TSI Syria Update: September 21, 2017

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

Military

Political

  • The “Self Administration” Kurdish areas in northern Syria will hold its first local elections tomorrow for neighborhood-level leaders. This is the first in a series of elections planned for the semi-autonomous area. Arabs will reportedly be allowed only limited participation, being barred from voting in the third round of voting scheduled for January. (Syria Direct, Asharq Al-Awsat, Enab Baladi-AR)
  • Russian Maj. Gen. Igor Konashenkov said that a message had been sent to the US military that Russia would retaliated against US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Ezzor, telling them that “any attempts to open fire from areas where SDF fighters are located would be quickly shut down.” Russia has accused the SDF of firing on Syrian government forces twice in the past week, after they crossed to the eastern side of the Euphrates. Konashenkov also suggested that the SDF may be working with ISIS instead of fighting them. (Reuters, TASS)
  • During a briefing on US operations in Syria and Iraq today, CJTF-OIR Spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon described an unprecedented face-to-face meeting between Russian and American commanders in the region earlier in the week to “discuss and expand” de-confliction manners. He also described a further expansion of de-confliction efforts to three lines of communications: a ground component, and air component, and a line between the operation commanders as needed. (CJTF-OIR FB, Reuters)

Humanitarian

Notable Media/Transcripts/Reports

  • “Russia Crosses the Euphrates: Implications” – Andrew J. Tabler (Washington Institute)
  • “A Careless Attack on the UN’s Commission of Inquiry on Syria” – Adil Ahmad Haque (Just Security)
  • “Factsheet: The EU and the crisis in Syria,” (EU)
  • “Can severity profiles offer an alternative to persons-in-need estimates? An experiment with data from Syria (September 2017)” – Aldo Benini (ACAPS)