TSI Syria Update: November 1, 2017

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

Military

  • 1 NOV: The village of Beit Jinn Farms was hit by four barrel bombs and a number of missiles in an attack from pro-government forces. (Revo Spring-AR)
  • 1 NOV: Pro-opposition media reported heavy fighting in eastern Hama between the Assad Coalition forces and opposition group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). Assad Coalition forces reportedly conducted significant air strikes during the operations. (Enab Baladi-AR)
  • 1 NOV: Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corp (IRGC) commander Moshen Jamali was allegedly killed in Deir Ezzor city, as Assad Coalition forces continue their operations in the city against ISIS. Reportedly, significant fighting between regime and ISIS forces occurred near the city’s old airport district. (Enab Baladi-AR, @DeirEzzor24)
  • 1 NOV: US forces reportedly moved a pregnant American minor from Syria to Iraq. A US official claimed she is the same 15 year old girl interviewed near Raqqa by CBS in October that had been brought to Syria by her father who is an ISIS supporter. (Reuters)
  • 1 NOV: Armed opposition group (AOG) Jaysh al-Ahrar released a statement claiming HTS attempted to assassinate their leader leader Abu Saleh Tahhan. HTS denied the accusation. (Enab Baladi-AR, @hxhassan, Enab Baladi-AR)
  • 1 NOV: There are unconfirmed reports today that Assad Coalition forces targeted the besieged neighborhood of Jobar with strikes from unmanned drones. If true, this is the first such incident in the area. (Sowt al-Asima-AR, JoubarNews FB-AR) (TSI Analyst note: Iranian drone technology is increasingly being used by Assad Coalition forces.)
  • 1 NOV: The Russian Defense Ministry said six long-range bombers targeted Abu Kamal today after taking off from their base in Russia. (Russian MOD FB, Reuters)

Political

  • 30 OCT: A member of the Syrian Foreign Ministry said the Syrian government will consider Raqqa city occupied until the Syrian military has control of the city. (Sana)
  • 1 NOV: The Bab al-Hawa border crossing between Syria and Turkey will allow the passage of construction materials starting Thursday, according to an official on the Syrian side. The crossing has largely been closed to non-humanitarian traffic since July. (Enab Baladi-AR, Smart News-AR)
  • 1 NOV: The Syrian Coalition (Etilaf) and High Negotiations Committee (HNC), both opposition groups, rejected yesterday’s proposed “Congress of National Dialogue” hosted by Russia, saying it was an effort to subvert the Geneva talks. Mohammad Alloush, a senior official with the HNC and member of rebel group Jaysh al-Islam, said the Congress was only a meeting “between the regime and the regime.” Turkey also protested the invitation of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which it considers a terrorist organization. (Reuters, Daily Sabah, Qasioun)
  • 1 NOV: Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani today, with the situation in Syria high on their agenda. (Kremlin, Reuters)

Humanitarian

Notable Media/Transcripts/Reports

  • 31 OCT: “Russia Seizes Syria Diplomacy Reins” – Bradley Hanlon and Bryan Amoroso (ISW)
  • 1 NOV: “923 Civilians Killed in October 2017” (SN4HR)
  • 1 NOV: “Turkey Eyeing Further Expansion in Northern Syria, Say Rebels” – Hashem Osseiran (Syria Deeply)
  • 1 NOV: “Jabhat Al Nusra and Al Qaeda: the riddle, the ruse and the reality” – Hassan Hassan (The National)