An American oil company has signed a deal with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to develop and modernize existing oil fields in northeastern Syria, Al-Monitor reported on July 30. The deal was made “with the acknowledgement and encouragement of the White House," sources told Al-Monitor.
Hale Gönültaş reports: A Yazidi woman who has been in captivity since 2014 was rescued from a home in Ankara. Abducted by an ISIS member in Iraq, the young woman was trafficked, eventually being tracked down by a family member.
The United States has designated a key ISIS financial facilitator in Turkey, Adnan Muhammad Amin al-Rawi, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a statement on July 28. According to OFAC, al-Rawi has materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, ISIS.
Turkey on July 20 commemorates victims of an ISIS suicide bombing in the Suruç district of the southeastern Urfa province, as the search for justice continues on its fifth year. News reports following the attack pointed to how the bombing could have been prevented since authorities had the necessary intelligence on ISIS militants.
The fifth hearing of the trial for fugitive suspects in the 2015 Ankara bombing perpetrated by members of a Turkish ISIS cell took place this week, and lawyers have called upon the suspects to be extradited from the camps in Syria in which they are being held. 16 fugitive suspects are being tried for the bombing, which killed 103 people near the train station in Turkey’s capital Ankara.
SDF holds ISIS Turkey leader responsible for deadly attacks in a prisoner camp, police documents reveal
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) holds ISIS' Turkey leader İlhami Balı, who is responsible for ordering a number of deadly bomb attacks, in a prisoner camp, according to police documents, which didn't state the name of the camp. The file was added to the case into the fugitive suspects of Oct. 10, 2015 Ankara bombing.
İslam Özkan writes: Rather than dividing it, it appears that Turkey’s strategy and polarizing policies in Libya have contributed to unifying the enemy camp. Though the attack against the al-Wattiyah airbase did not inflict huge damage on Turkey’s air defense system, Turkey’s efforts in Libya will likely get harder in the future.
KRG President Nechirvan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani met on May 30 with Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, commander of Coalition's Special Operations Forces to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Hill pointed out that the KRG is an important partner of the United States and Coalition Forces in the fight against ISIS.
Filiz Gazi reports: At the latest hearing of a trial regarding the 2015 Suruç massacre on May 20 - in which ISIS killed 33 young leftists - a lawyer seeking justice for the victims has revealed that hours of surveillance footage following the attack was likely erased or concealed. The next hearing in the Suruç case has been scheduled for August 18.
A man suspected of carrying out attacks on Turkish-owned businesses in Bavaria was a follower of ISIS, German authorities have said. Police apprehended the suspect on May 8 at a train station after he was caught traveling without a ticket. In his bag, police said they found 10 functional pipe bombs. They later found 13 more pipe bombs and 10 kilograms of explosive chemicals in a car left in a parking garage.
The lawyer of Halis Bayancuk, dubbed Turkey's ISIS leader, has said that his client must be freed "since his speeches are based on Islam." "ISIS and al-Qaeda say, 'Democracy is kuffar' and call the rulers who don't rule with Islamic principles 'taghut.' My client also accepts non-Islamic governance as 'taghut' and says democracy is 'kuffar.' However, he says these because these concepts are included in the Quran," the lawyer said.
Opposition deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) put forward parliamentary questions denouncing the Turkish government’s efforts at demographic engineering to make Kurds a minority in towns where they are the majority. The parliamentary questions also claimed that destroying the demographics of an area constituted a crime against humanity.
The Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) has congratulated the Yazidi New Year Çarşema Sor, also known as Red Wednesday, while also wishing for the Yazidi women and children held captive by ISIS militants to be freed. On the first Wednesday after April 13 each year, Yazidis celebrate the festival of Çarşema Sor, which they believe that marks the day when the world was fermented by God and life on earth started.
Halis Bayancuk -- believed to be ISIS' most senior operative in Turkey -- was re-arrested on April 9, upon an appeal of prosecutors, just hours after a court ruled to free him. The re-arrest order came after the decision to release Bayancuk caused an uproar among Turkish citizens.
The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) has called for a humanitarian truce and committed to suspending most military operations in northeast Syria amid the coronavirus outbreak. “We hope that this humanitarian truce will help to open the door for dialogue and political solution and to put an end to the war in the world and Syria,” the group said.