Daesh/ ISIL carries off 400 Women & Children from Deir al-Zor to a fate worse than Death

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Daesh (ISIS, ISIL) on Sunday attacked an isolated outpost of the Syrian Arab Army in a few neighborhoods in the north of the city of Deir al-Zor, which are surrounded by Daesh from every side. The SAA also still controls a military airfield just north of the city.

In the attack, which involved six suicide bombers and hundreds of guerrillas, some 50 pro-government fighters were killed, along with 85 civilians. Some of those killed were captured first, then summarily executed (a war crime). The SAA managed to fight off the attack in most of its territory in the north of the city, but in the northwest al-Baghiliya district fell to Daesh.

Daesh fighters immediately kidnapped some 400 local civilians, including women and children and dragged them off elsewhere, according to Syrian opposition sources. These were family members of soldiers and auxiliaries who had been fighting for the al-Assad regime in the area, from Sunni clans. They were taken to the rural outskirts of Deir al-Zor or to Maadan, a town in nearby al-Raqqah province (al-Raqqah is the seat of the Daesh phony caliphate).

There are fears that Daesh will summarily execute some of the 400 civilians and will take the women and girls as sex slaves, as has happened before.

Daesh continued its attack on the regime positions in the north of the city on Sunday, but was subjected late that day to a fierce bombing campaign by the Russian Air Force.

Daesh has been trying for a year to take the entirety of Deir al-Zor Province; it has the bulk of it save for the north of the city of the same name, the provincial capital, and a military airbase near it.

Before the civil war, Deir al-Zor was a city of over 200,000 and the country’s seventh-largest. There are said to be 100,000 people living in the government-controlled area, which is supplied via the military air base since May, 2015, when Daesh took Palmyra and cut Deir al-Zor off from its supply lines.

These battles are an attempt by Daesh to remove one of the last government positions behind its lines and consolidate its control of the province of Deir al-Zor which abuts Daesh-controlled Iraq.

The partial advance on the city was one of the few pieces of good news for rebel forces in recent weeks. Because of Russian intervention, the al-Assad regime has completely cleared Latakia Province of rebel forces. The regime has also restored supply lines to west Aleppo, which it holds. Before the civil war Aleppo was a city of 4 million and the country’s largest. East Aleppo is held by a coalition of rebel groups, and Daesh has positions just outside the city to the east and south.


Related video:

CCTV News: “400 civilians abducted by ISIL in Syria’s Deir al-Zor”

2 Responses

  1. Looking at Iraq, Libya, Syria and the future war with Iran (Which possibly will occur soon after a Republican president is named) they bear an uncanny likeness to the Divide and Rule or Divide and Conquer strategy going back a thousand years….

    The strategy, but not the phrase, applies in many ancient cases: the example of Gabinius exists, parting the Jewish nation into five conventions, reported by Flavius Josephus in Book I, 169-170 of The Wars of the Jews (De bello Judaico).[3] Strabo also reports in Geography, 8.7.3[4] that the Achaean League was gradually dissolved under the Roman possession of the whole of Macedonia, owing to them not dealing with the several states in the same way, but wishing to preserve some and to destroy others.

  2. Incidents like these do not fully describe the horror of what is happening in Syria: however, horrific they might be. It is the everyday scare that this very incident could happen to anyone that makes life in Syria unbearable. It is the everyday humiliation that so many civilians have suffered living under the control of extremist groups that has done untold suffering.

    After nearly 5 years of strife, Syria has been emptied of a quarter of it’s population. Before the war, Syria had a population of 22 million; it now stands less than 16.6 million. One begins to wonder will anyone in Syria be left at the end of this strife?

    What Daesh and the dozens of other extremist groups have accomplished in Syria is nothing less than ethnic cleansing. Instead of bringing this ongoing strife to a close, we seem to double down on the failed strategy of tacitly allowing Saudi Arabia and Turkey in supporting extremist groups, which then go on to commit the atrocities as described in this article.

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