Field Report [23-29April 2018]
Field Report [23-29April 2018] 23 April 2018 In clashes between regime forces and its allied militias with Daesh and rebel groups in southern Damascus, 18 deaths have been reported among regime forces and its allied militias. The regime has bombarded rebel-held territories in northern Homs. The Assad regime’s air force has targeted Idlib’s Khan Sheikhoun and its surroundings. Phosphor bombs are said to have been used in an attack on northern Hama’s Kafr Zita town 24 April 2018 In the district of Hajr Aswad in southern Damascus, mortar strikes by Daesh has led to 5 deaths and 22 wounded in Damascus city. Jaish al Islam commander major Abu Jamal Said Nekrash has been reportedly arrested by HTS in Darya. The offensive started by the Assad regime and its allied forces to the northeast of Homs was repelled by rebel fighters who killed and captured many regime forces as a result. After the evacuations in Eastern Qalamoun, Assad regime forces raised the regime flag in Jayroud’s center after entering the town. 25 April 2018 In a conference for humanitarian aid held in Brussels for civilians affected by the Syrian conflict, 4.4 billion dollars was raised. In Humeimim, the Russian airbase, air defense systems have shot down an unspecified number of drones. Prominent members of the opposition body Syrian National Coalition (SNC) Khalid Khoja, George Sabra and Suhir Atasi have resigned from their posts. In southern Aleppo, HTS and Hezbollah have executed a hostage exchange deal. 26 April 2018 Bashar Assad’s brother Maher Assad has been appointed as the commander of the Syrian Arab Army’s 4. Legion. In southern Damascus’ Hajer Aswad district, regime forces and its allied militias continue to clash with Daesh militants. French Special Forces have arrived at Rumaylan military base in eastern Syria. Opposition fighters have shot down a drone belonging to the Assad regime in northern Latakia. 27 April 2018 Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and the US’ new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have met for the first time, announcing they would move together on the issue of Manbij. In Yarmouk Camp, to the south of Damascus, bombardment by Assad regime forces has led to the deaths of 17 civilians, among whom 7 children. In Idlib in the last 24 hours, a total of 16 assassinations which target opposition figures have been reported. A prominent religious scholar Abdullah Al Muhaysini has been reported to have been the target of an assassination attempt. 28 April 2018 In Moscow, Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif and the Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu proclaimed that their meeting was important because it would lay the groundwork for new steps taken for the solution of the conflict. Assad regime forces and its allied militias have continued their assault on the district of Hajer Aswad in southern Damascus which is held by Daesh. Wounded evacuees from southern Damascus have reached the territory of Euphrates Shield. A hostage exchange deal has been carried out between HTS and Jabhat Tahrir Suriyah. 29 April 2018 Near Hama, overnight, attacks have targeted the Assad regime and the Iranian Republican Guard’s brigade. Severe explosions were reported which led to dozens of dead and wounded. To the east of Deir ez Zor, the International Coalition-backed SDF/YPG forces have repelled an assault by the Assad regime. In a bombardment by the Assad regime in northern Homs on the opposition-controlled territory, a hospital was severely damaged. HTS has announced it has arrested two activist journalists in Jisr es Shughour In the last weeks, various fronts in Syria have seen a continuation of low level clashes, while the Assad regime forces and its allied militias continue their assault on Yarmouk Camp, to the south of Damascus, which is split territorially between Daesh and HTS. The regime’s assault on the opposition-controlled territory in northern Homs continues as well. On the 25th of April, the regime has consolidated control over northern Damascus, with Eastern Qalamoun in particular, while it seeks to do the same in southern Damascus and northern Homs. The regime will in the coming weeks seek to enforce the same evacuation deals in both territories, as it has done before. Negotiations are continuing for these forced evacuation deals at both fronts. In Idlib, a significant rise in assassination attempts has been recorded, as last week more than twenty assassinations have been estimated to have occurred. In eastern Syria, despite the regime’s efforts, no change has occurred on the frontlines.
Field Report [April 16-22, 2018]
Field Report [April 16-22, 2018] 16 April 2018 In Akçakale, just opposite the city of Tal Abyad, the formation of the Raqqa Military Council was announced after a meeting. Opposition groups in Eastern Qalamoun, to the northeast of Damascus, have claimed that the Assad regime has attacked their posts. An explosion that targeted SDF/YPG forces in Raqqa led to a fighter and 4 civilians being killed. To the east of Deir ez Zor, Daesh militants clashed amongst themselves leading to many dead and wounded. 17 April 2018 The International Coalition executed an airborne operation to the south of Hasakah, leading to the arrest of many Daesh fighters. The government of Saudi Arabia has announced that they are willing to send forces to Syria under the supervision of the US-led International Coalition. In Dumair, the district in northeastern Damascus, rebel groups have announced that they have come to an evacuation agreement with the Assad regime with Russian mediation. The OPCW delegation that arrived at Douma to investigate chemical weapons use was harassed by gunfire. 18 April 2018 To the east of Deir ez Zor, a hostage exchange deal between the SDF/YPG and Daesh militants was executed. The area under the control of Daesh in southern Damascus was bombarded by Assad regime forces. The opposition groups in the besieged territory in northern Homs have finished a round of negotiations with the Russians. SDF/YPG positions in Tal Rifaat were subject to bombardment by an unknown source. 19 April 2018 HTS militants opened fire to a crowd of protestors near Idlib, resulting in 5 wounded civilians. As part of the evacuation deal with the Assad regime, rebel fighters and their families have started to leave Dumair. To the west of Daraa, the Halid Bin Walid Army, loyal to Daesh, attacked and killed 25 FSA fighters. Assad regime forces and their allied militias have started an offensive to take over the Yarmouk Camp in southern Damascus. 20 April 2018 In the north of Latakia, a sudden raid led to the death of 12 regime fighters. The Assad regime forces’ offensive on Yarmouk Camp, which is split into two zones of territorial control, with Daesh controlling one side and the rebels the other, continues. In southern Hama, violent clashes between Assad regime forces and opposition groups erupted. The evacuees from Dumair have reached Jarablus. 21 April 2018 Clashes erupted between HTS and Assad regime forces in Yarmouk Camp, in southern Damascus. Because of bombardment by Assad regime forces, 5 civilians have lost their lives in Yarmouk Camp. In the besieged rebel-held territory in northern Homs, 6 civilians lost their lives because of bombardment by the Assad regime. After the evacuation of rebels in Eastern Qalamoun, to the northeast of Damascus, Daesh militants have taken over control of many locations in the area. 22 April 2018 In western Aleppo, the Sham Liberation Front has started a counteroffensive to HTS positions. The round of negotiations expected to be held between the opposition groups in the besieged rebel-held territory in northern Homs and the Russians could not be realized. A part of the evacuees from Eastern Qalamoun have reached the region of Afrin. A spokesperson for the Iraqi army announced that in last week’s cross-border attack on Daesh positions in Syria a large number of fighters were neutralized. Last week in Syria, clashes overall have continued to decrease while at many fronts clashes continue. As an example, for this, the Assad regime and its allied militias have started an offensive to take over the Yarmouk Camp area in the south of Damascus, split territorially between Daesh and HTS. The civilians in the area have been besieged for years and now they are in a bad situation where they have many dead and wounded because of bombardments. Additionally, the Assad regime’s execution of its long-held strategy of “besiege – starve – evacuate” is proving successful for the regime, as after Eastern Ghouta, the rebels in Eastern Qalamoun, in northeastern Damascus, have come to an evacuation agreement with the Assad regime, in turn evacuating to the Euphrates Shield and Afrin territories. As for the besieged rebels in northern Homs, they have started negotiations with the Russians. While clashes with the Assad regime occur from time to time, as in the other examples, an evacuation deal might be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.
Field Report [April 9-15, 2018]
Field Report [April 9-15, 2018] April 9, 2018 The United Nations Security Council gathered at the UN Headquarters in New York following the chemical attack in the besieged Eastern Ghouta district of Douma. It was announced that the fighters of Jaysh al Islam and their families have begun to be evacuated from Douma, as per the agreement signed with the Assad Regime. Reports came in that regime bombardment in opposition-held Northern has resulted in 6 deaths and 15 injured. The previous day’s strikes on the Tayfur (T4) Airbase in the east of Homs were declared to have been carried out by Israeli warplanes. April 10, 2018 DAESH militants allegedly launched an attack on Regime positions in the town of Sukhnah. 74 buses carrying Doumaevacuees under Regime supervision reached the Euphrates Shield area. Clashes between opposition fighters and the DAESH affiliated Khalid ibn al Walid Army were reported to have taken place in the western Daraa town of Hayt. It was claimed that multiple dead and injured among SDG-YPG militants had occurred as a result of an explosion in the al Shaddadah district of Hasakah province. April 11, 2018 The Russian Air Force announced that it had carried out airstrikes at multiple points in the vicinity of Idlib and Jisr al Shughur. Violent clashes occurred between Regime forces and DAESH militants in Al Bukamal. YPG forces allegedly arrested 3 youths in the Mabruka refugee camp near Ras al Ayn for being involved with the FSA. Regime bombings of multiple opposition-controlled towns were reported in the Hama region. April 12, 2018 The Syrian Regime delegation was reported to have arrived in Baghdad for formal visits. The international coalition announced that it had conducted 10 airstrikes against DAESH targets in the east of Syrian between April 6th and 12th. A car bomb attack near the Azaz Local Council was reported to have resulted in injuries. Opposition-held towns north of Homs were targeted by Regime bombardmant. April 13, 2018 Many dead and injured were reported in the Eastern Homs town of Qanaytun, as a result of a DAESH assault on Regime positions. The FSA announced that it had arrested multiple accused Assad Regime collaborators in Jasim town near Daraa, in whose domiciles firearms and explosive were found. Clashes erupted between HTS and the Syrian Liberation Front. Militants of the SDG-YPG supported by International Coalition helicopters clashed with DAESH militants in the northern Al Bukamal town of Hajin. April 14, 2018 The US, France, and the UK targeted Syrian military positions and chemical facilities in Damascus and Homs in air and missile strikes. The Assad Regime claimed that the attacks had not resulted in casualties, while still other sources suggested that the targeted military facilities had been evacuated in recent days. With the evacuation of Douma, the Assad Regime announced that it now contolled all of Eastern Ghouta. Reports emerged of Regime bombardment of multiple points on JabalTurkman in the north of Latakia. April 15, 2018 A Russian mediated evacuation agreement was announced between the Assad Regime and besieged opposition forces in Dumayr in the east of Qalamoun. Contrary to an agreement between the opposition and Russia, reports emerged of Regime forces entering Douma after the withdrawal of Russian military police. Regime forces are reported to have shelled opposition controlled districts in Daraa. HTS and the Syrian liberation front clashed in several points in the west of Idlib and Aleppo, with limited HTS gains. The previous week’s strikes by the US, France, and the UKagainst the Syrian Regimein response to the use of chemical weapons in Douma were the main headline. No civilian casualties were reported in these attacks targeting chemical weapon production and storage facilities in Damascus and Homs. While the attacks did not result in significant changes on the ground, they can be seen to constitute a message to Russia, Iran, and Syriafrom the attacking parties. Other headlines include the completion of the evacuation of Douma under Regime supervision, the passage of Jaysh al Islam fighters and their families’ to the Euphrates Shield zone, and the announcement by the Assad government of its control over the whole of Eastern Ghouta. DAESH activity continues to grow in the al Bukamal region and the east of Homs. Finally, the Assad Regime conducted airstrikes against opposition-held regions in Daraa and the north of Homs.
Field Report [2-8 April 2018]
Field Report [2-8 April 2018] 2 April 2018 As part of the Astana process, a delegation of the TAF visited Hama’s north in order to scout for locations to construct new observation posts. A group which calls itself the “The People’s Resistance of the East”, has proclaimed that it will target the US base near Ayn İssa that lies to the north of Raqqa. The US has stated that it has sent reinforcements to the Manbij area. After the clashes between Daesh militants and Shia militias in Abu Kamal the last two days, Hashd Shabi forces have been sent to the Iraqi-Syrian border near Abu Kamal. 3 April 2018 To the east of Deir ez Zor where there are oilfields, Daesh militants have seized many locations after starting an offensive against SDF/YPG forces. An airstrike on the town of Ariha in Idlib which targeted a market square, many deaths and wounded were reported. As per the evacuation of Eastern Ghouta, a group of Jaish al Islam fighters have reached the Euphrates Shield area. Jaish al Islam has claimed that the evacuees were merely consisting of the wounded. Under the protection of the US, the PKK/YPG presence in Manbij has expanded by the construction of 2 new bases, one of which is 4 km away from the Euphrates Shield area frontlines, whereas the other is 8 km away. 4 April 2018 The “Turkey-Russia-Iran Trilateral Summit” took place in Ankara, where the president Erdoğan, Russian President Putin and Iran’s president Rouhani met. After the airstrike in El-Bare town in southern Idlib, many wounded were reported. An oil-well was captured by Daesh after its militants started an offensive to the east of Deir ez Zor. The TAF allegedly targeted a YPG position near the Iraqi-Syrian border. 5 April 2018 YPG’s asayish militants (interior military police) have given the villagers of the Em Kahif village to the south of Qamishli an ultimatum to abandon their houses after their family members were said to have joined the Operation Olive Branch. Many deaths and wounded were reported after Assad regime forces attacked many different locations in Daraa. Assad regime’s artillery units have bombarded Kafr Zeyta and Latamne villages to the north of Hama. An aistrike said to be executed by the Russian air force targeted the oil-well captured by Daesh to the east of Deir ez Zor. 6 April 2018 The TAF is said to have targeted YPG positions near Tal Abyad. Daesh militants have attacked Assad regime positions overnight along the Damascus-Baghdad highway. After 42 airstrikes on Douma in Eastern Ghouta, 27 people were known to have lost their lives, of which 5 were children. In Daraa, clashes have been reported between the Assad regime and opposition forces. 7 April 2018 Assad regime forces have executed a chemical weapons attack on Douma in Eastern Ghouta, the besieged area in eastern Damascus, overnight, killing 75 and wounding hundreds. A convoy consisting of 100 vehicles belonging to the TAF, have entered Idlib to set up the new observation post in northern Hama’s Morek. A car bomb exploded in Al Bab, killing 7 and wounding many. Two military leaders of FSA’s Jaish al Izze have been killed because of a bomb attack. 8 April 2018 US president Trump used the words “Animal Assad” for the Syrian president Bashar Assad when speaking about the chemical attack in Douma and Trump stated that he would pay a price for the attack. After the chemical attack in Eastern Ghouta, an airstrike hit the T4 airbase that lies to the east of Homs. The rebel groups in Eastern Qalamoun are said to have come to an agreement with the regime with Russian mediation. Assad regime sources have claimed that they have reached an agreement with Jaish al Islam, and that in the 48 hours following the agreement, eight thousand fighters and their families will be evacuated to the Euphrates Shield area. The last week many important developments have unfolded in Syria’s many fronts. The most important development of the week was the chemical attack in Douma. The Assad regime has conquered most of Eastern Ghouta with the exception of Douma where Jaish al Islam is in control. In order to force Jaish al Islam out of Douma, the Assad regime continued its attacks, resulting in many deaths and wounded. 75 people were killed and hundreds were wounded after the chemical attack that happened on Saturday. After this attack, the Assad regime directly came to an agreement with Jaish al Islam for the evacuation of their fighters and families. In Syria’s east, Daesh militants have started offensives again as they have attacked Assad regime forces and Shia militias over the past two weeks. These Daesh militants have captured an oil-well to the east of Deir ez Zor and attacked Assad regime forces overnight along the Damascus-Baghdad highway. In Ankara the “Turkey-Russia-Iran Trilateral Summit” was held where president Erdoğan, Russian president Putin and Iranian president Rouhani met. As part of the Astana process, in Idlib, the construction of observation posts continues. Last week, the TAF constructed a new observation post in Hama’s north, in the town of Morek as part of this Astana process.
FIELD REPORTMANŞET Field Report [26 March – 1 April 2018]
Field Report [26 March – 1 April 2018] 26 March 2018 The Syrian Oil Ministry has signed a contract for 50 years with the Russian Stroytransgaz company for the extraction and operating of phosphate reserves in eastern Palmyra. The Syrian foreign minister Walid Al Muallim officially visited Jordan. The previous visit was in 2015. Evacuations of Eastern Ghouta continue under the supervision of the Assad regime. Another 5400 people were evacuated today. The Assad regime has executed a hostage exchange with Daesh militants to the south of Damascus. 27 March 2018 Another 3268 people were evacuated from Eastern Ghouta. Two civilians have lost their lives as a result of airstrikes in southern Idlib. Assad regime forces have bombarded the opposition-held region of Gantu to the north of Homs. Opposition fighters have shot down a drone near Daraa. 28 March 2018 A new border crossing has been opened from the Turkish province of Hatay to Afrin and the wider region to ease the flow of humanitarian aid. Assad regime forces to the West of Abu Kamal have allegedly lost 28 soldiers in clashes with Daesh fighters. The SDF/YPG have announced the founding of the “Future Syria Party” during the congress in Raqqa. Opposition forces in Eastern Qalamoun have announced that Assad regime forces have started an offensive. 29 March 2018 US president Donald Trump has announced they will withdraw from Syria very soon. French president Emanuel Macron has accepted a SDF delegation. Assad regime forces have allegedly executed 4 people, one of whom was a woman, in the square of the Kafer Batna neighborhood in Eastern Ghouta. US-led Coalition Forces have conducted an air-mobile operation in the Abu Kamal region. 30 March 2018 Two personnel were killed and 5 were wounded among the US-led Coalition Forces stationed in Syria. The people of Raqqa protested the failure of retrieving bodies from under the rubble while it has been months since the city was captured from Daesh. Under the supervision of the Assad regime, 11 Daesh militants were evacuated from the south of Damascus to an unknown location. Demonstrations in the city of Saraqeeb in Idlib have demanded the entry of the TAF into the town. 31 March 2018 Dana, Aryha and Jisr el Shughour in Idlib were bombarded from the air. A headquarters belonging to Assad regime forces in Al Mayadeen, near Deir ez Zor, was allegedly bombarded from the air and 12 soldiers lost their lives. The negotiations between the Assad regime and opposition group Jaish al Islam failed. US president Trump announced that 200 million dollars of aid to SDF/YPG held territory was halted. 1 April 2018 A ceasefire was signed between HTS and JTS (Jabhat Tahrir Suriyah) in Idlib with the mediation of Faylaq al Sham. The Assad regime’s airforce allegedly struck a health center in Ariha. Assad regime forces dispersed brochures above the opposition held areas in northern Homs calling for a settlement with the regime. Opposition forces in Eastern Ghouta’s Duma have allegedly accepted an evacuation deal with the Assad regime. In the past week, political developments have trumped military developments on the Syrian battlefield. Turkey, which has shown its decisiveness about cleansing Manbij from the YPG, has criticized France after French president Emmanuel Macron accepted a SDF delegation and proposed to mediate between Turkey and the terrorist organization. The French proposal has drawn attention because it came after the recent statements by Donald Trump calling for their withdrawal from Syria. Additionally, a new border crossing from the Turkish province of Hatay has opened under the Olive Branch Operation, as Afrin has been cleansed of the YPF by the TAF and its FSA, to facilitate the transfer of humanitarian aid to Afrin more easily. In Eastern Ghouta, the evacuations under the supervision of the Assad regime continue as tens of thousands of civilians have reached Idlib. In Duma, negotiations between the Assad regime and Jaish al Islam on evacuations continue while no agreement has been reached yet. The YPG, which has suffered a great loss with Afrin, has made a new political move as they have founded the new “Future Syria Party”. In the province of Deir ez Zor, clashes between Daesh militants and Assad regime forces and its militia allies have led to a great number of casualties as clashes broke out in multiple places.
Field Report [12-18 March 2018]
Field Report [12-18 March 2018] 12 March 2018 During the Olive Branch Operation OBO, the TAF (Turkish Armed Forces) and its FSA allies have taken control over 11 villages near the towns of Bülbül and Jinderes. The Assad regime’s airforce has conducted 11 sorties on opposition-controlled territories near Dara after a halt of 8 months. The Assad regime’s bombardment of Eastern Ghouta continued. The International Coalition is alleged to have targeted Daesh-held positions to the east of Deyr ez Zor, near Hecin. 13 March 2018 During the OBO, the TAF and its FSA allies have taken control over a lot of villages and strategic hills and have continued their march towards the city of Afrin. During the OBO, the TAF and its FSA allies have taken control over 3 villages near Sheikh Hadid, which lies to the west of Afrin. Approximately 150 civilians are said to have been evacuated from Eastern Ghouta, overseen by the Assad regime. 1055 people that have been evacuated by the Assad regime from Kadem, which lies to the south of Damascus, have reached Idlib, whereas 203 people are directed towards reaching Jarablus under the same deal. 14 March 2018 During the OBO, the TAF and its FSA allies have taken control over 10 villages as they march towards Afrin city. Media sources close to the Assad regime claim that the TAF has killed 8 Iran-backed militants from the villages Nubl and Zahra after a bombardment. During a sortie conducted by the Russian airforce on Eastern Ghouta, 12 militants from Faylaq al Rahman, including two leaders, have been killed. In northern Hama, rebel groups have started an offensive against the Assad regime dubbed the “Anger for Eastern Ghouta”. 15 March 2018 During the OBO, the TAF and its FSA allies have taken control over 14 villages afer the operation’s momentum accelerated. Near the towns of Bülbül and Sheikh Hadid important progress has been made. The Assad regime’s General Command claimed in an official statement that 70% of Eastern Ghouta had fallen into the hands of the Assad regime. The Assad regime and allied militias took control over Eastern Ghouta’s Hammuriye district. Omer Allush, the head of the Raqqa Civil Council’s Foreign Relations department, tied to the YPG, has been assassinated in his home in Tal Abyad. 16 March 2018 During the OBO, the TAF and its FSA allies have taken control over 14 more villages and two strategic hills solidifying the siege of Afrin city. The Turkish Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu and his Russian and Iranian counterparts held a meeting in Astana as part of the Astana diplomatic process. The amount of people allegedly evacuated by the Assad regime from the district of Hammuriye in Eastern Ghouta has reached 20 thousand. In the opposition-controlled Northern Homs area, the opposition announced the formation of the National Army’s Fourth Legion in the besieged enclave. 17 March 2018 During the OBO, the TAF and its FSA allies took control of 13 villages, completing the siege on Afrin city. The Assad regime and its allied militias took control over the districts of Sakbe and Kafer Batna in Eastern Ghouta. A TAF convoy has crossed the Turkish border into Idlib to settle near Anadan, to the west of Aleppo. The Russian airforce has killed approximately 100 civilians in their air raids over Eastern Ghouta. 18 March 2018 On the 59th day of the OBO, the TAF and its FSA allies have realized full control of Afrin city. The TAF and its FSA allies have taken control of Maabetli town and all locations north of Afrin city from the YPG. Since the start of the Olive Branch Operation, 3.603 terrorists have been neutralized. A counteroffensive from many directions by the rebels in Eastern Ghouta has led to dozens of casualties among the ranks of the regime forces. Over the course of the last week, the Olive Branch Operation, which started on January the 20th 2018, has seen the TAF and its FSA allies take control over Afrin city center, dozens of its villages and strategic hills. The Afrin region has mostly been cleansed of the YPG. The YPG terrorists, after their defensive lines collapsed, chose to flee instead of defending the city of Afrin against the TAF and its FSA allies. The TAF have specifically refrained from harming urban areas and the loss of civilian lives and have accomplished this with great success. President Erdoğan in a statement disclosed that since the start of the OBO, 3.603 terrorists have been neutralized. As part of the ongoing Astana process, a TAF convoy is reported to have entered Idlib to settle near Anadan, western Aleppo. Another development this week has been the solidification of the Assad regime’s and its allied militias’ gains in Eastern Ghouta compared to the week before. Even though the rebels’ counteroffensive has dealt many casualties to the Assad regime’s and its allied militias’ ranks, their advance has not been stopped. Next to this, it has been claimed that the evacuation of nearly 20 thousand civilians from the area has been realized. The Northern Homs region, controlled by the opposition, has seen the foundation of the National Army’s 4th Legion.