Syria

The Yarmouk activist hunted by IS group jihadists

Since the Islamic State organisation (IS) launched an offensive on the Yarmouk refugee camp in the suburbs of Damascus, activists have gone into hiding to try to escape the jihadists’ roundups. One of them told FRANCE 24's Observers that he faces certain death if he is caught. Read more...

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Young Syrian comedians take aim at Islamic State group


The jihadist emir is busy smoking, drinking and sending 'selfies' on WhatsApp, but when a young recruit stops by, the emir quickly takes on the persona of a man of virtue. Strapping a belt packed with explosives around the young man’s waist, the emir promises him trouble-free entry to paradise. "We'll meet again!" he exclaims before sending him off. For some young Syrians living in Turkey, comedy sketches like this are a way to use humour to fight back against the Islamic State group's reign of barbaric terror and hypocrisy. Read more...

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Syrian shock campaign mimics IS videos – using children


Frustrated by what they see as total indifference from the media, Syrian opposition activists in Douma staged a scene mirroring the grisly death of the Jordanian pilot burned alive by militants of the Islamic State jihadist group. The chilling photo shows children dressed in oversized orange jumpsuits, squeezed together in a cage, with a burning torch in the foreground. Read more…
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How the Islamic State group steals UN food aid


These images have sent social media accounts into overdrive. Food packages belonging to the World Food Programme (WFP) are distributed in Syria - but with Islamic State group logos. Our Observers on the ground say that this isn't an isolated case. For several months, WFP aid packages have been handed out in areas controlled by IS. Read our testimony from Raqqa.
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Syrian prisoners of conscience attempt hunger strike


Dozens of inmates in the main prison in Homs, Syria, launched a protest last week to demand their freedom. Most are imprisoned due to their opinions; the majority was arrested during the very first demonstrations against the Syrian regime in March 2011. Some have already served their sentence but continue to waste away in prison. Read more...
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Video: Shiite militias use same brutal tactics as Islamic State


A disturbing video filmed by soldiers fighting for the Kurdish Peshmerga reveals gruesome tactics used by Shiite militias battling to push Islamic State organisation jihadists out of Iraq. The images show the beheaded corpses of two IS fighters being dragged on the ground by a vehicle. Read more...
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‘I survived a jihadist suicide attack in Kobane’


On Saturday, November 29, the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group carried out five suicide bombings to help its fighters advance on Kobane, a Syrian town located on the Turkish border, most of which which is currently controlled by Kurdish forces. Our Observer, a doctor in the city, survived – but part of his field hospital was blown up in the explosion. Read more…
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Raqqa airstrikes 'hit more civilians than IS group positions'


The airstrikes carried out by the Syrian regime on the city of Raqqa in the past 72 hours were the most deadly to hit the bastion of the Islamic group (IS) in the past three years. Officially, these air strikes were meant to target positions held by the jihadist organisation. However, the extensive damage and the high death toll in civilian zones has made some residents question the regime’s strategy. Read more…
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Opposition-held Aleppo workers protest unpaid wages


Rumbling social discontent boiled over this week in zones held by the Syrian opposition in the northern city of Aleppo. Dozens of workers, angry about frequent delays in their salary payments, have organised numerous sit-ins at the interim government’s headquarters. Read more…

‘White helmets’, the Syrian men and women braving bombs to save lives


In Syria, they’re known as the Syrian Civil Defense. Elsewhere, they’re called the “white helmets”, which is what they wear during their rescue operations. For almost two years now, these volunteers have been saving lives day in and day out in areas bombarded by the Syrian regime. Read more…
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