Locating the Turkish Convoy: Analyzing the ISIS Youtube Video

An ISIS youtube video was posted today that showed a number of the vehicles in the Turkish convoy sent to the Suleyman Shah tomb.

The video has a lot of geographic markers that I think allows for the identification of the location of the convoy. The first clear marker is the water at the start of the video. The open source information to date indicates that the convoy followed this route:

Image

Now, if one looks at the satellite map of the same area, there are a few areas along the likely path where the convoy could have passed near a river. The first is the picture below:

Image

The second possible location is here (My apologies for the wide-angle view. I wanted to show the bridge in relation to Jarabulus): Image:

The video, however, has more identifying markers that leads me to believe that it was filmed near the entrance to the Suleyman Shah tomb. In the video, one can clearly see a flag in the background, a small building on the right hand side of the screen, and a road that runs parallel to the river.

Image

If one zooms in on the road at the :16 second mark, one can see what appears to be a military truck moving down the road.

VehicleRoad

For comparison, here is the satellite picture:

Image

At the :23 second mark, the video shows the turn off to the road that runs perpendicular to the highway. Moreover, in the photo, one can clearly see a sentry stationed at a small guard shack. In the foreground, the small building that sits on the right side of the road is visible.

Image

The soldier is silhouetted by the sun, but one can clearly see that his helmet matches that of the soldiers in the picture below. The soldiers in this picture are standing in front of a Turkish made Kirpi APC.

SoldierKirpi

And, from this angle, one can see that the guard shack has been tagged with graffiti. (For reference, the guard shack is 350 meters from the entrance to the Tomb. This suggests that the rebels are able to approach the guard shack with relative impunity.)

Grafiti

The graffiti apparently says:

It could also say this:

 

Opposite the guard shack is an unidentified vehicle. The license plate is obscured by mud, but at the :24 second mark we get a shot of the front seat and there is no one in it. This leads me to believe that the vehicle was probably part of the convoy, or already based on site. Moreover, there is a second building that one can also see. At the :25 second mark the second of the two buildings is clearly visible. (I did not post the :25 second mark screenshot.)

Image

 

In this undated picture of the tomb, one can see that cars are parked out front. Moreover, you can also see a large tree on the bank of the small inlet. This tree is visible in the previous picture of the guard shack (left hand side) and the empty Volkswagen car (above the passenger side rear door).

CarPark

This matches with the satellite photography of the area.

Image

At the :47 second mark, the video shows a small cluster of buildings built next to the highway. The buildings sit directly next to a dirt road.

BuildingClusterRoad

The satellite photo confirms that these buildings and this road is some .12 kilometers from the turn-off road to the Suleyman Shah tomb.

buildingdirtroadspacedistasnceIt took the people who shot the video ~23 seconds to travel this distance, which suggests that they were traveling at some ~20 km/h. If one were to assume that the car travelled ~20 km/h throughout the video, then during the 1:08 of actual recording time (minus the intro) the car would have travelled ~.38 kms.

Based on the markers in the youtube video, it appears that this video was shot just outside of the Suleyman Shah tomb. Moreover, I believe that the video was shot along this piece of road.

VideoSequence

The evidence thus far confirms the reports that ISIS and the Turkish convoy came in contact yesterday on the Qara Qawzak Bridge bridge. They do not, however, support the reports that the convoy was ambushed in Manbij. (You can read the two reports here and here.) Moreover, the video does not support the claim that the convoy was escorted by ISIS. The video, however, does appear to have been shot before the convoy would have moved into Manbij. As always, we still need more information.

 

 

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About aaronstein1

I am an Istanbul based PhD Candidate a King's College London.
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One Response to Locating the Turkish Convoy: Analyzing the ISIS Youtube Video

  1. Mark says:

    There is a also second video which shows the Turkish convoy passing by a large ISIS flag. Could be near the same location.

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