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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

24 Jan. Turkish Deputy PM declares rumors that Al-Bab would be handed over to Damascus after capture to be untrue. Meanwhile, the SAA continues to take villages to the south-west of Al-Bab from ISIS and stands on a hill overlooking the southern outskirts of the town.

Astana: A trilateral Turkey-Russia-Iran agreement on the ceasefire and a mechanism to monitor it is in its final stage.

23 Jan. The peace talks in Astana begin. AP publishes a timeline.

Negotiations in Wadi Barada are restarted after the SAA has taken some more areas in recent days.

22 Jan. After taking the town of Suwaydiya, the SDF are approaching al-Tabqa Dam.

Situation in Deir Ez-Zor

With heavy clashes ongoing in Deir Ez-Zor, the SAA sends special forces as reinforcement.

21 Jan. According to an IHS Conflict Monitor analysis, ISIS has lost a quarter of their territory in the year 2016.

20 Jan. ISIS destroys the façade of the Roman Theatre and Tetrapylon in Palmyra.

The US press gets wind of a low profile fact finding visit to Syria by Tulsi Gabbard and Dennis Kucinich.

Assad is interviewed by the Japanese TBS TV channel (transcript).

19 Jan. A total of 177,568 Syrians mothers have given birth in Turkey between April 2011 and September 2016, according to Turkey's health ministry figures.

17 Jan. The SAA starts an offensive in the Deir Hafer plains south-east of Al-Bab.

16 Jan. Reports: IS splits Deir Ezzor enclave in two.

15 Jan. The Obama State Department puts new sanctions on Syria "in response to the use of chemical weapons".

According to a UN report, around 147,000 people have been evacuated from eastern Aleppo during its conquer by the government, over 75% of which chose to go to government-held areas. 50,000 have since returned to their homes.

14 Jan. Retired SAA General Ahmad Al-Ghadban is assasinated by a sniper while leaving the negotiations he led about the situation in Wadi Barada.

Syrian opposition leaders ask Ankara to stop their opposition to allowing the PYD attend the peace talks in Astana.

According to the Washington Post, the Trump administration has been invited to the talks in Astana via a phone call by the Russian ambassador to the US to Michael Flynn that happened already on December 28.

The SAA launches an offensive to take back the gas fields north of Palmyra from ISIS.

13 Jan. The Syrian Government sends two letters to the UN complaining about an Israeli attack on Mezzeh military airbase near Damascus the night before, which set a weapons depot on fire. While some sources say the attack was carried out by an F-35 fighter jet, SANA claims it was by ground-to-ground missiles fired from Lake Tiberias.

After a partial agreement was reached, the SAA stands at the gates of the important Al-Fijah springs in Wadi Barada. Fights with militants who refuse to join the agreement are still going on while technicians are on the way to repair the water supply.

According to a report (original) in a Turkish newspaper citing military sources, around 50 Turkish army officers, sergeants and specialist personnel involved in Operation Euphrates Shield have resigned since the beginning of the year. Lack of food and material, poor planning, high losses are cited as reasons, and the Erdogan government is accused of covering it all up.

A new map by Christian Ionita shows the complex situation in northern Syria including the status of both Operations Euphrates Shield and Wrath of Euphrates.

12 Jan. Erdogan, Putin, De Mistura: Ceasefire holds by and large. Russian Foreign Ministry: Talks in Astana are scheduled for 23 January.

11 Jan. Two fronts of the SDF meet in the village of Kurmanju around 30 km north-west of Raqqa, cutting off and creating a cauldron of ISIS territory to its north-west.

10 Jan. After the Washington Post reports about a US ground operation in ISIS territory near Deir ez-Zor the day before, targeting a specific vehicle with a to-capture ISIS member, FARS News claims that according to local eyewitnesses, the operation "looked like a drill" and was used to relocate "only non-Syrian" members of ISIS, who were taken away in the helicopters.

Ahrar al-Sham and the Nusra Front are involved in increasing infighting in Idlib province, with tens of casualties on both sides in recent days.

9 Jan. With the ceasefire generally holding, the "Russia-Turkey Commission on violations of the Joint Agreement", under which both countries monitor violations separately, combinedly registers around 2-3 dozens violations daily.

Syria and Iraq sign a comprehensive bilateral trade agreement.

8 Jan. After failed negotiations about surrender and/or a green bus tour to Idlib, the SAA and allies restart their offensive to take Barada valley from militants.

ISIS blows up the Hayyan Gas Company factory in eastern Homs, a central source of gas for Syrian civilians.

The Turkish army and allies have to retreat with losses after another failed attempt to take Al-Bab.

7 Jan. Top exile opposition figure Nawaf al-Bashir, head of the 1.2 million people Baggara tribe in Deir Ez-Zor, repents and returns to Syria.

Iraq: Units of the PMU send back a group of American soldiers who came near ISIS frontlines to "train" them, stating a lack of prior coordination and that they want no American forces in unstable regions as they play "dirty games" and "ISIS is an integral part of American projects".

6 Jan. Russia announces a reduction of forces in Syria, starting with the removal of the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier.

A ship with 500 tons of humanitarian aid from Kazakhstan arrives in Tartous.

For the first time in four years, an airplane takes off from Aleppo International Airport. It's a Syrian government test flight in preparation of the planned reopening of the airport in February.

5 Jan. The YPG releases a balance sheet (original) for 2016 detailing the results of their fights against ISIS, "FSA", Turkish and Syrian Armies. The YPG lost 613 of their own fighters over the year.

The Iraqi army and allied militias start a large-scale operation in western Anbar province to seal the border with Syria.

4 Jan. The Turkish FM states that there is a "confidence crisis" over the lack of US support to Operation Euphrates Shield which calls into question the US use of Incirlik airbase. In response, a Pentagon spokesman calls Incirlik “absolutely invaluable” and points to "ongoing negotiations".

3 Jan 2017. The SAA has retaken some of the wells in Wadi Barada and is preparing to take the whole valley. Fights in the eastern Ghouta are also going on. Some of the militant groups who agreed to the ceasefire see this as violation and have suspended talks on peace negotiations.

The Russian air force is bombing ISIS targets in Al-Bab in support of Operation Euphrates Shield.

A "Trump Restaurant" selling Falafel opens in Kobane, named in hope that US help to Kurds will increase under the president-elect. Meanwhile, the Turkish PM calls on the US to stop arming the YPG. He also claims that "only Turkey" is fighting against ISIS.

31 Dec. The UN Security Council unanimously adopts a resolution supporting the ceasefire brokered by Turkey and Russia and the planned negotiations in Kazakhstan.

30 Dec. According to SANA, at 6 am in the morning ISIS cut the water supply to Aleppo city from its main source, two pumping stations on the Euphrates river. The next day it returned gradually, according to the same source.

The Northern Syria Constituent Assembly conference in Rimêlan ends with a declaration calling for a federal and democratic system in all of Syria.

29 Dec. The SAA General Command declares a ceasefire over all of Syria starting 0:00h on Dec 30, excluding the al-Qaeda offsprings, but including some of the largest militant groups like Ahrar al-Sham and Jaysh al-Islam. This follows Turkey-Russia negotiations. (ceasefire documents)

Wadi Barada (center left) north of Damascus

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, over 4 million civilians suffer water shortage in Damascus. This follows poisoning of the wells by militants in Wadi Barada. Answering an ultimatum of the SAA to leave the area, they are now manipulating gas pipelines.

Turkish FM Cavusoglu calls out the false US Embassy statement and declares in echoing its rhetoric that "the U.S. is providing arms to the YPG and PYD, period".

28 Dec. According to pro-AKP Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah, "vetted" militants who were evacuated from Aleppo city to Idlib will be transported through Turkey to the Al-Bab front, re-entering Syria via Jarablus.

The US Embassy in Turkey releases a statement denying Erdogan's accusations, even claiming against ample evidence that the US doesn't arm the YPG.

27 Dec. Photos from Aleppo: American ammo boxes, Soviet BTR's, Russian 'red berets' military police, and curious double-flagged shoulder emblems. TASS: munitions manufactured in USA, Germany, and Bulgaria were found in Aleppo. Vesti report and video from Aleppo: 7 big ammo depots and many small ones were found in Aleppo; one weapons storage +rebel HQ, shown on video, was in a disused maternity ward building. More Western ammunition, Rusvesna (photos, videos).

Erdogan claims that Turkey has evidence that the US is supporting terrorist groups "including Daesh, YPG, PYD" in Syria.

26 Dec. Erdogan declares the lack of aerial support of the US-led coalition in the operation against Al-Bab "unacceptable".

25 Dec. The Turkish Army sends reinforcements incl. 10 tanks to Al-Bab, where ISIS was able to take back some positions on the western outskirts.

After further gains, the SDF stands 5 km west of Al Tabqa Dam.

Assad, his wife and children visit the Christian village of Saydnaya.

24 Dec. The Syrian Democratic Forces set up a radio station reaching Raqqa city on FM 106.7, which broadcasts information about escape routes for civilians, messages to ISIS encouraging them to give up, and music to raise morals of their fighters.

23 Dec. ANNA news video report from Aleppo, Eng. subs, including ammo, rebel use of civilian objects, execution of prisoners, child victim, etc. (Also includes some pine-tree propaganda).

Following reports of Turkish fighter jets attacking residential areas of Al-Bab the days before, a SOHR statement speaks of a massacre with so far 72 killed, among them 21 children. According to a report in a Turkish newspaper, the soldiers involved in Al-Bab are elite forces who have taken part in the destructive operations in Turkey's Kurdish cities of Sur, Diyarbakir, Silopi etc before going to Syria.

22 Dec. Moderate rebels massacre over 100 hostages at the Sukkari School before leaving Aleppo.

Battle of Aleppo

The Syrian Military, the International Red Cross and ACLOS' trusted map maker agree that all of Aleppo city is under government control. Merry white Christmas and a happy new year to the people of Aleppo and the proudly standing nation of Syria!

Two attempts by ISIS to enter the T-4 airbase west of Palmyra have been foiled by the SAA and allies.

ISIS releases a video in which two captured Turkish soldiers in a cage are burned alive.

21 Dec. Another attempt of Operation Euphrates Shield to storm Al-Bab ends with 14 dead and 33 wounded Turkish soldiers (two of the latter died from their wounds later), and an unknown number of "FSA" casualties, after ISIS counterattacked using a VBIED. The "state" is now in possession of at least three German-made Leopard tanks.

Evacuations from both east Aleppo and the villages Foua and Kefraya are still ongoing.

The Syrian Government expects to deliver 30,000 housing units early 2017. Negotiations with especially Indian companies about large rebuilding projects are underway.

20 Dec. The Syria meeting of foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran in Moscow ends with a joint statement.

In its first ten days, phase two of Operation Wrath of Euphrates has taken over from ISIS 1300 km² containing 97 villages along the east bank of Euphrates in western Raqqa province.

19 Dec. UN Security Council resolution 2328 is unanimously adopted. UN observers will be send to Aleppo to monitor the situation in the city.

18 Dec. UN Security Council to vote on humanitarian aid to Aleppo.

Green buses in Sukkari evacuating the last jihadists from Aleppo

16 Dec. According to Russian sources, everybody who was willing to be evacuated from the east Aleppo pocket has been, in total over 9,500 people. Syrian troops have now restarted operations against the remaining "radical and irreconcilable gangs" who chose to fight to the end.

Loyalist sources report that several NATO/-allied officers have been captured in a bunker in east Aleppo.

15 Dec. Evacuation of remaining militants and their families from the Aleppo pocket has started. Simultaneously an evacuation operation in the militant-besieged Shi'ite villages of Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province is underway, apparently as part of the deal. Rudaw has a liveticker.

14 Dec. The agreed-upon evacuation of remaining militants in the Aleppo pocket is postponed due to internal disputes among the gangs.

ISIS continues to attack the T-4 airbase and has reportedly cut a supply line for the army.

IS captures S-125 SAM?

"ISIS Feared To Have Control Of Surface-To-Air Missile System"- American Military News; Случайный прохожий.

Assad interviews by RT (transcript) and Russia24/NTV (transcript) are aired.

13 Dec. According to the Russian military, another 7,796 civilians have been evacuated from east Aleppo during the last 24 hours, making it a total of 110,000, including 44,367 children.

According to Syrian military sources, ISIS has been driven back from the T-4 airbase and a new defense line was established.

According to Kurdish sources, 16 villages and several strategic hills have been taken over from ISIS in western Raqqa province in the first three days of phase two of operation Wrath of Euphrates.

12 Dec. The SAA takes more districts of eastern Aleppo back, leaving just two districts in militant hands: Sukkari and Bustan Al-Qasr. It is estimated that around 2,200 militants, among many civilians, are concentrated in the pocket.

According to media reports, IS attacks a military airbase Tiyas (T-4), located west of Palmyra, and used in the past as a 'jump-pad' for Russian helicopters, and by SAA airforce. The base is now in the firing range after SAA withdrawal, and it is said that anti-aircraft detachment positions nearby are captured by IS. Fighting for the airbase is ongoing.

11 Dec. After a surprise attack during extremely foggy weather and three days of intense fighting, ISIS took back control over Palmyra and some nearby oil fields. Loyalist journalist Danny Makki tries to sort it out in a series of tweets. Loss of Palmyra was confirmed by the governor of Homs province, Talal Barazi (Damascus now)(BBC).

10 Dec. According to Russian Military spokesperson Konashenkov, "more than 20,000 residents left eastern Aleppo in the first part of Saturday, and 1,217 militants laid down their weapons". Drone footage is said to show the long lines of civilians in the process of leaving (longer footage-RT).

9 Dec. SANA: SAA controls 93% of east Aleppo. During the last 24 hours 1000+ "rebels" surrender (953 of them are granted amnesty) and 11,000 civilians leave "rebel"-controlled area.

122 countries including Micronesia express "outrage" over the situation in Syria by passing a Canadian-sponsored resolution in the UN General Assembly. 13 vote against it and 36 abstain.

With the help of an additional 300 Turkish Army Special Forces and German-made Leopard tanks, Operation Euphrates Shield launches another attempt at taking Al-Bab. Meanwhile the Wrath of Euphrates Operation, including over 1,000 mostly Arab new recruits and an additional 200 US special forces, starts Phase two of the quest for liberating Raqqa, prepared by over 300 air strikes by the US-led coalition over the last month. One such air strike, the largest of its kind, destroyed 168 ISIS oil tankers near Palmyra the day before. The goal of phase two is to take over the important al-Tabqa dam 50 km west of Raqqa.

8 Dec. US-Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard introduces the Stop Arming Terrorists Act.

Barack Obama authorizes delivery of weapons to jihadists in Syria.

7 Dec. ANNA News publishes a documentary from the front lines called "Extermination of terrorists in Aleppo with fire" (video, graphic).

Assad is interviewed by Syrian al-Watan newspaper (English language transcript).

6 Dec. Turkish-backed militants restart their indiscriminate shelling of villages in western Manbij countryside, killing at least ten civilians and injuring forty and causing many residents to flee towards Manbij city.

5 Dec. Russia and China veto a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate seven day ceasefire in Aleppo. According to Churkin the submitting nations Egypt, New Zealand and Spain "were shamelessly pressured by the trio of permanent western members" into submitting the draft which Lavrov called "counterproductive".

Operation Euphrates Shield is still at the doors of Al-Bab without any progress over the weekend, according to Turkish military sources.

A Russian military hospital set for civilians in East Aleppo was hit by mortar strike, a Russian military doctor (a woman) was killed, two nurses seriously injured -Lizzie Phelan/RT, reporting from Aleppo. Russian MoD (Konashenkov) (video-press CC for Engl.) blamed the rebels. He stated that the (radical) rebels locked in the southern part of Eastern Aleppo are unable to make such precise strikes, and so he blamed (moderate) rebels and their Western sponsors, alleging further that hospital exact coordinates known to the coalition could be passed to the rebels. (No coalition response to his comments, so far).

  • ANNA news video from the scene; another video. Russian guards on the scene say that 3 balloons hit, first 300 meters away, next a direct hit on medics tent. Mentions that 'hospital opening was reported in media', and that 'by preliminary information, Nureddin Al Zenki group claimed responsibility'. Officer in the second part of *Second doctor died of her wounds in a hospital.
  • Some personal info about killed medics appeared. They, and a recently killed Russian colonel who served in an advisory role, received posthumous awards- Order of Courage.

A Russian Su-33 jet skids off Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier at landing attempt, making it the second lost plane involving that ship.

Following recent similar agreements in southern Damascus countryside, another 450 "rebels" hand over their weapons in exchange for amnesty.

4 Dec. Several ancient sculptures and artifacts looted from Palmyra are seized by the Swiss police in a warehouse in Geneva.

3 Dec. A Syrian Albatros plane crashes into an urban area inside the east Aleppo pocket. "Rebels" claim they shot it down.

2 Dec. The US congress passes a bill that extends the train-and-equip program for Syrian "rebels" for two years and for the first time explicitly allows the delivery of MANPADs to certain "vetted" groups.

1 Dec. After Russia demanded an explanation and Putin and Erdogan had the third phonecall in one week, the Turkish president pretends that he was misunderstood and the target of the Turkish operation is not "a country or person, but only terror organizations". Meanwhile at a meeting with the Turkish foreign minister, Lavrov clarifies that neither Russia nor Syria was responsible for the attack on Turkish soldiers on Thanksgiving day. The information that Russia said it was a Syrian plane resulted from a mistranslation. According to Lavrov, it's "essential to discuss this issue with the United States and other institutions" in order to prevent such things from happening again.

Archive 2016
09 10 11 12
05 06 07 08
04

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."

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.

Houla (May 25, 2012)

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

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

22 Jan. DPR was shelled 1428 times in the past day, almost a 3 fold increase. A civilian house was hit by a 122 mm shell, but it did not explode and was removed safely.

20 Jan. DPR reported some reduction in shelling due to expected OSCE visit to Donetsk . However despite that, Ukrainian shelling hit a bus near Yelenovka, a civilian woman was injured.

In the past week, DPR was shelled 4,348 times in the past week, including 1,031 times by heavy weapons (artillery, tank fire, mortars).

DPR ombudsman: 6 DPR soldiers were killed by Ukrainian shelling in the past week; 4 people (2 soldiers and 2 civilians) were wounded.

SMM considers additional video cameras; seems like a good idea; but has to be approved by all OSCE member states.

19 Jan. Victor Pinchuk proposes to make painful compromises to achieve peace with Russia; but the official Ukrainian response and media tells why not to; more here.

17 Jan. One DPR soldier was killed by Ukrainian mortar shelling.

16 Jan. DPR: Ukrainian shelling intensified, 1076 ceasefire violations reported in the past day, including heavy weapons.

According to Ukrainian data, in the past week 3 soldiers were killed in action, 3 by landmine explosion, and 17 soldiers were wounded in action.

15 Jan. Three years old child was wounded in Ukrainian mortar shelling of the settlement Dolomitnoe (map), near Svetlodarsk and Gorlovka. (While Ukraine reports heavy clashes in the Svetlodarsk arc area).

Basurin: one DPR soldier was killed when Ukrainian RSG attempted to capture prisoners. The soldier body was taken by Ukrainian side. DPR was shelled 796 times in the past day.

14 Jan. Repair teams restored power to Donetsk water treatment plant; JCCC coordinated ceasefire during repairs.

13 Jan. According to DPR ombudsman, from 24 Dec. 2016 to 13 Jan 2017, 21 DPR soldiers and 7 Ukrainian soldiers were killed, 32 people were wounded (28 of them are DPR soldiers; apparently a typo in the civilian number) .

DPR was shelled 4,988 times by Ukraine in the past week. One soldier and an 11 years old girl were wounded. Ukrainian heavy weapons were observed near Gorlovka and Mariupol-DAN news (Russ.)(Engl.)

DPR hands over bodies of 3 Ukrainian soldiers, said to be killed by landmine explosion, back to Ukraine. Soldiers were missing since 8 Jan, and found 500 m. from DPR defense positions.

11 Jan. DPR: increased number of ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 911 in the past day, one DPR soldier wounded. LPR: 8 ceasefire violations by Ukraine.

Plotnitskiy: LPR and Ukraine have essentially settled the issue of water supply. (Yet no water supply via Petrovskiy pipe line despite the agreements).

10 Jan. LPR: Ukrainian RSG on a BMP vehicle attempted reconnaissance-in-force near Debaltsevo. But their BMP broke down and so LPR militia did not have to respond and violate ceasefire.

UAF made another break-through attempt near Spartak settlement on the outskirts of Donetsk (map). There are several wounded and killed -DAN news.

POW lists prepared by Nadezhda Savchenko are "strange" - timer-Odessa. Out of 50 allegedly requested by L/DPR odessians, only 31 are under arrest, and not all of them agree to be exchanged. In her list of 'Russians', Timer identified 11 citizens of Ukraine. Nefёdorov and Nikolenko in her list are apparently Russian citizens Mefёdov and Mikolenko accused on charges of plotting assassination of a Euromaidan activist. Some other names submitted officially are not in her list.

9 Jan. DPR was shelled 521 times in the past day. An 11-year-old girl sustained shrapnel wounds as Bezymennoye village (map) came under Ukrainian fire (DAN news).

8 Jan. DPR 'ensured evacuation of a body' of a 14 years old girl killed on Jan.5 in a buffer zone between Krasnogorovka and Staromikhailovka (map). "UAF refused to evacuate the body, and DPR command had to appeal to Ukrainian volunteers'. 'By preliminary information, the girl died from the loss of blood' resulting from her wounds. According to DPR, on that day fire was coming from the Ukrainian side only. (DAN news).

DPR accused UAF, SBU of moving handcuffed civilians to the front line in the area of Marinka city, to blame DPR for their death. The report quotes intelligence intercepts. It does not offer proofs but could be released to try to prevent this from happening.

7 Jan. LPR: Kiev forces shell the village of Smeloye (map) after humanitarian aid delivered there.

6 Jan. DPR: In the past week, Ukraine violated ceasefire 3,365 times, including 804 times from heavy weapons, artillery, tank and mortar fire. Six households were damaged in Zaitsevo, Trudovskiye and Sakhanka. (Engl.) (Rus. + map).

LPR: in the past day, Kiev forces shelled LPR People’s Militia positions 5 times ; 7 times the day before.

4 Jan. DPR: 1233 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past day, back again to pre-holiday levels.

3 Jan. DPR envoy Denis Pushilin blamed non-constructive position taken by Ukraine for the stalled Minsk talks. The Contact Group’s first consultations in 2017 are scheduled for 16 Jan.

1 Jan 2017. DPR: 357 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past day. In the south, shelling by Ukraine increased after US senators McCain, Graham and delegation visit. (Also, TV Zvezda: "Senator rubs his hands in the Donbass: Video")

Ceasefire violations by Ukraine, by month

31 Dec. DPR: 143,613 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in 2016; 78,223 by heavy weapons. 820 houses were damaged or destroyed. According to official Ukrainian data, 213 UAF soldiers were killed and 1324 wounded; DPR estimates the real number as 3 times higher.

LPR: latest announcement is that Ukraine shelled LPR 1369 times in 2016. Confusingly, earlier a higher number, 2047 was announced, apparently for the month of December. For the week of 18-24 Dec, the number of violations was given as 64, those are from heavy weapons. Eng. versions of the yearly report, lug-info, DNI news. Also, briefing videos (Rus.)

Ukrainian claims of shelling by NAF, by day and type, here. (Important to know who initiates those exchanges, but sides blame each other, while OSCE stands by and watch).

DPR released 2 female prisoners

29 Dec. Yet another failed Ukrainian RSG break-through attempt near Krutaya Balka; it is said that three UAF soldiers were killed by a landmine explosion, 4 wounded, and others retreated. One body was recovered by opolchenie (shown on visuals), and will be handed over to Ukraine. Other bodies were not recovered as the area is in the line of fire.

Ukraine handed to L/DPR 15 prisoners, report with photos.

DPR: 473 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past day - despite extra ceasefire, with no expiration time, agreed from 24 Dec.

28 Dec. Dorgomilov court in Moscow found that change of power in Ukraine in 2014 was a state coup; the court decision stresses that US and EU support of anti-constitutional coup in Ukraine resulted in the divisions in the society and caused an armed conflict. Ukrainian ministry of justice representative Natalia Sevastianova rejected the findings, calling the court "a pocket court of Mr. Putin".

27 Dec. Ukraine shelled DPR 103 times in the past day. One DPR soldier was killed.

DPR released 2 female prisoners as a goodwill gesture, after a visit by Nadezhda Savchenko and Vladimir Ruban.

Debaltsevo, 20 Dec.

24 Dec. DPR. Very high number of ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 3002, despite holiday period ceasefire agreed from today. Heavy weapons, artillery, tank guns, Grads used (DAN news).

23 Dec. DPR ombudsman: from 3-23 Dec. 12 DPR soldiers and 4 civilians were killed; from 2-22 Dec, 40 soldiers and 3 civilians were wounded. (Deaths are due to Ukrainian fire, except 1 civilian killed by landmine).

Debaltsevo was shelled by Ukraine, a kindergarten damaged, according to the city mayor Alexander Reyngold. Video of the aftermath of an earlier shelling here, OSCE present (posted Dec. 22).

Ukrainian media brags about capturing settlement of Novoluganskoe, near Debaltsevo (map), quoting commander of voluntary punishers battalion "Donbass". Russian sources note that this settlement is in the grey area and under de-facto Ukrainian control for the last 3 years; shown as Ukrainian on the map here. In any case, Ukraine is not supposed to be capturing settlements, by the Minsk agreements and an extra-ceasefire on top announced for the holidays.

Yet another mini-Maidan in Kiev, some clashes on a market near metro station Kharkovskaya (area map). Small shop owners and staff are trying to prevent shops coming down amid plans for a new residential construction in the area. Barricades were set, then stormed by camouflaged men (report, photos, videos).

In Russia, PM Medvedev suspended for 30 days sales of non-consumer over-25%-alcohol containing liquids, except perfumes and those for glass cleaning (TASS).

18-21 Dec, Russian sources on Debaltsevo battle. UAF attacked and captured several hills (Kikimora, Cross, Star). Attack was poorly prepared, and about 10 soldiers were killed in the attack and on the minefields. Opolchenie artillery opened fire on the captured hills, and more Ukrainian soldiers were killed. By 21 Dec. opolchenie took back Kikimora, and Ukrainian soldiers left two other hills. Ukrainian losses are said to be from 20 to 100 killed, with several bodies shown on photographs; official number is 5 killed. Updated LPR losses: 4 killed, 5 wounded.

A video shows volunteers evacuating wounded Ukrainian soldiers on personal autos, and providing highly critical commentary.

19 Dec. Ukraine continues break-through attempts near Debaltsevo -reports.

18 Dec. DAN news: UAF attempted to break through LPR positions in Kalinovka (map), Debaltsevo area. UAF suffered heavy casualties, estimated to be at least 10 killed and 20 wounded. LPR has 2 soldiers wounded and 2 missing in action. Ukrainian side numbers are 5 UAF killed, 6 wounded.

DPR ombudsman: Kiev has released three war prisoners, on Dec. 18. One of the prisoners, a Russian citizen Vladislav Kondalov, who served in a Cossack unit of LPR militia, told that he was tortured while in Ukrainian captivity (DAN news).

Ukrainian Cabinet of Ministers approved 100% state ownership of the Privat Bank (in the past controlled by Kolomoiskii, and running public debt).

17 Dec. DAN News got an updated look and an English language version.

Ombudsman: 314 killed (303 men and 11 women), 406 wounded in DPR since the start of 2016.

DPR: 1183 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past day. 1 DPR soldier killed, 2 wounded.

The U.S. Justice Department has cut ties with a fugitive Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko who said he had turned over damning evidence proving the corruption of Ukraine’s president, a spokesman told RFE/RL

Ukrainian armed drone

16 Dec. DPR: 9041 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past week. DPR report contains a map with photos of buildings damaged as a result, and names UAF commanders allegedly responsible in Gorlovka, Donetsk, and Mariupol areas. Basurin demonstrates shot down Ukrainian armed drone, says that it could have caused a tragedy.

The U.S. Justice Department has cut ties with a fugitive Ukrainian MP Oleksandr Onyshchenko who said he had turned over damning evidence proving the corruption of Ukraine’s president, a spokesman told RFE/RL

15 Dec. DPR: 1243 ceasefire violations by DPR in the past day.

Yanukovich testifies (video feed)in Dorgomilovskiy district court, Moscow, in a case 'on recognizing events in Ukraine, February 2014, as a state coup', brought by Ukrainian ex-MP Vladimir Oleynik, of anti-protest laws fame. Tells that he was illegally removed from power; that snipers were firing from buildings controlled by Maidan, in particular. Legal justification used to consider this case in Russia: suspected war crimes. According to Oleynik, it is illegal to use army, call for mobilization, use heavy military equipment, in an "Anti-Terrorist Operation (ATO)"; that can be only used in case of a war.

"European Parliament votes for canceling visa regime for Ukraine, Georgia", according to TASS. Visa-free regime (under 3 months stay in any 6 month period, with no right to work) still needs approval by EU council. Decision was delayed earlier, to put in place a mechanism of stopping visa-free regime; but such mechanism was agreed a week ago.

Nadezhda Savchenko, now Ukrainian MP, announced (Rus.) (Ukr.) an agreement with L/DPR leaders on POW exchange, 226 prisoners held by Ukraine for 52 held by the republics. This number of prisoners is confirmed to be alive, according to her. (But it is unclear does she has the actual authority to make this happen -and also, what if there are some POWs out there who did not make it to her list).

Savchenko was booted from 'Batkovshina' (Yulia Timoshenko) parliamentary faction in Rada, as the faction is against any negotiations with Donbass republics leaders, call them terrorists; while Savchenko stated that such position of the state is undefined and unproven. According to Savchenko sister, Nadezhda submitted a written declaration on leaving 'Batkovshina' party back on October 26 -segodnya.ua.

14 Dec. According to Gorlovka major Ivan Prihodko, in an incident at Ukrainian-manned Mayorski checkpoint one civilian passenger of a bus was killed, another wounded, and an elderly woman died of hear attack. Prihodko stressed that this checkpoint is over 1 km from DPR positions and there is no way fire was coming from their side (as claimed by Ukraine). According to Prihodko there was some verbal altercation between passengers and guards, and one Ukrainian soldier started to fire from a Kalashnikov.

Crimean gold must go back to Ukraine, says Dutch court -BBC. Director of the Museum-Reserve "Chersonese" in Crimea Svetlana Melnikova: I am shocked. RIA, after going through storage/court expenses Ukraine will have to pay: 'Crimean museums will appeal the decision'.

12 Dec. DPR initiated a contact group meeting via videoconferencing and proposed to develop and implement mechanisms preventing shelling in the future; however Ukraine refused.

According to DPR ombudsman Darya Morozova, she is receiving information from prisoners held by Ukraine and their relatives that SBU forces them to sign paperwork declining their exchange under Minsk prisoners exchange agreements.

9 Dec. DPR: 10,603 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past week.

8 Dec. DPR soldier wounded on Dec 6 died in a hospital.

Two civilians were injured by Ukrainian shelling in Kuibyshev district of Donetsk. Basurin: Ukrainian soldiers set firing positions in civilian houses in Avdeevka. At least 13 houses were damaged.

7 Dec. Very high number of ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 2453, were reported for the past day. Shelling caused fire at Avdeevka coal coke plant.

6 Dec. Zakharchenko: Kiev has recently chosen the new policy of not implementing the Minsk agreements. Over and over, the Ukrainian politicians state that the first-stage issues of settling the situation in Donbass are the humanitarian and economic questions. Imitating care of Donbass’s residents, Ukraine just does not want to solve the political and military issues of the agreements... But for Minsk process to move ahead, political issues have to be solved first. Solving humanitarian and economic issues should be preceded by the lifting of the economic blockade, the amnesty for all parties to the conflict and political prisoners (as otherwise it will be just impossible).

5 Dec. 1342 ceasefire violations by Ukraine in the past day, according to DPR; the number keeps increasing. Basurin: one DPR soldier was killed by Ukrainian sniper fire.

DPR ombudsman interviews an elderly man who received a shrapnel lung wound in Ukrainian shelling on 6 Nov 2014; fragments still not removed. His house was damaged.

Long Zakharchenko interview by Zakhar Prilepin appeared on video (interview was done sometime before the US elections) (German written translation). Zakharchenko: Minsk process 'is like a patient who is more dead than alive'; proposes that DPR and LPR included in the Normandy format, to become 2+3. Shelling by Ukraine and warfare does not stop on the ground. As for full implementation of Minsk, L/DPR positions has to be taken into account, and those would be, restoration of their control on territory of former Donetsk and Lugansk oblast, and reconstruction of Donbass. He does not believe it that this is realistic, at least under the present Ukrainian government. Tells that the population of the republics is strongly aligned with Russia mentally, and hypothetical return of control to Ukraine means, as he say, many millions of refugees going to Russia, and death for those who oppose Ukrainian takeover. For that reason they cannot relinquish control of the border to Ukraine, in particular. With neither of those scenarios-L/DPR positions fully met or Ukraine regaining control- too realistic, describes the current situation as being in a swamp, neither drowning nor letting go.

3 Dec. DPR: number of ceasefire violations by Ukraine continue to increase, 1205 violations reported in the past day.

Flash-mobs in Ukraine, Russia, and DPR-people singing popular Soviet-era songs at railway stations - Zaporozhie (a song from a popular 1950's movie, 15 Nov), Kharkov (a song from a popular 1961 movie, 20 Nov), Odessa (Smuglianka-Moldovanka song, around 27 Nov.), Dnepropetrovsk ("Katyusha" song, around 30 Nov.), Kiev (anti-war/children song "Let there always be Sun", 2 Dec); LPR- Stanitsa Luganskaya (Soviet classic, Donbas-set 1939 movie song , 1 Dec.), Donetsk (a a WW2-themed song, around 3 Dec), Lugansk ('Where does Fatherland starts', from 1961 "Shield and Sword" movie, live singing meshed with Mark Bernes classic, lyrics is by a Lugansk native, -around 3 Dec.); Mariupol ("I love you, life!, a popular 1956 Soviet song; -around 3 Dec ), Nikolaev in Southern Ukraine (Soviet-era Anna German classic "Hope", 3 Dec.); Oleksandriia, Kirovohrad region, central Ukraine -1968 war themed Mark Bernes classic 'Cranes' (video) (text)

  • in Moscow, Ukrainian folk song (27 Nov). In Lipetsk, Russia -proper another popular folksy-disco Ukrainian song from 1968, Chervona Ruta, (1 Dec).
  • Crimea joined in: in Alushta, 1982 pop hit "We wish you happiness" (video)(text). In Yevpatoria, 1936 movie song classic "Vast is my dear Country" (video) (text).
    • Melodic separatist Ukrainian song in Lviv, of unknown origin, about a tram taking them somewhere... And for comparison, from the national Ukrainian song final, 'Sky above the Dnepr', Vakarchuk-Musienko (video)(text), of the sort, there are Rhine and Daube and great Volga, but for me the Dnieper river is everything; kind of national pride and (implicitly) nation-unifying.
    • In 2015, Vakarchuk and "Okean Elzy" (Ocean of Elza) had a big hit anti-war song "Not Your War" (discussed earlier). Recently a new documentary-based video rendition of the hit appeared.

2 Dec. DPR ombudsman: 6 DPR soldiers were killed in the past week. 6 people were wounded, 2 soldiers, and 4 civilians (3 men, 1 woman).

Ukrainian ATO Nurses-Kharkiv report that MANY wounded arrived from ATO zone, but they are no longer able to provide exact figures. They report that they are in need of many basic personal items. Previously this site reported numbers of wounded at times possibly surpassing the total official count. Their latest numbers for just that Khrakiv hospital(s) admissions from the ATO zone: 25.11.2016 - 12 people, 26.11 - 13 people, 27.11 - 3 people, 28.11 - 26 people (including 6 'trauma', 1 'wounded', and the rest 'diseases, contusions, psychiatry'). Official ATO zone report for 25.11 - one killed (number of wounded not given), 27.11-3 soldiers and one civilian wounded, 28.11- 6 wounded, On 29.11, 5 wounded.

Weekly updates from the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission, by Alexander Hug (video, Engl.), given at UCMC, 'Ukrainian crisis management center'. (Sounds serious, notes increased shelling numbers, continued civilian casualties, difficult humanitarian situation -- yet not offers much in terms of a solution...)

RQ-4B Global Hawk over Donbas, pro-Ukrainian blogger Zloy (Angry)-Odessit report, with maps.

1 Dec. Ukraine stopped water supply to LPR, from one of the two water supply pipes from Petrovskoe. Approximately half of Lugansk city was supplied from that source. According to Vladislav Deinego, it will cause serious interruptions of water supply but 'situation is under control'. Denying water is akin to starvation and is a war crime, (explicitly banned in 54.2 of the additional protocol, Geneva conventions). Ukraine blamed it on nonpayment of electricity bills and Red Cross stopping paying for water supplies.

Ukrainian provocative missile launches today were outside area claimed by Russia -report, maps and photos. It is believed that Russia took steps to defend the airspace.

Bags full of bank notes and a plot to bring down a prime minister: Politician makes claims of vast corruption in Ukraine - Independent. Onisheko claims that he passed on incriminating information to American special services, before fleeing to UK. He is himself accused of using a scheme to defraud the state from his natural gas business, but blames the goverment figures for orchestrating this too. His interview to Russian TV, and to Ukrainian public TV -video; a text version (strana.ua)

Update, 6 Dec. First set of audio recordings made by Onishenko is published by strana.ua, with Dovgovyi, who was sent to Onishenko to try to negotiate a deal (audio and brief text with a summary of details).

Videos

DPR Sakhanka: life goes on under shelling, 11 Oct. 2016

'Suburbia of life', about the effect of the war on life in small villages and towns. Shelling, destruction, economic hardship. Slow running, in Russian. Sept. 29, 2016.

More videos on talk page

Photos

Aftermaths of Ukrainian shelling of the village Zheltoe (Yellow), LPR, 29 Nov. 2016 lug-info.

Sources

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).

OSCE

Official Ukrainian sources

Ukrainian media

DPR and LPR

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

Agreements

Archive 2016
09 10 11 12
05 06 07 08
01 02 03 04
Archive 2015
09 10 11 12
05 06 07 08
02 03 04

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 - Today)

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 - Today)

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. As of mid September 2013, hundreds of Islamist fighters are trying to besiege the city while the Kurds are fully mobilizing.


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...