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1,500 Syrians Killed in December 2018, In-Faction Fighting in Aleppo, and Slowing Down in Afrin

January 2, 2019 

Editor's Note:

The following news stories are just examples of the daily horrors of war in Syria. Readers can find more detailed daily news stories at the sources below as well as many other sources in the internet. 


Destruction of Syria, file, January 1, 2019 Syrian town of Manbij, file, January 1, 2019


The following are news stories from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) website (


16 people were killed on December 31, 2018, including 2 members of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them and 12 other people

One citizen joined yesterday the convoy of casualties of the Syrian revolution.

SOHR, 01/01/2019

In Idlib Province, a child was killed in shelling by the regime forces at places in ​Maarrat al-Nu’man area in the southern countryside of Idlib.

And gunmen attacked after midnight of yesterday a checkpoint of the police in ​​Azaz area in the northern countryside of Aleppo, which killed 3 members of the checkpoint.

At least 5 members of the organization were killed, and 3 fighters of the Syria Democratic Forces were killed in aerial bombardment and clashes in the east of Euphrates.

And 2 members of the regime forces and militiamen loyal to them were killed in bombing and clashes against the “Islamic State” organization and the factions.

At least 2 members of the “Islamic State” organization and the factions of non-Syrian nationalities were killed in clashes and shelling by warplanes and helicopters and shelling on areas of their presence.


The last month of 2018 witnessed more bloodshed with the death of more than 1500 people about half of them were civilians

SOHR, 01/01/2019 2

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of 1506 people in December 2018, and they were distributed as follows:

Civilian casualties: 710 people including 27 children under the age of eighteen, and 14 women over the age of eighteen, and they were killed as follows:

4 citizens including a child were killed in shelling by the regime forces.

2 citizens were killed under torture in Syrian security prisons.

9 citizens including 2 children and a woman were killed by the factions.

600 persons were executed by the “Islamic State” organization.

2 citizens including a child were killed by the Turkish border guards.

53 including 20 children and 11 citizen women were killed in airstrikes by International Coalition.

24 citizens including 2 children and a woman were killed in unknown circumstances.

One baby girl died due to bad health condition and the lack of necessary treatment.

15 citizens including a child and a woman were killed in the explosion of booby-trapped vehicles.

Syrian fighters of Islamic and repel factions and the SDF and other movements and organizations: 361

The regime forces: 47

Members of the Popular Committees, and the National Defense Forces, and militiamen loyal to the regime forces of Syrian nationalities: 58

Fighters of militiamen loyal to the regime of non-Syrian nationalities mostly of Shiite people: 13

Unidentified people: 14

Fighters of Islamic and repel factions and ISIS and Nusra Front (Qaeda organization of the Levant), and Mujahedeen and al-Ansar Army and Islamic Turkestan Party of non-Syrian nationalities: 303

And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented 6 massacres during December 2018, which left 50 civilian casualties including 20 children and 12 citizen women, where the International Coalition warplanes carried out 5 massacres which killed 45 citizens including 20 children and 11 citizen women, while a massacre took place in a booby-trapped vehicle explosion, which claimed the lives of 5 citizens including a woman.

And despite the conferences calling for dialogue and solution, and the UNSC resolution and the unreal truces, the bloodshed continues on the Syrian territory and the killing and fighting continues without peace, and the cease-fire truces are only breaks between the conflicting parties in Syrian, where some parties were winners and others lost influence and control, so, we in the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, reiterates our calls for the international parties to do their utmost efforts to stop the bloodshed of the Syrian people, who faced tyranny and injustice to reach a state of justice, democracy, freedom and equality, and we the Syrian Observatory pledge to continue to monitor and document the massacres, violations, war crimes and crimes against humanity committed against the Syrian people, in addition to the publication  of statistics about them in order to stop the perpetration of these crimes, violations and atrocities against the Syrian people, and to refer the perpetrators of these violations to the concerned courts of the state, so as not to escape their punishment for the crimes they committed against the people who was and still dream of having a state of democracy, freedom, justice and equality for all components of the Syrian people.


In 41 weeks of controlling Afrin, the Turkish Forces asked factions of “Olive Branch” to slow down and not to expel the population at once until pushing them to flee voluntarily

SOHR, 01/01/2019

41 weeks in a row of controlling Afrin, 287 days of violations, after a series of days of intensive killing by Turkish artillery and warplanes, and gunshot by its forces and factions loyal to it, where on the 19th of March 2018, the space got wider in front of the attacking Turkish forces, through their control with their loyal Syrian opposition rebel and Islamic factions; of Afrin area, this control which caused the displacement of more than 350,000 citizens in a wave of displacement among the largest waves of displacement in the country by previous military operations in different areas,

After which, the violations started in various forms, and the violators increased day after day, and they were given power by the Turkish authorities, where the trusted sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that groups operating in “Olive Branch” Operation after controlling Afrin spoke to the Turkish authorities, demanding them to expel the residents of Afrin city and its countryside completely, and to confiscate their property, livelihoods, farms, homes and their contents in full, which was rejected by the Turkish authorities, the sources confirmed that they wanted the same goal but they opposed the method, telling those who wanted this decision that it will bring the international community against them, and push the whole world to intervene in favor of the Kurds inhabitants of the area, and issued their orders to wait, and that the day will come when residents of the area will ask to get out of it, and they will pay to get out of their houses and farms and leave them, which is what happened slowly, as hundreds of families who remained in Afrin have fled as a result of the escalation of violations against them of kidnapping, beatings, assaults, looting, theft, and assaulting women and girls.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored in the recent days the escalation of violations, where the “Olive Branch” took the olive picking and compressing season as a suitable time to create pretexts for seizing the property of the remaining residents in ​​Afrin area who refused to leave it, where the sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that more than 45 civilians were kidnapped, including a woman and her daughter, and another woman and 3 of her children and other citizen women, where the factions who were given authority by Turkey in the area; carried out arrests against both genders, and transferred them to detention and custody centers made up of civilian homes that were seized and turned by them into headquarters for the pro-Turkey factions, which share influence and property in Afrin, and from time to time carry out looting and confiscation of property and funds, and with the abduction of more civilians it rose to about 2,450 citizens, the number of arrested people including more than 900 who are still in detention, while the rest were released after most of them paid ransom imposed by members of the “Olive Branch” Operation, sometimes it reached more than 10 million Syrian pounds.

Afrin sleeps on a violation and wakes up on the sound of the weapon, and often; its lights are  only of military vehicles and the shouting of those fighting over looting, and every day the violation increases more, especially as controlling Afrin city and the entire area has entered its 9th consecutive month, since controlling it by the Turkish Forces and the rebel and Islamic factions on the 19th of March 2018, after a military operation began under the name of “Olive Branch” on the 20th of January 2018, and this operation was supported by the Turkish Grey Wolves Forces, and Turkish warplanes and helicopters, which caused damage to the property of citizens and massacres that killed about 380 civilians, including 55 children and 36 women, of the Kurdish, Arab, and Armenian civilians, tens of them were killed in mine explosions and under torture by factions of “Olive Branch” Operation, the majority of whom died in shelling by the Turkish air, artillery, and rocket shelling, and in executions of several citizens in Afrin area, and under torture since the 20th of January 2018, in addition to the injury of hundreds and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of others, while violations and inhumane practices remained as the share of the remaining inhabitants of Afrin area, who refused to leave the area, their homes, and farms to the Turkish Forces and the factions which looted, robbed, and seized, property of civilians, private and public property in the entire area of Afrin, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the confiscation of thousands of olive oil tanks and olive harvest, and the cut off of hundreds of trees and selling them as firewood, and violations in recent days took place in Kafr Sheila, Arab Oshagi, Brimja, Mirkan, Khazian, Dar Kier and several other areas in Afrin countryside.

In addition to all these violations, the trafficking of detainees is still taking place by the factions of “Olive Branch” Operation, where they are kidnapped for money to be paid for their release.

While hundreds of thousands of displaced people are still suffering from tragic situations, as a result of Turkey’s complete refusal to return the population to the area, fearing their return, while it continues the resettlement of displaced people of families of fighters working under its command, and displaced people of other areas from central and southern Syria within seized homes, in addition to imposing royalties on owners of shops and farms of oil tanks, amounts of money, or a share of the farm’s profits.

And the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has monitored more than 140 operations targeted “Olive Branch” in Afrin area, since the Kurdish forces lost Afrin area at the end of the second third of March 2018, where it rose to 677, the number of members of the Turkish forces and the rebel and Islamic factions including 83 Turkish soldiers, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented the death of at least 1582 fighters of YPG and Self-Defense Forces, who have been killed since the start of Operation “Olive Branch”, also at least 91 of the popular members of the regime forces have been killed in the Turkish bombardment since they entered on the 20th of February 2018, while the Turkish forces have carried out about 140 assassinations and targeting against the forces controlling Afrin, while leading sources of the YPG denied that their forces or cells had relation or responsibility for many of the assassinations and acts of torture; some of which appeared on videos and attributed to the Kurdish Forces, and the sources accused other cells belong to other parties of carrying out these assassinations and attributing them to the Kurdish Forces for their own agenda, the main aim of which is to escalating their violations against the civilians, where the resentment has been increasing among the civilians day after day, with the unfair and unjust procedures, and the silence of the Turkish Forces -who are leading the “Olive Branch” operation- and not responding to their complaints.

Intersected sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that a military commander in Rahman Corps (who was displaced from eastern Ghouta) had an agreement with the local council in Afrin city, based on taking an area of a mountainous land located in the area between Basutah and Afrin city by the military commander, based on considering it as a “no-man’s-land” and it is not owned by anyone, and then granting 400 meters to the displaced people of the Eastern Ghouta in exchange of $100. Reliable sources confirmed that the agreement had been reached between both parties, but no displaced person has been handover anything yet.

the royalties imposed on the civilian and the people who move in Afrin area on the main and sub-roads, where varying sums of money are paid to checkpoints of “Olive Branch” Forces, who stop the small, large, public and private vehicles, and sometimes it goes beyond royalty and turn to looting, not to mention the arbitrary control of “Olive Branch” operation factions of the economic resources in Afrin- came against the backdrop of the seizure of most of the olive plantations in Afrin by the factions of operation “Olive branch”, and leasing it dealers and workers to work in them and receive money in advance as a price for the lease of these seized plantations, which are more than 75% of the area of olive farms in Afrin, after the factions shared control of olive farms.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored a complete seizure of Afrin city by the Turkish forces and “Olive Branch” operation factions, where these factions split their areas of control and write phrases on everything being seized to prove their ownership of it, and to prevent the rest of the factions from seizing the same real estate or machine, also they burned olive plantations and property, while violations exceeded the seizure and dividing of property to carrying out daily raids of houses under the pretext of searching for weapons and sleeper cells and other pretexts, they also looted the property of houses of jewelry, money, electronic appliances, even mobile phones and furniture, while the theft moved from private property to public property, where groups of factions working in Afrin area stole electric copper cables in front of the people as well as hospitals and service institutions, while these robberies created internal clashes between rebel and Islamic factions operating in “Olive Branch” operation, which killed and injured tens of members in frequent rounds of bloody fighting, while the Turkish authorities did not engage in any kind of deterrence or pressure, but attempted to resolve disputes that may get completely out of control.

We call on the international community to work diligently to bring the inhabitants of Afrin area back to their homeland, and guarantee their lives and safety, where there is no place for them to displace to and no organization providing assistance, we also call on humanitarian and relief agencies to provide assistance that will benefit the displaced people of Afrin, and providing medical treatment to hundreds of thousands of displaced people in a narrow geographical area, we also call on the international community to press Turkey to open the checkpoints for people wishing to return to Afrin, and to control the factions that have not left anything without being looted, the factions which exercise daily violations against inhabitants of Afrin area.


After he prohibited the engagement within a “secular” army against an “atheist secular” party, the Egyptian Abu al-Yaqzan in west Aleppo leads the clashes and incitement to fight an Islamic Movement

More casualties raise to about 40, the number of people killed in the first 24 hours of fight west of Aleppo.

SOHR, 02/01/2019

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the continuation of clashes between the major factions operating in the Syrian north; for the second day in a row, where the Syrian Observatory monitored clashes on the outskirts of Darat Azza town, which was controlled by Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham, which is considered the second largest towns in the western sector of Aleppo countryside, while reliable sources confirmed that Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham seek to expand its control at the expense of Nour al-Dien al-Zenki movement of the National Liberation Front, in the wake of military reinforcements brought by both parties to participate in the clashes that have been taking place since the early hours of the morning of Wednesday, the 2nd of January 2019, while the Syrian Observatory monitoring Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham controlling Darat Azza and al-al-Hbata and Mkilbis and parts of al-Saadia area, amid attempts to enforce their control in these areas, in which they are sweeping and arresting residents of the area’s residents.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitored the fall of more casualties, where it rose to 19 at least, the number of casualties of Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham, also it rose to 15, the number of killed members of Nour al-Dien Zenki movement, while the Syrian Observatory documented the death of 5 civilians including a nurse and 2 children -and information about a sixth casualties-, in the clashes that still taking place in the western sector of Aleppo countryside, while the clashes between the Nour al-Dien Zenki movement of the National Liberation Front against Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham; have caused the injury and captured of large number of fighters of both parties, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation.

While the Syrian Observatory monitored the presence of Abu al-Yaqzan al-Masri -the “Jihadi” leader of Egyptian nationality- in the forefront of the combat operations against the Nour al-Dien al-Zenki movement, where he participated his fighters in the attack and incited them to fight, days after his “prohibition” to participate alongside the Turks in the fight against the Kurdish forces in Manbij and east of Euphrates, where the “jihadi” Abu al-Yaqzan said:

“A battle between a secular army and a secular atheist party, is a battle in a cycle of long conflict between Turkish nationalists and Kurdish nationalists, where Islam has share of it, and the word of God has no place in it, a battle that comes in the context of international understandings, which began with the normalization of relations with Assad regime, through Bashir’s visit, and the statements by Oglu that if Bashar came through democratic and fair elections, then, everyone should deal with him, the participation in this battle is haram according to the Sharia”

The Syrian Observatory published in early October 2018, that the sermon of the Egyptian commander in Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham, who is one of the commanders of the internal fighting against the rest Islamic and rebel factions in Idlib, says:

“Those who do not agree with the Sochi agreement, why do not they carry out any actions against the apostate regime?, even just a qualitative action behind the enemy lines in its barracks, where it imposed “red lines” claiming that it will never let Idlib pass into the destiny of corruption as it happened in the areas of the Euphrates Shield, and the Olive Branch, so why it welcomes the Turkish army, and why it gives it (the Turkish army) the opportunity to be present in Idlib?! and to raise the flags of the secular government?!, and who continuously says that Jihad is (red lines), why it shuts up the mouths of those who provoke against the infidel regime and its allies and wants to keep them silent?!, never be fooled by the lie of “red lines”, ((And if an entry were made upon them from the outlying parts of it, then they were asked to wage war, they would certainly have done it, and they would not have stayed in it but a little while)), “I have delivered my message…and ALLah is witness on me…as I may not meet you again after this sermon””.

The Syrian Observatory published days ago, that the Egyptian Jihadist, Abu al-Yaqzan al-Masri, is working on provoking the jihadist factions which reject the Russian – Turkish agreement, which came after meeting between Erdogan and Putin on Monday the 17th of September 2018, and which provides for establishing a demilitarized zone, and the sources informed the Syrian Observatory that Abu al-Yaqzan who leads Al-Asa’ib Al-Hamra’ (the Red Headbands), which are one of the sections of the Elite Forces in Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham, and they are characterized by putting on red headbands, became the first and main provoker against this agreement, where al-Masri is working on provoking the factions during his meetings with the leaders of the “jihadist” factions in the Syrian North, not to hand over their weapons and to fight “al-Nusayri and infidel Russians”, where several meetings were conducted during gatherings between al-Masri and the “Emirs and leaders” of the “jihadist” factions, it is noteworthy that Abu al-Yaqzan is the leader of the groups of Al-Asa’ib Al-Hamra’ which are one of the sections of the Elite Forces in Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham, and they are characterized by putting on red headbands, and they are led by prominent commanders in Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham one of whom is Abu al-Yaqzan al-Masri, who supervises a training camp of the forces of Al-Asa’ib Al-Hamra’, and they are the main groups which took part in the fighting against Nour al-Din al-Zenki Movement in the western countryside of Aleppo, in the first third of 2018, in which Abu al-Yaqzan was a direct and prominent opponent of the repel factions with Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham, while the SOHR published on the 22nd of August 2018, that Abu al-Yaqzan al-Masri and another leader, intersected sources confirmed that he is the leader of the Desert Sector in Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham, were subjected to shooting by unidentified gunmen in the southern countryside of Aleppo, and the assassination attempt injured one of them at least, and the Syrian Observatory also published on the 20th of July 2018, that it monitored the Egyptian leader Abu al-Yaqzan; the Egyptian leader in Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham coming out and walking among the buses that are carrying the displaced people of al-Fu’ah and Kafriya, after they left al-Fu’ah and Kafriya and before they enter regime forces’-controlled areas, where Abu al-Yaqzan said: “where are the planes of Putin and the tanks of Hezbollah, where are the fighters of the al-Nujabaa movement, you are getting out of Idlib humiliated, you have no standing in Idlib oh Rawafid, oh time write, put your face in the mud because Bashar the dog and Putin couldn’t break the siege off you, 9 months of battles in al-Eis hill and in these hills until we repel you, and this is your status followers of Bashar the dog and Putin the dog, their status for them is rusted buses, and their hearts have been taken out thanks to God, Putin tried, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards tried, the Lebanese Hezbollah tried, and the army of the dog Bashar tried to break the siege of these, but they couldn’t, were the mujahideen repelled them in battles lasted 9 months”.

And the SOHR obtained a copy of a video months ago, showing a commander in Hayyaat Tahrir Al-Sham, called “Abu Al-Yaqazan Al-Masri”, a commander of the rebel attack of Tahrir Al-Sham, while he was delivering a speech to a group of fighters of the Hayyaat during the fighting  and saying that “O, People of Al-Sham, Allah has honored you to witness the fighting against the Americans, the Russians, the apostates of Bashar Army, those who spread corruption in the lands, the Khawarij, and the corrupts. The end is near and the ranks are becoming clear, and the fighting will continue until this area turns back to a battlefield against the infidels. Noor Al-Din Al-Zenki Movement didn’t open a new battlefront and it sent 40 fighters to a position in Skaik area, but they withdrew after 10 days. The weapons were obtained to be used in Jihad and kept stored for a year and will come out to be used in Jihad, tanks, tracked vehicles, warehouses of Ahrar Al-Sham became under our control and the Jihad in the Levant is a faith, don’t lose it”.


Iraqi warplanes strike Islamic State outpost in Syria

by Mohammed Ebraheem Dec 31, 2018,

Baghdad ( –

The Iraqi military announced on Monday that its jet fighters targeted an Islamic State position inside Syria that was used by the jihadist group as a meeting place.

“Iraqi F-16 warplanes have carried out an airstrike against a two-story house in Sousa town inside Syria, where 30 Islamic State members were present,” the Iraqi Joint Operations Command said in a statement.

The IS outpost was completely destroyed in the air raid, the command said, without elaborating how many IS militants were exactly killed.

An Iraqi governmental source said on Sunday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave the Iraqi government the green light to bombard Islamic State positions inside the Syrian territories without taking permission from Damascus.

Under Assad’s directives, the Iraqi warplanes will be able to enter the Syrian territories and bombard sites of Islamic State without waiting for permission from the Syrian government, RT quoted the source as saying.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from Syria two weeks ago, bringing a sudden end to a military campaign that largely vanquished the Islamic State.

Assad received on Saturday a message from Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on means of boosting bilateral relations in various fields.

Assad greenlights Iraq to target Islamic State sites in Syria without permission

by Mohammed Ebraheem Dec 30, 2018,

Baghdad ( –

An Iraqi governmental source said on Sunday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gave the Iraqi government the green light to bombard Islamic State positions inside the Syrian territories without taking permission from Damascus.

Under Assad’s directives, the Iraqi warplanes will be able to enter the Syrian territories and bombard sites of Islamic State without waiting for the approval of the Syrian government, RT quoted the source as saying.

However, Assad made it clear that the Iraqi government should inform the Syrian side first before launching any attacks against IS sites in Syria.

U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from Syria two weeks ago, bringing a sudden end to a military campaign that largely vanquished the Islamic State.

Assad received on Saturday a message from Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on means of boosting bilateral relations in various fields.

The message, conveyed by Iraqi National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayad, focused on the developments of relations between the two countries and the necessity of continuing coordination between them at all levels, particularly in the field of combating terrorism along borders between the two states, according to the Syrian Arab News Agency.

He further affirmed the importance of continuing this cooperation and coordination to completely eliminate the remnants of Islamic State terrorist cells, who are still active in some Syrian and Iraqi regions.


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