Female fighters in Northern Syria from the Syrian Democratic Forces
(Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)
A Qaeda commander was killed in a U.S. drone strike in northwest Syria Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. SOHR sources reported that the International Coalition against ISIS targeted an unidentified man on a motorcycle on the road to al-Mastuma in the Idleb countryside with three missiles, killing him immediately. A family of six, including women and children, sustained various injuries, as the car they were traveling in was passing near the site of the drone attack.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights has documented at least 228 cases of arbitrary arrests/ detentions in November, including 18 children and two women, noting that Syrian regime forces carried out widespread arrest campaigns, while the U.S.-backed Kurdish forces continue to kidnap children for conscription. The 19-page report explains that most of the arrests in Syria are carried out without any judicial warrant while the victims are passing through checkpoints or during raids, with the security forces of the regime’s four main intelligence services often responsible for extra-judicial detentions. Every detainee is tortured from the very first moment of his or her arrest and denied any opportunity to contact his or her family or to have access to a lawyer. The authorities also flatly deny the arbitrary arrests they have carried out and most of the detainees are subsequently categorized as forcibly disappeared.
France appointed the former French ambassador to Malta Brigitte Curmi as its new special envoy to Syria on Wednesday. France, al-Araby al-Jadeed reported, has not had an ambassador in Damascus since closing its embassy in 2012, but has maintained special presidential envoys to oversee the Syrian file since then. During the appointment of its previous envoy François Sénémaud in 2018, a French government spokesperson said that the move did not mean that France would “reopen its embassy.”
An improvised explosive device (IED), planted on a motorbike, detonated while a Russian military vehicle passed by on the streets of the town, located in the eastern countryside of Daraa, the Jerusalem Post reported. The Russian military vehicle targeted was on a patrol of a demarcation line between zones controlled by the U.S.-led international coalition’s forces and Russian forces in eastern Syria. A spokesman for Russia’s military said there were potential Islamic State sleeper cells in the area and that Russia’s military was trying to demonstrate its presence.
SANA reported that 10 oil workers were killed and another wounded in an attack on a bus they were traveling in the countryside of Deir-ez-Zor in eastern Syria. The agency reported that they were employed in the Kharata oil field, but did not specify the identity of the perpetrators of the attack. The region witnesses from time to time similar attacks, which ISIS claims.
United States forces continue providing military training to YPG fighters in Syria, despite the group being recognized as a terrorist organization by Washington, according to local sources who spoke to the Daily Sabah. The sources said the U.S soldiers, who arrived in the town of Rmelan – where the U.S. airbase is located – started training hundreds of YPG fighters on Dec. 1st. In the training, which will last for about a month, the use of light, medium, and heavy weapons, raids, and infiltration methods in villages will be taught to the “terrorists”.