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ISIS carried out ten attacks in Syria since start of 2020

A Syrian regime military vehicle was bombed in the Badia region of Homs by ISIS fighters - 2 January 2020 (Amaq news agency)

A Syrian regime military vehicle was bombed in the Badia region of Homs by ISIS fighters - 2 January 2020 (Amaq news agency)

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The so-called Islamic State (ISIS) has increased its activities since the beginning of this year through military operations targeting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian regime forces, according to data published by Amaq news agency, an ISIS-affiliated media outlet.

 The number of operations that the ISIS claimed responsibility for or was accused of against the SDF and the Syrian regime forces in the provinces of Deir Ezzor, Raqqa, Homs and al-Hasakah in the first two weeks of 2020, amounted to more than ten distributed as follows: 

ISIS’s attacks of 14 January 2020

 The ISIS’s latest offensive took place on Tuesday, 14 January,  in which it carried out two separate attacks. 

The first attack was against members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which forms the backbone of the SDF, by detonating an explosive device in one of its military vehicles in the village of Abou Rajab in rural Raqqa.

 Amaq news agency said that the attack resulted in the death and injury of a number of the YPG members.

The second attack targeted members of the Syrian regime forces in the Badia region of Deir Ezzor. The pro-regime “Deir al-Zour” Facebook news page and other pages acknowledged that a brigadier general and three members of the regime were killed in an attack conducted by the ISIS.

The page pointed out that the members of the Syrian regime forces were carrying out combing operations in the area whereas the ISIS did not claim responsibility for this attack until this moment.

 ISIS’s attacks of 12 January 2020

 Amaq news agency indicated that some al-Assad soldiers were ambushed by the ISIS in the al-Rusafa district, south of Raqqa.

The agency added that clashes occurred between the two warring sides, with various kinds of weapons, indicating the killing of a number of regime members, the burning of a vehicle and the seizure of other weapons and ammunition.

 Amaq news agency highlighted that the offensive took place last Saturday, 12 January, and published some photos, showing the clashes and the military vehicles the ISIS seized.  

Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently,” a Facebook news page run by Syrian civil activists, shed light on the re-emergence of the so-called ISIS in rural Raqqa, referring to the attack on the Syrian regime forces in the al-Rusafa district.

On the other hand, the Syrian regime did not officially comment on these developments until this moment. 

At the same time, other ISIS-affiliated fighters attacked an oil tank truck—owned by the Katerji Group—in the countryside of Deir Ezzor, which was heading to the Syrian-regime controlled areas. 

 According to the Amaq news agency, the ISIS fighters detonated an explosive device placed in an oil tank truck on the road of the al- Omar oil field, near the town of Diban in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. 

 The agency confirmed that the oil tank truck is owned by the Katerji Group, which belongs to Hossam al-Katirjit, a businessman and member of the Syrian People’s Council.

The Euphrates Post, a local newspaper, said that a landmine exploded near an oil tank truck in the al-Omar oil field, which is controlled by the US troops and the SDF.

  This was not the first time where the oil tank trucks of Katriji Group were targeted. In November 2019, ISIS, in the Bariyat al-Jadidat area, east of Raqqa, targeted several oil tank trucks, which were heading to the Syrian-regime controlled areas. The attack led to the burning of oil tank trucks.

ISIS’s attacks of 4 January 2020

On this day, the Amaq news agency reported that the ISIS carried out five attacks  targeting the Syrian regime forces in the Syrian Badia, which stretches from Homs countryside to Deir Ezzor east.

 The agency said that the ISIS fighters damaged a truck, a military vehicle, and two troop carriers of the regime forces, by detonating explosive devices, with separate operations in Mayadin area of Deir Ezzor desert.

Amaq added that the ISIS targeted two armored personnel carriers and machine gun belonging to the Syrian regime forces in the vicinity of Hamimah area in the Badia region of Homs.

 In another military operation conducted by the ISIS, two members of the Syrian regime forces were targeted in the Hamimah area, east of al-Sukhnah town, which resulted in the death of a number of Syrian regime members, the damage and destruction of military vehicles, according to photos published by Amaq.

These operations came at a time where the ISIS announced the launch of a battle titled “the retaliation invasion for the killing of the two sheikhs,”  in reference to its former leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and Abu al-Hasan al-Muhajir, the official spokesman of the ISIS who were killed in a US airstrike in rural Aleppo and Idlib more than two months ago.

 ISIS’s attacks of 2 January 2020

On 2 January, the Amaq news agency reported that the ISIS fighters carried out several attacks on military positions and figures in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, resulting in the killing of elements and a leader of the SDF intelligence.

 The agency added that the ISIS held an attack on the Sanwar checkpoint of the SDF in the town of Abu Hamam in the Hajin district, with a car bomb driven by “martyr”. The attack led to the killing of nine members of the SDF, including a leader, wounding others, and destroying vehicles in front of the “General Security headquarters of the Asayish Forces”.

On the other hand, Hawar, an autonomous administration affiliated- news agency, reported that a woman and three children were killed, and other civilians were injured, as a result of a car bomb explosion in front of the SDF checkpoint in Abu Hamam town of Deir Ezzor countryside, without military losses mentioned.

 The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES) warns 

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (NES) warned of the re-emergence of ISIS, calling for establishing an international tribunal to prosecute ISIS fighters, according to a statement issued by the NES on 7 January 2020.

The statement renewed the call of the NES for the creation of an international court to prosecute the ISIS fighters held in its prisons.

According to the statement, the ISIS has more than 10,000 fighters as well as tens of thousands of their families coming from more than 50 countries.

 The statement considered that “an international court must be conducted in the area of the NES in light of the availability of evidence, witnesses and victims . Furthermore, there must be international cooperation in this file as it is the responsibility of the entire world.”

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