TSI Syria Updates: October 5, 2016

Military

  • 5 OCT: The Turkish military clashed with the Islamic State (ISIS) in the village of Ziyara in northern Syria today. The fight killed one Turkish soldier and 23 ISIS militants. (Reuters)
  • 5 OCT: US-led coalition warplanes bombed Islamic State (ISIS) targets in northern Syria, killing five ISIS militants. (Reuters)
  • 5 OCT: An airstrike against Thalthana, a village held by the Islamic State (ISIS), killed at least 19 civilians. It is unclear whether the US-led coalition or Turkey conducted the strike, though a Kurdish news station claimed the strikes were Turkish. Thalthana is near the ISIS strongholds of Al-Bab and Dabiq, toward which Turkish-backed opposition groups have been moving. (AFP, AP)
  • 5 OCT: Armed opposition groups (AOGs) started a new battle for control of  Tel Malah, Al-Shaleyot, and Al-Dahiriya in northwest Hama province. Their ground approach stalled due to intense shelling in the area. Russian and Syrian aircraft targeted the town of Al-Lataminah. (Step News Agency-AR)
  • 5 OCT: The Syrian army claimed it will “reduce” air strikes against eastern Aleppo city in consideration of the civilians who have been used as “hostages and human shields.” The army also claimed it has control of all the routes used by the opposition into the area. (Reuters, SANA-AR)

Political

  • 4 OCT: The Syria crisis came up during the first and only vice presidential debate on Tuesday, with both candidates advocating for no-fly zone. Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence said the US should meet provocation from Russia with “American strength,” and “be prepared to use military force to strike military targets of the Assad regime.” Pence departed from the stance of his running mate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, who called for the US to withdraw from foreign conflicts. Pence is the first person to call for striking Assad. (CNN, transcript-Washington Post)
  • 5 OCT: On Wednesday, Lars Bromley, research adviser at the UN Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT), said analysis of satellite imagery of the Urem al-Kubra  aid convoy attack showed it was an airstrike. (Al-Jazeera, Reuters)
  • 5 OCT: Senior officials from the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Germany met today in Berlin. German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said the meeting is for “brainstorming” solutions to the Syria conflict. (Reuters, NY Times)

Humanitarian

  • 4 OCT: The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that as of 29 September, eastern Aleppo city is officially classified as a besieged area. (OCHA)

Notable Media/Transcripts/Reports

  • 3 OCT: “Editor’s take: The problem with aid convoys” by Ben Parker and Annie Slemrod (IRIN)
  • 4 OCT: “US Election Cycle Offers Kremlin a Window of Opportunity in Syria” by Michael R. Gordon and Neil MacFarquar (NY Times)
  • 4 OCT: “Stop Assad Now—Or Expect Years of War” by US Senator John McCain (Wall Street Journal)