3 min read  | Damascus, Politics, Suwayda

Syria Direct: News update 4-1-15


April 1, 2015

IED attack on female sniper brigade

The special operations unit of Ajnad a-Sham planned four months in advance for an IED attack Tuesday that destroyed a bus in Damascus carrying elite female snipers with the Revolutionary Guard Corps, Abu al-Fida, head of the Islamic Union’s media office, told Syria Direct Wednesday.

The rebel Islamic Alliance/Ajnad a-Sham group claimed responsibility for the attack, which occurred in Damascus’ secure al-Somaria neighborhood, through a post on Twitter. The casualty count was not immediately clear.

“Our brigades reached a regime stronghold, close to the Mezzah military airport, and destroyed a bus carrying dozens of ‘female lions,’” Abu Mohamed al-Fateh, the head of Ajnad a-Sham, tweeted on Tuesday.

“The explosion occurred using an IED detonated from a distance before the bus entered the Mezze Military Airport,” al-Fida said, adding that initial reports point to the bus being badly damaged and all inside injured, although the number of dead is still unknown.

The Islamic Union-Ajnad a-Sham is a rebel faction primarily operational in Damascus’ East Ghouta suburbs, where it is a member of the United Judiciary. The group is known for carrying out attacks inside Damascus, also has a presence in Daraa and participated in the most recent battle to capture Idlib city.

The all-women’s brigade targeted in Tuesday’s attack, the al-Maghawir brigade, is active on the Jobar front located east of Damascus and beyond.

Ajnad a-Sham’s special operations unit has previously carried out IED operations inside Damascus, such as a May 2014 attack that targeted regime soldiers in a pickup truck on the main al-Aadwi Street, killing four, reported pro-opposition al-Ayyam.

Kurds in Al-Hasakah round up young men for military service, again

A series of arrests by the Kurdish Asayish of Hasakah targeting youth wanted for mandatory military service is part of a campaign ongoing for at least the past four months, a local citizen journalist told Syria Direct Wednesday.

The arrests in Ras al-Ain on Tuesday targeted more than 40 young men in addition to a number of children under 18, a matter that has already met with “a number of protests from the locals,” said Abu Umr al-Haskawi, the alias of a citizen journalist in Ras al-Ain.

The young men were informed more than two months ago that they needed to join Kurdish fighting forces but did not respond, an Asayish official was quoted by pro-Kurdish ARA News as saying.

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) passed a mandatory military service law last July stipulating the enlistment of one young man—between the ages of 18 and 30—per family into Kurdish military units for a period of six months, reported pro-opposition All4Syria.

Last October, Kurdish police forces loyal to the PYD (known as Asayish) rounded up hundreds of young men across the far northeastern province of Al-Hasakah, including Kurds, Arabs, Syriac Christians, Armenians and Yazidis, for military training in accordance with the new law.

Nusra wants Jordan border crossing

Rebels led by Jabhat a-Nusra attacked regime forces around the border crossing with Jordan on Wednesday in an attempt to capture it, reported the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Wednesday’s attack on the Nasib border in south Daraa province comes in the wake of five airstrikes and five barrel bomb attacks by regime warplanes on the nearby rebel-controlled town of Nasib on Tuesday, according to the pro-opposition Media Center for Nasib. 

Rebels have periodically attempted to seize the Nasib post before but repeatedly failed.

Earlier this week, the Syrian army sent reinforcements by way of Suwayda province to the border crossing, reported Iranian pro-regime news agency Al-Alam.

Meanwhile, the Jordanian government said that it will prevent Nusra from controlling the border crossing, although it was unclear what that would entail, reported the Jordanian news agency Ila News on Wednesday.

0401Nassib Regime bombs Nasib near border. Photo courtesy of Nasseb Event.

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