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Syria in Oct , 2023

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October 3, 2023

  1. Skyrocketing Prices and Declining Production in Regime-Controlled Areas (Sham News). Syrian businesses face capital depletion and resource scarcity due to rising expenses and obstructive laws. Imports plummeted from 18 billion euros in 2010 to 2.2 billion euros by August 2023. Soaring costs of essentials like food and fuel strain citizens. Ineffective governance, scarce importers, and higher energy prices worsen the situation. While Prime Minister Hussein Arnous seeks practical solutions, Syria’s economic prospects remain grim.
  2. ISIS Intensifies Attacks on Iranian-Backed Militias in Eastern Homs (Aleppo Today). ISIS has intensified attacks on Iranian militias in eastern Homs, Syria. A landmine explosion killed two members of the “Al-Baqir Brigade” and injured two others on the M20 highway near Sukhna. Sukhna is a key base for Iran and Lebanese Hezbollah-backed militias. This surge in ISIS activity aligns with increased assaults on Assad’s forces and their allies. Consequently, heightened security measures, including extra patrols, are being implemented, raising security concerns in the region.
  3. Syrian-Chinese Council Convenes in Damascus: Aims to Boost Trade (Syria TV). The Syrian-Chinese Council convened in Damascus to boost economic cooperation. This follows President Bashar al-Assad’s visit to China. Muhammad Hamsho, council head, aims to strengthen economic ties and support Syrian exports to China. The Caesar Act’s sanctions from Washington present obstacles. The council suggests creating a joint office for addressing money transfer challenges and forming agreements for potential food exports. The U.S. maintains that Chinese aid to Syria won’t happen while sanctions are in effect.
  4. Syria Signals Renewed Diplomatic Ties with Saudi Arabia (Syria TV). Syria is signaling the resumption of diplomatic ties with Saudi Arabia, as announced by Deputy Foreign Minister Bassam Sabbagh during his visit to Saudi Arabia. This comes after years of severed relations and Saudi support for the Syrian opposition. However, the normalization process has slowed down due to Syria’s unmet demands and faces criticism from Western countries. An anti-normalization bill in the U.S. Senate further complicates the situation.

October 4, 2023

  1. Critical Alert: Europe Must Intensify Asylum Seeker Vetting in Wake of Tishreen Torture Report (Syria TV). A Saydnaya Prison report exposes Tishreen Military Hospital’s role in detainee torture since 2011. The findings, based on 154 interviews, implicate medical and military staff in these acts. Detainees are isolated and tortured, with death certificates issued to legitimize the crimes. The hospital, with a capacity of 1,200 beds, was initially lightly armed but later reinforced. The report also notes 30 similar Syrian hospitals. Critically, some involved officials are now residing in Europe.
  2. Nasrallah Blames U.S. Caesar Act, Practices Taqiyya on Israel Demarcation—No Government in Sight (OpEd Summary). Hassan Nasrallah, Iran’s Hizballah proxy in Lebanon, blames the U.S. Caesar Act for Syria’s economic woes while using recent atrocities as a bargaining chip for a “unified Lebanese strategy.” On the Israel-Lebanon demarcation issue, he feigns patriotic concern before sharply veering off course to announce this issue as a matter in the hands of the government, much like a reckless driver on the Shtoura mountains pretending his mother was driving after being stopped by the cops. As Nasrallah continues his political zigzagging, Lebanon sinks further into poverty and chaos, making its civil war era look like a free market paradise.
  3. Israel Strikes Back: Decisive Blow to Pro-Iran Forces in Syria Signals Unyielding Vigilance (Sharq Awsat). In a powerful move to deter Iran’s influence in Syria, Israel is suspected to have launched an airstrike that eliminated six pro-Iranian fighters in eastern Syria. This decisive action comes on the heels of another Israeli strike that injured two Syrian soldiers near Deir ez-Zor. The strikes have significantly impacted Iran-backed groups, including the destruction of a critical radar point. Israel’s unyielding vigilance sends a strong message, disrupting Iran’s attempts to establish a military foothold in the region.

October 5, 2023

  1. Assad Cracks Open a Chinese Fortune Cookie: Unveils a Comedy of Syrian ‘Miracles’ (Syria TV). Hold onto your seats, Syria’s post-China-trip rumor mill is a comedy goldmine! First, Assad’s planning a “historic amnesty,” making him the Santa Claus of Syria. Next, he’s targeting Latakia’s “corrupt elite” in a reality TV-esque sweep. Meanwhile, First Lady Asmaa is rumored to be the new Central Bank chief, causing the Syrian pound to rally. The exchange rate is also set to plummet for mysterious reasons after October 15. On the development front, Assad’s China trip is said to bring rapid reconstruction and a flood of Yuan. In military news, compulsory service is getting slashed, making Assad the Oprah of Syria’s army. Phone fees are also rumored to vanish, and Assad is apparently set to fix everything from contracts to engineers’ lives. 
  2. Syrian Refugees Contribute Significantly to Turkish Economy, Study Finds (Aleppo Today). The Harmon Center for Contemporary Studies reports that Syrian refugees have established over 10,332 companies in Turkiye since 2010, with a capital of $632 million. These businesses have created 77,000 jobs and contributed $10 billion in various sectors. Despite this, racist incitement has led some Arab businesses to exit Turkiye, causing a $1 billion loss. 
  3. Landmark Campaign Amplifies Global Momentum to Prosecute Al-Assad in International Court (Aleppo Today). Syrian activists have initiated a pivotal campaign, “Together to Try Al-Assad,” backing the International Court of Justice’s decision to try Bashar al-Assad for torture and chemical weapons use. The campaign demands the case be escalated to the International Criminal Court for criminal penalties against Assad and his regime. It also calls for immediate and unconditional release of detainees, and opposes any attempts to normalize relations with the Assad regime. The campaign will culminate in mass protests in the Netherlands on October 10th and 11th.
  4. Syrian Democratic Council Urges Global Intervention Against Escalating Turkish Threats to Northern Syria (North Press). The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) has issued an urgent call for international action in response to Turkiye’s escalating threats against northern and eastern Syria. Turkish Foreign Minister Fidan Hakan recently threatened to bomb key facilities in the region. The SDC emphasized that Turkiye’s threats endanger the lives and infrastructure of 5 million residents, including displaced persons. The call for international intervention comes as tensions rise following a bombing in Ankara, which Turkiye claims was orchestrated from Syria.

October 6, 2023

  1. SPECIAL ACLS REPORT:  New Crisis as U.S. Shoots Down NATO Ally Turkiye’s Drone in Syria. The week began with Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan asserting that the perpetrators of a recent Ankara attack had entered Turkey from Syria. The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) refuted these claims, stating no transfer of forces from northeastern Syria to Ankara had taken place. The U.S. State Department, represented by Deputy Spokesman Vedant Patel, announced it could not confirm Turkey’s allegations and clarified that the U.S. views the Kurdish People’s Protection Units in Syria as separate from the PKK.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin subsequently urged Turkey to de-escalate tensions and adhere to deconfliction protocols in a phone call with his Turkish counterpart. A source in the Turkish Ministry of Defense asserted that operations against the PKK/YPG would continue, labeling them as ‘legitimate targets.’ The source also emphasized that Turkey could employ various strategies other than ground advancement to combat terrorism, including potential ground operations in northern Iraq.

On Thursday morning, Turkish forces targeted 16 sites in northern Syria, including the Odeh oil field in Qamishli, causing significant material damage but no reported casualties.

In response to these escalating actions, the U.S. Pentagon confirmed it had downed a Turkish drone near American forces in Syria, citing it as a potential threat. This marks the first time Washington has shot down an aircraft belonging to Turkey, a NATO ally. Pentagon spokesman Patrick Ryder expressed regret over the incident but stated it was “necessary to protect American forces in Syria.” He added that U.S. forces had detected Turkish drones conducting strikes within half a kilometer of American troops and made the decision to shoot it down in self-defense.

October 10, 2023

  1. Iranian Militias in Syria Mobilize Support for Hamas, Increase Alert on Golan Front. Iranian militias in Syria, linked to the Revolutionary Guard, have launched a campaign to garner support for Hamas’ “Al-Aqsa Flood” operation. Public relations efforts, seminars, and donation appeals have been initiated. Meanwhile, heightened military readiness is observed on the Golan front amid concerns of an Israeli response. Hezbollah and Iranian militias are reportedly relocating weaponry and equipment, including drones, in anticipation of potential Israeli action. Lebanese Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, has threatened to enter the battle alongside Hamas, further escalating tensions in the region (Sharq Awsat) .
  2. Idlib Faces Intense Bombing as World Watches Gaza and Turkey Targets SDF. While global attention is on Gaza, Idlib is under heavy attack from Syrian and Russian forces, leading to civilian casualties and displacement. Concurrently, Turkish forces have escalated artillery strikes in Raqqa and Al-Hasakah, causing both human and infrastructure losses. In response to the Assad regime’s increased military activity in Idlib, Turkey has deployed 18 new military vehicles equipped with tanks and machinery (Syria TV, SOHR, North Press). 
  3. Bouthaina Shaaban Lauds Palestinian Resistance, Draws Parallels with Assad’s Struggle. After calling the recent events in Gaza, a “blessed revolution,” Assad’s senior advisor Bouthaina Shaaban emphasized the parallel between the unity in her government’s defeat of terrorism and the unchangeable nature of the Palestinian resilience, explaining that both are examples of the indomitable spirit of people fighting for what is right (Al Maydeen).

October 11, 2023

  1. IDF Retaliates to Syrian Shelling with Artillery Fire. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) responded to shells fired from Syria into Israel’s Golan Heights. The IDF retaliated with artillery and mortar fire aimed at the source of the Syrian shelling. This incident comes After rising tensions along the Lebanon and Syria borders, following rocket attacks from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. No injuries or damages were reported (Jerusalem Post)
  2. Assad Regime Skips First Hearing, Hague Court Cancels Subsequent Session. The International Court of Justice initiated its first hearing against the Assad regime, following a lawsuit filed by Canada and the Netherlands regarding allegations of torture and the use of chemical weapons against civilians. Despite strong appeals from the Netherlands and Canada, the Assad regime chose not to attend, resulting in the cancellation of subsequent sessions. The court was presented with disturbing testimonies of detainees describing horrifying abuses (Orient). 

October 12, 2023

  1. Saudi and Assad’s Foreign Ministers Discuss Gaza Developments in Cairo Meeting. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met with Faisal Al-Miqdad in Cairo to discuss various issues, including the ongoing military operations in the Gaza Strip. The meeting took place on the sidelines of an extraordinary session of the Arab League Council (Sharq Awsat). 
  2. Iran Exploits Israel’s “Al-Aqsa Flood” to Bolster Syria Presence. Iran is capitalizing on Israel’s focus on Operation “Al-Aqsa Flood” to enhance its foothold in Syria. Tehran has been supplying its militias with weapons, ammunition, and personnel of Afghan and Iraqi nationalities. The move comes especially after the withdrawal of Wagner mercenaries from certain areas. Iran aims to fortify its positions in Syria, using the situation as an opportunity to smuggle in air defense systems and radar equipment. The Iranian militias are particularly interested in Deir ez-Zor, a strategic location for extending their influence (Orient).

October 13, 2023

  1. Israeli Airstrikes Disable Damascus and Aleppo Airports. Israel launched long-range missile strikes from the Mediterranean Sea, targeting Damascus and Aleppo international airports in response to mortar attacks from Syrian territory on the occupied Golan Heights. This led to the suspension of services at both airports. Notably, the attack occurred shortly before the Iranian Foreign Minister, Hussein Amir-Abdollahian, was scheduled to land in Damascus, causing the plane to return to Tehran. Israel’s military spokesperson declared intentions to target more sites in Syria in the coming days (Zaman Alwsl).
  2. Iranian Militias Deploy Military Reinforcements to Daraa and Golan. Iranian-backed militias have brought military reinforcements to the Daraa and Quneitra provinces in southern Syria. This move coincides with the “Al-Aqsa Tempest” operation initiated by Palestinian factions in Gaza. Additionally, sources report that Hezbollah reinforcements have arrived, including experts in operating drones and remote-controlled aircraft. These deployments heighten tensions in the region and mark an escalation in Iran’s presence in southern Syria, close to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (Syria TV).

October 17, 2023

  1. Russian Warplanes Target Outskirts of Idlib at Dawn. Russian aircraft carried out over 10 airstrikes on the outskirts of Idlib, specifically in the Sheikh Youssef area, early Tuesday morning. No casualties have been reported yet (Syria TV).
  2. US Deploys Radar System in Deir ez-Zor in Response to Iranian Threats. American forces have set up a radar system in Deir ez-Zor’s eastern countryside in response to attacks from Iranian militias west of the Euphrates River. The radar systems were transferred from Iraq and are positioned in the Al-Omar oil and Koniko gas fields. This move follows the US’s previous deployment of the “HIMARS” missile system in Syria to counter potential attacks from Iranian militias (Aleppo TV).
  3. Germany Urges Assad to Comply with Chemical Weapons Convention. Germany is urging the Assad regime to transparently reveal and dismantle its chemical weapons program in accordance with the Chemical Weapons Convention. Despite Syria’s membership in the convention for ten years, the regime has not met its obligations. Germany is insisting that the regime accept accountability and demonstrate the elimination of its chemical weapons program. The Assad regime had initially denied possessing such weapons but acknowledged their presence under the threat of potential US military intervention (Aleppo TV).
  4. Assad’s Latest Innovations in Captagon Smuggling:  Mortar Shells. In their latest smuggling innovation, Assad’s Captagon traffickers have found another inventive but absurd way to get drugs across the Jordanian border:  by putting them inside mortar shells and firing the shells into Jordan. Jordan’s border patrol, which now spends every day in a real-life game of “Whack-a-Mole” against Assad’s smugglers, received a timely tip that enabled them to bust the “Captagon mortar shell” operation, but the increasingly preposterous smuggling techniques have made the entire Jordan-Syria border zone resemble a rejected episode of “Breaking Bad.” (Baladi News). 
  5. Iran Urges Syrian Regime to Implement Economic Agreements. Iran has urged the Syrian regime to expedite the implementation of economic agreements established during the Iranian president’s visit to Damascus. These agreements cover significant sectors such as electricity, religious tourism, mobile phones, and education. Iran seeks a clear timetable for their execution, but the Syrian regime has faced criticism for potential delays and concerns over Iranian influence in these sectors (Zamanalwsl).

October 18, 2023

  1. Damascus Airport Resumes Operations After Israeli Airstrikes. Damascus International Airport is operational again after undergoing repairs to airstrips damaged by Israeli airstrikes. The Assad regime’s General Civil Aviation Organization and Cham Wings Airlines confirmed the resumption of flights. The airport will conduct test flights to assess runway conditions before resuming normal traffic on October 19. This follows a similar resumption of air traffic at Aleppo International Airport, which was also targeted by Israeli airstrikes. Israeli officials stated that the strikes aimed to send a warning to Iran not to interfere in the Gaza conflict (Sham News).
  2. Oman Declines to Host Syrian Constitutional Talks; Geneva Still in Question. Oman has refused to host meetings for the Syrian Constitutional Committee, according to sources in the Syrian opposition. UN envoy Geir Pedersen is reportedly insisting on holding the meetings in Geneva, despite Russia’s objections due to Western sanctions. The committee has failed to make significant progress in its four years of existence. Meanwhile, Egypt is showing initial interest in hosting the next round of talks, but it’s unclear how receptive the parties would be to this proposal. Pedersen is said to be considering a “dangerous project” to hold the meetings in Geneva without foreign interference, risking the fate of the committee (Shaam News).
  3. Asma al-Assad Seizes Fugitive Katerji’s Assets During Scandal. Asma al-Assad, wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has seized the properties of Hossam Katerji after he fled Syria. Katerji is implicated in the murder of his relative, Sidra Katerji, and has likely fled to Venezuela. His assets, including hotels and an Islamic Bank in Aleppo, were closed two weeks ago following the murder scandal. Asma al-Assad took over these properties through the “Syrian Trust for Development” and the “Martyrs’ Office.” Katerji had been a key mediator between the Syrian regime and various factions for oil supplies and was under U.S. sanctions since 2018 (Syria TV).

October 19, 2023

  1. Pro-Iranian Militia Drones Attack Al-Tanf Base on Syrian Border. Pro-Iranian militias launched a SECOND drone attack on the Al-Tanf base, located on the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border, affiliated with the international coalition forces. Three Iranian militia drones targeted the base, leading to the downing of two drones and causing material damage. Another report mentioned Iraqi Hezbollah Brigades launching drones at the base and firing missiles at an American military facility in the Conoco oil region near Deir ez-Zor (Sky News Arabia).
  2. Israeli Warplanes Strike Syrian Army Position in Quneitra. Israeli air force conducted a dawn raid on a Syrian army site in Quneitra, causing material damage but no immediate reports of casualties. This follows a recent Israeli airstrike on Aleppo’s airport, which left five wounded. The strikes coincide with heightened Israeli military activity in southern Lebanon (France 24). 
  3. France Issues International Arrest Warrants for Former Syrian Army Officials. French judicial authorities have issued international arrest warrants for four former senior officials in the Syrian army, suspected of involvement in a 2017 bombing in Daraa that resulted in the death of a French-Syrian civilian. Among those targeted is former Defense Minister Fahd Jassim Al-Freij, accused of complicity in an attack against the civilian population, considered a war crime. France has taken steps to hold perpetrators of violations in Syria accountable, including referring documents related to the “Al-Tadamon neighborhood massacre” to the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office for investigation (Al Hurra).

October 20, 2023

  1. Assad’s Contribution to Hamas, Finally Revealed. Captagon pills were found in the pockets of numerous deceased Hamas militants. This synthetic stimulant enabled them to act with calmness and indifference while remaining highly alert for extended periods. Recently, Gaza has become a significant market for Captagon, especially among young addicts. Notably, the industry is overseen by the Assad family and Hezbollah, revealing one way Assad has contributed to crimes in Israel. While some may consider Assad too weak to influence the conflict with Israel, his role in manufacturing and supplying this drug to Hamas and other terrorist groups worldwide suggests he should be a prioritized target (Jerusalem Post).
  2. Assad May Deploy Palestinian Liberation Army Against Israel in Southern Syria. Palestinian refugees in Syria are urging the Palestine Liberation Army to take action against Israel in defense of Gaza. The army, which is currently a part of the Syrian regime’s forces, is being called upon to open a southern front in Syria to alleviate the situation in Gaza. This move would mark a second potential front where Assad could act against Israel, as the army’s activities are subject to the Syrian Ministry of Defense (Shaam News). 
  3. Gas Pipeline Near U.S. Base in Deir ez-Zor Explodes. An explosion occurred at the Conoco gas pipeline near a U.S. military base in Deir ez-Zor, eastern Syria. The pipeline is used by the U.S. army and its agents for transporting natural gas. The explosion was reported by both Russian and Syrian news agencies. This comes after U.S. forces in Syria recently shot down two drones targeting them, causing minor injuries (Syria TV). 
  4. International Coalition Forces on High Alert at Al-Tanf Base. The international coalition forces are on heightened alert at the Al-Tanf base near the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border, anticipating attacks from Iranian militias. The alert comes as Iranian-backed militias in Deir ez-Zor are repositioning and transferring weapons. Recent attacks include drone strikes on the Al-Tanf base and rocket-propelled grenades on the Koniko gas field base, resulting in material damage and minor injuries. Iranian militias are reportedly on full alert, indicating heightened tensions in the region (SOHR). 
  5. Assad’s 55 Airports in Syria: A Strategic Risk to Israel. Syria has 55 airports, most of which are military and under foreign control, posing a strategic risk to Israel. The Syrian regime, backed by Russia and Iran, uses these airports for military superiority. Israel has targeted only some of these airports to disrupt Iranian supply lines and send warning messages to Assad. The focus on airports highlights their crucial role in the ongoing geopolitical tensions in the region (Syria TV).

October 24, 2023

  1. US Forces Shoot Down Iranian Militia Drones Near Al-Tanf. American forces reportedly downed three Iranian militia drones near the Al-Tanf base, situated at the Syrian-Iraqi-Jordanian border. This attack is the second of its kind in five days, as the US maintains a heightened state of alert at the base to counter potential threats from Iranian-backed militias (Al-Nahar).
  2. Attack Targets Iranian-Backed Faction HQ in Central Syria, Leaving Several Dead. In central Syria, an armed attack on an Iranian-backed faction’s headquarters near Homs resulted in three casualties, including a leader, and two others were wounded. This marks the third attack in the region within the current week, affecting both government entities and Iranian-affiliated groups (North Press).
  3. Iranian Militias Launch 6 Attacks on US Bases in Syria in 5 Days as Revenge for Gaza. Iranian-affiliated militias have executed multiple attacks against the US-led coalition forces in Syria in a campaign titled “Revenge for Gaza.” The attacks, including rocket strikes and drone strikes, have targeted bases such as Al-Tanf, Al-Omar oil field, and the Koniko gas field, leading to casualties and material damage. These actions are in response to alleged Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, escalating tensions in the region (SyriaHR).
  4. Internationally Banned Missiles Strike Civilians near Aleppo Camp. Civilians were injured when the Syrian regime and Russia targeted the outskirts of an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp in western Aleppo with internationally banned phosphorus missiles. Meanwhile, Turkish artillery hit military positions of the Syrian regime and Iranian militias in eastern Idlib and western Aleppo. Clashes and strikes persisted across northwestern Syria (Zaman Alwsl).

October 25, 2023

  1. Syria in the Eye of the Storm as “Gaza Flood” Shapes Middle East Alliances. The Israeli war on Gaza has garnered attention, but it’s also raising questions about the northern front along the Lebanon-Syria border. Iran denies direct involvement but supports Hamas. Experts believe Iran won’t risk a war with Israel and will rely on proxies like Hezbollah and Syrian militias. Syria’s interests conflict with Iran’s in attacking Israel. The conflict could reshape regional alliances, including Saudi Arabia’s approach to normalization with Israel. Arab countries are uneasy, and U.S. influence on allies may weaken. Iran’s narrative of resistance is at stake, and its indirect involvement is likely. Syria faces pressure not to join the war, while Israel issues warnings. The region’s future remains uncertain, with potential for controlled escalation and the involvement of proxy groups like Hezbollah (Enab Baladi). 
  2. Israeli Airstrike Raises Death Toll to 18 in Regime Positions in Daraa. The Israeli airstrike resulted in 18 casualties in the Daraa region. The strike primarily targeted a building designated for sleeping and an ammunition depot. Leaflets in Arabic were dropped, warning Syrian regime forces and Palestinian factions about missile launches towards the occupied Golan Heights (Syria TV).
  3. Russia Supplies Fertilizer for Explosives Production in Damascus Countryside. Russia reportedly sent several large trucks loaded with tons of fertilizer to the city of “Al-Qusayr” in the western countryside of Damascus. The fertilizer is used in the production of explosives and explosive barrels. The delivery was supervised by Syrian military officers, and the fertilizer was distributed within a military camp in the area, with a significant security presence around “Al-Qusayr.” (Zaman Alwsl).
  4. Assad’s Foreign Minister Plays the ‘Costly Expansion’ Card on Israel. Assad’s Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad throws shade at Israel, cautioning them about the hefty bill they’d rack up if they expanded their aggression. He even underlines the resistance’s preparedness – talk about a diplomatic mic drop! This comes after Israel’s recent fireworks show on Syrian military spots. Syria’s response? Less bang, more tactical thinking for now.(Shaam).

October 26, 2023

  1. Tribal Fighters Settle with SDF, Deir ez-Zor Council Leader Arrested. Local sources report that tribal fighters settled with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), while Syrian regime forces arrested a Deir ez-Zor Military Council leader. Around 20 tribesmen reconciled with the SDF within a U.S. base in Al-Omar oil field. Simultaneously, the regime detained the council leader near a river crossing in At-Tarif. The SDF previously announced the end of military operations in Deir ez-Zor’s countryside after clashes with Arab tribal fighters, resulting in casualties (Syria TV).
  2. Massive Military Reinforcements Deployed in Northeast Syria by the Coalition Within a Week. The U.S.-led coalition deployed substantial military reinforcements to its bases in northeastern Syria. The convoy included tanks, field artillery, and armored vehicles from Kurdistan, Iraq, crossing the Walid border into Deir ez-Zor. The coalition also introduced air defense systems to counter potential missile threats. This escalation coincides with ongoing U.S. military exercises (Zaman Alwsl).
  3. Iran-Backed Militias Launch 7 Attacks on Coalition Bases in Revenge for Gaza. Iranian-backed militias executed multiple attacks against U.S.-led coalition forces in northern and eastern Syria in retaliation for Gaza. The strikes involved rocket attacks and drone assaults, with seven incidents recorded since October 19, targeting various coalition bases. Details of the attacks revealed several confrontations with U.S. forces and damage to facilities, emphasizing growing tensions in the region (SyriaHR).
  4. Idlib Shelling Claims Civilian Lives. Civilian casualties ensued as Syrian regime forces used heavy artillery to shell Idlib city. Three were killed, and others wounded in the “Al-Naseem” neighborhood. Prior reports by the Syrian Civil Defense revealed 119 casualties in 995 attacks. Additionally, Russia bolstered its military presence near southern Idlib’s opposition-held areas (Syria TV).

 

October 27, 2023

  1. Iran’s Defiant Response to U.S. Airstrike in Syria. In a bold act of defiance, Iranian-backed militias targeted the U.S. military base in the Al-Omar field in northeastern Syria on October 27, 2023. This attack was a direct response to a U.S. airstrike that targeted a single pro-Iranian militia warehouse in eastern Syria. The U.S. Department of Defense confirmed that their initial strike was a self-defense measure against ongoing attacks by Iranian-backed groups in both Syria and Iraq. However, Iran’s retaliatory move involved a missile bombardment comprising 10 missiles, causing casualties among the “International Coalition” forces led by the United States (Aleppo Today, Syria TV, SOHR).
  2. Last Opposition Forces Defy Odds, Inflict Losses on Assad’s Army. Despite their low numbers, the last of the opposition forces, including Al-Fatah Al-Mubin and the National Liberation Front, continue to challenge Assad’s regime. On October 27, 2023, these factions carried out successful operations in Latakia and Aleppo, killing and wounding several regime forces. Their resilience highlights the regime’s vulnerabilities, even as the death toll in the “Putin-Erdogan” area has risen to 538 this year, including 340 regime forces (SOHR). 
  3. Russia Declines Involvement as U.S.-Iran Tensions Escalate in Syria. Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov stated that Russia has no intention of getting involved in the escalating conflict between the U.S. and Iran in Syria. The comments come after U.S. airstrikes targeted Iranian militias in eastern Syria. Peskov emphasized that the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict is exacerbating regional tensions (Syria TV, Enab Baladi). 
  4. Syrian Refugees Face Brutal Treatment by Turkish Border Guards. Syrian refugees attempting to cross into Europe via Turkiye are enduring physical and psychological abuse by Turkish border guards. The mistreatment includes beatings and humiliation, causing long-lasting psychological trauma. The violations contravene international laws and have escalated fears among the refugee community in Turkiye (Enab Baladi)
  5. Suwayda Residents Persist in Anti-Assad Protests for Ninth Consecutive Week. For the ninth week in a row, people in Suwayda continue to protest against the Assad regime, demanding political change and the release of detainees. The demonstrations have garnered support from other cities and even led to the launch of an official page representing the spiritual leadership of the Druze Muslim Unitarian sect. Meanwhile, local authorities face backlash for attempting to condition essential services like water supply on public displays of loyalty to Assad (Zaman Wasl).

October 31, 2023

  1. Gaza Crisis Spills into Syria, Warns UN Envoy. The Israel-Palestine crisis is escalating in Syria, posing a significant threat to regional stability, according to the UN special envoy. Spillover incidents, including airstrikes on Syrian airports and retaliatory actions, have intensified the conflict, heightening concerns of a broader escalation. Tensions are on the rise in the region, with the US, Russia, and Iran offering different perspectives on the situation (TRT World).
  2. Similarities and Differences Between Northern Syria and Gaza: A Shared Fate? The plight of Palestinians in Gaza resonates with Syrian opposition, given the similarities in their situations, from sieges and displacement to international indifference. Despite hardships, Syrian and Palestinian communities in northern Syria have shown solidarity, while political and military factions in Gaza differ from those in northern Syria, maintaining better organizational structures. The Palestinian cause garners more global attention due to Israel’s role in the conflict, unlike the Syrian revolution, which faces international indifference and internal divisions (Orient).

 

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