Logo Wide

Syria Today – Tribal Leader Threatens U.S.; SDF Kills Two pro-Ankara Fighters; Calls for Syria Victims Fund

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.
Syria Today – Tribal Leader Threatens U.S.; SDF Kills Two pro-Ankara Fighters; Calls for Syria Victims Fund

Khaled Juet Ahmad Al-Akidi, a Syrian tribal leader, declared his commitment to Jihad and opposition against American forces during a broadcast on Al-Manar TV, associated with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Simultaneously, clashes between Turkish-backed militants and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) resulted in the death of at least two militants near the northern city of Manbij. Meanwhile, prominent Syrian activist Joumana Seif initiated a series by publishing a comprehensive article advocating for the establishment of an intergovernmental fund aimed at offering reparations to victims of the Syrian conflict.

Syrian Tribal Leader Threatens Jihad Against America: All U.S. Bases in Syria Constitute a Target for Us

Pro-Iran Al-Manar reported that Syrian tribal leader Khaled Juet Ahmad Al-Akidi said on a February 15, 2024 show on Al-Manar TV (Hizbullah-Lebanon) that the United Staes has caused all the destruction in the Arab and Islamic world, as well as in Syria. He added that it brought terrorist factions such as ISIS and Jabhat Al-Nusra to the region and that it is funding them. Al-Akidi pledged to wage Jihad and fight the Americans. He said that his people will target the Americans wherever they may be. Al-Akidi added that all U.S. bases in Syria constitute targets for them. He said: “The Americans came by force and will only leave by force.”

SDF kills two Turkish-backed militants in Manbij: Monitor

At least two Turkish-backed militants were killed during clashes with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near the northern Syrian city of Manbij on Monday, a war monitor reported. 

“Two members of the pro-Turkey factions were killed and others were injured after violent clashes broke out with the forces of the Manbij Military Council … near al-Sayadah village in western Manbij countryside,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a Britain-based war monitor. 

The Manbij Military Council is a local Kurdish-led force affiliated with the SDF in Arab-majority Manbij. Security in Kurdish-controlled areas in north and northeast Syria is managed through military councils led by locals to maintain the delicate balance of the region and prevent Arab discontent. 

The clashes come amid an increased surge of violence near Manbij between Kurdish-led forces and Turkish-backed militants, according to SOHR

US base in Syria reportedly under missile attack

A United States military base at the Conoco gas field in eastern Syria was hit by four missiles, RIA Novosti reported on Monday, citing a source familiar with the matter.

According to the report, the launched missiles caused a fire in the southern part of the US base, while there is no information on potential casualties.

US bases in Syria and other Middle Eastern countries have come under attack several times since the beginning of the war between Israel and Hamas, leading the Biden administration to launch retaliatory strikes in eastern Syria and Iraq on February 2.

British Islamic terrorist will be freed from jail

One of Britain’s most dangerous terrorists who left to join a jihadist organization during the Syrian Civil War and intended to die in battle as a martyr will be freed from prison, MailOnline can reveal.

Mohammed Nahin Ahmed and his childhood friend Yusuf Zubair Sarwar were both locked up in 2014 and branded ‘dangerous’ by the trial judge after pleading guilty to joining a jihadi group in Syria.

The two men, then both 22, travelled to the war-torn Middle Eastern country in May 2013 to join an al-Qaeda-linked terror group that was fighting Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Ahmed and Sarwar later pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in the preparation of terrorist acts contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act and were jailed for around 13 years.

MailOnline can now exclusively reveal that Ahmed is set to be freed from jail after being given the green light by the Parole Board. It is understood that the move could be made in just days. 

Sarwar was released from jail on licence after a Parole Board hearing in April 2022. He was required to serve two-thirds of his custodial sentence before being considered for release. 

It’s Time to Establish a Syria Victims Fund

JustSecurity.org is publishing a series discussing reparative measures for victims of international law violations in the conflict in Syria, through establishing an intergovernmental victims fund or other means. Links to all articles in the series are included at the bottom of this article, as they are published.

Prominent Syrian activist, Joumana Seif, starts this series with a long article, in which she calls for the creation of an intergovernmental fund to provide reparations for victims of the Syrian conflict, highlighting the urgent need for international action to address the long-standing suffering and injustices faced by millions. Seif, leveraging her involvement in the landmark Koblenz trial in Germany against Assad regime officials, underscores the trial’s significance in offering a path to justice for Syrian victims but points out its failure to award financial compensation for their recovery. This gap in justice serves as a critical backdrop for her advocacy for the Syria Victims Fund.

Seif describes the dire conditions faced by Syrian victims over 13 years of conflict, including widespread murder, torture, sexual violence, and displacement, perpetrated not only by the Assad regime but also by supporting forces from Russia and Iran, as well as non-State armed groups. She emphasizes the moral right of Syrian victims to reparations funded by the proceeds of monetary judgments linked to violations in Syria, arguing that the funds currently collected by States for sanctions violations and other crimes should rightfully support the victims.

The article outlines the systematic use of torture and sexual violence by the Assad regime as tools of war and repression, highlighting the profound physical and psychological impacts on survivors. The inability of survivors to obtain compensation through current legal mechanisms, including the limitations of European countries’ victims funds, underscores the necessity of a dedicated fund to address their needs.

Seif criticizes the international community’s failure to hold the Syrian government accountable through legal means due to political obstacles, such as vetoes by Russia and China at the UN Security Council. She suggests that establishing a Syria Victims Fund through international cooperation could circumvent these challenges, providing a direct mechanism for reparative justice.

The call for a Syria Victims Fund is not only a plea for financial reparations but also a broader appeal for a fair political resolution to the Syrian crisis that includes transitional justice and the safe return of displaced persons. Seif’s article is a foundational piece in a series advocating for reparative measures for Syrian victims, aiming to mobilize international support for the establishment of the fund and to ensure that the atrocities committed against the Syrian people are acknowledged and addressed.

Helpful keywords