SOHR report: Turkish-held areas provide safe haven to jihadists and members of ISIS and al-Qaeda

Commanders among over 40 jihadists killed by Coalition aircraft since death of al-Baghdadi in 2019.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that since the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, airstrikes by the International Coalition in northern Idlib near the Syria border with Iskenderun region on October 27, 2019, Coalition aircraft have killed 51 people in different areas under the control of jihadi organizations and Turkish-backed factions.

The fatalities were distributed as follows:

41 jihadists of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities, including commanders. These jihadists and commanders served in the ranks of ISIS, Hurras al-Din organization, al-Qaeda and others.

Ten civilians, including two women and two children.

Those jihadists and civilians were killed in airstrikes on positions in areas controlled by Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham and Turkish-backed factions from Idlib to areas under the control of Turkish forces and their proxy factions in the northern and eastern Aleppo countryside and “Peace Spring” areas in al-Hasakah and al-Raqqah countryside.

SOHR tracked the details of these attacks which could be summarised as follows:

  • December 4, 2019: “Abu Ahmed al-Muhajer”, the military trainer in al-Asa’eb al-Hamraa’ (the red headbands) of Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham, was killed in an airstrike by a Coalition drone in Atma town in the northern countryside of Idlib, near the Syria-Turkey border.
  • December 23: 2019: The jihadist “Belal Kharisat”, aka “Abu Khadijah al-Ordoni”, was killed with his wife and two of his children in an airstrike by the International Coalition in Termanin town in northern Idlib.
  • May 21, 2020: The security official of the former “Hama State” known as “Abu Zaki al-Taybani” was among two jihadists killed in an attack by Coalition aircraft on their car on the road to Iskan in Afrin countryside.
  • August 13, 2020: “Abu Yehia al-Uzbaki” was killed in an attack with “Ninja” missiles fired by International Coalition drones in Sarmada city in the northern countryside of Idlib.
  • July 10, 2020: Two unidentified persons, but believed to be jihadists, were killed in airstrikes by the Coalition on a house in the military housing in Idlib city.
  • July 20, 2020: An ISIS commander from east Homs countryside known as “Shujaa al-Mohammed” was among three people killed in a Coalition airstrike on a car in Ihtimaylat town in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
  • June 14, 2020: “Qassam al-Ordoni”, the military general official of Hurras al-Din organization, and “Belal al-San’ani”, an official in charge of the organization’s Al-Badia army, were killed in an attack by Coalition drone on the outskirts of Idlib city.
  • June 20, 2020: “Azu al-Akkal” and “Fayez al-Akkal”, ex-ISIS Emirs (top commanders) in the former “al-Raqqah State”, were killed in strikes by a drone of the International Coalition on their motorcycle in al-bab city in eastern Aleppo.
  • June 25, 2020: “Abu Adnan al-Homsi”, the official in charge of military vehicles in Hurras al-Din organization, was killed in an airstrike by the International Coalition on his vehicle on the road between Idlib and Binnish cities.
  • September 15, 2020: Two jihaidsts known as “Sayyaf al-Tunsi” and “Safinah al-Tunsi” were killed in Coalition airstrikes on their car in Idlib city.
  • October 15, 2020: Coalition aircraft attacked the car of “Abu Zarr al-Masri” on the road to Arab Said to the west of Idlib city. The airstrike left a civilian woman called “Dema Abdan” dead.
  • October 22, 2020: 23 people, six civilians and 17 jihadists, were killed in airstrikes by US drones which targeted a dinner gathering in the village of Jakara in Salqin countryside, near the Syria-Turkey border. It is worth noting that the jihadists killed in that attack were commanders and fighters who had split from Hayyaat Tahrir al-Sham and agreed with “Hurras Al-Din” jihadi organization regarding the rejection of the Russian-Turkish agreements of the “de-escalation zone”. Moreover, the fatalities included 11 ex-HTS commanders, five of whom were non-Syrians, as well as an ex-ISIS commander who later joined HTS.
  • September 20, 2021: Three jihadists, “Abu al-Baraa al-Tunsi”, “Abu Hamza al-Yemeni” and “Saleem Abu Ahmed”, the official responsible for planning and funding in al-Qaeda, were killed in strikes by International Coalition drones on their car on the road between Binnish and Idlib.
  • October 22, 2021: An ex-commander of the formerly “Jabhat al-Nusra” which had sworn allegiance to al-Qaeda, who later joined “Ahrar al-Sharqiyyah” faction, was killed in a drone attack near Arbid junction in Sluk countryside in the northern countryside of al-Raqqah, in “Peace Spring” areas.
  • October 25, 2021: A commander called “Sabahi al-Ibrahim al-Musleh”, aka “Abu Hamza Shuhayl”, was killed with two of his escorts after being targeted with two missiles fired by a drone believed to be of the International Coalition near al-Adwaniyah village to the west of Ras al-Ain city (Sere Kaniye) in al-Hasakah countryside. It is worth noting that the targeted commander was the founder of the formerly “Jabhat al-Nusra” which previously swore allegiance to al-Qaeda in Deir Ezzor, before he swore allegiance to ISIS and worked in arms trafficking. The commander recently joined the Turkish-backed 20th Division.