This Week in the Middle East: Daesh defeated at Yarmouk by SAA, returns to live broadcasting; American YPG member KIA; Kurdish journalist correspondent arrested.
May Day 2018, Tuesday Edition
This Week in the Middle East is a bi-weekly column edited by Revan Filiaexdeus and published on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We draw our information from a wide network of citizen reporters who are often the very ones fighting these conflicts. Our reporting aims to be as objective and fact-based as possible. The opinions expressed herein belong solely to the author.
A note on terminology: We refuse to use any such terms as "Islamic State", "the Caliphate", "ISIS", or "ISIL" when referring to the terror group. Instead, we use the derogatory term Daesh, an abbreviation from the transliterated Arabic.
Zion Free Media has obtained twenty minutes of footage from Abkhazian Network News Agency (founded 2011) of the battle between Bashar al-Assad's Syrian Arab Army forces and Daesh. Daesh has controlled large parts of Yarmouk in the southern part of the Damascus metropolitan area and have waged war against both Assad and Free Syrian foces.
Daesh forces reached an agreement with the Assad government to surrender military hardware and cease ongoing conflicts in return for allowing more than five thousand Syrian refugees to evacuate from the area.
This follows a massive EUROPOL cyber-attack against Daesh-owned domain sites that took down large parts of the terror group's internet presence. Two days ago, Daesh was able to return it's al-Bayan internet radio station to daily broadcast and has resumed publication of it's weekly al-Naba newspaper. They also offer a Firefox plugin for it's radio station that allows listeners to get updates from the terror group as soon as they are released.
Iraqi police arrested three Daesh affiliate members in Matahnin, south of Old Mosul. They also successfully broke into and arrested all members of a Daesh cell in Hammam al-Alil district south of Mosul.
American citizen Jack Klebs, a foreign volunteer with Kurdistan's YPG was announced Killed In Action this week and a warrior's funeral procession held. Decried as a communist by international detractors, Klebs was honoured as a devout American with a deep love for the Kurdish people. He fought with the YPG for democracy, human rights, and the right of the Kurdish people to live a safe and self-determined life. His body will be shipped back to the United States for burial.
Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army factions arrested the independent Kurdish journalist Ahmad Shafia Bilal in Afrin. Bilal was a non-combatant freelance journalist and was previously arrested by both the Assad government and YPG for covering their abuses. His whereabouts and status are unknown. He was an anonymous correspondent with Zion Free Media.
In other news, heavy fighting continues on the west side of the Euphrates River south of Deir-ez-Zor as the SDF announces a new operation against Daesh and Assad government forces. An oil refinery exploded in SDF-controlled territory east of Deir-ez-Zor.
Revan Filiaexdeus is a freelance journalist and social activist who has been following the Syrian Civil War since it's origins in the Arab Spring of 2010. He is passionately dedicated to an objective covering of these events and works with organizations such as syriancivilwarmap.com and southfront.org