The Kurdish forces of the People’s Defense Units (YPG) in Syria released an annual report on war and resistance for 2016. The YPG announced the number of the civilians fallen due to attacks by ISIS, Extremist groups, The Syrian regime and the Turkish army.
In the report, the YPG announced their participation in 2016 in the liberation of two major cities in Syria from ISIS as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The report said” 9,425 km2 of land from the ISIS terrorists” The report also included the casualty numbers of ISIS terrorists ” 4,622 ISIS terrorists were killed and thousands wounded and a total of 132 ISIS terrorists were captured.” said the report.
On the extremist groups operating in Syria, the YPG announced that armed groups of the Syrian National Coalition including Jabhat Al-Nusra [al-Qaida affiliate] Aand Ahrar Al Sham, launched 284 attacks with mortars resulting in the death of 51 civilians in Shekh Maqsoud, a neighborhood in Aleppo.
The YPG report included the number of the attacks by the Syrian regime on the Kurdish cities of al-Hasaka and Qamishli which resulted in the death of 28 civilians.
Annual report on war and resistance for 2016
In 2016, 9,425 km2 of land were liberated from ISIS
2016 was an important year for the Rojava revolution and for Syria in general. The savage ISIS terrorist organization unceasingly continued their attacks, and our units fortified their defense lines to repel this aggression. Our forces fought as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to liberate areas from ISIS terrorists and participated in several strategic operations to liberate areas from the occupation of the terrorists such as the Wrath of Khabur, the operation of the Martyrs Elin and Cudi, the operation of Commander Martyr Abu Layla in Manbij and the Wrath of Euphrates.
In 2016, the armed groups of the Syrian National Coalition constantly bombarded areas in Afrin and Sheikh Maqsoud in Aleppo. These groups used internationally banned weapons and all other heavy weapons targeting our forces and civilians, causing many massacres.
Simultaneously the Turkish army intensified its attacks on our land. Occupying of the town of Jarablus, the Turkish army invaded Syria and committed many massacres of civilians, killing many citizens on the border. The Turkish army had also increased their attacks on our forces and their positions in the last days of 2016.
Over the past year, the Syrian Ba’ath regime launched two extremely violent attacks on our forces and civilians. Our units responded to these attacks with concerted resistance and were able to weaken the presence of the regime in many areas.
The results of the attacks and our campaigns
Note: The following numbers of the martyred civilian disclosed in this report comprises only those who their lives in the areas controlled by our units. Martyred civilians who lost their lives in areas under the control of public security forces (asayish) or our other security forces or areas under the control of other forces are not included in this report.
The attacks of the Ba’ath regime
The Syrian Ba’ath regime launched two violent attacks on the cities of al-Hasakah and Qamishli. Each attack lasted 3 days, and additionally there were 17 other attacks on neighborhoods in different times including attacks with warplanes, mortars, artillery and other heavy weapons targeting our cities and civilian areas. During these attacks, 28 civilians were killed, 12 civilians were wounded, and 134 houses and shops were damaged including a pharmacy and a café. Our forces were able to repel these attacks by the regime and liberate the strategic Alaya prison. In al-Hasaka, the neighborhoods of Khiweran and Nawsha and much of the city was freed from the control of the regime.
The attacks of the Turkish army
Since the beginning of 2016, the Turkish army violated the borders of Rojava 191 times, engaging in harassment and attacks. The Turkish military launched 169 attacks with heavy weapons, shelling civilian homes, and property and our positions. Additionally, the Turkish army crossed the Rojava border and entered Rojava 2 times with helicopters, and 7 times with drones, and 13 times with armored vehicles. As a result of these attacks, it was confirmed that 31 civilians were killed and 138 wounded. Also as a result of these attacks, 6 members of the security forces were killed, including 1 from the YPG, 2 from the public security forces (asayish), and 3 members of the Self-Defense Force (Erka Xwe Parastinê), and 8 other members of the security forces were wounded. These attacks also caused damage to many homes and other civilian property, and some homes were entirely burned down.
The attacks of the armed groups of the Syrian National Coalition
In 2016, armed groups of the Syrian National Coalition calling themselves the “Free Army” including [al-Qaida affiliate] Jabhat Al-Nusra and Ahrar Al Sham, launched 284 attacks with mortars, improvised cannons and other heavy weaponry against villages in districts of Afrin and the Sheikh Maqsoud neighborhood in Aleppo. These armed groups attacked the civilians of Sheikh Maqsoud and our forces 3 times with chemical weapons and poison gas. These attacks killed 51 civilians and wounded 104.
The attacks of the ISIS terrorists
In 2016, the ISIS terrorist organization launched 493 attacks with howitzers, missiles, planted mines, car bombs, IEDs and other heavy weapons on the territory of the Northern Syria Federation. These attacks resulted in the death of 15 civilians and 14 wounded.
Report on the campaigns of the Syrian Democratic Forces
Our forces, acting as part of the umbrella organization of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), participated in the following operations against ISIS: Wrath of Khabur, the operation of the Martyrs Elin and Cudi, the operation of Commander Martyr Abu Layla in Manbij and the Wrath of Euphrates. These operations liberated 9,425 km2 of land from the ISIS terrorist organization, including the cities of Manbij and al-Shaddadi as well as tens of sub-districts, 699 villages, and a large number of farms and other areas.
During these operations, 4,622 ISIS terrorists were killed and thousands wounded and a total of 132 ISIS terrorists were captured. 203 armed vehicles were destroyed including 45 vehicles mounted with machine guns, 15 tanks, and armored personnel carriers, 32 mortar launchers, and 5 Katyusha rocket launchers and thousands of weapons and rounds of ammunition were captured from the terrorists by the SDF forces.
In 2016, our forces were able to seize a large amount of weapons, ammunition, and military equipment from enemy forces – 2,574 weapons were captured, and tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, military and medical supplies and hundreds of vehicles were captured.
The heroes of victory
All of our gains in 2016 were achieved through the sacrifices of our martyrs. These heroes struggled courageously against all efforts to occupy our land to allow us to live today in a free country and to lead the revolution in Syria. In 2016, 613 of our heroic, brave fighters became the seeds from which freedom will grow on the land of Kurdistan. We once again solemnly remember our fallen fighters, and we pledge first and foremost to the families of the martyrs as well as all of our people and our fighters and supporters to continue this struggle to the very end. The strength we obtain from our martyrs will be the guarantee of further victories.
The report translated by the Washington Kurdish Institute.