TSI Syria Update: September 5, 2017

A brief overview of key military, political, and humanitarian news developments in Syria.  

Military

  • Pro-government forces shelled the opposition-controlled al-Taybeh village, south of Aleppo, killing three civilians. (Smart News-AR)
  • Over the weekend and into Monday, Assad Coalition forces continued efforts to advance on the besieged neighborhoods of Jobar, Arbin, and Ain Tarma. Failaq al-Rahman reportedly killed 25 government soldiers in an ambush in Ain Tarma on Sunday. On Tuesday, the head of the Syrian Civil Defense Directorate in Rural Damascus was one of six civilians killed in attacks targeted rescue workers in Misraba. (Ghouta Media Center FB-AR, SNHR, (@Alrahmancorps4-AR, @Alrahmancorps4-AR, Qasioun-AR, Smart News-AR)
  • Pro-government forces attacked Maarzaf village in western Hama province on Monday, killing at least 15 civilians, including seven children and four women. (Orient News-AR, Baladi News-AR, Smart News-AR, Eldorar-AR)
  • The convoy meant to move ISIS fighters from the Lebanon/Syria border Deir Ezzor governorate is still stuck in government-held territory in Syria, and is looking for another route option. (AP, Reuters)
  • Assad Coalition forces met up in government-controlled parts of Deir Ezzor city on Tuesday, indicating the siege enforced by ISIS may have been broken. (Sana, Sana-AR, Reuters, Syria Direct)
  • On Tuesday, US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) gained control of the field hospital in al-Mansour area of Raqqa city. As of Monday, the SDF had cleared Raqqa’s Great Mosque and all of Old City of ISIS fighters. (SDF Press-AR, CJTF-OIR, Reuters)
  • The Israeli army began a military drill in northern Israel close to the the border with Syria, amidst increasing concerns over Iran’s presence in Syria. (Times of Israel).

Political

  • On Monday, Prime Minister of the Syrian Interim Government (SIG) Jawad Abu Hatab was appointed as the temporary Defense Minister, as part of the Syrian Islamic Council and SIG’s efforts to unify armed opposition groups (AOGs) into an army. On Tuesday, AOGs and the SIG agreed to form a committee to choose a Chief of Staff for the unified body. (Smart News-AR, Orient News-AR, @TNTranslations)
  • On Sunday, Jaysh al-Islam announced support for the effort to unite AOGs, though the Southern Front said they are waiting for more details and practical steps before announcing their support for unification. (Jaysh al-Islam-AR, Smart News-AR)
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin sent a telegram to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad congratulating him for the “strategic victory” in Deir Ezzor city today. Putin also extended congratulations to the Russian and Syrian army. (TASS)

Humanitarian

  • None

Notable Media/Transcripts/Reports

  • 1 SEP: “Action is Needed to Save Idlib Before it’s Too Late” – Charles Lister (Asharq Al-Awsat)
  • 3 SEP: “Idlib Local Councils Face Crisis of Trust Under Difficult Circumstances” – Huda Yahya (Syria Untold)
  • 4 SEP: “Pivotal point in eastern Syria as Assad breaks key Islamic State siege” – Aron Lund (IRIN)
  • 5 SEP: “Rape: A Weapon of War With Long-Term Consequences” – Luna Safwan and Sama Masood (Syria Deeply)
  • 5 SEP: “With SDF seizure of the Great Mosque in Raqqa, the battle could be over in 6 weeks” – Wladimir van Wilgenburg (The Region)