Bulletin: North East Syria updates 10 – 17.02.2019

Key events:

  • ISIS’ physical caliphate reduced to last few hundred square meters, not eradicated yet due to civilian presence: Read more
  • ISIS sleeper cell attacks on the increase across North East Syria: Read more
  • more than 1000 ISIS members believed to have fled into Iraq with up to $200million in cash in last 6 months: Read more


Away from the coming eradication of ISIS’ physical caliphate in Baghouz, where no more than 1000 fighters now cling to the last few hundred meters of land, sleeper cell attacks and IED attacks continue across North East Syria. Among others, an SDF spokesperson survived an assassination attempt this week. The humanitarian situation also continues to be grave in increasingly over-crowded camps for those leaving ISIS territory.

But new programmes are also being put into place to meet the severe challenges the region faces in the post-ISIS phase, as the world’s attention turns elsewhere. In Raqqa, for example, rubble from houses destroyed by ISIS is being used for new building projects, while a new programme in a camp for women and children formerly in ISIS territory aims to change attitudes towards child marriage.

On the ground:

In Raqqa, old buildings destroyed during the war against ISIS are to be used in new construction works: Read more

102 people started a 3-day hunger strike in Girke Lege in solidarity with Leyla Guven, Kurdish MP whose own hunger strike has now gone on for over three months: read more

In Ain Issa camp, a new programme was started to learn and discuss about the dangers of child marriage: Read more

In all the major cities of Rojava, people marched to protest the continued isolation of Kurdish political leader Abdullah Ocalan: Read more

Water and power was returned to areas east of Raqqa following the removal of ISIS: Read more

Statements and interviews: 

Syrian Kurdish leader Ilhan Ahmed visited politicians in France. She rejected any Turkish-backed safe-zone on the grounds such a programme failed in Afrin: Read more

UK foreign minister praises “incredible courage” of SDF fighters: Read more

 “Senior US lawmakers and military officials are pressing America’s allies in Europe to commit hundreds of troops to create a buffer zone”, per Senator Lindsey Graham: Read more

SDF says will focus on liberation of Afrin, sleeper cells after ISIS defeat: Read more

James Jeffrey, special envoy to Syria, says they won’t allow regime to return: Read more

Al-Qaeda growing strong in North West Syria, British intelligence chief states: Read more

The war against ISIS:

Donald Trump calls on European nations to repatriate 800 fighters captured in Syria: Read more

America calls on European allies to send troops to buffer zone in Northern Syria: Read more

British ISIS member Shamima Begum gives birth to a baby after being tracked down in al-Hol camp: Read more

SDF spokesperson survives assassination attempt: Read more


Turkish police has arrested over 70 members of Kurdish-led HDP party in this week’s operations: Read more

Erdogan says Kurdish people must be “driven” from Manbij: Read more


Turkish IDs being imposed in Afrin, photos provided to local press: Read more

home of elderly couple reportedly invaded by Turkish backed jihadi forces: Read more

Rojava IC reports:

Photos provided by and interview set up by RojavaIC for DPA report: Read more

Rojava IC interview with SDF commander used by the Independent and other news sources: Read more

Rojava IC’s breaking news on injured Italian photographer used by Italian press agency ANSA among many others: Read more