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Welcome to A Closer Look On Syria

For a word on our approach and how you can contribute to the project, continue here. On the Main Page below are general news and some select incidents studied at ACLOS since its creation in 2012. For more current analysis, check "Recent changes" or "New Pages" in the menu to the left, or use the search box.

Syria News

15 Oct. The Nassib border crossing to Jordan is re-opened for the first time in over three years. Also, the Quneitra crossing to the occupied Golan Heights is re-opened for the first time in four years.

al Qaeda releases a statement reaffirming that they will not comply with the Russian-Turkish Idlib agreement that asked them to leave the to-be buffer zone until today. It is Turkey's agreed duty to make them leave, and some of the groups they control have done so in recent days.

The Syrian foreign minister and the political wing of the SDF have an indirect exchange of words over their ideas on how to move on with the situation west and east of the Euphrates.

According to the Russian Reconciliation center, on October 13 ISIS has attacked a refugee camp in Deir ez-Zor province, abducted 700 people and taken them back to the Hajin pocket to be used as human shields.

14 Oct. Syria takes the white phosphorus issue to the UN.

13 Oct. There are reports that the US-led "coalition" has used banned white phosphorus weapons in their attacks of the ISIS stronghold Hajin. Russia calls for an investigation.

The public radio and TV infrastructure in Deir ez-Zor province is completely working for the first time in seven years.

Amnesty International's new Secretary General Kuma Naidoo visits Raqqa and shows himself "shocked" by the devastation left by the US-led "coalition"'s bombs. It "defies logic" that anybody is still able to live there, he added.

11 Oct. Ursula Behr is buried in the Latin cemetery of Damascus' al-Tabbaleh neighbourhood.

9 Oct. Terminally ill friend of ACLOS "Urs" dies on her last wish journey to Syria at age 58, after opening an exhibition of her art in Damascus. (German language report by her husband about their last trip to Maaloula). Condolences and may she rest in peace.

Assad issues Decree 18 which grants "general amnesty for military deserters inside and outside the country and the crimes included in the Military Penalties Law", including fugitives from justice if they turn themselves in in four months inside and six months outside the country.

Trump announces that UN ambassador Nikki Haley will leave her post at the end of the year.

An al Watan report finds that Turkey is responsible for deploying up to 7,000 Turkistani Jihadis to Syria over the years.

7 Oct. Assad speaks in front of the Baath party's central committee on latest developments.

6 Oct. Moscow calls on the UNHCR to help to facilitate the return of Syrian refugees to their homes.

5 Oct. After complaining for some time about the US' delay to implement the Manbij agreement, Turkey now through state-owned Anadolu Agency claims that against the US' wishes, the YPG instead of leaving is digging trenches and preparing for the defense of the town.

4 Oct. ISIS executes another of the Druze women they kidnapped in the villages of as-Sweida in August, threatening to kill them all if the SAA doesn't stop their advance in the al Safa volcanic fields where the cult's gangs are surrounded without access to fresh water.

According to IDF sources, Israel plans to commit its future war crimes against Syria with the F-35i fighter jet to counter the S-300 defense system.

Israel and Syria are in a state of war since the establishment of Israel, 1948, with an armistice agreement. War conventions ban attacking civilians, grossly disproportionate response, etc. Israel is a signatory of Hague convention. Both Israel and Syria are signatories of Geneva conventions, but not all its protocols.

3 Oct. Friend of ACLOS "Urs", terminally ill with cancer, has fulfilled her last wish and seen Syria with her own eyes.

The series of assassinations of high-ranking Nusra leaders in Idlib continues with several victims in recent days, all foreigners from the Caucasus and Central Asia.

The EU parliament withholds 70 million € aid to Turkey because of "violations of human rights and the freedom of the press".

2 Oct. According to ANNA News, a first S-300 system has come into service with the SAA. According to Shoigu, 49 pieces of military equipment have been delivered, including four S-300 launchers. (videos of unloading)

The 4th "Re-Build Syria" expo starts in Damascus.

Both Israel and Syria have expressed their readyness to re-open the Quinetra crossing into the occupied Golan heights.

1 Oct. Peter Korzun takes a look at three years of direct Russian involvement in Syria which started on September 30, 2015.

Iran hits targets in the ISIS pocket at the very east of the Syrian Euphrates with ballistic missiles, claiming that it was in retaliation for the terrorist attack in Ahvaz and killed several ringleaders.

On the International Day for the elderly, 6% of Syria’s population are above 60 years old. For comparison, the global number of people over 60 is 13%, in the US 22%, in Germany 28% and in Japan 33%.

30 Sep. Advancing in the al-Safa volcanic fields, the SAA busts an ISIS hide-out and kills a high-ranking leader and his four bodyguards.

Firat News Agency interviews Salih Muslim about the situation in Idlib, Afrin and the rest of Syria.

Jaysh al-Izza, a large "rebel" fraction in Idlib, counted as "moderate" and Turkish-backed, releases a statement rejecting the to-be-created buffer zone of the Turkish-Russian agreement. Meanwhile, their ally Faylaq al-Sham has started to retreat from the area, as reported by Al Masdar citing SOHR. Later the group issues a statement saying that they are staying where they were and the news is false.

29 Sep. Foreign minister Walid al-Moallem delivers Syria's speech at the UN General Assembly.

Iraq: Adel Abdel Mahdi, known for politics trying to balance the influence of Iran and the US, becomes the country's new prime minister.

28 Sep. Erdogan accuses the US of not keeping its promises regarding the roadmap in Manbij, complaining that the YPG hasn't left the city.

Lavrov says that the S-300 delivery to Syria has already begun.

27 Sep. The Saudi foreign minister calls the Idlib agreement "excellent".

26 Sep. Trump takes credit for stopping the Idlib offensive with a single tweet.

Syria and Jordan are preparing to re-open the strategic Nassib border crossing in the coming weeks.

25 Sep. The Israeli security cabinet orders the IDF to "continue to act against Iran’s military build-up in Syria without stopping coordination on Syria with the Russian military."

24 Sep. Russian Defense Minister Shoigu announces that Syria will get S-300 air defense systems within two weeks and "underscores" that the planned delivery was halted in 2013 by request of Israel in a situation that "has now changed". Russia will equip Syrian air defensed with 'friend-foe' system so far only available to the Russian forces. In Syrian offshore areas, radio -electronic suppression of satellite navigation and airborne radar and communication systems of combat aviation attacking objects on Syrian territory will be deployed (Shoigu statement on video starts with re-stating the Russian version of IL-20 shoot-down). Later, Putin has phone conversations with Assad and Netanyahu.

A German court sentences a Syrian man to life in prison for war crimes he committed in Aleppo as a "rebel" commander, including plundering, kidnapping and torture. The man was identified in Germany by a survivor of his crimes.

At an exhibition for sustainable development in Italy, the organization of the economy in Rojava is presented.

23 Sep. Following a Russian MoD presentation about the details of the downing of their IL-20 plane, in which they stay by their initial assessment that Israel deliberately used it as cover and is therefore to blame for the accidental Syrian downing of the plane, Israel insists that this information is false and they also warned the Russians in time about their actions.

Eva Bartlett publishes an English-language video interview she conducted yesterday with Syrian comedian Treka.

Syrian inventors win 15 medals at int’l exhibition in China.

According to the regional head of the opposition Future of Syria Party, Turkey has started to move Al Nusra (HTS) fighters from the to-be-created Idlib buffer zone into Afrin canton, where the YPG is now fighting a guerilla war against the Turkish army and their proxy "rebels".

22 Sep. Unnamed Turkish officials talking to Middle East Eye share details about the Idlib deal with the Russians and how it came into being.

SANA reports that according to local witnesses, helicopters of the US-led "coalition" have evacuated a number of ISIS commanders from the village of al Marashida in the Euphrates pocket near Hajin.

21 Sep. After three days of battle, the SDF have liberated the village of Al Bagouz and are now heading towards Hajin, the last town on the banks of the very eastern Euphrates occupied by ISIS, thought to be the hide-out of some of their remaining leadership.

The SDF hands over a Sudanese woman and her baby to a diplomat of her home country. The woman was one of over 500 who were captured in the fight against ISIS, in addition to over 1,000 children and over 500 fighters, all foreign nationals from 44 countries. The SDF calls on their home countries to take them back and doesn't see it as their duty or even inside their capabilities to put them on trial/keep them detained.

Rumours about US-Russian negotiations over an evacuation of the Rukban refugee camp inside the artificially created US protectorate around Al Tanf persist and seem to substantiate.

SANA publishes what is said to be 3 slightly different versions of staged chemical attack videos. White helmets emblem is briefly seen on video, in quite poor quality. See Rusvesna report. (Originally published by SMM Syria in July 2017)

20 Sep. According to an CSTO statement, more than 2,500 ISIS fighters have been transferred from Syria to Afghanistan in 2018. The statement does not say how and by whom this movement was organized, but calls Afghanistan the new "principal center" of the terror cult.

Borders of Idlib zone: West
Borders of Idlib zone: South
Borders of Idlib zone: East

19 Sep. Nebenzia tells the UNSC that preparations for chemical weapons provocations in Idlib are still going on.

The hardcore Islamist groups in the Idlib pocket reject the Turkish-Russian agreement which expects them and their heavy weapons to leave the to-be-created demilitarized zone by October 15 (map showing zones in question).

The UAE's The National publishes the full text of the Russian-Turkish memorandum as submitted to the UNSC in Russian and English.

The PYD turns 15 years old.

The SAA seizes ISIS' last water resource in the volcanic field of Al Safa.

The SDF continues to make slow progress against ISIS in the very east of the Euphrates after having taken an important bridge the day before.

18 Sep. Russia has formally complained to Israel about its air raid on Monday, which led to the downing of a Russian IL-20 plane off the Syrian coast. Moscow has laid the blame for the crew’s deaths “squarely on the Israeli side”, which had only given a warning one minute before the attack, so there was no time to get the IL-20 out of the way of the Syrian air defense which seems to have accidentally hit it. 15 Russian soldiers were killed. Russia vows to respond. Russia also accuses France of firing cruise missiles and thus being partly responsible for the crash. France denies any involvement. (Sputnik Newsticker)

Both Syria and Iran welcome the Turkish-Russian Idlib deal.

17 Sep. Following a meeting by the presidents and defense ministers of Russia and Turkey in Sochi, a memorandum is signed expressing the intend to install by October 15 a 15-20 km wide demilitarized zone along the contact line of the Idlib zone, which will be policed by both Russian and Turkish troops. Included in this zone is the crucial M5 highway which shall be reopened by the end of the year. No further military operations are planned (Putin-Erdogan press conference).

In the evening a larger number of missiles apparently coming from the Mediterranean Sea target spots in the coastal regions of Syria. Some are intercepted by air defense while others hit. So far it is unclear who committed these acts of war.

The hacker group Syrian Electronic Army releases footage allegedly showing the planing of a fake chemical attack video by the White Helmets.

Former UK ambassador to Syria Peter Ford issues a Bluffer's guide to bombing Syria countering "talking points" developed by FUKUS "propaganda mills".

16 Sep. In local elections all across government-held Syria, over 40,000 candidates run for over 18,000 seats in local administration councils.

15 Sep. In the evening SANA reports that air defense is shooting down Israeli missiles attacking Damascus International Airport.

Another Russian Reconciliation Center warning says that several canisters of chlorine have been delivered by Nusra fighters to the village of Bsanqul.

14 Sep. According to Ziad Fadel citing Ba'ath party sources, there are a total of around 300,000 people in the Idlib pocket, 33,000 of whom are fighters. According to recent UN statements, "at least" 3 million civilians are endangered by a possible Idlib operation. Wikipedia has the pre-war 2010 population at around 1,5 million people.

SAA sources talking to Al Masdar say that there is no plan to take back the whole Idlib pocket at the moment.

Several convoys of Turkish military are spotted entering Idlib province, apparently to reinforce the 12 observation points.

The US military conducts drills with "rebel" groups in their illegal protectorate around Al Tanf.

13 Sep. The battle between ISIS and the SAA in the volcanic field of Al Safa is still going on.

The battle between ISIS and the SDF in the Euphrates green belt close to the Iraqi border is still going on. In the process the YPG says they have captured a key ISIS figure of Italian citizenship who is providing crucial information for the further fight against the remains of the terror cult.

12 Sep. SANA comes out with its own warning about staged chlorine attacks, according to which the play shall take place at several spots in Jisr al-Shughour, the al-Ghab plains and northern Hama countryside.

11 Sep. Bashar al-Assad turns 53 years old.

The Russian Reconciliation Center in its daily briefing states that today several TV teams including "a regional branch of a leading US news channel" have arrived in Jisr al-Shughour and are filming the anticipated false flag chemical attack. Ziad Fadel describes more alleged details from his sources, including the composition of the US/UK film crew and a wikimapia link to the alleged place of the scene, near the village/suburb Shughour Tahtani just north-east outside of Jisr al-Shughour.

According to Belgian researcher of Jihadi networks Pieter van Ostaeyen, a purge of Idlib "rebels" Telegram accounts occurs.

10 Sep. Research by Dutch media shows that their government has supported "rebel" groups classified as terrorists with 25 million € worth of "non-lethal aid" including pick-up trucks, starting in 2015. The government says they have stopped the program in early 2018 due to their own, similar assessment.

Robert Fisk reports for Independent from Syria and finds no military build-up in the parts of Idlib border region he traveled.

9 Sep. A certain Dion Nissenbaum in The Wallstreet Journal has proverbial anonymous US officials claiming that Assad has approved a chlorine gas attack in Idlib.

8 Sep. RU MoD: after a rebel's meeting on 7 Sep., preparations for a chemical attack provocation are to be finalized by the end of the day today, 8 Sep. (robo-translation)

According to Russian and Syrian pro-government sources (1) rebel's multiple-launch rocket attack on a Christian town of Mahardah left 10 civilians killed, among them 5 children, 23 people were injured. (2) Russian and Syrian forces delivered sustained airstrikes on rebel's positions; those were presented as in response to the rebel attacks. Those strikes are also reported by SOHR and Western media (Rusvesna photos, videos, robo-translation; Southfront; SOHR; BBC).

Iranian rocket attack on Kurdish KDP, PDKI parties headquarters in Iraqi town of Koya killed a number of people-reports (1,2, video, Cassad (names,photos, video)).

7 Sep. The Iranian, Russian and Turkish presidents are meeting in Tehran to discuss the situation in Syria and especially in the de-escalation zone Idlib, including expected chemical provocations. They produce a joint statement.

At the UNSC Ja'afari states that Syria will not bow to FUKUS threats and attempted blackmail.

YouTube terminates the SANA channel.

US Marines start training exercises near al-Tanf, inside Syria (OIR version). This follows media reports that pro-Assad coalition threatened to clear that area.

This 'conveniently-timed' report includes text (Rus) and video of interrogation of a prisoner, said to belong to ISIS, who says he was trained and equipped 'by Americans'; training claimed to occur in Er- Rubkan camp (map), in al-Tanf area. Report cannot be independently confirmed and appeared in Russian sources. Prisoner responds in a weak voice, and does utter 'Americans'. No obvious signs of mistreatment on video.

6 Sep. The new US State Department special adviser on Syria, James Franklin Jeffrey, states that there's lots of evidence that Syria is preparing a chemical attack in Idlib. "I am very sure that we have very, very good grounds to be making these warnings", he claims.

The 60th edition of the Damascus International Fair begins. Eva Bartlett reports.

4 Sep. Reports of Syrian (or Syrian and Russian) airstrikes in Idlib (Almadar, Topwar, Cassad, photos, Rusvesna). Also, Syrian reports on Israeli airstrikes in Syria.

2 Sep. In the early morning hours, several big explosions rock Mezzeh military airport near Damascus. It is first speculated about another Israeli attack, but the SAA says a short circuit led to a fire in one ammunition depot which exploded and caused several others to explode as well. They stored stuff taken from "rebels" marked to be destroyed anyway, it is said.

1 Sep. The activist known as "Syriangirl" publishes part one of a video interview with Peter Ford, UK ambassador to Syria from 2003-2006.

31 Aug. CNN hears from "multiple" unnamed US officials that the Trump regime has already drawn up a target list for the case that a chemical incident in Idlib should appear to occur.

Lavrov says terrorists’ use of Idlib for attacks on Russian, Syrian troops is unacceptable, in a long and tense TASS article.

Lavrov -Muallem formal press-release and press conference (including detail on ongoing negotiations with Turkey - with no agreement yet).

Russia informed OPCW Director General of impending provocation in Syria.

Staffan de Mistura called for humanitarian corridors.

Russia blocked UN 1718 committee report on North Korea (RFE/RL, TASS Eng., TASS Rus.)

30 Aug. Russia announced 'large-scale exercises' (Navy cmd. presentation, map) of the Navy and the Airspace Forces in the Mediterranean Sea, 1-8 September 2018. (This follows large scale maneuvers in Russia’s eastern and central military districts Vostok-2018).

Andre Vltchek takes a look at the Syrian curriculum's view on modern history. (A US teacher on related matters, here).

29 Aug. After the blacklist of "Assadists" mentioned on 24 Aug was taken down by the host for violation of terms, Brandon Turbeville turns it around and compiles a Directory Of Accurate Alt Media Sources On Syria, which with some minor flaws (first of course the omission of this humble wiki ;o)) constitutes a useful tool for people starting to explore the true nature of the topic hidden behind NATO propaganda.

28 Aug. Pentagon denies claims on military build-up, repeats concerns, including on chemical weapons (CNN, Sputnik).

At the UNSC, the UK ambassador calls the Russian claims about a planned chemical weapons attack in Idlib with UK involvement "fake news". The Russian ambassador replies that if the MoD says something, it knows something. He elaborates that two trucks with "a large amount of chemical agents", accompanied by eight members of the White Helmets, have arrived in Saraqib, from where some of them were delivered to militants. (Further details here). Full UNSC recording, Eng here; Russian presentation from 1:11:00, the main claim from 1:21:00). UNSC in Rus. here.

27 Aug. The third congress of the Democratic Society Movement (TEV-DEM) takes place in Rimelan near Qamishlo. The second congress in December 2011 paved the way to the political project in the northern, Kurdish-dominated regions.

26 Aug. Konashenkov gives another statement saying that according to information received today from "residents", "foreign experts" have arrived in the southern Idlib Hbrit settlement and plan to target Kafr Zita with a staged chlorine attack in the next two days. If this is the same group from yesterday's statement with changed plans was not immediately clear.

25 Aug. Konashenkov gives a statement in which he describes details of another false flag chemical attack planned by Al Qaeda with the help of UK special services. Eight containers with chlorine have been delivered to Jisr al-Shugour where they were given to a Turkistani Jihadi group which now stocks them in the near village of Halluz. The attack is to be staged in Jisr al-Shugour and a rescue operation simulated by "a special group of terrorists who have been trained by specialists of the UK private military company Olive", the Russian MoD spokesman elaborated.

24 Aug. A Dutch activist (evolutionary biology MSc student; writing sample) publishes a list of 150 leading Western intellectuals Assadist. ACLOS member Adam Larson is honored by inclusion, along with links to ACLOS (mission statement) and our sister blog Monitor on Massacre Marketing.

The Turkish defense minister and intelligence chief visit Moscow to discuss the Idlib situation with their Russian counterparts. A similar meeting had taken place one week before.

22 Aug. John Bolton, ahead of his visit to Moscow to meet Nikolai Patrushev: Russia stuck in Syria / Iran must leave (Reuters), ( / US would act very strongly if Syria uses chemical weapons.

21 Aug. FUKUS releases a statement on the fifth anniversary of the Ghouta chemical weapons incident, warning that they would "respond appropriately" to any future use of chemical weapons by Syria.

20 Aug. Lavrov (Russ; Eng.): ...' It turns out that the Political Department of the UN Secretariat issued and circulated throughout the UN system in October 2017 a secret directive prohibiting organisations that are part of this system to participate in any projects to restore the Syrian economy limiting their involvement to humanitarian aid and nothing more. Again, a condition was put forward that only after progress had been made on a so-called "political transition" will it be possible to deal with the restoration of Syria. I asked Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres why such matters are the subject of some in-house secret Secretariat’s directives and why the UN Security Council which deals directly with the Syrian settlement is not aware of them, and why such decisions are made without an open and objective analysis of the situation on the ground. Mr Guterres promised to sort it out. Also talks about artificial (US) attempts to stop the return of refugees by refusing to participate in the efforts to restore the infrastructure in Syria, with de Mistura-Pompeo meeting as an example.

17 Aug. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, accompanied by National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, visited Moscow to discuss Syria and other cooperation, met Shoigu and Gerasimov, ahead of a possible start of operation in Idlib (Cassad. photos),(TASS),(Orient).

12 Aug. It is reported that YPG collaborates with the government, provides some 1300 fighters, to wear SAA uniforms, for planned operation in Idlib and Western Aleppo, following 'months' of negotiations with the Russians (Turkish state agency Anadolu),(Rusvesna). The SDF spokesperson calls the Anadolu report a lie.

11 Aug. Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad turns 43 years old.

10 Aug. The SAA has followed the retreating ISIS gangs into the as-Suweida desert where they now stand before the groups's "fortified" as-Safa hide-out, which is a gigantic lava field visible as a black circle from space.

Turkey: While Erdogan asks his people not to panic because of the collapsing lira (and calls Putin), Trump declares per tweet that he has just ordered to double Tarrifs on Turkish aluminium and steel.

Russia and China moved to prevent USA to expand DPRK sanctions list in UNSC 1718 Sanctions Committee, with Russia apparently making references to US recent sanctions on Russia.

8 Aug. The Syrian Presidency announces that Asma al-Assad "started the first stage of treatment of a malignant tumor in the breast which was discovered in its early stage".

The SDF announces that their operation against the ISIS pocket at the Iraqi border has come to a successful conclusion. 71,360 km² and 191 km border were liberated since it started on June 3.

7 Aug. The SAA is following ISIS into the desert between as-Suweida and al-Tanf.

6 Aug. A prominent scientist Dr. Aziz Isber, developer of missile technique, is murdered by a car bomb in Hama province. Many suspect Mossad behind the operation.

The YPG rejects accusations in a HRW report alleging they would routinely recruit child soldiers, saying that these are stories based on hearsay and isolated occasions have been dealt with.

Firat News Agency publishes an interview with a citizen of Afrin, according to whom the conditions in the Turkish-occupied canton are horrific.

With fresh space in Idlib prison (see 2 Aug), Nusra cracks down on rival gangs including recent green bus passengers.

4 Aug. Rania Khalek tells the story of Khaled al Ahmad, "The Mystery Fixer Who Negotiated the End of the Syrian War" (Part II).

Golan Heights, 3 Aug'18

3 Aug. Russian military police accompany UN vehicles on their way to patrol Golan heights separation line, for the first time since 2012-report, photos, video, music. (Former rebels who switched sides, and are still armed, said to be shown standing by the road).

Reuters reports on 'US government memo', in response to a proposal on rebuilding Syria, sent via military channels by Gerasimov to Dunford. Russian MoD confirmed that a letter was sent, expressing regret that confidential communication was made public. It is indicated that return of refugees from US-controlled areas and humanitarian issues, including US-controlled areas, have been raised in the letter.(TASS)

2 Aug. 180 of the 700 prisoners of the Nusra-run Idlib Central Prison, among them around 100 ISIS fighters, manage to flee the institution.

Situation in southern Syria

1 Aug. ISIS again attacks the As-Suweida area from their desert pocket, this time the SAA airbase Khalkhalah. While the attack was repelled, the SAA claims only four soldiers died and no equipment was lost, while ISIS propaganda claims 45 killed soldiers, two destroyed planes and several drones.

Archive 2018
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Archive 2017
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Archive 2016
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Chemical Weapons (starting late 2012)

Main article: Category:Chemical Weapons
Chem 4-9 A.png

A running theme in Syria news is claims about the use of chemical weapons and the red lines they would cross, if confirmed. Our category on this topic covers most reported incidents, especially all high-profile ones like the one that almost started a world war. In 2013, the allegations mostly involved the use of the nerve agent sarin. Since Syria surrendered its stocks to avert war, the allegations from 2014 to present shifted to use of chlorine gas. In both phases, ACLOS has discovered many problems with the accusation of government CW use, as well as much evidence that opposition forces are the ones actually guilty for many incidents. This trend continued when in early April 2017 the topic hit big news again, just to return once more a full year later.

Aleppo Aid Convoy Attack (September 19, 2016)

Main article: Attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra
OFAB-250 bomb in Urm al-Kubra warehouse.jpg

Around 20 or perhaps 30 civilians are killed in in an attack on an aid convoy near Aleppo, destroying more than a dozen trucks hauling medical aid. This is another disputed incident; the West and its sponsored activists alleges a Russian or Syrian air attack is to blame, while Russia and Syria don't seem to know exactly what happened. ACLOS investigates.

And not to be distracted: this came just two days after the US airstrike on SAA in Deir ez-Zor that killed at least 60 Syrian soldiers in a well-known position of theirs, in a rather implausible "accident."

Houla (May 25, 2012)

Main article: The Houla massacre
Ali-Al-Sayed 1.jpg

The initial ACLOS investigation. The murder of around 108 civilians, among them up to 49 children, in the town of Taldou belonging to Houla in Homs province, is maybe the most famous event that happened in Syria in 2012. It was immediately blamed on the government and led to several countries expelling their Syrian ambassadors. Initially attributed to the use of heavy weapons, it quickly turned out that most of the victims were killed by short-distance violence. This led to the blaming of Alawite "Shabiha" militias loyal to Assad. While the UNHRC closed their investigation in mid August stating to be reasonably certain that indeed government loyalists were the perpetrators, a lot of the conflicting evidence collected in our research was either washed away or not considered at all, while contradictions in the testimonies of witnesses backing their conclusion were denied. A central question is who was in control over the area at the time - our attempt to answer this based on all collected evidence can be found here.

Homs Massacres (2011-present)

Main article: Homs Massacres
Homs Districts all labels.png

Although relatively secure by now, the city districts and rural surroundings of Homs were home to some of the most shocking massacres of the Syrian war, especially in early 2012 when rebels had control over most of the city (that was following a short-lived Syrian military withdrawal brokered by the U.N. and Arab Laague). The ongoing ACLOS effort to list and analyze as many massacres as possible, so far includes more than 40, accounting for at least 1,400-1,900 deaths of almost strictly civilians victims. Alleged details are compared with common family names, district demographics, and the usual ACLOS techniques, to establish useable insights. Consider the Khalidiya Massacre of February, 2012, with 138 people killed, rebels said, as family homes were shelled. But the victims were 100% male and 94% adult, pre-segregated just like the prisoners of rebels the other side claimed the victims were. And this one's no fluke; strangely similar patterns repeat over and over in what makes for chilling reading.

Situation in Syria.png

Ukraine News

15 Oct. Russian Orthodox Church breaks all ties with the Patriarchate of Constantinople, over the latter moves to establish autocephalous church of Ukraine.

Russian and US politicians, businessmen gather for Fort Ross Dialogue forum in San Francisco.

13 Oct. LPR. A woman and a teenage girl (said to be mother and daughter) are killed by Ukrainian mortar fire.

Ukrainian journo Dmitry Gordon: 'the revolution of dignity' (Maidan'14) is a hoax (наебалово, giant mindfuck), it would be better if it did not happen at all. (video)

12 Oct. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 5 soldiers were killed, 10 people (9 soldiers and a civilian man) were wounded. DPR people's militia weekly report, here.

9 Oct. Ukraine fired 45 mortar shells on DPR in the morning -JCCC.

According to Ukrainian sources, the fire and explosions at the ammunition depot near the town of Ichnya in the Chernihiv region began with a 122 mm Grad missile storage, and then spread to mortar mines, tank and howitzer large-caliber shells -Rusvesna

8 Oct. In the evening Ukrainian forces fired on Petrovsky district of Donetsk, a school and 3 residential houses were damaged.

1 Oct. DPR ombudsman: in the period 21-27 Sept, 4 DPR soldiers were killed, 10 civilians were wounded. According to DPR data, since the start of the conflict 4,693 people were killed, including 614 women and 78 children.

27 Sep. DPR: Ukraine fired on marked ambulance car, killing two DPR soldiers (call names Sirena and Skif; photos) and wounding another soldier. A DPR soldier was wounded in Ukrainian shelling of Kominternovo in the south earlier, the ambulance was evacuating that soldier.

26 Sep. Alexander Hug is set to leave his post of assistant head of OSCE SMM on 31 Oct. (interview). The name of his successor was not released.

25 Sep. Pavel Gubarev is among those running for Head of DPR in 11 Nov.'18 elections. His campaign page is here.

24 Sep. Ukrainian media quoting Ukrainian volunteers: UAF forward position and equipment including infrared vision was destroyed by 120 mm mortar fire (this apparently it occurred near Svobodnoe, which according to Ukrainian sources was freshly captured by Ukraine; LPR responded to the news saying that this village was under Ukrainian control since 2014). 6 Ukrainian soldiers are said to be wounded.

23 Sep. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, today, on Sunday, September 23, by the Church of St. Fokas Meshhorus in the City, in the presence of the Consul General of Ukraine, sent the message in every direction that Ukraine would receive Autocephaly shortly because it is its right.

DPR forces by return fire destroyed Ukrainian military position from which 'disordered fire' was conducted by Ukrainian forces

Two civilians wounded by Ukrainian fire in Sakhanka, south of DPR.

Two Ukrainian Navy ships passed under Crimea bridge, accompanied by Russian border patrol ships (and reportedly an American reconnaissance plane). Their entry in Russian exclusive territorial waters a day earlier was seen as provocative; later a formal request to pass was reported.

20 Sep. The US-American opolchenie fighter Russell "Texas" Bentley publishes his war memories as an eBook.

17 Sep. Poroshenko signed a law on the termination of the "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia". The bill will be submitted to Rada which has the final word. (Poroshenko: There is a very high level of trust between Kyiv and Washington...)

15 Sep. Acting DPR head Pushilin: our investigators found that Zakharchenko assassination was carried out "with participation of the 5th department of SBU"; one man was arrested and is providing information; analysis of explosive device revealed high technologies not previously used by SBU, which led us to believe that Western special services were involved (report and statement on video).

14 Sep. Ukraine shelled Staromikahilovka in western Donetsk, houses were damaged (details provided). It is recalled that on 14 Sep. 2014 Ukraine intensely shelled Putilovka district of Donetsk for many hours, a market was destroyed where civilians were present; a schoolboy was killed when school 58 was hit (report and video from the scene, 2014) .

10 Sep. DPR MOD: Ukraine continues to violate ceasefire agreements, fires 16 120-mm mortar shells in the evening. Detailed today's record of those and other violations is provided.

According to Russian FSB, they arrested in Smolensk region of Russia a man from Dagestan who was a member of ISIS, and was recruited by SBU to assassinate one of DPR opolchenie leaders (Cassad-videos). (SBU denied the charge).

9 Sep. Car of the pro-Russian president of Moldova Igor Dodon was involved in an accident and overturned (collision video), it is reported that 3 people were injured and some hospitalized; according to TASS Dodon 'was not hurt'.

MLRS 'Uragan' on show on the Russian side near Donbass border crossing -report

8 Sep. At Saur Mogila, the DPR celebrates the 75th anniversary of Donbass liberation from Nazi occupation.

Prime Minister of Abkhazia died in a traffic accident

7 Sep. DPR acting attorney general sent an opinion to DPR People's council pointing out that automatic appointment of Trapeznikov does not follow the law, and asked People's Council to appoint the acting head of the republic. At a session of People's Council, it was decided to appoint Denis Pushilin (Wikipedia) the acting Head of the republic. It was also decided to hold elections of the republic Head and the People's council deputies on 11 November, 2018. Pushilin interviews after his appointment, video, text.

Noted, Denis Pushilin is the leader of Ukrainian party MMM (video) which took part in Ukrainian local elections, 2015. Same MMM as the financial pyramid of Mavrodi. Those facts were highlighted by Russian patriotic opposition discussing the new appointment.

Simultaneously, LPR Council of People's Deputies decided to have elections of the Head of republic and council deputies on 11 November, 2018.

3 Sep. In DPR MoD daily briefing, more evidence of Ukrainian attack preparations in the south were presented, including drone photos, claims of psychological warfare, Ukrainian joint forces document which appeared on social media, intelligence report, etc.

Despite the 'school ceasefire' Ukraine shelled Zaitsevo near Gorlovka with incendiary munitions, destroying 5 houses on Yesenina street.

2 Sep. DPR MoD continues to warn about (allegedly) Ukrainian preparations to attack near Mariupol, (allegedly) with foreign help. Recent video from Kominternovo clearly shows a lot of shelling damage. DPR serviceman is telling on video that there are more drones flights, and noise from heavy equipment arriving and ammunition delivered.

1 Sep. Basurin: Our reconnaissance revealed the deployment of a strike group of Ukrainian invaders in the Mariupol direction under the cover of the "Storm-2018" exercises ...Sept. 14 a possible date of an attack.. (Ukraine has quite small Navy, conducting "Storm-2018" exercises).

Highlights from the past

30 Apr. U.S. Confirms Delivery Of Javelin Antitank Missiles To Ukraine

Poroshenko announced end of ATO and start of 'joint operation of armed forces', which is aimed at 'defending territorial integrity' and will only end 'when the last piece of Ukrainian land is liberated, including Crimea', which is somehow supposed to happen by 'political-diplomatic means'.


More videos on talk page


  • Recent history in a nutshell in those photos to the right:
Poroshenko, Kiska - EU entry at Uzhgorod
Alley of Angels, in memory of killed children of Donbass. Ukraine "über alles"?-Donetsk Partisan
Ukrainian AF killed and wounded in 'ATO', Maidan, Kiev
  • Aftermaths of Ukrainian shelling of the village Zheltoe (Yellow), LPR, 29 Nov. 2016 lug-info.


Note on sources. At present, pro -Ukrainian and pro-Russian sources more often than not offer opposing claims on events, and a choice needs to be made. Currently factual part of reporting by pro-Russian sources appear more accurate, complete, and closer to truth, out of the two available alternatives. It is also less known, as the other side has greater support by the Western mass media. For that reason, a lot of reporting here is based on Russian sources. It is not done for the sake of supporting any pre-determined narrative. If and when Ukrainian sources appear more accurate, they will be used without a reservation.

Some Ukrainian source reporting is very good, for example Tatyana Montyan numerous videos, some of them translated, are spot-on and at times appear closer to reality than any pro-this or that narratives. However the bulk of Ukrainian media is unreliable, and often just unbelievable, not passing cross checks (e.g. as was illustrated numerous times by well-read on both sides Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Sharii); or else, is filled with hate and may cheer more people harmed or killed (any of such sort, from any side, is totally unsupported here).


Official Ukrainian sources

Ukrainian media


Minsk Agreements

Safety zone (no heavy weapons) agreed at Normandy format meeting in Minsk, 12.02.2015. Black: current front line; red-19 September line. At the bottom it says: source: the web site of the President of Russia


Archive 2018
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Archive 2015
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Ukraine (2014 - Today)

ACLOS has covered events in Ukraine since the 2014 regime change and through the ensuing conflict. Three most important subjects among many considered:

  • Maidan snipers February, 2014 Analyzing the mysterious February, 2014 shootings that helped demonize Ukraine's government at just the right time.
  • Odessa Trade Union massacre May 2, 2014 Analyzing the killing of dozens of pro-federalism activists in Odessa, which the civilized world shrugged at and ignored. (based on numerous videos of the event, documented authorities response, and witness interviews; still mostly on talk pages).
  • MH17 (2014, July - Today)
Followed from the very beginning. However still remains mostly on talk page, sub-pages, and sub-page talk pages.

Kobane (2014, July, September - Summer 2015)

Main article: Assault on Kobane
Kobane water cannon.jpg

A very similar chain of events like years before in Ras Al-Ayn (see below), only this time it made the news (months after we started the article). Not least because this time, the attackers call themselves part of ISIS, the "newly arrived" enemy of all that's good and decent.

Ras Al-Ayn (November 8, 2012 - Summer 2013)

Main article: Assault on Ras Al-Ayn
Sere kaniye burial.jpg

Ras Al-Ayn, directly at the Turkish border in the north-east, early November 2012: The Kurdish dominated and mostly self-governed town gets assaulted by hundreds of Islamist fighters coming across the border from Turkey, under the eyes and with help of the Turkish military. After typical sectarian assaults on the civilian population, Kurdish militia takes up the fight against the foreigners. In the process of the following weeks, the town sees shelling by both the Syrian and the Turkish army, several defeats of the Islamists with retreat behind the Turkish border, and finally a fragile truce. On January 16, again large groups of foreign fighters with tanks cross the Turkish border and heavy clashes break out. After a month of heavy fighting, another peace agreement is signed on February 17. Five months later, following an Islamist attack on female Kurdish fighters, heavy clashes lead to the final conquer of the border station by the Kurds, which leads to increasing tensions in other parts of the region.

Tremseh (July 12, 2012)

Main article: Tremseh massacre
Confiscated tunisian passports.jpg

When news of this alleged massacre reached the media, it came with alarming numbers of up to 300 civilians murdered in the small village of Tremseh northwest of Hama. In the following hours and days, both pro- and anti-government sources helped to clear the picture of what is now mostly called the "Battle of Tremseh" between the army and anti-government fighters who had used the village as their base for operations in the region. The real death toll seems to be some civilians caught in the crossfire and a couple of dozen killed anti-government fighters. In addition, many including foreigners were arrested and their arms and equipment confiscated.

Other research...