TSI Syria Update: October 2, 2017

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

Military

  • 29 SEP: ISIS took control of the town of Qaraytayn in Homs from the Syrian regime in a surprise attack Friday night. (Reuters, Syria Direct, EA WorldView)
  • 30 SEP: Assad Coalition forces continued to bombard Idlib province over the weekend. Airstrikes on Friday night targeting the town Armanaz were particularly intense, killing an estimated 34 people and injuring dozens of others. (RFE, Al-Jazeera, @Charles_Lister, SOHR)
  • 1 OCT: The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) clashed with ISIS in rural oil-rich areas of Deir Ezzor province on Sunday. (Syria Direct)
  • 1 OCT: The SDF has cleared ISIS from 90% of Raqqa city. They have encircled the last two ISIS positions in the city: the Raqqa Municipal Stadium and the Raqqa National Hospital. (AFP)
  • 1 OCT: Russian Colonel Valery Fedyanin died on Sunday in Moscow from injuries sustained from a landmine in Hama province. (RevoSpring-AR, RT)
  • 2 OCT: A coordinated series of attacks hit the government-controlled neighborhood of al-Midan in central Damascus, killing more than ten people. According to some reports, a car bomb was followed by two suicide bombers wearing explosive vests, who detonated in front of the local police station. (Al-Jazeera, Reuters)
  • 2 OCT: An unidentified aircraft struck Hezbollah fighters in eastern Homs province Monday morning, killing several fighters. US-led Coalition spokesperson Colonel Ryan Dillon said the struck location is outside of the Coalition’s area of operations. (AP, Reuters, @OIRSpox)

Political

  • 1 OCT: Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) announced Abu Mohammad al-Jolani is their new leader, replacing former Ahrar al-Sham leader Abu Jaber. (@Charles_Lister, Smart News-AR)
  • 1 OCT: Opposition group Kitaib Ibn Taymiyyeh broke from HTS and the groups have clashed over control of Daret Izza in Rural Aleppo. (Aleppo24, Smart News-AR, @TNTranslations)
  • 1 OCT: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said September was the deadliest month this year in Syria with an estimated 3,000 people killed, including 955 civilians. (AFP, SOHR)
  • 2 OCT: Human Rights Watch released a report on Monday about Syrian refugees leaving Jordan in the first five months of 2017. Every month Jordan deported an estimated 400 registered Syrian refugees, 500 refugees returned to Syria for unknown reasons, with another 300 unorganized returns to Syria. (HRW)

Humanitarian

  • None.

Notable Media/Transcripts/Reports

  • 1 OCT: “The Second Anniversary of the Russian Intervention in Syria” (SN4HR)
  • 1 OCT: “First Responders, Double Tap? An Open Source Survey of a Russian Airstrike in Idlib” -Nick Waters (Bellingcat)
  • 1 OCT: “September becomes deadliest month yet in Syria this year” (AFP)
  • 1 OCT: “Assad’s Victory in Syria Has Cost Him Control of the Country” – Daniel R. DePetris (National Interest)
  • 2 OCT: “Jordan: Syrian Refugees Being Summarily Deported” (HRW)
  • 2 OCT: “Deir Ezzor Tribal Mapping Project” (CNAS)
  • 2 OCT: Op-ed “The Assad regime is exploiting reconstruction to gain legitimacy” – James Snell (Al Araby)
  • 2 OCT: “Not-so-soft Power: Russia’s Military Police in Syria” – Mark Galeotti (War on the Rocks)