, thanks to the thickness of the walls, which we can achieve by digging into hills.
The digging process… we are able to provide health services as well as electricity and water, but we face difficulty in providing these services. The means that we, rebels, have are limited. We do not have digging machinery. We are using simple tools. We do not have good means to provide fortification. We rely on manual labor. Our men are making a big effort.
We are accelerating our work, theerfore it takes about 12-15 days to finish a cave. By the end of this time caves would be ready for our men to use them. About 12-15 days, depending on the area of the cave.
Aircraft bomb field hospitals the moment they are discovered, whether these hospitals are used by fighters or locals civilians. This is done to exert pressure on the rebels' popular support base. We had to build hospitals in protected areas the same way we built headquarters.

"Thanks be to God, medical staff are able to carry out their work under bombing because of these hospitals. They serve the civilians – this is something that we care much about. We are also protecting medical staff because we need them in the current war circumstances.
The number of caves is very large. Civilians as well as rebels have resorted to caves. Caves are everywhere because they protect us. It is difficult to remain in the northern part of Hama province without these caves.
We, as fighters, are able to follow up on our work thanks to God and these caves.
Civilians have to stay inside these caves to be able to live. They are not happy with this, but many people have no other alternative. They cannot leave the area. You saw the weather conditions that we experienced this year. There was a lot of rainfall and it was very cold. People suffered a lot.

Power is provided by generators and water is extracted from wells. The regime has stopped providing services, such as diesel and electricity. It is not only rebels; civilians suffer from this as well. There is no flour or bread. All of this is provided by aid organizations from Turkey because the regime has stopped offering these services two years ago.”

Frame 0004
American and German Vow to Remain in ...
Serekaniye
By Bedir
10 Mar 2015

Serekaniye, Syria
March 10, 2015

An American and a German fighter have joined the ranks of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (known by the Kurdish acronym YPG) to fight against ISIS. They are positioned outside the majority-Kurdish city of Serekaniye in northeast Syria, known in Arabic as Ras al-Ain, waiting for the next battle to erupt.

The American fighter, who was interviewed and introduced himself as Richard Jones, plans to return to the United States once ISIS is defeated. On the other hand, the German fighter, who goes by the name of Hans Schneider, says he is willing to stay in Rojava – the Syrian part of self-proclaimed Kurdish homeland – after ISIS is pushed out in order to help the Kurds build the country they have long fought to establish.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Traveling of German fighter identified as Zagros walking with Kurdish fighter
Various of female Kurdish fighters
Various of US fighter Richard Jones and two German fighters identified as Hans Shneider and Zagros
Various of a group of Kurdish fighters
Various of German fighter Hans Shneider walking
Various of US fighter Richard Jones and two German fighters identified as Hans Shneider and Kurdish female fighters

SOUNDBITE (English, Man) Richard Jones, American YPG Fighter
02:49 – 05:48
“Right now we are heading back to the town that we came from. So hopefully everything will go smoothly and it will be safe to ride back. “Right now we’re at one of the bases at the front. We’re at a vantage point on a hill where we can see the villages that Daesh controls. The villages here and here are known areas where Daesh resides. They control these areas. The ground in between, here and there, is contested. Anyone who tries to go into these areas or engage in fighting… hopefully then we can push forward and capture these towns and push ISIS back, eventually pushing all the way to reach Kobani. “I think it is likely. Obviously Daesh wants to do something to show that they are still powerful after losing such a big town as Kobani where all the world was watching. So I do expect Daesh to choose another major area to push in and to attack, to try to show that they still exist and they can still defeat the Kurds. However, I do not fear that Daesh will have a great success here. And I know that the YPG and the YPJ can defend their land. “Interviewer: So, you are ready to defend this area if they start a new attack on Jazeera [area in northeast Syria]?” “Absolutely. If they want to come, I’m ready to fight. “I do. I hope that the international community will see that the Kurds are not just fighting for the place where they live, they are fighting a terrorist organization that goes against the entire world. The fact that they’re here in Rojava does not mean that tomorrow they will not be in another country. We see the attacks in France; we see the attacks all around the world. And we know that ISIS hates these people. They hate everyone that’s not themselves. I do think that the world is obligated to come to assist. Not just for the Kurds to have Rojava, but also so that this terror organization could be defeated. “My name is Richard Jones. I’m from America. I’m here in Rojava to help the Kurdish people fight against ISIS – against Daesh. I’ve been to the front several times and I hope to be able to continue going to the front and fight against Daesh. So far there’s not been much fighting at the front areas. Both sides have been waiting for the other side to make a move. But I do know that soon the fighting will increase and there will be much more action at the frontlines. Interviewer: Are you ready to stay here for a long time?
Absolutely. I’m here to fight against Daesh and I want to stay here as long as Daesh exists. When Daesh is done, when ISIS is finished, then I can go back to America.”

SOUNDBITE (English, Man) Hans Schneider, German YPG Fighter

05:50 - 08:32

“I will not tell you my real name. People call me Hans Schneider; Kurds call me Agit. I came here to help the Kurds in their fight against the terrorists in Rojava. Interview: How long can you stay here?
I can stay as long as I want. I’m young; I’m healthy. I don’t have a home to go back to, so I can stay as long as I need.
Interviewer: Why are you here exactly?
Exactly, I’m here to help the Kurds in their fight against the terrorists and of course to help them fight for their freedom because the Kurds deserve their own country. They have been fighting for a long time and it will go on for a long time, I believe. Yes, I’m here to help them.
Interviewer: The guns that you have with you in the YPG are they enough for you to fight ISIS or do you need more?
When ISIS is out of Rojava, the Kurds will work more on their infrastructure and with things like that I can help them too, of course. To build up their military or build their infrastructure; their logistical system and transport – everything.
Interviewer: Do YPG fighters have enough weapons to fight ISIS or do they need more help from outside?
Yes, they could… It would be better if they could get more help from the outside, like training, equipment, weapons, heavy weapons, equipment like bulletproof vests, every kind of protection, weapons, ammunition, artillery, heavy weapons, everything.

Interviewer: OK, thank you.

And of course, of course… humanitarian help like food and shelter for the poor people and maybe education. You can help the Kurds in every way. Every kind of help is good.
Other countries [should] stand up and start to help the Kurds gain their freedom so that they can improve and build their own country and territory.”

Frame 0004
Texan Explains Motives for Joining Ku...
Tal Tamer
By TTM Contributor 33
09 Mar 2015

Tal Tamer, Syria
March 7, 2015

George, who declined to give his last name but prefers to go by Fat Jack, sold his possessions in San Antonio, Texas and bought a plane ticket to join Kurdish forces battling ISIS in the Hasaka province of Syria, a strategic village near the Iraqi-Syrian border whose Christian, Kurdish, Assyrian and Arab inhabitants had mostly fled. Perturbed that "no one was doing nothing" to stop the spread of the militant group and curious to know "how a normal person would come to fight evil", he joined the YPG.

Though Fat Jack admits there are sizable military and cultural differences between Americans and Kurds, and that the language barrier has been substantial, he also says that he decided to join the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) because they were "good" people whom "he could trust."

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Wide of town and YPG flag
Various of female and male Kurdish fighters near Humvee
Traveling of YPG vehicle passing a checkpoint
Wide of female and male Kurdish fighters
Wide of town and fields. NAT Sound: Gunshots
Wide of ‘Fat Jack’
Various of town and fields
Wide, R-L pan of ‘Fat Jack’ driving off in a pickup truck with YPG flag
Wide of fighter going into armored personnel carrier with YPG flag
Wide of tank with YPG flag
Wide of ‘Fat Jack’ getting into a pickup truck with YPG flag
Wide of fighters near YPG vehicles
Wide of ‘Fat Jack’ parking pickup truck
Wide of tank with YPG flag. NAT Sound: Gunshots
Wide of ‘Fat Jack’ stepping out of a pickup truck with YPG flag, talking to Kurdish fighter

SOUNDBITE (English, Man) ‘Fat Jack’ American volunteer with the YPG
03:42 - 07:41

  • Your name and where you are from.

  • I go by Fat Jack, my American nickname. I’m from San Antonio, Texas.

  • Why did you decide to come here?

  • The only way I know how to fight Daesh [ISIS] with people I could trust.

  • How did you see the situation here in Rojava [Syrian part of Kurdistan] during the clashes?

  • Originally since I’ve been here? I heard about Daesh in the media for a long time. Nobody was doing nothing. On the internet, I found out about the YPG. I started doing my homework. That’s how I got... I sold my stuff, bought a plane ticket and came on.

  • Can you talk about the situation more? About Rojava, the people here? The clashes?

  • Well there’s the culture difference that’s kind of a… wow! But the people are good people. The language barrier has been a bit of a problem. The people here, you know, they’re nice people. That’s the reason I came with the YPG. I trust them; they’re Kurdish, their reputation… so that’s how I came here just to… simply to fight Daesh.

  • And how did you decide to participate [with] the YPG against Daesh?

  • I guess I’ve seen a story of an American that came over. That night I was like… wow! You’ve got lunatics from all over the world that come to join Daesh, and you always wonder how these lunatics from all over the world come together. Much less find one more, but how do you find thousands? And then I was wondering how would a normal person come to fight evil? About three days later, that’s when I found the story about an American that came over. That’s how I ended up here.

  • Your last message to the world – if you want to send a message to the world or say anything.

  • Daesh has to be stopped. I mean, no matter where you are; what country or religion; your politics, murder and rape is evil. I mean in Daesh they murder… they rape and murder… they murder children and they would be speaking God’s name in their mouth while they murder. And just…

  • Can you please describe the clashes now in Tal Tamer?

  • From my point of view, it’s different. Our militaries are different. It’s just different. I don't know how to....”

Various of Kurdish fighters and military vehicles

Frame 0004
Kurdish Women Help Liberate Village f...
Al Hassakah
By TTM Contributor 33
03 Mar 2015

Telbrak, Rojava, Syria

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

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

Video description:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frame 0004
German Social Worker Talks on Syrian ...
Berlin, Germany
By luigi serenelli
26 Feb 2015

Joachim Rueffer is a social worker at the Berlin-based association Kommt Mit e V. He explains that a great part of the Syrian refugees arriving in Berlin and Germany are doctors, engineers, teachers, and skilled workers. Those people are in some cases forced to live in public gyms used by the Berlin administration to cope with the high influx of asylum seekers arriving in the German capital. The German authorities do not automatically recognized Syrian asylum seekers’ qualifications, and long bureaucratic procedures postpone the access to the job market by years. A waterlogged real estate market in Berlin also makes it hard to find a flat at a cost that the social welfare office is willing to sustain. Syrian refugees make up by far the largest foreign group asking for asylum in Germany.

Frame 0004
German Social Worker Talks on Syrian ...
Berlin, Germany
By luigi serenelli
26 Feb 2015

Joachim Rueffer is a social worker at the Berlin-based association Kommt Mit e V. He explains that a great part of the Syrian refugees arriving in Berlin and Germany are doctors, engineers, teachers, and skilled workers. Those people are in some cases forced to live in public gyms used by the Berlin administration to cope with the high influx of asylum seekers arriving in the German capital. The German authorities do not automatically recognized Syrian asylum seekers’ qualifications, and long bureaucratic procedures postpone the access to the job market by years. A waterlogged real estate market in Berlin also makes it hard to find a flat at a cost that the social welfare office is willing to sustain. Syrian refugees make up by far the largest foreign group asking for asylum in Germany.

Frame 0004
Desperate Living Conditions in Rebel-...
Jobar
By abdalmanamissa
26 Feb 2015

Jobar, Syria
February 26, 2015

The Damascus suburb of Jobar has been transformed into a devastated ghost town after more than more than two years of heavy battles between government and opposition fighters have failed to bring decisive victory to either side.

The very few civilians who remain in the neighborhood gather broken doors and furniture from wrecked homes to provide firewood.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

R-L pan of destroyed building
Traveling of road
Traveling of tunnel
Traveling of three children amid destruction
Various traveling of streets
Various of man chipping wood
Various/ traveling of roads
Wide of two women walking amide destroyed buildings
Various/ traveling of roads
Wide of destroyed building
Wide/ zoom in of two children carrying wood
Various of men sitting around a fire
Wide of fighters
Close-up of axe chopping wood
Wide/ zoom out of men carrying large bags

04:00 – 04:47

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Ahmed, a fighter in Jobar Neighborhood

“As you can see, there are no civilians. There is no firewood nor any other means of heating. There is no electricity or diesel. All of this disappeared a long time ago. [NAT Sound: Heavy gunshot]. People come under shelling and shooting as they gather firewood. They take wood from wrecked houses and cut down trees – anything that can be used to provide heating because there is no diesel. People of all ages are doing what it takes to manage. They come all the way from over there. God, not us, is protecting them. They gather some firewood and then leave. The situation is extremely tragic. It is more difficult for civilians than it is for us.“

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Unnamed fighter in Jobar Neighborhood
04:48 – 05:36

“As you can see, dear brother, the situation is deplorable. People suffer from the lack of fuel and other basic necessities needed for heating and cooking. People are using wood from homes, which, as you can see, have been bombed, especially in Jobar. There are many destroyed homes. In general, Jobar has entirely been destroyed. People use any available wood from doors, window shutters and furniture. Everything is ruined and people go out to gather wood to provide heating for their children and prepare food. People undergo a lot of risk while doing this, under shelling from rockets and from warplanes.”

Wide of smoke rising as a result of bombing

Frame 0004
German Social Worker Talks on Syrian ...
Berlin
By luigi serenelli
26 Feb 2015

Joachim Rueffer is a social worker at the Berlin-based association Kommt Mit e V. He explains that a great part of the Syrian refugees arriving in Berlin and Germany are doctors, engineers, teachers, and skilled workers. Those people are in some cases forced to live in public gyms used by the Berlin administration to cope with the high influx of asylum seekers arriving in the German capital. The German authorities do not automatically recognized Syrian asylum seekers’ qualifications, and long bureaucratic procedures postpone the access to the job market by years. A waterlogged real estate market in Berlin also makes it hard to find a flat at a cost that the social welfare office is willing to sustain. Syrian refugees make up by far the largest foreign group asking for asylum in Germany.

Frame 0004
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

Frame 0004
Physiotherapy Clinic Heals Children a...
Latakia
By Hashem
15 Feb 2015

Latakia, Syria

February 15, 2015

AT THEIR REQUEST THE FACES OF THE DOCTORS AND THERAPISTS INTERVIEWED ARE NOT SHOWN FOR REASONS OF PERSONAL SAFETY AND SECURITY.

At the Flooka Physical Therapy Center in rural Latakia province, Syria, Dr. Khaled treats all manner of patients, from Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters to children with disabilities. In his small clinic, which sees 25-30 patients a day, Dr. Khaled and his devoted staff use a combination of personal care and up-to-date technology (infrared, radiotherapy) to help residents from near and far recover from war-related injuries and other ailments. A largely Alawite region known for being the birthplace of the Assad family and a stronghold of the regime, parts of rural Latakia have nonetheless fallen under control of the rebels.

TRANSCRIPT

Dr. Mohamad Ajouz
(Man, Arabic) (01:40-02:54)

Our patient was injured by shrapnel two years ago, and came to the center for physical therapy about a year ago because of serious injury to his sciatic nerve. After a year of physical therapy, we did not get desirable results because his injury was too severe. Now, after consulting with an orthopaedic surgeon, he was advised to have surgery. Now we're getting him ready for surgery, preparing the muscles, so that when the surgery is done he can return and we can continue the physical therapy, and he will hopefully be healed.

Abu Mohamad, FSA fighter:
(Man, Arabic) (03:48-04:30)

I sprained my ankle and suffered from ligament rupture. I was not able to walk comfortably, so I came here to the physical therapy center and had many sessions, which are definitely helping. The center provides excellent care, and the workers are doing their best to help us. They spared us a trip to Turkey that we might have been forced to take, but the problem is that this is the only physical treatment center here and there is a lot of pressure, a huge number of people come here, and sometimes we have to wait until they finish treating other injuries before getting a turn.

Abu Hussein
(Man, Arabic) (07:13-07:33)

At an early point, we discovered something was wrong with her and took her to Turkey, Antakya and, from there, were transferred to Adana, where they ran some tests and told us that she suffers from brain malformation and needs physical treatment. So we brought her here to the "Floka al-Hurreya" physical therapy center to get treatment.

Dr. Khaled:
(Man, Arabic) (08:59-10:22)

We are now in the "Floka al-Hurreya" physical therapy center. The center has been open for a while and is operating smoothly. It receives about 25-30 patients a day. We have some machines and equipment to help treat patients injured in war; most people we treat have been injured in the war. We have machines to support the hips, infrared machines, a radiotherapy machine and machines to treat nerves; we have steps, a treadmill and many other machines.

Frame 0004
Censored Video From ISIS-Controlled D...
Deir-al-Zor
By abd alkareem
15 Feb 2015

Deir al-Zor, Syria

February 15, 2015

This video was recorded in the ISIS-controlled city of Deir al-Zor, in eastern Syria with the approval ISIS. The cameraman was escorted by a member of the group during the recording and the video was subjected to review and censorship by ISIS.
The appearance of this video on the Transterra Media website does not in anyway constitute an endorsement by Transterra Media of ISIS or any claims or statements made in this video.

The video shows detainees held by the ISIS police force, known as Al-Hisba. The detainees are believed to have been arrested for smoking or not praying, which are considered crimes according to ISIS’ interpretation of Islamic Sharia law. The video offers an insight of the moral disciplining and law enforcement measures practiced by ISIS.
In addition the video shows a nighttime public gathering and scenes of Deir al-Zor streets, where ISIS banners and propaganda billboards are conspicuous.
The video also shows ISIS fighters firing weapons in what is believed to be a battle against Syrian Army forces in the Huweijat Saqe area near Deir al

SHOTLIST and TRANSCRIPT

Zoom out of “reconciliation hall” door/ L-R pan inside police station.

Wide of ISIS security members and civilians inside police station.

Medium of poster declaring “The 10 practices that nullify faith in Islam.” Zoom out of detainees sitting under the poster/ R-L pan of detainees seemingly reading the Quran.

Various of preacher talking to detainees NAT Sound (Arabic, Man), Unnamed ISIS Preacher
01:04 – 01:33
“[Citing a saying by the Prophet Mohammad] That which differentiates us from them [unbelievers] is our performance of prayer. He who abandons it becomes a unbeliever. Imam Ahmad, a man for whose existence we thank God, said: ‘He who abandons prayers deliberately and out of laziness is a unbeliever.’ This is not a simple matter. It is a matter of belief or disbelief, of going to paradise or hell.”

Wide of man calling for praying for prayer as detainees prepare to start praying.

SOUNDBITE (ARABIC, Man) Unnamed detainee
01:51 – 02:01
“I was arrested for smoking. I have been here for two hours. There is no problem. All of this is in our interest.”

SOUNDBITE (ARABIC, Man) Unnamed detainee
02:02 – 02:49
- You were inside the police station, right? - Yes. - How long have were you arrested for? - Three or four days. - What was your charge? - I was accused of smoking.
- How were you treated inside? - The treatment is in accordance with Islam. - Did you see anything that was not good? - No, no. - Did anyone force to do anything? - No, everything was according to God’s Sharia. - Did you see anyone at the police station who being treated better than you were? - No, no. Everybody was treated the same way. There was no difference among people. - No you have been released by the police. Will you be arrested again? - No, no. I will commit this sin again.

Wide of released detainee talking to ISIS security officers.

Traveling shot of released detainee walking with security officer out of police station.

Various shots of children and adults watching ISIS propaganda film featuring battles in a public square.

Various shots of crowd waving ISIS flags. NAT Sound (Arabic) Crowd repeat after man speaking over loudspeaker (05:02 - 5:17): “The prophet is our leader; the Quran is our constitution; the State of the Caliphate is our state.”

Close-up/zoom out propaganda CDs with the title “The evidence that a woman’s face should be covered” being handed out to crowd of young men.

Moving shot of ISIS fighter handing out chocolate to children.

Wide/zoom out of street lined with ISIS flags.

Traveling of road sign at the entrance of Deir al-Zor and street. NAT Sound (Arabic): ISIS anthem/ billboard promoting hijab (6:43)

Various shots of ISIS flags hung on street light poles (07:15). Wide of billboard discouraging smoking. The right-hand side of the billboard bears what appears to be the image of miswak, a plant the prophet recommended for good breath in the Quranic verse, “He alloweth unto them things clean.” The second half of the billboard features what appears to be a cigarette stub, as well as the Quranic verse “And He forbiddeth unto them things impure.” The billboard is signed: “The Islamic State, Province of the Good,” the name given to Deir al-Zor by ISIS.

Various of ISIS flags hung on street light poles

Medium/zoom out of billboard: “There shall be a caliphate according to the Prophet’s path,” signed by the Islamic State.

Close-up/ zoom out of ISIS flags hung on street light poles.

Tilt down on ISIS flags hung on street light poles/zoom in on billboard: “There shall be a caliphate according to the Prophet’s path,” signed by the Islamic State.

Traveling of street; billboard reads: “There shall be caliphate according to the Prophet’s path”

Various of women wearing the niqab walking in market.

L-R pan of shops/ lettering on the wall reads: “O God, bring your victory soon.”

Wide of women Various of women wearing the niqab walking in market

Moving shot of ISIS fighters in a speed boat moving in the Euphrates NAT Sound (Arabic) fighter: "The State of Islam shall remain despite the awakenings and the Alawites.”

Various of fighters firing a heavy machine gun in an exchange of fire NAT Sound (Arabic) Unseen man: (12:22 – 12:37) “God is great! A mujahid returns the fire at regime troops at Huweijat Saqer. (13:15 – 13:17) The state of Islam shall remain.”

13:26: Nat SOUND fighters, “The state of Islam shall remain.”

Frame 0004
Syria's Orphans Stuck in Limbo
Reyhanli
By Isabel Hunter
03 Feb 2015

Reyhanli, Turkey

February 3, 2015

As Turkey’s urban refugee population skyrockets, keeping track of the most vulnerable children is becoming impossible and the risk of sexual and work exploitation is increasing. Turkey's traditionally effective orphan care system is overwhelmed and cannot cope with the burden. In such cases, adoption is often a part of the solution. However, adoption remains extremely rare for both cultural reasons and a lack of infrastructure to manage safe and secure adoptions.

Syrian NGO Maram started an orphanage to help protect some of these children. Ruba Shalish, 11, arrived to the orphanage two weeks ago. She had lived with her grandfather, 75-year-old Nadir, in his small garage-house for one year after losing both of her parents in Syria. She is happy at the orphanage and interacting very well with her friends, as shown by her confident performance in a show organized by the orphanage management. While the orphanage can take 75 children, founder Yakzan Shishakly refuses to allow them to be adopted, despite frequent inquiries, fearing that the unregulated adoption system could easily lead to human trafficking. For many, the most logical solution to the crisis is to expand the existing orphanage infrastructure. However, alleviating the growing problem remains a distant reality.

Frame 0004
“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

Frame 0004
The Syrian Teenager Who "Chose" War O...
Morek, Hama
By TTM Contributor 9
30 Jan 2015

Morek, Hama, Syria

January 30, 2015

Fourteen-year-old Mohammad Khodr al-Hajji left school more than a year ago to fight against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Mohammad joined the opposition battalion formed by his father. He receives regular military training and has been positioned on the frontline outside the town of Morek near Hama, in an area called al-Sayyad. Opposition fighters took this area from the Syrian government’s forces fourth months ago. In a year or two, Mohammad hopes to actively engage in battles.

Mohammad’s case is not unique. Many children have been drawn into the Syrian conflict as it nears its fourth year. According to a Human Rights Watch report, non-state militias of different affiliations have recruited dozens of teenagers and given them perilous military tasks.

Khodr, Mohammad's father, says that even though his son is young, he might not be safer at home because he could die in an airstrike.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of Mohammad and other fighters resting in a cave

Close-up of Mohammad’s face
Close-ups of Mohammad’s hand

Various of Mohammad and other fighters inside a cave watching battle videos
Various of Mohammad lying down on a mattress inside a cave Wide of Mohammad helping his father wear military vest
Various of Mohammad and other fighters waling in a field
Medium of Mohammad loading his rifle
Various of Mohammad and other fighters inspecting anti-aircraft machinegun
Various of Mohammad and other fighters inspecting military positions
Various of Mohammad walking
Various of Mohammad loading his weapon
Wide of Mohammad holding his rifle inside a trench
Various of Mohammad with other fighters practice shooting SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Mohammad al-Hajji
07:39- 11:31
“I am Mohammad, the son of Khodr al-Hajji. We are positioned on al-Sayyad frontline in Morek. God willing, we shall stay steadfast. We have gone to war for the sake of God. God willing, we shall remain steadfast. I was at school and I was watching TV. I saw destruction and children. I went for the quest of freedom, against Assad’s infidel regime.
I saw my father and brothers fighting against the Assad regime. I decided to practice jihad with them. I have been here for a short while, but my father taught me how to use weapons – how to disassemble and reassemble a rifle and shoot, thanks be to God.
I saw people going out in demonstrations for the sake of God. I saw my father and brothers participating in battles. I said to my father that I wanted to learn how to use weapons. He said: “Do not learn this. You should stay away from this business.” I said: “Let me learn.”
Later on, he taught me how to use rifles. He first taught me to dissemble and reassemble the rifle and he then he let me shoot. I started to go with him to battles.
I was with my friends and I saw that they all participated in jihad, and I wanted to be like them.
At first, I used to like this but I do like anything after the trouble.
Interviewer: Why?
Because of these circumstances. We are scared of warplanes because they bomb schools. We stopped going to school. I stopped going to school a year ago. I am in the eighth grade. Warplanes bombed the school and we stopped going there.
Interviewer: When was that?
About a year or more. Only a child was injured. He was injured at school.
I am positioned on al-Sayyad hill, the Morek frontline. I am learning how to shoot if the enemy comes.
In the village, we saw the bodies of people killed by the army at a checkpoint. Good God, they were all disfigured. I was very scared, but after I saw this I stopped caring about anything.
When I first grabbed the rifle I felt something very great. It was something very great. We have taken arms for the sake of freedom and God almighty.
There is no work. People have stopped working. We want to work but there is nothing to do. I kept participating in the revolution.
Why is he [Bashar al-Assad] fighting against us? Why? It is his fault.

Interview: Why?
He is fighting against us. They know that we are Muslims and they can see what is happening to the people, yet he is fighting against us. This is his fault. He is a Muslim and so are we, yet he is fighting against us. We consider him a disbeliever. He is killing Muslims. He is killing people and destroying homes.”

Various/ Medium of Mohammad. NAT Sound: (Arabic) Mohammad and another fighter argue with a local man about the need not to light a fire in order to keep the area safe from airstrikes.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Mohammad al-Hajji, Child Fighter
12:30 – 14:15
The trigger. Shooting. This is something great. Shooting at the enemy is quite something. I stay on guard. If the army advances, we fight against it.
Both; I listen to my father and I go to battles. I am still young and I am learning. In a year or two, I will start participating in battles, God willing.
Interviewer: Suppose that you were injured in a battle. What would you do? Suppose you were shot in the leg, God forbid. What would you do? Your father is far from you.
What would I do? I would keep resisting until I die.
Interviewer: If you were hit in the leg, you have this walkie-talkie in your pocket and this rifle, and you are lying down on the ground and cannot walk. What would you do?
I would call my father on the walkie-talkie in order to cover me and move me out. If I was hit in a battle, I would call my father on the walkie-talkie. The men will cover me and they will move me out.
If my injury was lethal I would be scared, but what could I do? My father would take me to hospital and the doctor would treat me. God willing, I will remain steadfast.”
Various of Mohammad inside a trench
Various of Mohammad assembling and loading his weapon Various of Mohammad aiming his weapon
Close-ups of Mohammad’s hands holding a rifle
Various of Khodr al-Hajji, Mohammad’s father, outdoor
Close-ups of Khodr al-Hajji’s hands and face
Medium of Khodr al-Hajji talking to fighters of his group inside a cave
NAT Sound (Arabic) (15:29) Over the walkie-Talkie: Mohammad Abu al-Lays, look at the fields, look at the vehicles. Where are you? Mohammad Abu al-Lays do you hear me? Where are you? (16:24) Tell us more, how long have you been here? What are your plans for the future? (16:33) (16:34) Day 57. Everybody is firing at us. We were staying at a house… (16:44) Mohammad was with you? - No, Mohammad was not with us yet, but the older one Ahmad was. He was 17 - 18 years old. He was born in 1996 (16:58). (16:59) How many children do you have? - I have 10, five girls and five boys. The boys are Mohammad, Ahmad, Bachir, Nazeer (17:05)

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Khodr al-Hajji, Mohammad’s Father, Head of opposition armed group
(17:43)

Khodr Ahmad al-Hajji from Morek, from Idlib province, the village of Maarat Dibsah. When we first started engaged in the revolution, it was peaceful. The regime started to use violence against us and fire at us while we were demonstrating. You would be marching in a demonstration clapping your hands when suddenly the regime’s men start to fire at you, and people start to fall around you. Things took a new turn. We lost many martyrs.
It was then that people realized that we needed to carry arms to protect ourselves from these tyrants. The regime used to give orders to open fire on those people, and many of them became martyrs.
Whoever did not have money borrowed money… we are poor people. We had to borrow money to buy a rifle and bullets. This is how it started.
Every now and then we used to see an army vehicle. At first, we used to have pity on the Syrian army, saying that they were our children and we did not fire at them.
But at a certain point, the Syrian army itself helped Bashar al-Assad remain in his post. This was four years ago.

Till now, some members are defecting from the army but in small numbers.
If entire divisions and brigades defected, we would not have reached this point.
The members that did not defect from the army allowed Bashar al-Assad to remain in power until today. He also received foreign support from Satan’s party [Hezbollah] of Lebanon, from Iran, all the countries are supporting him. This really affected people, but we remained in our revolution. We started firing at the army and take its positions. We shall continue until the last moment (20:00)
(20:03) My son Ahmad, God bless you and your children, has been fighting with me for almost for two years, two-and-a-half years. I gave him guns and he started to fight with me. My younger son Mohammad kept saying, “Father I want to go with you; Father I want to go with you.” I brought him along, too. It was not a very long time ago. I taught him at first how to dissemble and reassemble a rifle, and then I taught him how to shoot. After that, he started to come with me to the front positions. This is as far as Mohammad is concerned. All is done for God’s sake. If God wills, we will stay on this path until the last drop of blood. We will not go back, for the sake martyrs we lost. We will continue if God wills, and the younger might join, too. If [the war] is going to last longer, the younger people will join.
My brothers, my cousins and I are continuing with this, God willing. I do not care anymore about education because we are losing so much important as loosing blood. Education is nothing when compared to blood. Education is necessary and we should learn and teach our children but we got to a point where the regime destroyed schools with explosive barrels. You will find only one safe school in the entire village; the other ones are completely destroyed (21:50)

(21:51) Mohammad is brave, with the will of God. I want him to continue in this revolution given our circumstances, God willing. (21:59) (22:00) For me, if Mohammad wanted to study, he would not have chosen to carry weapons and fight. I do not have any problem if he wished to remain in school. But, when he saw me fighting along with his brother, he insisted on joining me, so I brought him along. I hope I did not choose a wrong path for him. If he becomes a martyr, it would be for God’s sake, he would be lucky; God giveth, God taketh. I am convinced with what I am saying, this is not a compliment (22:35) (22:36) I am proud of him. He behaves like a man. Despite his young age, he acts like a man, thanks be to God. Some people told me that he is too young to join the war, but they were few. Others told me it is good that he started training at a young age, since the war might last for many years; the whole world is against Syria, especially against the Muslim, Sunni Syrian people. The whole world is against us. All nations are fighting like dogs against us.” (23:20)

(23:21) As for his mother, she did not have any problem at all. When she knew this is what he desired, she did not oppose him. - How does she feel when you both leave together for war? - Her heart aches, but thanks be to God she accepts this. We are believers. We believe in God almighty and in fate. What God has written shall happen. Let us suppose Mohammad or his brothers are at home now and warplanes bomb the house with barrels. If his days are over, he will die at home.”

Wide of fighters looking at a helicopter in the sky
Wide of fighters preparing lunch
Various of fighters eating
Medium of Mohammad opening a pack of dates
Various of fighters praying

Frame 0004
Mohammad, a Syrian Teenager Who "Chos...
Morek, Hama
By TTM Contributor 9
30 Jan 2015

Morek, Hama, Syria

January 30, 2015

Fourteen-year-old Mohammad Khodr al-Hajji left school more than a year ago to fight against the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. Mohammad joined the opposition battalion formed by his father. He receives regular military training and has been positioned on the frontline outside the town of Morek near Hama, in an area called al-Sayyad. Opposition fighters took this area from the Syrian government’s forces fourth months ago. In a year or two, Mohammad hopes to actively engage in battles.

Mohammad’s case is not unique. Many children have been drawn into the Syrian conflict as it nears its fourth year. According to a Human Rights Watch report, non-state militias of different affiliations have recruited dozens of teenagers and given them perilous military tasks.

Khodr, Mohammad's father, says that even though his son is young, he might not be safer at home because he could die in an airstrike.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of fighters resting inside a cave
Close-up of Mohammad al-Hajji’s face
Close-up of Mohammad al-Hajji’s hand and Kalashnikov rifle
Wide of Mohammad al-Hajji walking ,carrying a Kalashnikov rifle

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Mohammad Khodr al-Hajji, Syrian Child Fighter
00:11 – 00:24

“I am Mohammad, the son of Khodr. I was at school and I was watching TV. I saw destruction and children. I went for the quest of freedom, against Assad’s infidel regime.” Wide of Mohammad walking with other fighters.
Wide of Mohammad with other fighters in a trench shooting.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Boy) Mohammad Khodr al-Hajji, Syrian Child Fighter

00:33 – 00:48
“I have been here for a short while, but my father taught me how to use weapons and to shoot, thanks be to God. I was with my friends and I saw that they all participated in Jihad, and I wanted to be like them.
I have not been in school for many years. I was in the eighth grade. I stopped going to school.
There was an air raid. A warplane hit the school and we stopped going there.
When I first grabbed the rifle I felt something very great.
There is no work. People have stopped working. We want to work but there is nothing to do.
I kept participating in the revolution. I will keep resisting until I die.
I am still young and I am learning. In a year or two, I will start participating in battles, God willing.”

Close-up of Mohammad cleaning rifle.
Wide of Mohammad in trench with other fighters.
Various of Khodr al-Hajji, Mohammad’s father , talking on walkie-talkie Medium of Khodr al-Hajji inside cave with other fighters

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Khodr al-Hajji, Mohammad’s Father, Head of opposition armed group

01:33 – 01:59
"He [Mohammad] saw that his brother and I were involved [in the revolution]. He began to insist to accompany me, so I took him with me. His brother and I trained him to use a rifle. I showed him how to disassemble and reassemble the rifle. Then he wanted to shoot, so I showed how.
We shall carry on, God willing. Someone younger might also participate [in the fighting]. If this continues for longer, God willing, the younger people will participate.”

Wide of Mohammad opening a box of dates with a knife

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Khodr al-Hajji, Mohammad’s Father, Head of opposition armed group

02:08 – 02:28
“I do not care about education because we are losing so much blood. If he is martyred, it will be for God’s sake. He would be lucky. God giveth, God taketh. My son Mohammad or his brothers might be at home and suffer a strike by warplanes, which are dropping explosive barrels. If his days are over, he will die at home.”

Various of Mohammad and other fighters praying behind Khodr al-Hajji.
Various of Mohammad and other fighters walking

Frame 0004
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.

Frame 0004
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"

Frame 0004
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.

Frame 0004
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.

Frame 0004
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.

Frame 0004
Families of Kidnapped Lebanese Soldie...
Beirut
By wissam fanash
13 Jan 2015

Beirut, Lebanon

January 14, 2015

Dozens of families have set up protest tents in downtown Beirut to pressure the Lebanese into working on liberating their sons who were kidnapped in August 2014 by militants believed to be affiliated with the Nusra Front and ISIS.
Militants who crossed the border from Syria in the summer kidnapped 38 Lebanese soldiers and security officers. The kidnappers have executed several hostages and threatened to kill more of them if the Lebanese government did not release Islamist militants from prison.
Families of the hostages have been criticized by politicians and residents of Beirut for blocking the roads during protests.
Following a deadly suicide bomb attack on January 10 against the Alawite neighbourhood of Jabal Mohsen in Tripoli, which was claimed by the Nusra Front, security forces raided a building in the overcrowded Roumieh prison where jihadist inmates are held. The militants are believed to have led the bombing from inside their prison cells. Families of the hostages fear that these developments will affect negotiations to release them.

Shot List

1- Tilt down/ wide of poster featuring portraits of kidnapped soldiers.
2- Various of protest tents set up by kidnapped soldiers’ families
3- Medium of Hussein Youssef, father of kidnapped soldier Mohamad Youssef talking on the phone
4- Wide of police vehicle parked next to protest tent
5- Wide of poster featuring kidnapped police officer First Sergeant George Khazzaqa
6- Wide of women in front of protest tents
7- Wide of tents
8- Wide of two women in front of protest tents
9- Various of protest tents
10- Wide of poster featuring kidnapped police officer with the writing: “Abbas Msheik, you have been away for too long"
11- Wide of poster with portraits of kidnapped soldiers and headquarters of the cabinet
12- Wide of two men and a woman sitting next to protest tent
13- Medium of people sitting inside protest tents
14- Close up of kettle with poster featuring kidnapped soldiers in background
15- Various of hostages’ female relatives

NAT SOUND: conversation in Arabic: - We heard explosions -The Lebanese Army will strike them… (woman crying) I did not recognize my son! 16- Close up of woman crying
17- Medium/ zoom out of people sitting inside protest tent

Soundbites

Soundbite (Arabic, Man) Hussein Youssef, father of kidnapped soldier Mohamad Youssef
(0:41-1:49) Twenty or 25 days ago, we, as families, decided to distance ourselves from the media, because at some point, media coverage was harming us. Maybe it was unintentional.We promised the prime minister to open the road and not escalate the situation or make any statements. But 25 days later, after we felt that we were not being dealt with seriously, and following the security procedures taken by the interior minister – we appreciate these measures by we think this procedure could have been made before or later. The prisoners of Roumieh have not been there since yesterday, they have been there for a long time, and this process could have taken place at another time. Anyway, the escalation that we are going to carry out will be proportional to the danger that we felt. For 25 days, we have stayed away from media and remained calm because we felt we have been treated positively. Now we have felt something negative so we are forced to escalate.
We hope that the government can take positive actions to stop us from escalating – not to stop us violently, of course, but to give us a reason not to escalate.

(01:54-02:34) SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Hussein Youssef, father of kidnapped soldier Mohamad Youssef
“After what happened in the north in Jabal Mohsen and in Roumieh prison, I feel that we are back to point zero. This is what drove us insane and caused is to threaten to escalate and demand our rights. We hope that the threats against us are not serious and that we do not wish to block the roads and stop people from going to work. We are also human, and we feel people's pain. We do not wish anyone to suffer the way we are suffering."

SOUNDBITE Arabic, woman Unnamed, Mother of kidnapped soldier Hussein Ammar
(04:16-04:45) “I demand all Arab countries, I demand clerics… I saw my son and could not recognize him. I was told ‘Go see your son, Um Hussein.’ I saw my son and did not recognize him. I ask everyone to help us and help free our children, we are suffering, but now I am suffering more." (04:50-05:03) “I ask all the good people, all the people who can help, to rescue our children, those poor children who were left far and our government is not giving them any attention."

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, woman) Unnamed, Mother of kidnapped soldier Khaled Moqbel
(05:07-04:16) “Our government did not do anything for us, it abandoned us, we have been thrown on the side of the road for three and a half months, and our government did not care about us."

(5:24-05:56) SOUNDBITE (Arabic, woman) Unnamed, Mother of kidnapped soldier Khaled Moqbel
I call on Turkey and the Muslim Scholars Assembly, I ask Erdogan… we are Muslims and the kidnappers are Muslims. For the sake of Prophet Mohammad… This is a human cause. Please help us, and release the captives, interfere in our case, please interfere in our case, for the sake of Prophet Mohammad. We have been sitting on the road for the past four months; nobody is looking at us or has mercy on us.

Frame 0004
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.

Thumb sm
Making Comedy on the Frontlines of Al...
Aleppo
By AmmarParis
14 Jun 2014

June 15, 2014
Aleppo, Syria

'Um Abdo Al Halabiyeh' ('Abdo's Mother, the Aleppine') is a Syrian Youtube sitcom filmed amidst the destruction and bombs of rebel held Aleppo by a local production company known as "Bukra Ahla" (Tomorrow is Beautiful). Launched in June 2014, the show pokes fun at the chaos that has become routine amidst Syria's brutal civil war. The characters in the show are all adults played by children and shows are often shot in ruined buildings, sometimes located on frontlines.

9 year old Rasha plays the main character, Um Abdo, an animated housewife who constantly pokes fun at the Syrian government and the opposition. Since rising to popularity during Ramadan 2014, both Rasha and the show have become Youtube sensations in Syria and the Arab world.

Um Abdo Al Halabiyeh is not the only show being shot in rebel held Aleppo. Another comedy, 'Mina Fi Syria' ('Forbidden in Syria'), is a show directed at adults and is being also being produced by Bukra Ahla. Regardless of their intended audiences, the shows are a satirical display of resilience in the face of death and deprivation.

Frame 0004
Syrian Presidential Candidate Hassan ...
Damascus, Syria
By TTM Contributor 4
03 Jun 2014

June, 3, 2014
Damascus, Syria

Syrian presidential candidate Hassan al-Nouri casts his vote at a polling station in the Sheraton hotel in central Damascus. Nouri held a press conference in the same location after casting his vote.

Hassan al-Nouri:
“Today in Syria we have started a new era, the era of true victory over terrorism and this global war [inflicted on Syria]. Syria has won with the will of its people and the great Syrian Army. I, as a presidential candidate of the Syrian Republic, have voted for myself of course. I declare that if it was not for the strength of the great people of Syria, we would not have got to this day. We stand here among all of you voting for the new president of this country, among the will of Syrians and the strength of Syrians and thank you”.

Question: What are you chances of wining given the popularity of Bashar al-Assad?

“President Assad is very popular, but he is also facing strong competitors”.

Question: What do you promise Syrians if you become president?

“If I become president, I promise Syrians that I will walk the path of national dialogue and a peaceful Syrian to Syrian dialogue. [I promise] to fight terrorism in order to achieve peace and security in this country and to commence the project of national economic and social reform that we desperately need”.

Question: In case you do not win in the election, how will you serve your country?

“If I do not reach the position of president, I will remain a good citizen who does his best to serve his country. I believe that I have recorded my name in the political field of Syria and I am certain that we will all play a great role in building Syria and accomplishing total victory”.

Question: How do you feel about the election process so far?

“So far the whole operation is democratic and we are optimistic that we will see a strong victory. This enormous march of people is something that I was not expecting. This march is expected to continue into the night and we might need to extend [the election] for another day”.

Frame 0004
Aleppo Barrel Bomb Attack (1 of 10)
Aleppo, Syria
By Zidane Zenglow
09 Apr 2014

Camera tracks a helicopter circling overhead and then dropping what appears to be a bomb in a densely populated neighborhood of Aleppo. Residents and monitoring groups describe the event as a barrel bomb attack carried out by the Syrian Military.

طائرة مروحية تتبع للجيش النظامي السوري تلقي برميل متفجر فوق حي الميسر في حلب بتاريخ ٢٦-٠١-٢٠١٤

Thumb sm
Education for Syrian Refugees in Akka...
Akkar, Lebanon
By Transterra Editor
16 Jan 2014

Children running in pajamas and sandals along the frozen field, while their fathers and grandfathers are building the house of a Lebanese family for free, is the first sight you see as you enter the Syrian refugee settlement of Minyara, in Akkar. It is a vision of despair for the Syrian refugees, in a mountainous region where a 3-month-old Syrian baby died of cold in December 2013. But something else you see as you enter the settlement that these Syrians families from Qusayr rent every year from a Lebanese field-owner for $1000, you understand that there are kids are just having fun between two school lessons.

Inside two tents, warmed by a wood-burning stove, small tables and chairs constitute minimalist classrooms. Muhammad, a Syrian teacher whose right arm has been wounded by a bullet in Qusayr, teaches Arabic, mathematics and sciences through songs, games and books he made up, thanks to his 15 years of experience as a teacher in Syria. As for English and French, two volunteer teachers from the NGO Relief & Reconciliation for Syria come every morning to help Syrian children from 1st to 6th grade with these foreign languages, compulsory to enter the Lebanese school system.

Children are cold and traumatized by what they have gone through in Qusayr. After fleeing their city, they walked for 16 km under the bombs of the Syrian regime in summer 2013. Despite this, now education is their hope for a better future and their motivation is boundless. In 2013, 85,000 Syrian children were registered in Lebanese public schools and 100,000 in informal ones, according to Maha Shuayb, director of the Center for Lebanese Studies. But 97 percent of Syrian children drop out of the Lebanese education system. Illiteracy may then be the major issue for the 1.3 million of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, as 50 percent of them are children.

Obstacles such as the language gap and the necessity for many Syrian families to rely on their children’s work to survive limit the access to education. In Minyara, Relief & Reconciliation helps children who try to enter Lebanese schools, but also those who decide to work, with vocational training such as electricity and couture. As Friedrich Bokern, director of the NGO, explains to the children gathered under the tent of the classroom: “Whatever you will decide to do, don’t be afraid. You are the future of Syria.”

Frame 0004
Alternative Electricity in Aleppo
شارع السليمانية, حي السليمانيه, Aleppo, Mount Simeon, Aleppo Governorate, Syria
By Mhammad Darwish
01 Nov 2013

Aleppo, Syria
November 2013

As a result of a power shortage, residents of rebel-held parts of Aleppo have resorted to buying electricity from local providers, who operate large generators. Video includes an interview with a generator owner, shots of generators and makeshift electric grids, as well as general scenes from the streets of Aleppo.