TSI Syria Update: September 29, 2017

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

Military

  • Two US service members were injured today when a US aircraft had a hard landing in Syria. They were treated for non-life threatening injuries. (CJTF-OIR, Fox News)
  • Pro-government forces reportedly repelled an ISIS counterattack on the Palmyra-Deir Ezzor road near the town al-Shoula. (Reuters)
  • Despite a new ceasefire announced yesterday by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, new pro-government (likely Russian) airstrikes have been reported. In a series of seven airstrikes on Harem, at least nine civilians were killed. Schools in Idlib have been suspended. (@RaedAlSaleh3, all4syria-AR, Smart News-AR, @FSAPlatform)
  • Russian aircraft bombarded towns in rural Aleppo on Friday. Among the attacks, five civilians were killed and several injured in a strike on Urem al-Kubra. Also the Karama hospital in Atarib was taken out of service by two airstrikes that killed one child and wounded other civilians. This latest round of escalation started last weekend, after months of relative calm. (aleppo24-AR, Qasioun)
  • Sometime between April and July, Russia deployed a second Russian S-400 long-range surface-to-air-missile system near Masyaf, Syria, increasing its air defence in the country. (Janes)
  • Assad Coalition forces continued targeting several areas of besieged Eastern Ghouta with intense attacks today, killing at least 19 people, half of whom were children. The neighborhoods of Beit Sawa, Misraba, Douma, Ein Tarma, Hamouriya, Saqba, Arbin, and Harasta were targeted. Friday prayers were cancelled. (@SiegeWatch, RevoSpring-AR, all4syria-AR)
  • Along with the Eastern Ghouta attacks, pro-government jets targeted the neighborhood of Jobar with seven airstrikes. These were the first to hit the area in over a month. (Qasioun video, Jobar News)
  • Heavy artillery fire from pro-government militias targeted Talbiseh in besieged northern Homs. At least four people were killed including one infant. (@SiegeWatch) (TSI Analyst note: A similar artillery bombardment hit Talbiseh a week ago, but before that the area had experienced months of relative calm. The latest violence is a further sign of the unraveling of the “de-escalation zones.”)

Political

  • The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria elected new party co-chairs: Hahuiz Hassan and Aisha Hissou. (ANF, Enab Baladi-AR)
  • A new report released by the Syrian Network for Human Rights recorded  pro-government attacks against Idlib province between 19 and 27 September. SNHR recorded 714 air raids, 137 deaths, and one incident of cluster munitions use. (SNHR-AR, Enab Baladi-AR)

Humanitarian

  • None.

Notable Media/Transcripts/Reports

  • 27 SEP: “Suwayda residents, citing weak government authority, turn anew to tribal laws to resolve civil, criminal matters” – Barhira al-Zarier, Mohammed Al-Haj Ali, and Justin Clark (Syria Direct)
  • 28 SEP: “The Archivist: Media Fitna in the Islamic State” – Aymenn al-Tamimi (Jihadology)
  • 28 SEP: “Israel Is Going to War In Syria to Fight Iran” – Jonathan Spyer (Foreign Policy)
  • 29 SEP: “Three Idlib Medical Facilities Attacked on 19 September 2017” (Syrian Archive)
  • 29 SEP: “CJTF – OIR Monthly Civilian Casualty Report” (CJTF-OIR)
  • 29 SEP: “قوات الحلف السوري الروسي تدمر دمويا اتفاقيات استانة في ادلب” (SNHR)