Syria news/Archive/2018-10

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31 Oct. In a wide ranging press briefing, Konashenkov shares details about new chemical weapon provocations planned in Idlib by the Turkistan Islamic Party gang, and blames ISIS' recent gains in the Euphrates valley on the US' "inability to efficiently fight terrorism" and the fact that the terror cult is still supplied with weapons and equipment through channels the Russians don't name but claim to monitor.

The SDF announces that it will halt the operation in the Hajin pocket because of the need of defense against the Turkish attacks on Rojava in the northern border regions.

30 Oct. Erdogan announces that Turkey has finished preparations for a large scale operation against the YPG east of the Euphrates.

Reuters reports that Norwegian diplomat Geir Pedersen will replace Staffan de Mistura as United Nations Syria envoy at the end of November, with the approval of all five permanent members of the Security Council and Syria.

29 Oct. Putin appoints a new Russian ambassador to Syria.

After ISIS' recent gains towards the Iraqi border, the PMU sends reinforcements to safeguard their side of the border.

Mark Ames exposes how Bellingcat collaborated with ShamiWitness, the most influential ISIS propagandist on Twitter.

28 Oct. The Turkish army uses the first anniversary of the liberation of Raqqa from ISIS for attacks across the border east of the Euphrates on villages in Kobane countryside. Meanwhile ISIS uses sandstorms as cover for further counterattacks in the Hajin pocket, taking back several villages from the SDF. Sandstorms also hit Rukhban camp in the illegal US protectorate around al Tanf and kill over 20 refugees.

27 Oct. On initiative of Erdogan, a four-way summit about Syria with the leaders of Turkey, Russia, Germany and France is taking place in Istanbul. It is meant as addition to the ongoing Geneva and Astana processes and, judged by the Turkish foreign minister's words, apparently to lure France and Germany away from the "Syria small group" around UKUS and the Arab Kingdoms. (Hürriyet)(TASS)

Firat News Agency interviews a member of the MSD presidential council about the developments in Rojava and why he thinks that all governments of the region are afraid of their model.

26 Oct. Joshua Landis' blog publishes an interview with Lebanon's minister for refugee affairs about the situation of the around 1.5 million Syrians living in the country.

ISIS continues to fiercely resist and even counter the SDF's attempt to progress in the Hajin pocket.

25 Oct. An exchange of bodies and prisoners between ISIS and SAA takes place at the al Safa volcanic fields, which according to reports is part of a larger deal with the goal that the terror cult leaves the south-eastern desert spot and withdraws to the Hajin pocket or to the Hama desert.

24 Oct. Another alleged massacre by US-led "coalition" bombardments of al-Susah is reported by loyalist sources, while Kurdish sources report that almost all of the village has been conquered today after several days of intense fighting.

23 Oct. A mixed US-SDF patrol near Manbij, including US special forces, gets under fire from "unknown" forces, likely Turkish-backed.

22 Oct. As part of a nation-wide campaign for early detection of breast cancer, a march takes place in Qamishli. Syria's first lady has recently been diagnosed with early stage breast cancer and pictured with a headscarf, which she doesn't usually wear.

21 Oct. Russian media of unknown reliability report "some US successes in electronic warfare against Russian installations in Syria".

Shoigu says around 88,000 militants were killed by the Russian military during their three years long operation.

20 Oct. According to several sources, the US-led "coalition" has bombed several non-military targets including a mosque in al-Susah village in the Hajin ISIS pocket and killed a total of 62 civilians in recent days. The US command comments that those were legitimate targets used by ISIS. The SDF reports intense fighting over the village.

19 Oct. According to SANA, a large explosion in a plant near the Turkish border in Idlib province was an accident caused by experimentation on the manufacturing of conventional and chemical weapons, with foreign "experts" present.

There are ceasefire violations at several places along the Idlib de-escalation zone, including the western border of Aleppo city.

18 Oct. At Valdai, Putin picks up the remarks of the Reconciliation Center about ISIS taking 700 hostages and moving them to the Hajin pocket last weekend. According to him, the terror cult threatens to kill 10 people a day if demands not specified are not followed, and has started to put their threats into practice the day before yesterday. US officials "rebut" the claims.

A Legal Status Settling Center for returning citizens to use the general amnesty is installed at the freshly-opened Nassib border crossing with Jordan.

17 Oct. At a PYD meeting, the co-chair asks the Syrian government to stop the language of threats and look into ways of implementing the system of Democratic Confederalism envisioned by Öcalan, calling it the only solution for the whole region.

Kurdish sources report that the Manbij defense lines got attacked by Turkish forces and their proxies.

16 Oct. Erdogan again accuses the US of failing to make the YPG leave Manbij and threatens to take military steps if the situation isn't resolved soon.

The Turkish military reinforces its observation points in the Idlib buffer zone on the first day after the deadline to demilitarize it, which al Qaeda/Nusra/HTS refused to do.

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%.