Syria Media Roundup – August 26 to September 1, 2019

In this Media Roundup, we collect local news from Syria, which is published mainly in Arabic and Kurdish media, weekly. Our aim is to make this news accessible to a broader readership. The sources come from news channels that we consider the most trustworthy, though we cannot guarantee absolute reliability. The focus is on areas where mainly ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities live, such as ʿAfrin, Al-Qamishli and As-Suwayda.

Deduction of YPG troops

On August 27, 2019, members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), arrested and forcibly recruited, twelve young men in the province of Ar-Raqqah. Eight young men were arrested in the Al-Karama area east of Ar-Raqqah (SMART News). On August 28, 2019, the SDF arrested another twenty young men in Al-Haws, east of Ar-Raqqah, for military services (SMART News).

On August 26, 2019, the International Alliance against the Islamic State sent military reinforcement with about one-hundred vehicles to bases in the province of Al-Hasakah in northeastern Syria (SMART News). On August 27, 2019, the PYD-led Self-Administration announced that the YPG had handed over their positions on the Syrian-Turkish border near the city of Raʾs al‑ʿAyn  (Serê Kaniyê) to the SDF and had withdrawn heavy weapons from these locations (SMART News, ARK News, Rudaw). On August 29, 2019, the SDF sent military reinforcements of about fifteen armored vehicles and about one hundred and fifty soldiers to military posts near Tall Abyad in Ar-Raqqah province (SMART News). On August 31, 2019, the International Alliance sent further military reinforcements with about one-hundred vehicles to its bases in Al-Hasakah, Ar-Raqqah and Manbij (SMART News). According to a media report dated August 31, 2019, the YPG is currently expanding its headquarter and building four new military bases in Ar-Raqqah (SMART News).

Fearing an imminent military escalation at the Turkish-Syrian border, on August 31, 2019 numerous families fled from Tall Abyad to Ar-Raqqah and ʿAyn ʿIsa (SMART News, 31 August 2019).

Raid in ʿAfrin

According to a report of August 27, several armed factions in ʿAfrin raided a number of houses and arrested five people in the Bulbul sub-district. The prisoners are accused of having worked together with the administration of the PYD prior to the Turkish invasion (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights).

Kidnappings in As-Suwayda

Kidnappings in As-Suwayda continue and the security situation is worsening. A group of unidentified armed men abducted two young men on the road between the city of As-Suwayda and the village of Walgha in the night of August 28 to 29, 2019. The background for the abduction and the whereabouts of the two adolescents are unknown. The two were originally from Al-Hasakah and Deir Ez-Zawr, they had found work in As-Suwayda (SMART News, August 29, 2019).