TSI Syria Updates: November 9, 2016

Takeaway

In the aftermath of the US presidential elections, key players in the Syrian conflict had a mixed and somewhat muted response to the prospect of president-elect Donald Trump taking control in January. Many regional stakeholders and members of the Syrian political opposition responded with polite but cautious letters of congratulations to Mr. Trump, waiting to see what Trump’s Syria policy will materialize. Jihadist leaders tweeted about Trump’s election almost gleefully, as evidence of America’s impending instability and downfall. There was no official statement from the Syrian government, but Assad is presumably happy to see a candidate preferred by Russia win over Hillary Clinton. Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first world leader to congratulate Trump on his election, reportedly telling the president-elect that he looks forward to improving US-Russian relations.

Military

  • 9 NOV: A US-led coalition airstrike on the village al-Heisha, north of the Islamic State (ISIS) stronghold in Raqqa, reportedly killed 20 people and wounded 32 others. A coalition spokesperson, Colonel John Dorrian, confirmed to AFP that strikes did occur, but said casualties had not been assessed yet. (AFP, BBC)
  • 9 NOV: Israel said that it struck a Syrian military artillery position in Quneitra governorate after a rocket from Syria hit the Israeli-controlled portion of the Golan Heights.  (AP)

Political

  • 9 NOV: Donald Trump won the 2016 US elections early this morning. Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his congratulations to the president-elect. Russian parliament applauded Trump’s victory. Opposition groups in Syria are concerned about Trump possibly supporting Russia and the Syrian government, while the Syrian government is likely hopeful about not working against Hillary Clinton. The Syrian National Coalition extended a cautious congratulation. Jihadist leaders tweeted about Trump’s election as proof of America’s impending downfall. French President Francois Hollande called this period uncertain. France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said France would need to first speak with Trump about his stances on key issues, including Syria, before determining their work together as allies. UN General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon also congratulated Trump on his election to the presidency. (Reuters, NOW, Reuters, Time)
  • 9 NOV: German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier met with a delegation from the Syrian National Coalition in Germany today. (Etilaf, SMART News-AR)

Humanitarian

  • none

Notable Media/Transcripts/Reports