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On the Mosul Frontline Against ISIS 16
Tel Keif
By Stevennabil
03 Apr 2015

A machine gun is photographed in a Peshmerga position overlooking the ISIS-held town of Batnaya near Mosul.

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Swedish Iraqi Christian Fighting Agai...
Ninevah Plains
By Stevennabil
03 Apr 2015

Daniel a former Swedish army soldier who was born of Iraqi christian parents in Stockholm decided to volunteer with a christian militia in the Nineveh plains and fight isis after watching them taking his native towns near mousil

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Iraq: Swiss Priest Cares for Christia...
Sulaimaniya, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
02 Apr 2015

In August 2014, the Islamic State captured a number of Iraqi Christian towns in the area surrounding Mosul, among them Karakosh, the largest Iraqi city with a Christian majority. Most of its 50,000 inhabitants fled within a couple of hours on August and left most of their belongings behind. Today, more than 100,000 of the already shrinking population of Iraqi Christians have become internally displaced persons (IDPs) or fled to other countries. While most of the IDPs have found refuge in Ankawa, the Christian quarter of Erbil and two large refugee camps near the city of Dohuk, a small monastery in Sulaimaniya opened its doors for more than 200 refugees who have now been living in this very crowded place for more than half a year. A single Swiss monk takes care of them.

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Government Forces Raise Iraqi Flag Ov...
Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
01 Apr 2015

March 31, 2015
Tikrit, Iraq

Video shows soldiers from the Iraqi Army with remaining Shiite militias clash with ISIS as they advance into Tikrit, raise Iraqi flag over former ISIS strongholds. Many Shiite militias had refused to participate in the assault after the intervention of the US in the campaign.

The first shot is of burning building with an ISIS flag amidst the smoke. Later we see troops raising the Iraqi flag over a previous ISIS fortification. One can also make out a drone and an Iraqi officer giving coordinates on a walkie-talkie.

Iraq’s leader, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, announced that his forces had recaptured the strategic city of Tikrit on Tuesday March 30, 2015. The official Iraqiya television station published a headline quoting the PM's words: “Tikrit has fallen to us.”

Nonetheless, local sources in Tikrit say that ISIS still controls many parts of the city and that heavy fighting is still going on.

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Iraqi Forces Sweep ISIS-Controlled A...
Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
31 Mar 2015

Iraqi government forces backed by the Ali al-Akbar Brigade Shiite militia that forms part of the umbrella militia group called the Popular Mobilization (al-Hashid al-Shaabi) clash with ISIS militants less than 2km from the heart of Tikrit.

Media reports quoted Iraqi army and Shiite militia commanders as saying their forces have retaken the Salahuddine province governor's headquarters in central Tikrit from ISIS.

SHOTLIST

Wide of officers reading a map
Wide of fighters advancing through large in a wall
Various of fighters setting up and firing a mortar
Wide of fighters firing machinegun mounted on armored vehicle
Wide of tank moving
Various of armored vehicles
Various of fighters shooting at remote buildings
Various of fighters running across open field
Wide of fighters and Iraqi flag on top of a building
Various of fighters running across open field
Various of fighters and armored vehicles
Wide of tank advancing
Wide of buildings being targeted with gunshots
Wide of smoke rising from explosion
Wide of fighter praying next to armored vehicle
Wide of fighters inside a moving armored vehicle
Various of fighters on top of a building shooting
Wide of fighter firing rocket-propelled grenade
Wide of a paramedic taking a fighter’s blood pressure

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Anti-terror Operations Continue in Tu...
Gafsa, Tunisia
By Marwen Farhani
30 Mar 2015

Anti-terror operations continue in the wake of the Bardo Museum attack, this time in the rural areas outside the Tunisian capital. This operation comes a day after a raid in the suburbs of Tunis ended with authorities killing nine suspected militants in a gunfight and arresting one.

Heavily-armed Tunisian forces patrol outside the town of Gafsa as helicopters survey the area from above.

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Swedish Iraqi Christian Fighting Agai...
Ninevah Plains
By Stevennabil
29 Mar 2015

Daniel a former Swedish army soldier who was born of Iraqi christian parents in Stockholm decided to volunteer with a christian militia in the Nineveh plains and fight isis after watching them taking his native towns near mousil

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Trench Shields Shiite Iraqi Province ...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
27 Mar 2015

Karabala, Iraq
March 27, 2015

A trench is being dug on the border of the southern Shiite-majority Iraqi province of Karbala with the provinces of al-Anbar and Babel. The ditch, which extends for 50km, is 6m deep and 10m wide and is guarded by surveillance towers and checkpoints manned by Iraqi government forces and a Shiite militia known as the Al-Abbas Combat Division.

Colonel Hassan al-Silawi, the commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade in the Iraqi army, said in an interview that this trench aims to keep ISIS fighters from entering Karbala from al-Anbar province. Silawi denied that this obstacle was conceived to separate Sunni and Shiite populations.

Another interviewed officer denied claims made by Sunni politicians that the aim of the trench was to annex territory to the province Karbala. The city of Karbala hosts the tomb of Imam Hussein, one of the holiest shrines for Shiite Muslims.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Wide of soldiers standing next to surveillance tower
Wide of trench
Various of soldiers guarding trench
Wide of Iraqi army Humvee and soldier
Wide of soldiers running on sand barrier
Interview with Colonel Hassan al-Silawi, Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade
Wide of soldiers next to sand barricade
Various of soldier manning machinegun behind sand barricade
Various of soldiers guarding trench
Various of soldiers and military vehicles next to sand barricade
Interview with Colonel Hassan al-Silawi, Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade
Various of soldiers and military vehicles
Wide of pickup truck moving and banner with Shiite religious symbols
Wide of tents and Iraqi flags
Interview with Major Jaber Ahmed, Infantry Platoon Commander
Various of trench
Various of soldier in surveillance tower looking through binoculars
Wide of soldiers and vehicles at checkpoint. Phrase written with bricks in Arabic reads: “Long live Iraq.”
Wide of solider next to Iraqi flag
Wide of Iraqi soldier on guard

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Colonel Hassan al-Silawi, Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade
01:18 – 02:50

“The trench extends for about 50km along the administrative border between the provinces of Babel and Karbala. No, it is not about Sunni or Shiite provinces. This trench is an obstacle set up for military purposes. It has nothing to do with whether an area is Sunni or Shiite. This is a desert. These lands do not belong to any individual; they belong to the Ministry of Agriculture.

"The trench will be guarded by platoons from the 33rd Infantry Brigade in addition to groups from the Popular Mobilization [Shiite militia umbrella], especially the Al-Abbas Combat Division. The trench was dug by the province of the holy Karbala in agreement with the local governments of neighboring provinces. This system involves surveillance towers and cameras, as well as a dirt barrier that is 5m high and 6m wide.

"This trench was dug in the desert – an unpopulated area. There are no agricultural areas or shepherds. This is a desert, barren land. The aim of digging the trench is to stop the terrorist ISIS organization from training in this area.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Colonel Hassan al-Silawi, Commander of the 33rd Infantry Brigade
04:00- 04:48

"The soldiers are not scared because it is their duty to fight. We are terrorizing ISIS; ISIS is scared of us. The proof is that we liberated areas with the support of the Popular Mobilizations forces. This is a border of separation in desert areas neighboring the province of Karbala. The trench goes along the administrative border of three regions – Babel, Ramadi and the province of Karbala.

"There is no transgression. There is an agreement among local governments. This [trench] serves all the provinces. The public interest comes ahead of everything, especially when it comes to security. There are no lands that belong to the state or agricultural land, either. It is a desert area."

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Major Jaber Ahmed, Infantry Platoon Commander
05:12 – 05:51

“Thanks be to God, so far no security breach has been recorded in this district. Thanks be to God, it was because of the efforts of the head of operations, the commander of the 33rd Brigade."

Interviewer: "How would describe your morale?"

"Our morale is very high, thanks to [the military commanders]. God willing, the operations to liberate Falluja, which is close to us, as well as Tikrit, have started. God willing, operations will also start within Al-Anbar. God willing, the operations will keep going. We are guarding the northern district of the province of Karbala. Our morale is high, thanks be to God.”

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This Is How ISIS Refines Oil in Mosul
Mosul, Iraq
By omariq
27 Mar 2015

March 2015
Mosul, Iraq

On the roads around Mosul, Iraq's second largest city and taken by ISIS in June 2014, it is not uncommon to see roadside oil transactions.

In between ISIS billboards, civilians pull up to oil tankers parked on the side of the road to buy gas, petrol, and diesel to meet their daily needs.

Secret footage filmed in a town south of Mosul city shows a makeshift oil refinery, one of more than 2,000 similar installations, according to local sources. A Transterra Media contributor describes the refining process that takes place at the site, which was vacant at the time of filming.

Crude oil is brought to such refineries from wells in the provinces of Salahuddine and Mosul. Refined oil products are then sold in neighboring villages through distributors licensed by ISIS.

ISIS has divided Mosul province into three administrative districts: Wilayat (or province of) Mosul, which includes Mosul city and the Nineveh plain; Wilayat Dijla, south of Mosul city; and Wilayat al-Jazeera, west of Mosul city. The militant group considers Mosul the capital of its self-proclaimed state.

According to locals, ISIS controls the entire oil trade in the area. No one can sell oil without its permission.

The contributor's identity and the name of the town have been withheld at the contributor's request.

Shot List:

Traveling of road sign that reads: "The Islamic State. Wilayat [province] of Dijla." NOTE: The name of the town was blurred for security reasons.
Traveling of road sign that reads: "The Islamic State. Wilayat Dijla
Traveling of mobile oil tanker parked on roadside selling fuel to passersby
Various of makeshift oil refinery with voice over

Voice Over (Arabic)
00:38 – 02:17

“This is an oil refinery in Mosul. Crude oil is poured into these barrels. The barrels are then emptied into this tank, under which fire is started. When temperature rises, crude oil evaporates. Steam comes out of these tubes, which pass through water in order for steam to condense and become liquid.
Liquid comes out here. First, gasoline is collected. Afterwards, white oil [kerosene] comes out of the pipes, followed by gas oil [fuel oil].
Lighter substances come out first, followed by denser ones. These substances are then sold on the market.”

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US-Led Coalition Airstrikes Target Ti...
Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
26 Mar 2015

Video shows smoke from US-led coalition airstrikes on Tikrit.
It also includes a shot of an Iraqi helicopter and a shot of a destroyed ISIS convoy in the Albou Ajeel area, 30Km east of Tikrit.

The military operation to drive ISIS fighters of Tikrit, the hometown of late Iraqi President and a Sunni stronghold, was resumed today after a halt of two weeks.

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Mass Grave Discovered in Samarra, Iraq
Iraq
By mushtaq mohammed
24 Mar 2015

Samarra, Iraq
March 24, 2015

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

A mass burial site was discovered near the city of Samarra, central Iraq. According to interviewed Iraqi army officers, the dead bodies belong to civilians and soldiers who were apparently executed. The area has been recently retaken from ISIS, which has led the Iraqi military to assume that the victims were killed by the militant group.

Footage shows excavation vehicles digging up partially decomposed bodies as well as interviews with military officers explaining how the mass graves were discovered.

TRANSCRIPT

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Adib al-Khazraji, Local Resident
04:01 – 04:19

“If this shows anything at all, it shows ISIS’ treachery and brutality, with which the beloved Iraqi people have become familiar. We ask God almighty to give the [victims’] families patience and help achieve the victory of virtue against these criminal assassins.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Ali al-Saadi, Iraqi Army Officer
04:20 – 07:17

“Peace be upon you and God’s prayers be upon Prophet Mohamad. We are now in the district overseen by the 17th Brigade 17, 2nd Regiment, which is undertaking operations in Samarra. This area where are now standing was controlled by the zealous ISIS gangs. After we liberated and controlled this land, checkpoints were set up along a distance of four Km, from the area Imam Mohammad to Mahatat Balad crossroad. While patrols were being conducted in the district under our jurisdiction, we discovered depression in the soil after the rainfall yesterday. We dug the ground up and discovered two mass graves. The first grave contains four bodies of people wearing civilians clothing. Today, we discovered the burial site behind us. We discovered the bodies of people who had been wearing military uniforms. I believe that they have been buried for a long time – several months.
This morning we dug out the first batch of bodies, which were sent to the General Hospital of Balad. They were placed in the morgue, waiting to be identified with the help of the police directorate in Balad.
We thank the police directorate in Balad. Yesterday, we called the police commander there, Colonel Abdullah, who asked officers in Mahatat Balad police station to be present at the scene of the incident, or where these bodies are located. They [the police] received the bodies from us – we transported the bodies. We delivered the bodies to the hospital and the investigation was conducted by the police force of Mahattat Balad.
Now, we will send the bodies that are still here to the Balad hospital. We will deliver the bodies to the relevant authorities. They could be identified with the help of media outlets and delivered to their relatives. In case the bodies were not handed over to their families, they will be buried by relevant authorities. We shall continue to work as we are working now. We will keep searching for these martyrs. We are now safe in these areas thanks to their blood, which watered these lands. Here, it was difficult even for a car to pass through.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Brigadier-General Maad Beday Faraj, Commander of the 17th Brigade.”
07:18 – 08:50

“In the name of God, the merciful, the compassionate. Yesterday, we were notified by the Popular Mobilization forces, which are present in the district overseen by the First Regiment, 17th Infantry Brigade, and Samarra operations headquarters. We were notified of the appearance of a mass grave following rainfall two days ago. Part of these bodies appeared. The burial site was dug up and we were notified about this. As you can see, we are present with members of the Salahuddine provincial council. The office of the prime minister was also notified in order to bring in a specialized forensic medical team who could identify the remains of the bodies by taking samples from them to match them with DNA samples. So far, from what we have in front of us, we can tell that these people were [executed]. They had been blindfolded and their hands were tied behind their backs. They were thrown in this mass grave after they were executed.
This area is located in the south of the administrative district of Balad, specifically in the area of Tal al-Thahab.
After the bodies were inspected and the families recognized them, it was found out that one of them was a military who was in this district. Now, there a search is being conducted to find other burial sites in the same area.
Brigadier-General Maad Beday Faraj, Commander of the 17th Brigade"

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Peshmerga Check Refugees Returning to...
Kirkuk
By mushtaq mohammed
24 Mar 2015

March 23, 2015
Kirkuk, Iraq

Iraqis who are finally returning to their villages in Kirkuk are searched intensively by Peshmerga fighters who liberated the area from ISIS control. The residents of the villages of Daquq, al-Said, al-Wahda are asked to provide proof of identity and made to sign agreements that they will not allow anyone from outside of the village to enter or stay there.

:عقيد عبدالله ضابط في اللواء الثالث في البيشمركة‎

هذه القرى هي الآن تحت سلطة اقليم كردستان العراق وبمساعدة من العشائر تمكنا من طرد داعش، والآن بعد تحرير مناطقهم تم تبليغ العوائل للعودة اليها."

نحن الآن نفتش وندقق مواكب الناس الذين قرروا العودة الى بيوتهم ونتأكد من عدم وجود مندس او مخرب بين صفوفهم عن طريق مختار المنطقة وضباط الامن والمخابرات وقد تم توقيع العوائل على تعهد بعدم ايواء الغرباء في بيوتهم "وكذلك التبليغ عن الغرباء ان وجدوا.

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The Christian Militia Fighting ISIS i...
Unnamed Road, Bakufa,Iraq
By Nils Metzger
23 Mar 2015

This footage shows fighters from the Assyrian Christian Dwekh Nawsha militia at their forward operating base in Baqufa, Iraq, as well as on the frontline where they operate together with Peshmerga units. Since August, Dwekh Nawsha has guarded the village of Baqufa – especially its church – from looters. They also control the road connecting Mosul, the largest city in the Islamic State, and Dohuk, a large Kurdish city currently giving refuge to more than 100.000 displaced persons, many of them Christians.

This specific section of the frontline is very quiet, with no major fighting for the past six months since neither side has any heavy weapons deployed here. Many refugees criticize the militia’s lack of commitment to recapturing their village in the Niniveh area.

This footage shows an ordinary day with Dwekh Nawsha: watching the enemy on the frontline, waiting at the base camp, patrolling the village of Baqufa, staying awake all night to guard the small checkpoint, preparing breakfast for the day shift, cleaning the base and returning home for their week off.

The footage includes interviews with Rama Baito, the social media manager of Dwekh Nawsha; Sargon Logan, a 25-year old bread vendor from the city of Dohuk who joined Dwekh Nawsha three months ago; General Tareq Suliman, the local Peshmerga commander on the frontline near Dohuk; and his second-in-command, Colonel Kerim, who accompanied the journalist to the frontline.

BACKGROUND:

In August 2014, the Islamic State captured a number of Iraqi Christian towns in the area surrounding Mosul, among them Karakosh, the largest Iraqi city with a Christian majority.

While most fled, some Christians organized themselves into militias to defend their villages. One of them is Dwekh Nawsha (‘The Sacrificers’). Since August 2014, they have trained more than 60 fighters from the Ninaveh region of Iraq and control a small part of the frontline north of Mosul near a village called Baqufa. Dwekh Nawsha is not just a militia of Christians, but one fighting for the interests of the ancient Assyrian communities in Iraq. The Assyrians cherish a culture much older than Christianity, but were also one of the first peoples to convert in the 1st century AD. Over the last few months, the Islamic State has destroyed a number of important excavating sites and historical cities of the Assyrians, a people who used to rule over large parts of the Middle East 3.000 years ago.

The interviews were conducted in English and Kurdish.

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Interview: US Citizen Provides Iraqi ...
Dohuk, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
22 Mar 2015

In February 2015, Judd Carroll from Tyler, Texas decided to start a fundraising campaign to help Christian refugee children in northern Iraq and then deliver the material aid himself. Not only did the fundraising effort fail but, despite harsh criticism from family and friends, he spent his own money to fly to Iraq to bring both baby food and military equipment to local Christian militias. In this 30min interview, he explains his motivation and why he wants to join these Christian militias fighting the Islamic State.

The interview was filmed at the headquarters of the Christian Assyrian militia Dwekh Nawsha (‘The Sacrificers’).

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Syrian Kurdish Refugees Find a Home i...
Akre
By Mat Wolf
20 Mar 2015

March 20, 2015
Akre, Iraqi Kurdistan 


Housed inside a former detention facility, Syrian Kurds who fled fighting in their homeland are doing their best to restore normalcy in their lives in the mountainous Iraqi Kurdish city of Akre in the Dohuk government.
 
At the Akre settlement for Syrian Kurds—housed inside a former prison and Baathist military base—parents look on as their children run around the facility’s courtyard setting off fireworks. Youngsters are also working on a mural covering part of the two-story, yellow brick facility’s walls and stairwells in an art project sponsored by the Rise Foundation NGO and local teachers. Cartoon characters, animals and hearts are popular themes in the artwork.
 
“I like the trees, flowers, woods—the natural views,” says English teacher and fellow refugee Nazim Qamr, 29. He adds he’d prefer the children avoid cartoon characters, but it’s not up to him.
 
“We ask the children and listen to their opinions about what they like and don’t like,” Qamr says. 
 
As rays of sun occasionally poke through the clouds on an otherwise gloomy March 20, Iraqi Kurdistan’s mountains and postcard beauty makes it easy to forget the Akre settlement is a refugee camp. Housing just under 1,500 people—many of them small children—its residents are afforded small apartments converted from prison cells, and many admit they’re superior to the UN tents and ad-hoc structures that define many of the region’s refugee camps.
 
“They gave each family a room,” says 24-year-old English teacher Kawther Ahmed, originally from Damascus. She came to Akre with her family a year and a half ago, and said camp administrators from Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government have done their best to ensure the Syrian Kurds feel welcome. “Compared to the tents, this building is better than the tents,” she says.
 
Because the Syrians at Akre have been taken in by their fellow Kurds, they’re also allowed more privileges than the local government typically allows non-Kurdish refugees. Residents of the Akre settlement are allowed to freely come and go from the camp once they’ve filed residency paperwork, and can seek work in the local community. But despite some advantages given to Kurdish refugees in Kurdish territory, many of Akre’s Syrians still bear the scars of their homeland’s complex civil war, and have faced difficulties in adjusting to life in Iraq.
 
Adnan Mahmoud, 35, says he is originally a mechanic from Qamishli who fled the forces of the so-called Islamic State in Syria and came to Iraq a year and half ago. Since that time he’s developed a cataract in his left eye, and he says he’s gone partially blind. “It’s a simple surgery, but they don’t have doctors here to do it, and I’ve filed paperwork to go to a hospital that can, but nothing’s working,” he says.

He adds his young daughter Haifa has suffered a knee injury, and has had an X-ray done, but she also needs surgery and the refugees at Akre can’t find basic medical care.
 
Mahmoud’s friend and neighbor Samir Mohamed Saleh, 31, is a former restaurant worker who lived in both Syria and Lebanon before fleeing to Iraq a year and a half ago. He adds that in addition to insufficient medical care, work opportunities for Syrian Kurds in Iraq are limited and low paying.
 
They both say they’d like to be able to find real, serious work like they had in Syria. Like other men in the camp, they’ve found work packing and loading gravel, but they say the salary is poor and the work exhausting, sometimes for as little as $1.30 a day.
 
“We need real work, we need self-respect,” Samir says.
 
He adds however he thinks the Iraqi Kurds have been gracious, and that at least in Akre he has a roof over his head and food to eat.
 
“It’s good here, we have bread, electricity, food and water,” he says. “The Kurds in Iraq have helped us a lot, I mean we’re the same nation, but we still need more.” 

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Interview: Yousif Thomas Mirkis, Chal...
Sulaimaniya, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
20 Mar 2015

Archbishop Yousif Thomas Mirkis of Kirkul is one of the most important clergymen in the Chaldean Church and one of the most influential representatives of the Christian community in all of Iraq. The diocese of Kirkuk has always been a centerpiece of Iraqi Christendom, its former Archbishop Louis Raphael Sako having become the Patriarch of the Chaldean Church in 2013. This interview with Bishop Mirkis was conducted on 19 March 2015 in Sulaimaniya, Iraq.

The main topics discussed are the current refugee crisis and the future role of Christians in Iraq.

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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Suicid...
Sanaa
By Yousef Mawry
20 Mar 2015

March 20,2015
Sanaa, Yemen

According to Houthi spokesman, more than 135 Yemenis were killed and many more injured in a series of three suicide bomb attacks targeting two Shiite mosques during Friday prayers in the capital city of Sana’a.
In this video, shot at the al-Hushaish Mosque, witnesses said the first bomb exploded in the first row, right in front of the podium, while the second blast detonated outside of the mosque as worshipers fled.
Minutes after the attack ISIS claimed responsibility on Twitter.

(01:46-01:55)

This is the result of the accident. The biggest crime against humanity and God.

(01:56-02:06)

The infiltrators of America and Israel. We will not accept this, and we will not surrender because of the explosions they are doing in the house of God.

(02:36-03:03)

What happened is that after the Friday prayer, Dr. Taha Motawakel, the mosque Imam (preacher), gave his speech and we suddenly heard an explosion in the mosque. All you can see around you is injuries and corpses, it was filled with them, anywhere you look or step, it is all injuries and deaths.

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Families Mourn Victims of ISIS Attack...
Sanaa
By Yousef Mawry
20 Mar 2015

March 20, 2015
Sanaa, Yemen

In extremely rare and graphic imagery, this video shows family members of the slain gather at the morgue to identify and grieve the murder of their loved ones.

More than 135 people were killed in triple suicide bombings that rocked two Shiite mosques during Friday afternoon prayers in Yemen's capital of Sana'a. ISIS subsequently claimed responsibility for the attacks.

01:49

NAT Sound, crowd screaming in morgue: “Death to America. Death to Israel. May the Jews be Damned. Victory to Islam. God is greatest.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Unnamed Woman

02:08 – 02:20

“Only an idiot would not be moved in such situation. Such cruelty! How could they be called human when they kill innocent people on a Friday? May God help us!”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic) Unnamed man

00:21 – 00:30

“We have only become stronger and more resilient. We shall continue to follow this path. We shall continue to stand against evil. We shall be stronger and stronger.”

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Interview: Emanuel Youkhana, Head of ...
Erbil, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
18 Mar 2015

This footage is an extended interview with Archimandrit Emanuel Youkhana, priest of the Assyrian Church of the East and head of the most important Christian relief organization in Iraq, CAPNI. Here he talks extensively about why, even after the Islamic State has collapsed, he thinks Iraqi Christendom is about to die out, and why he does not expect things to get much better.

The interview was conducted in English.

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German Coalition Advisors Train Peshm...
Peshmerga Training Base outside of Erbil KTCC camp
By Jeffry Ruigendijk
18 Mar 2015

B-roll of target practice and interviews with German trainers and Peshmerga trainees near Erbil.

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Christian Refugees in Erbil, Iraq 1080p
Erbil, Iraq
By Nils Metzger
18 Mar 2015

Jens Petzold is a Swiss monk who heads a monastery in Erbil, Iraq for Iraqi-christian refugees who fled ISIS attacks on their towns last year. A former resident of the famous Deir Mar Musa monastery in Syria, Petzold first came Iraq from Syria in 2011 in order to rebuild the abandoned monastery of Deir Maryam al-Adha. After the Islamic State started to attack Christian villages in Iraq this past summer, he became the sole caretaker of dozens of displaced families.

Petzold is a charismatic and unorthodox church congregation leader. This footage tries to show how a single person can make a big difference to many refugees as well as show how refugees from the Christian community try to get on with their daily lives, somehow trying to avoid leaving their homeland for good.

Background:

In August 2014, the Islamic State captured a number of Iraqi Christian towns in the area surrounding Mosul, among them Karakosh, the largest Iraqi city with a Christian majority. Most of its 50,000 residents fled within a couple of hours on the 6th of August and left most of their belongings behind. Right now more than 100,000 of the already shrinking population of Iraqi Christian community have become internally displaced or fled to other countries. While most of the IDPs have found refuge in Ankawa, the Christian quarter of Erbil and two large refugee camps near the city of Dohuk, a small monastery in Sulaimaniya opened its doors for more than 200 refugees who have now been living in this very crowded place for more than half a year. The monastery with its church and one building houses 80 people, nearby apartments another 100+ people. Almost 70 of them are children.

The author visited Sulaimaniya in March 2015. The entire footage was shot during that time. It includes interviews with Jens Petzold, several of the refugees, shows daily life in the monastery as well as a mass. I accompanied Jens Petzold during trips to the local market, to a Christian graveyard and to another local church community where they are raising funds to build new housing facilities.

The following rough cut is in chronological order as it was shot.

The interviews were conducted in English and Arabic.

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Troops Loyal to Libya Dawn Launch Off...
Sirte
By laura.lesevre
17 Mar 2015

March 17, 2015
Sirte, Libya

Islamist troops loyal to Libya Dawn, a self appointed government based in Tripoli, have been instructed to drive ISIS out of Sirte. The 166 Brigade and militias from Misrata began their offensive against ISIS in Sirte, a coastal city that used to be a stronghold of Muammar Gaddafi.

The allied Islamist fighters have not yet been able to enter the city despite launching an offensive on Saturday March 14, 2015. They claim that Gaddafi loyalists are in control of the city and are now fighting under the ISIS flag.

In this video Gian Micalessin, an Italian veteran war reporter with more than 30s years of experience in war journalism who has covered Libya since 2011 revolution, visits the front lines with the allied fighters.

A longer rough cut is available on request.

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Body of Killed Tunisian ISIS Commande...
Misrata
By Mohamed Lagha
17 Mar 2015

WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT

Misrata, Libya
March 17, 2015

Video shows the body of slain ISIS commander Ahmed al-Ruwaysi, also known as Abu Zakariya al-Tunisi, who was killed in Libya during clashes with forces from the Islamist Libya Dawn coalition near Sirte.

The identity of the dead body was confirmed by Ismail Shukri, a spokesperson for Libya Dawn.

An obituary published by ISIS mentioned that Ruwaysi had planned and carried out the assassinations of two prominent Tunisian leftist activists, Mohammed Brahmi and Chokri Belaid.

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Inside Look: Peshmerga Advance on ISI...
Kirkuk
By mushtaq mohammed
16 Mar 2015

Kirkuk, Iraq
March 16, 2015

A Kurdish Peshmerga force of dozens of fighters, armored vehicles and tanks advanced on ISIS positions near the town Dakouk in the oil-rich province of Kirkuk in northern Iraq.

This video, shot by a fighter who took part in the operation, features Kurdish fighters taking control of a military position where an ISIS flag had been hoisted.

Kurdish tanks can be seen bombing ISIS positions, believed to be only about a few hundred meters away. Video also features Kurdish fighters neutralizing what appear to be improvised explosive devices placed on the side of the road, while an armored vehicle convoy advances slowly in a rural area.

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Leftovers of ISIS: Inside a Liberated...
Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2014
Tikrit, Iraq

Shiite militia officer, Abu Ismail, gives a tour of al-Alam, a suburb of Tikrit which until recently had been under the control of ISIS. Ismail shows ISIS graffiti on homes, a handmade explosive device hidden in an electronic tablet and detonators, as well as pro-ISIS leaflets giving instructions on the best way to pledge allegiance to Abu Bakr al Baghdadi’s caliphate.

In coordination with Shiite militias, the Iraqi Army was able to drive ISIS out of the area of al-Alam as part of their offensive to retake Tikrit.

Shot list/ transcription:

01:18
Medium of fighter spraying “Ali al-Akbar Brigade” on wall

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, man) Abu Ismail, Popular Mobilization officer
01:18 – 03:50

“This house, which we will raid, belongs to an officer in the Salahuddin Police. ISIS members took it by force. They closed it and left it behind. We begin with this writing [Reads in Arabic: “The State”] which ISIS fighters wrote. Please come with me so that I would show you the other writings.
[Lettering in Arabic reads: “Estates of the Islamic State”] ISIS members wrote this slogan on all the houses that they have taken over. They consider themselves to be the rightful owners of any house whose original owner supported the [Iraqi] government, is a Shiite, or does not follow their teachings. They confiscate the properties, cattle, land, women and anything that belongs to such a person. ‘The State of Islam shall remain.’ This is proof that they were present in this house. Now, God willing, we will open the house and see what is inside. These are detonators. This is a mobile tablet, commonly used but people for communication or guidance. This is the [explosive] dough. They have booby-trapped it. As soon as a call is made to this tablet, while the battery is in place, it will explode. These are the detonators, used to set off explosive devices. This house is in al-Dour housing complex. May the owner rest in peace. What is his name?
What is his name, Abu Hussein?
Regarding this issue…
Interviewer: Will this explode?
The battery is in place, however, the device should be charged to enable them to contact this device from another one. As soon a call is established between another device and this one, a detonation will be triggered. This little piece of dough, as we understood from explosives experts, can kill from four to ten people – this little piece of dough. If it was compressed, the explosion would be stronger.”

03:59 – 04:21
As soon as we entered the house – we still have not gone in deeply yet – we found military equipment and outfits [that were] used by ISIS members. They confiscated these outfits from police and army headquarters.

04:22 – 05:57
Close-up of ISIS pamphlet in Arabic, reads: “Extend your hands to pledge allegiance to Baghdadi.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, man) Abu Ismail, Popular Mobilization officer

04:27 –
These fliers were given out to people in various regions. This is about people pledging allegiance the damned Baghdadi. “Extend your hands to pledge allegiance to Baghdadi.” There is a drawing of hands, one belonging to Baghdadi and the other to the person pledging allegiance.
It was published by the hypocrite – a so-called muhajhid, but he is neither a sheikh nor a mujahid – Turki al-Ben Ali, Abi Sufian al-Salami.
Even the printing house –if the camera can show this clearly… this was published in the “Islamic State’s Printing Establishment.” Also, here is written “Al-Himma Bookstore.” These are the [visible] titles.
Here are written the conditions that the person pledging allegiance should follow. They start with specific points or titles that have nothing to do with Islam. They are far from any Islamic value.
We shall continue to search.
This flag… they have used as slogan these sacred words in every house, alley, village, region, or government office. They have nothing to do with this slogan.”

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Car Bomb Targets Anti-ISIS Task Force...
Misrata
By Bujezia
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Misrata, Libya

In a suburb of Misrata, Libya's third largest city and 187km east of Tripoli, a car bomb exploded in front of a camp of faction calling itself the 166 Battalion. According to local sources, one person was killed and several others were wounded. The 166 Battalion has been tasked with fighting ISIS in Sirte, where clashes broke out on Saturday 14 March. Video shows the aftermath of the car bomb which went off late on Sunday night.

Misrata is the power base of the Libya Dawn umbrella group which seized Tripoli in August, forcing the internationally recognized government east to Tobruk.

A group with ties to ISIS also claimed responsibility for several other high profile attacks, including that on the Corinthia Hotel in which six foreigners were killed. They have promised to retaliate with further violence if they continue to be attacked.

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Clashes on Tikrit Frontline
Al-Alam, Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
15 Mar 2015

March 15, 2015
Al-Alam,Tikrit Reqion, Iraq

Footage from the frontline at al-Alam, near Tirkit, where Shiite fighters from the Ali al-Akbar brigade, part of the Popular Mobilization umbrella group, engage in a battle with ISIS, merely 300m away.

This video was shot by a fighter from the group using a GoPro camera attached to his body.

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ISIS Operate Islamic Courts and Water...
Raqqa
By TTM Contributor 20
14 Mar 2015

DISCLAIMER: This video was shot with the approval of the Islamic State. The appearance of this video on the Transterra Media website does not in anyway constitute an endorsement by Transterra Media of any claims or statements made in this video.

ISIS functionaries claim to have introduced both Islamic courts and a functioning department of water management in Raqqa. In this video, several people can be seen at an ISIS-run Islamic sharia court. Interviewed plaintiffs say they are pleased with legal services provided under ISIS - which they consider fair and considerably better than what they experienced under the Syrian regime.

Footage also includes an interview with a functionary at the local department of water management. The official claims that his staff are purifying water and conducting studies to develop better provision of water.

TRANSCRIPT AND SHOTLIST

Wide of al-Dillah roundabout
Wide of propaganda billboards “God’s sharia should be the arbiter.” “The crusader against Islam.”
Wide of Al-Fawwaz Mosque
Wide of shops
Wide of children and man washing before prayer
Various of street food stands
Wide of two men eating
Wide of school girls walking
Wide of women and children in al-Rashid Park
Various of shops
Wide of military equipment store
Wide of fighter looking at fabrics
Wide of propaganda billboard “The traitors of Islam”
Wide of propaganda billboards that read: “Arab tyrants, your hands are tarnished with Muslims’ blood.” “The crusade against Islam.”
Wide of ISIS flag in the street
Various of preaching stand broadcasting Quranic recitation
Various of ISIS traffic police

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Ahmed, Water department official and ISIS member

01:53 – 02:37

"In the name of God and prayers be upon Prophet Mohammad. We, at the water department in Wilayat Raqqa [Raqqa Province], the Islamic State, are providing water for the common people. We are conducting repairs and mechanical works in all projects in Wilayat Raqqa. Water is being purified using chlorine and liquid hypochlorite then pumped in the grid. The water department follows up on complaints and technical failures, as well as applies necessary repairs in various workshops in Wilayat Raqqa. Finally, the Studies Department performs studies necessary for new projects to cover people’s current and future needs for water. Thanks be to God almighty. Peace be upon you.”

Wide of men’s entrance to Islamic court

Wide of women’s entrance to Islamic court
Various of men’s entrance to Islamic court

Various of people walking into court

Various of people sitting inside the court
Various of ISIS legal workers receiving files from plaintiffs
Various of court waiting room
Wide of ISIS legal worker handling files
Various of court waiting room
Various/ close-ups of legal documents

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Humam al-Ansari, legal worker at Islamic court run by ISIS
03:38 – 04:12
“In the name of God the Merciful the Compassionate, and God’s prayers be upon Prophet Mohamad and his family and companions. Thanks be to Good who enabled us to conquer these lands. Thanks be to God who enable us to establish these courts of law in Wilyat al-Raqqa [Name ISIS uses for Raqqa province].
Thanks be to God, we are fulfilling our work to grant all people their rights and correct any injustice that has befallen our Muslim brothers. Today, judges and everyone else are fulfilling their work to apply God’s sharia law. We treat people as our brethren.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Mohamad al-Rashed, plaintiff at Islamic court run by ISIS

04:12 – 04:38

“Peace be upon you. We are before the Islamic court in the city of Raqqa. Thanks be to God, the treatment is very good. Under the regime, if someone wanted to come to the court he would have had to pay bribes. People with legitimate rights suffered injustice. This was always the case. Thanks be to God, at the present time, treatment cannot be any better. One’s rights have been reinstated, God willing. Your right will not be lost, even if you were entitled to something as small as a particle.

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Munir Ahmed, plaintiff at Islamic court run by ISIS

04:39 – 05:20
“Thanks be to God almighty, I presented a case at the Islamic court in Wilyat Raqqa. Thanks be to God, there is cooperation on behalf of the judges and the other brothers. They understand people’s needs. Thanks be to God. I have a lawsuit that involves myself and another person. We resorted to God’s sharia law and the verdict has not been issued yet. Thanks be to God for everything.
Thanks be to God that we got rid of that infidel and debauched regime. Previously, if you were entitled to a right, you would be treated as a wrongdoer. One had to bribe judges and officials."

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ISIS Issues Resident ID Cards in Raqqa
Raqqa
By TTM Contributor 20
14 Mar 2015

DISCLAIMER: This video was shot with the approval of the Islamic State. The appearance of these videos on the Transterra Media website does not in anyway constitute an endorsement by Transterra Media of any claims or statements made in this video.

Video shows the civil status office in Raqqa, ISIS' biggest stronghold in Syria. Syrian citizens can be seen handing over their IDs issued by the Syrian government and receiving ones given to them by ISIS authorities. Ibrahim is applying for a birth certificate for his 1-year old son Sufian who, according to his father, was born when the Free Syrian Army was still in control of the city. At the time, government offices were closed and he was not able to obtain the proper documentation. Today he says that he is grateful that the “Islamic State” is reactivating government services.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of ISIS traffic police
Various of ISIS police (al-Hisba) vehicles broadcasting calls for prayer
Various of vehicle broadcasting ISIS anthem
Vaious of street food stands
Various of fighter carrying a rifle and a baby at the market
Various of people in park
Wide of ISIS’ Personal Status Office (PSO)
Various of people entering PSO to apply for IDs
Various of people applying for IDs
Close-ups of retrieved IDs issued by the Syrian government
Various of preparing new IDs
Close-up of personal status data displayed on computer
Various of entering data related to new IDs using computers
Various of people being given their new IDs
Various of Raqqa resident Khaled and his baby Sufian inside taxi on their way to PSO
Various of Khaled and his baby Sufian entering PSO
Various of ISIS employee filling in information for birth certificate
Various of man applying for birth certificate
Various of witness singing application
Various of witnesses signing application
Various of application process

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Ibrahim, the father of baby Sufian whose birth certificate is being issued
04:16 – 04:52

“In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate. I had a newborn about a year ago. You can see him. He is about one year old. At that time, the Free Syrian Army was present and there were no government offices.
Thanks be to God, now that the Islamic State is present, government offices are being gradually activated. One of these departments is the Personal Status Office, where they [ISIS members] are registering newly born babies.”

Various of Khaled receiving birth certificate and leaving building
Various of street food stands
Wide of perfume shop
Various of shops
Various of al-Dalla Roundabout
Wide of men praying in the street
Wide of billboard calling people to pay Zaqat (Islamic alms)
Wide of propaganda billboard that reads: “Now… now… the fighting has come.”
Wide of street
Wide of propaganda billboard that reads: “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.”

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ISIS-Run Government Institutions in R...
Raqqa
By TTM Contributor 20
14 Mar 2015

DISCLAIMER: This video was shot with the approval of the Islamic State. The appearance of this video on the Transterra Media website does not in any way constitute an endorsement by Transterra Media of any claims or statements made in this video.

At the personal status office in Raqqa, ISIS' biggest stronghold in Syria, Syrian citizens can be seen handing over their IDs issued by the Syrian government and receiving ones given to them by ISIS authorities. Ibrahim is applying for a birth certificate for his one-year-old son Sufian who, according to his father, was born when the Free Syrian Army was still in control of the city. At the time, government offices were closed and he was not able to obtain the proper documentation. Today he says that he is grateful that the “Islamic State” is reactivating government services.
ISIS functionaries claim to have introduced both Islamic courts and a functioning department of water management in Raqqa. In this video, several people can be seen at an ISIS-run Islamic sharia court. Interviewed plaintiffs say they are pleased with legal services provided under ISIS - which they consider fair and considerably better than what they experienced under the Syrian regime.
Footage also includes an interview with a functionary at the local department of water management. The official claims that his staff are purifying water and conducting studies to develop better provision of water.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Various of streets
Various of fighter carrying a rifle and a baby at the market
Wide of mosque
Various of children, women and men in park
Wide of market
Various of street food stands
Wide of perfume shop
Wide of two men eating
Wide of schoolgirls walking
Wide of women and children in al-Rashid Park
Wide of vegetable shop
Wide of street food cart
Wide of military equipment store
Wide of jewelry store
Wide of fighter looking at fabrics
Wide of women in front shops
Wide of children and man washing before prayer
Various of women buying candy for children in park
Wide of armed man with children in park
Various of al-Dillah roundabout (coffee pot fountain)
Wide of men praying in the street
Wide of men’s entrance to Islamic court
Wide of women’s entrance to Islamic court
Various of men’s entrance to Islamic court
Various of people walking into court
Various of people sitting inside the court
Various of ISIS legal workers receiving files from plaintiffs
Various of court waiting room
Various of ISIS legal worker handling files
Various of court waiting room
Various/ close-ups of legal documents

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Humam al-Ansari, legal worker at Islamic court run by ISIS

03:29 – 04:02

“In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate, and God’s prayers be upon Prophet Mohamad and his family and companions. Thanks be to Good who enabled us to conquer these lands. Thanks be to God who enable us to establish these courts of law in Wilayat al-Raqqa [Name ISIS uses for Raqqa province]. Thanks be to God, we are fulfilling our work to grant all people their rights and correct any injustice that has befallen our Muslim brothers. Today, judges and everyone else are fulfilling their work to apply God’s sharia law. We treat people as our brethren.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Mohamad al-Rashed, plaintiff at Islamic court run by ISIS
04:03 – 04:30
“Peace be upon you. We are before the Islamic court in the city of Raqqa. Thanks be to God, the treatment is very good. Under the regime, if someone wanted to come to the court he would have had to pay bribes. People with legitimate rights suffered injustice. This was always the case. Thanks be to God, at the present time, treatment cannot be any better. One’s rights have been reinstated, God willing. Your right will not be lost, even if you were entitled to something as small as a particle.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Munir Ahmed, plaintiff at Islamic court run by ISIS

04:31 – 05:11

“Thanks be to God almighty, I presented a case at the Islamic court in Wilayat Raqqa. Thanks be to God, there is cooperation on behalf of the judges and the other brothers. They understand people’s needs. Thanks be to God. I have a lawsuit that involves myself and another person. We resorted to God’s sharia law and the verdict has not been issued yet. Thanks be to God for everything. Thanks be to God that we got rid of that infidel and debauched regime. Previously, if you were entitled to a right, you would be treated as a wrongdoer. One had to bribe judges and officials."

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Ahmed, Water department official and ISIS member

05:12 – 05:55

"In the name of God and prayers be upon Prophet Mohammad. We, at the water department in Wilayat Raqqa [Raqqa Province], the Islamic State, are providing water for the common people. We are conducting repairs and mechanical works in all projects in Wilayat Raqqa. Water is being purified using chlorine gas and liquid hypochlorite then pumped in the grid. The water department follows up on complaints and technical failures, as well as applies necessary repairs in various workshops in Wilayat Raqqa. Finally, the Studies Department performs studies necessary for new projects to cover people’s current and future needs for water. Thanks be to God almighty. Peace be upon you.”

Wide of Clock Tower square
Wide of Raqqa and large ISIS flag
Wide of propaganda billboards that read: “Arab tyrants, your hands are tarnished with Muslims’ blood.” “The crusade against Islam.”
Wide of roundabout and ISIS flags
Wide of billboard calling people to pay Zakat (Islamic alms)
Wide of propaganda billboard that reads: “Now… now… the fighting has come.”
Wide of street
Various of loudspeaker in ISIS preaching office broadcasting Quran
Wide of propaganda billboard “The traitors of Islam”
Wide of roundabout
Wide of propaganda billboards “God’s sharia should be the arbiter.” “The crusader against Islam.”
Wide of propaganda billboard that reads: “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.”
Various of ISIS police (al-Hisba) vehicles broadcasting calls for prayer
Various of vehicle broadcasting ISIS anthem
Various of ISIS traffic police
Wide of ISIS-run Personal Status Office (PSO)
Various of people entering PSO to apply for IDs
Various of people applying for IDs
Various of ISIS employees entering data related to new IDs using computers
Close-ups of IDs issued by the Syrian government
Various of ISIS employees preparing new IDs
Close-up of personal status data displayed on computer
Various of people being given their new IDs
Various of Raqqa resident Ibrahim and his baby Sufian inside taxi on their way to PSO
Various of Ibrahim and his baby Sufian entering PSO
Various of ISIS employee filling in information for birth certificate
Various of Ibrahim applying for birth certificate
Various of witness singing application
Wide of baby Sufian
Wide of Ibrahim signing application

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Ibrahim, the father of baby Sufian whose birth certificate is being issued

10:32 – 11:08
“In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate. I had a newborn about a year ago. You can see him. He is about one year old. At that time, the Free Syrian Army was present and there were no government offices. Thanks be to God, now that the Islamic State is present, government offices are being gradually activated. One of these departments is the Personal Status Office, where they [ISIS members] are registering newly born babies.”

Various of Khaled receiving birth certificate and leaving building
Various of street food stands

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Funeral of Badr Organization Military...
Karbala
By mushtaq mohammed
13 Mar 2015

March 12, 2015
Karbala, Iraq

Thousands of Iraqi Shiites attended the funeral of Saad Tamimi, the military commander of the Badr Organization in Tikrit who was killed in battle on Wednesday 11 March. The Badr Organization is arguably the most powerful of the Shiite militias who make up the Hashid Shaabi or "Popular Mobilization" umbrella group of militias.

Also in attendance was the Badr military leader in Karbala, Major General Hamed Saheb, also known as Abu Mustapha al-Karbalai'. General Saheb accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of working to help the United States, referred to as "the devil", carry out its agenda in Iraq.

The mourners carried the coffin of Tamimi to holy Shiite shrines in Karbala while chanting Shiite slogans.

Analysts and U.S. officials have repeatedly stated their concerns about the sectarianism that is (re)emerging in Iraq. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he is "very concerned" about reports that Iran and Shiite militias are leading the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and exacerbating sectarian strife in that nation.

In a speech to Congress on 3 March, Carter said: "Sectarianism is what brought us to the point where we are, and so I do look at it with concern. We are watching it very closely."

Transcription:

SOUNDBITE: Major General Hamed Saheb, Military Commander of Badr Organization in Karbala (Arabic, Man)
02:59 – 04:51
“I offer condolences to myself, my brothers the mujahideen, and the people of Karbala on the occasion of the martyrdom of this hero from the military wing of Badr Organization. He participated in several operations. Eight days prior to his death, he took part with me in a very difficult operation, during which he marched ahead of my mujahideen brethren, calling: “Martyrdom! Martyrdom!” The day before yesterday, he was martyred in the Salahuddin district while he tried to sweep the area after it was liberated from the criminal gangs, which had entered the land of Imam Hussein, the Commander of the Believers. I congratulate you as well as ourselves for offering an elite of [martyrs] for the sake of the Master of Martyrs [Imam] Abi Abdullah al-Hussein, in defense of the land of Iraq and the holy shrines. We say, from the city of Imam Hussein, that neither ISIS, nor the malicious House of Saud, foundling Qatar, or damned Turkey will be able to achieve this scheme in Iraq, the scheme of America, the Great Satan. This is thanks to this safety valve [POINTING TO PORTRAIT OF AYATOLLAH SISTANI] who issued such a great fatwa, and these men who obeyed the fatwa.
God willing, in the next few hours, the good news of the full liberation of Salahuddin province will be announced.
Yes, we offered martyrs and casualties but, relatively to previous operations, their numbers are small.”

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Shiite Iraqi Fighters Claim to Captur...
Tikrit
By Stevennabil
13 Mar 2015

Tikrit, Iraq
March 13, 2015

This video shows Shiite militia fighters in Buajil near Tikrit. A fighter states that al-Ghadab Battalions, part of the military wing of the Daawa party, the Islamic Resistance, have retaken and completely “cleansed” Buajil.
The fighter also claims that the filmed site is where ISIS fighters executed Iraqi soldiers who were brought from Speicher military base. A large number of wrecked buildings and burned vehicles also appear in the video.

TRANSCRIPT

00:08 – 00:44
“This is the Buajil area; you can see [fighters from] the Islamic Resistance the military wing of the Daawa party – al-Ghadab Battalions – inside Buajil. The area has been completely cleansed. You can see ISIS vehicles completely wrecked. After painstaking work, al-Ghadab Battalions from the Islamic Resistance managed to bomb this area with mortar shells and completely destroy houses and cars. Watch the homes of ISIS members completely destroyed. There is nothing left for them.”

(…)

01:42 – 02:07
“They brought the martyrs from Speicher base to this specific site. They were executed in this house in front me. This area is now empty of residents and ISIS rats.”

(...)

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Iraqi Troops Seize ISIS Media Center ...
Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
12 Mar 2015

March 11, 2015
Tikrit, Iraq

Backed by Shiite volunteers, Iraqi Army soldiers enter the town of al-Dour, an ISIS stronghold 20km south of central Tikrit, and the same place Saddam Hussein was found hiding in a hole.

The video shows the soldiers driving through the town in tanks and armored vehicles. It also shows an ISIS "Media Access Point" or media outlet where they used to distribute Islamist books, prints and CDs. Inside the shop, soldiers found leftover books and CDs as well as numerous explosives left by the jihadists.

There is also shots of buildings with ISIS graffiti sprayed on the walls and reading "Property of the Caliphate".

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Body of Slain Female German Fighter t...
Qamishli
By TTM Contributor 33
11 Mar 2015

Qamishli, Syria
March 11, 2015

The body of Ivana Hoffman, a German national and member of the Turkish Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) who died battling ISIS, was returned to her bereaved mother and friends who had been waiting on the Turkish side of the border with northwestern Syria. Believed to be the first female foreign fighter to die fighting ISIS, she was killed Saturday as the YPG and YPJ fought to take back the Assyrian town of Tal Tamr. Known under her nom de guerre as Avasin Tekosin Gunes, she had joined the Kurdish Women's Protection Units (YPJ) six months ago.

SHOTLIST

Wide of Ivana Hoffman’s mother weeping on the Turkish side of the border
Wide of Kurdish men and women carrying Ivana Hoffman’s coffin on the Syrian side of the border
Close-up of Ivana Hoffman’s coffin
R-L pan of woman holding Ivana Hoffman’s picture and Ivana Hoffman’s mother
Wide of Kurdish officials and citizens surrounding Ivana Hoffman’s coffin
Wide of woman holding Ivana Hoffman’s picture and Ivana Hoffman’s mother
Wide of Kurdish officials and citizens surrounding Ivana Hoffman’s coffin
Medium of woman comforting Ivana Hoffman’s mother on the Turkish side of the border
Medium of Ivan Hoffman’s friends and mother and Turkish security officers on the Turkish side of the border
Wide of Ivana Hoffman’s mother weeping her coffin and surrounded by Kurdish officials and citizens
Wide of Ivana Hoffman’s mother receiving condolences next to her coffin
Wide of MLKP members and other women carrying Ivana Hoffman’s coffin into Turkey and chanting

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Iraqi Army and Shiite Militia Advance...
Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
10 Mar 2015

March 9, 2015
Tikrit, Iraq

Iraqi Army soldiers and Shiite fighters that pledge allegiance to Ali al-Akbar, a Shiite militia fighting under the umbrella of The Iraqi Popular Army (Hashid Shaabi), advance on al-Dour, a village in southern Tikrit.

Video shows them at very close range using tanks, heavy artillery and automatic weapons to fire upon ISIS positions as they move north towards central Tikrit. In the latter half of the video, various militiamen describe their morale as optimal; their motivations as just; and their ability to wipe out ISIS in the name of Hussein, the Prophet and the latter’s family as very strong.

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American and German Vow to Remain in ...
Serekaniye
By Bedir
10 Mar 2015

Serekaniye, Syria
March 10, 2015

An American and a German fighter have joined the ranks of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (known by the Kurdish acronym YPG) to fight against ISIS. They are positioned outside the majority-Kurdish city of Serekaniye in northeast Syria, known in Arabic as Ras al-Ain, waiting for the next battle to erupt.

The American fighter, who was interviewed and introduced himself as Richard Jones, plans to return to the United States once ISIS is defeated. On the other hand, the German fighter, who goes by the name of Hans Schneider, says he is willing to stay in Rojava – the Syrian part of self-proclaimed Kurdish homeland – after ISIS is pushed out in order to help the Kurds build the country they have long fought to establish.

SHOTLIST AND TRANSCRIPT

Traveling of German fighter identified as Zagros walking with Kurdish fighter
Various of female Kurdish fighters
Various of US fighter Richard Jones and two German fighters identified as Hans Shneider and Zagros
Various of a group of Kurdish fighters
Various of German fighter Hans Shneider walking
Various of US fighter Richard Jones and two German fighters identified as Hans Shneider and Kurdish female fighters

SOUNDBITE (English, Man) Richard Jones, American YPG Fighter
02:49 – 05:48
“Right now we are heading back to the town that we came from. So hopefully everything will go smoothly and it will be safe to ride back. “Right now we’re at one of the bases at the front. We’re at a vantage point on a hill where we can see the villages that Daesh controls. The villages here and here are known areas where Daesh resides. They control these areas. The ground in between, here and there, is contested. Anyone who tries to go into these areas or engage in fighting… hopefully then we can push forward and capture these towns and push ISIS back, eventually pushing all the way to reach Kobani. “I think it is likely. Obviously Daesh wants to do something to show that they are still powerful after losing such a big town as Kobani where all the world was watching. So I do expect Daesh to choose another major area to push in and to attack, to try to show that they still exist and they can still defeat the Kurds. However, I do not fear that Daesh will have a great success here. And I know that the YPG and the YPJ can defend their land. “Interviewer: So, you are ready to defend this area if they start a new attack on Jazeera [area in northeast Syria]?” “Absolutely. If they want to come, I’m ready to fight. “I do. I hope that the international community will see that the Kurds are not just fighting for the place where they live, they are fighting a terrorist organization that goes against the entire world. The fact that they’re here in Rojava does not mean that tomorrow they will not be in another country. We see the attacks in France; we see the attacks all around the world. And we know that ISIS hates these people. They hate everyone that’s not themselves. I do think that the world is obligated to come to assist. Not just for the Kurds to have Rojava, but also so that this terror organization could be defeated. “My name is Richard Jones. I’m from America. I’m here in Rojava to help the Kurdish people fight against ISIS – against Daesh. I’ve been to the front several times and I hope to be able to continue going to the front and fight against Daesh. So far there’s not been much fighting at the front areas. Both sides have been waiting for the other side to make a move. But I do know that soon the fighting will increase and there will be much more action at the frontlines. Interviewer: Are you ready to stay here for a long time?
Absolutely. I’m here to fight against Daesh and I want to stay here as long as Daesh exists. When Daesh is done, when ISIS is finished, then I can go back to America.”

SOUNDBITE (English, Man) Hans Schneider, German YPG Fighter

05:50 - 08:32

“I will not tell you my real name. People call me Hans Schneider; Kurds call me Agit. I came here to help the Kurds in their fight against the terrorists in Rojava. Interview: How long can you stay here?
I can stay as long as I want. I’m young; I’m healthy. I don’t have a home to go back to, so I can stay as long as I need.
Interviewer: Why are you here exactly?
Exactly, I’m here to help the Kurds in their fight against the terrorists and of course to help them fight for their freedom because the Kurds deserve their own country. They have been fighting for a long time and it will go on for a long time, I believe. Yes, I’m here to help them.
Interviewer: The guns that you have with you in the YPG are they enough for you to fight ISIS or do you need more?
When ISIS is out of Rojava, the Kurds will work more on their infrastructure and with things like that I can help them too, of course. To build up their military or build their infrastructure; their logistical system and transport – everything.
Interviewer: Do YPG fighters have enough weapons to fight ISIS or do they need more help from outside?
Yes, they could… It would be better if they could get more help from the outside, like training, equipment, weapons, heavy weapons, equipment like bulletproof vests, every kind of protection, weapons, ammunition, artillery, heavy weapons, everything.

Interviewer: OK, thank you.

And of course, of course… humanitarian help like food and shelter for the poor people and maybe education. You can help the Kurds in every way. Every kind of help is good.
Other countries [should] stand up and start to help the Kurds gain their freedom so that they can improve and build their own country and territory.”

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Shiite Militias Advance on ISIS Outsi...
Tikrit
By mushtaq mohammed
08 Mar 2015

March 8, 2015
Tikrit, Iraq

Footage from a camera mounted on the helmet of a fighter from the Ali-al-Akbar Shiite militia (part of the larger al-Hashd al-Shaabi umbrella of Shiite militias) shows fighters running through trenches and dirt roads on the outskirts of Al-Awja, the hometown of Saddam Hussein, in southern Tikrit. ISIS fighters were forced to retreat following the clashes.

The Iraqi Army, in coordination with al-Hashd al-Shaabi militias, launched an offensive to retake the city of Tikrit, which became an ISIS stronghold in June of 2014. Around 30,000 troops have been deployed and have been retaking villages from the jihadists en route to Tikrit over the last month.

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Badr Corps and Iraqi Army Shell ISIS ...
Salahuddin
By mushtaq mohammed
05 Mar 2015

March 5, 2015
Tikrit, Iraq

In conjunction with Iraqi Army soldiers, Shiite fighters from the Badr Corps advance towards the al-Alam area of northern Tikrit, supported by helicopter. The video shows the soldiers firing on a vehicle in the distance, which they claim is laden with explosives, until it blows up. It also shows the fighters driving through the liberated villages in convoys before reaching the frontline of the battle, where begin firing on ISIS positions with automatic weapons and RPGs. The troops claim to have liberated around 30 villages in the Salahuddin province en route to al-Alam.

In an interview with a Badr militia commander, the latter identified the vehicle laden with explosives but blown up in the video as having been sent by ISIS to thwart their advance. He also claims that, thanks to the help of the Prophet and Ali (the son-in-law of Mohammed and revered by Shiites), they suffered zero casualties or injuries.

Transcript:

Abu Hassan, Field Commander
(Man, Arabic) (06:42-07:04)

Over 30 villages were liberated but the most important liberated villages were al-Boueitha, al-Boutalha, al-Bouchenif and the area of Hemreen and its surrounding villages. We are heading now to the frontline of Sheikh Mohamad. All the units will meet here and head to Tikrit from the al-Alam road.

(07:05-07:39) Abbas, Fighter
(Man, Arabic)

We are now in Salah al-din near al-Alam and will reach al-Alam either this afternoon or at worst very early tomorrow morning.

We have enough people. We faced a bunch of them in cars this morning and beat them.

They sent us a vehicle planted with explosives, but we were able to destroy it with cannons before it reached us. They were not able to kill or injure any of our men. Prophet Mohamad and Ali are on our side.

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ISIS Destroys Home of Mosul's Prison ...
Mosul
By omariq
05 Mar 2015

March 2015
Mosul, Iraq

Video shows what eyewitnesses claim to be ISIS destroying the personal residence of the former warden of Mosul Prison, General Khalaf al-Jabouri.

The prison had been used by the Iraqi government to detain suspected terrorists. Locals say that many of the inmates have now become members of ISIS.

General Jabouri fled his home in the Shura district of Mosul in June 2014 when ISIS militants seized control of Iraq's second largest city.

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Shiite Badr Militia Attacks ISIS Posi...
Ad-Dawr
By mushtaq mohammed
04 Mar 2015

March 4, 2015
Tikrit, Iraq

Fighters belonging to the militia of the Shiite Badr Organization clash with ISIS militants in the village of Ad-Dawr, Iraq south of Tikrit. Militia leaders say ISIS was forced to retreat, giving Badr fighters control of the village. During the battle Mustafa al-Amiri, son of the Badr militia commander Hadi al-Amiri was injured.

Transcription:

(00:24) Fighters chanting: "Labayk ya Hussein [We are answering the call of Hussein]." "Labayki ya Zahraa [We are answering the call of Zahraa]."

(04:07) Fighter 1: "We are at the front line with the enemy, it is a tactical attack for the military forces who started to move forward, Victory is ours."

(05:37) Fighter 2: "We will not withdraw, until the last minute, only death can take us back to our families before retrieving Najaf. There is noway we are going back, and we want to avenge our martyrs in Spiker."

(07:05) Fighter 3: "We ask God to help us achieve our goal, for the sake of al-Hussein, the martyr in Kerbala. We ask God to help us achieve victory against our enemies, for the sake of al-Huseein, al-Zahraa, Abi Abdullah al-Hussein, and Ahl al-Bayt [the people of the House]."

(08:32) Fighter 4: "Those are the people who killed the martyrs in Spiker. We will avenge them, until we reach Mosul."