Assad’s militias and Raqqa’s eastern countryside


On the first of August, Turki Al-Buhmed, the commander of the Tribes Army working with the Assad army, asked the people Raqqa’s eastern countryside to leave their homes and cross to the northern side of the Euphrates which is under Syrian Democratic Forces’ control. According to Al-Buhmed, they took this preemptive action because the area was to be targeted by Syrian and Russian warplanes and artillery.

In a recording, Al-Buhmed gave the impression that he is struggling to retain control of his militia, as fighters have been committing slews of violations – including looting homes and arresting civilians in the areas under their control.

In less than one week, these militias took control of all the villages and towns in Raqqa’s eastern countryside and have now reached the last remaining village of Ma’adan. It is worth noting that there were no violent battles in these towns and villages.

At the same time, people in the eastern countryside are facing difficult humanitarian circumstances. Some have been taken to Ein Essa Camp, while others have been taken to Alkarama Camp. Both camps suffer from a severe shortage of basic amenities and necessities.

Al-Buhmed sent a new recording on August the fifth stating that civilians from the villages in Raqqa’s eastern countryside can return to their villages by the tenth of August. He also demanded that all men who have not joined ISIS must now join his militia in order to “free” the whole eastern countryside of Raqqa.

media activist from the city of Raqqa, student at the Faculty of Law at the University of the Euphrates. Director of the Media Office of Raqqa, founding member of "Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently", founding member of the documentary project of "Sound and Picture". I work in documenting violations committed by Assad's regime and ISIS group and extremist organizations inside the city of Raqqa, as I work in programming, design and visual media. I hold a certificate of coach in digital security, and a certificate of journalist coach, and a certificate in documenting violations against human rights, and a certificate in electronic advocacy. I underwent a training under the supervision of "Cyber-Arabs" in collaboration with the Institute for War and Peace "IWPR", about the management of electronic websites and leadership of advocacy campaigns, and a training of press photography under the supervision of the photojournalist "Peter Hove Olesen".