TSI Syria Updates: October 11, 2016

Takeaway

Russia has resumed its intensive bombing campaign against Eastern Aleppo after a relative lull. Meanwhile the international political tension continued to rise, with the UK House of Commons holding an emergency session to debate Russia’s role in the Syria conflict, with the foreign Secretary Boris Johnson calling for protests outside of the Russian Embassy in London.

Military

11 OCT: After a relative reduction of the bombing for several days, on Tuesday Russia once again resumed heavy aerial bombardment of Eastern Aleppo hitting the neighborhoods of Fardos and Bustan al Qasr with over 25 air raids. Reports that over 25 people have been killed mostly women and children. A Syrian government offensive targeting the neighborhood of Sheikh Saeed continued with several casualties and injuries reported. Areas also targeted by air raids include Hanano district, Sheikh Najjar, Qadi Askar, and Karm al Myassar. Hospitals in western Aleppo offered to donate blood needed for the large number of recent casualties. (Reuters, AP, Step Agency – AR)

11 OCT: An elementary school in Daraa governorate was bombed with reports claiming Syrian government forces were behind the attack in the neighborhood of Al-Sahara killing nine children, injuring four civilians and dozens of students. The Syrian government denied these claims and Syrian state media SANA instead said terrorists bombed the school. (Step Agency – AR, AFP)

Political

10 OCT: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked the Security Council to request an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into war crimes committed in Syria. This is not the first time the Sec-Gen has made such a request, and in May 2014 Russia and China vetoed a draft Resolution by France for the ICC referral. (AFP)

11 OCT: The UK House of Commons scheduled an emergency debate on the situation in Syria referencing Aleppo and the role of Russia in the conflict. Notably, retired cabinet minister Andrew Mitchell referred to Russia in the role of the Nazis in Guernica. Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson called for protests outside of the Russian Embassy in London and pushed for a ceasefire, while other ministers called for a  no-fly zone. (AP, MEE, Telegraph UK)

11 OCT: A comment made by Hillary Clinton during Sunday’s Presidential debate that she would arm Syria’s Kurds against ISIS has drawn criticism from Ankara. Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said this was unacceptable, telling his fellow party members: “Clinton has said she would support Kurds in the region, terrorist organizations, with arms if she is elected. What does that mean? Is the U.S. not our ally? What does it mean to support them with arms?” (Hurriyet)

Humanitarian

N/A

Notable Media/Transcripts/Reports

11 OCT: “Putin in Syria: Chechnya All Over Again” by Oliver Bullough (NY Times)

10 OCT: “Everything Donald Trump Says About Syria Is Crazy, Wrong, or Both” by Michael Weiss (Daily Beast)

10 OCT: “What’s Really at Stake in the Syria Debate” by Marc Lynch (War on the Rocks)

10 OCT: “Eastern Approaches” by Kheder Khaddour (Carnegie MEC – Diwan)

10 OCT: “The rise of Syria’s White Helmets” (The Economist)

7 OCT: “A Breakthrough for Russia and the Regime in Syria” by Hassan Hassan (TIMEP)

7 OCT: The Slow, Violent Fall of Eastern Aleppo” by Aaron Lund (The Century Foundation)