TSI Syria Update: August 11, 2017

Takeaway

The Assad Coalition continued to bombard the residential areas of Eastern Ghouta today, injuring several civilians. Russia announced a ceasefire in Eastern Ghouta on 22 July, but Assad Coalition forces and warplanes have repeatedly violated the agreement since then.

Military

  • 10 AUG: The Islamic State (ISIS) counterattacked Assad Coalition forces near al-Sukhneh, in northern Homs governorate. The attack reportedly killed and injured tens of Assad Coalition forces. The Assad Coalition captured the town of al-Sukhneh from ISIS in 6 August, but has been since the target of a number of ISIS counterattacks as the group try to regain the town. (Aletihad Press-AR,  Baladi News-AR)
  • 11 AUG: US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed to have killed 32 ISIS fighters in clashes in Raqqa city during the ongoing offensive to capture the city from ISIS. The clashes occurred in the Old City, Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik and Nazlat Shahada districts in the southern part of the city, and the al-Bareed district in the western area of the city. Pro-ISIS media claimed that ISIS snipers killed four SDF fighters during the fighting. (SDF-Press, Smart News-AR)
  • 11 AUG: Assad Coalition shelled residential areas in several besieged Eastern Ghouta towns on Friday. Artillery fire hit Douma, Hamouria, Saqba, Zamalka, Kafr Batna, and Ein Tarma. The shelling left multiple civilians injured, including several children. These attacks are a continuation of a pro-government offensive to capture areas of Eastern Ghouta, and a violation of a previously agreed upon de-escalation agreement announced by Russia. (Ghouta Media Center FB, SOHR-AR, Smart News-AR, @Ghouta_GMC)
  • 11 AUG: The Assad Coalition launched artillery strikes on the towns of al-Ghantu, al-Za’faraneh, and Talbiseh in the northern Homs area today, injuring several civilians. State-run media claimed that armed opposition groups (AOGs) in northern Homs attacked the government-controlled town of Ein al-Dananir with mortar shells, killing one civilian and injuring two others. The last two days have seen a rise in pro-government attacks in the area despite Russia announcing a new ceasefire agreement for northern Homs on 3 August. (Qasioun-AR, Smart News-AR, SANA-AR)
  • 11 AUG: Clashes between Assad Coalition forces and AOGs continued on Friday in the al-Rashideen neighborhood, in western Aleppo city, as pro-government forces attempted to advance in the area. Pro-government forces also targeted the area with shelling. No advances were reported in the fighting, and  unconfirmed reports about casualties in both sides. (Qasioun-AR, SOHR-AR)

Political

  • 11 AUG: Today civilians in the towns of Hass, Kafroma, Saraqeb, and Maarat al-Numan in Idlib governorate protested the Syrian government bombing Eastern Ghouta. The demonstrators also protested the presence of al-Qaeda-affiliate Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in their towns and its recent expansion to several areas of Idlib governorate. (SOHR-AR, Alaraby-AR, Smart News-AR)
  • 11 AUG: More than 1,500 protesters reportedly took to the streets in the besieged Eastern Ghouta town of Arbin to demonstrate against HTS’s presence in the area. HTS fighters responded with throwing rocks on the protesters and injuring several protesters. (Ghouta Media Center FB, SOHR-AR)

Humanitarian

  • None.

Notable Media/Transcripts/Reports

  • 9 AUG: “Thinking Outside the Camp: Syrian Refugees in Istanbul” – M. Murat Erdogan (Migration Policy)
  • 10 AUG: “Preventing Force Return in Lebanon and the Greater Levant” – Jesse Marks (Stimson)
  • 10 AUG: “Idlib Residents Split Over Support for Al-Qaida-Linked Militants” – Hashem Osseiran and Wissam Frangieh (Syria Deeply)
  • 11 AUG: “Raqqa’s Water War” – Feras Hanoush (Atlantic Council)
  • 11 AUG: “Displacement, housing, land and property and access to civil documentation in the north west of the Syrian Arab Republic” (Housing, Land and Property)
  • 11 AUG; “Displacement, housing land and property and access to civil documentation in the south of the Syrian Arab Republic” (Housing, Land and Property)