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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

23 Sep. 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), (kommersant.ru) / 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.

31 Jul. According to reports, the ISIS pocket in the shadow of the Golan heights is history after the last ISIS fighters surrender, apparently with a deal to transport them to the desert pocket east of as-Suweida in exchange for the women the terror cult has kidnapped a week ago.

The long line of assassinations of "rebel" commanders in Idlib province continues with two high-ranking Nusra fighters, an Egyptian and an Usbek.

According to "reliable" information obtained by Firat News Agency, a mixed delegation of Iraqi Kurds and Turkish intelligence visited Damascus immediately after the talks with the SDF and tried to convince the government to not further these talks, offering goodies like a consulate in Erbil and secret talks with the Erdogan regime in exchange. The meeting is said to have ended without result.

30 Jul. Russia has established a humanitarian corridor through which vetted civilians are able to leave Idlib province, which is thought to be the theatre of the next big operation once the SAA has finished ISIS in the very southwest.

Russia, Iran and Turkey are meeting in Sochi to discuss the state of the measures taken in the Astana format. Syria is represented by Bashar al-Ja'afari. The US was invited as an observer but refused.

Following a meeting discussing the outcome of the talks with the government, the SDF releases an optimistic statement calling on all democratic political forces in Syria to "join the political path" to a "democratic decentralized Syria". (Firat News Agency has interviewed Salih Muslim, who was not part of the Kurdish delegation, about his expectations)

On this day in 2006, Murray Bookchin died, who was a main influence on the thinking of Abdullah Öcalan, the father of the political system the SDF want to see implemented in all of Syria. Firat News Agency remembers the man and his work publishing a 1969 essay entitled Listen, Marxist!.

In recent days the SDF, with air support from the US-led coalition, has made considerable advances against the ISIS desert pocket at the Iraqi border north of the Euphrates.

Cassad reports (on 31 Jul, showing Jul. 30 map) that IS pocket is separated from the Purple Line. Also in the report: (1)The militants tried to negotiate that they are released into the desert, but it has been denied - the condition for survival is exactly one - the unconditional surrender ; (2)some militants from the "green" groups (FSA) take part in the 'mop-up' of IS together with the Syrian militia. Participation in battles against IS gives them the right to an amnesty and the subsequent integration into the Syrian society (FWIW).

29 Jul. Clashes in the desert following the ISIS terror attack on As-Suweida are still going on.

27 Jul. A delegation of the political wing of the SDF is in Damascus for talks with the government, apparently with some success.

UAE: A Yemeni armed drone sneaks into the UAE and manages to fire three shots at Abu Dhabi airport.

26 Jul. The SAA has conquered all important population centers in the ISIS pocket in the very southwest and has forced the terror cult into a tiny mountain area.

25 Jul. A convoy of ISIS terrorist approaching from the east massacres over 200 civilians, but is repelled in As-Suweida. Three to six suicide bombings are used as a distraction. A number of female hostages are taken and attempted to sell back for ransom.

24 Jul. Sergei Lavrov visits Merkel in Berlin and Macron in Paris to discuss Syria and Ukraine. Both meetings were also attended by Valery Gerasimov, Chief of Staff of the Russian army, who is on the EU sanctions list since 2014 and not allowed to enter. Germany used a waiver to make the meeting possible.

After they broke through the ISIS defenses in the Golan pocket yesterday, today the SAA has liberated several towns before lunch.

The IDF claims to have intercepted a Syrian fighter jet which entered the Golan heights. According to Al Masdar, the SAA confirms the downing of the jet and says it has mistakenly crossed over into the occupied airspace. The pilot Colonel Omran Marii is dead.

23 Jul. Lavrov, Netanyahu, Gerasimov have met in West Jerusalem, discussed Syria. It is said (1,2) that Israel rejected Russian offer to keep Iran 100 km from Syria-Israel border. In TASS version, Netanyahu stated that Israel is interested in complete withdrawal of Iran, without rejecting the Russian proposal.

22 Jul. The Syrian and Russian air forces have conducted 1,900 air strikes on the ISIS pocket next to the Golan heights in recent days.

Netanyahu says Trump, Trudeau asked Israel to help evacuate 800 White Helmets. Bild got a video. It is said that Germany is ready to accept some.

21 Jul. According to Israeli sources, their army helped to evacuate 800 "White Helmets" from the contact line to Syria through the Golan Heights and then to Jordan, from where they are supposed to be transported to "Western" countries. Meanwhile, a large evacuation operation under the usual "green bus north" deal is going on in Quneitra.

20 Jul. In the previous week, the SDF has taken 16 villages from ISIS in the remaining desert pocket at the Iraqi border north of the Euphrates river.

The Russian Hmeimim airbase is under drone attack again.

Iraq: The government declares a state of emergency following mass protests over the lack of basic services like electricity and drinking water.

19 Jul. The series of reconciliation agreements in the south is continuing in recent days and the SAA is now on some hills directly overseeing the ISIS pocket. They and the surrendered FSA "rebels" are jointly guarding the area so no cult members can escape, and plan a joint offensive once formalities are settled.

The civilians of the long-besieged Shi'ite villages Al-Fou'aa and Kafraya in Idlib province are now all evacuated, although reportedly the Nusra terrorists are waylaying on some leaving buses and try to use them to press free more of their imprisoned gang members.

The anniversary of the so-called Rojava Revolution, which is considered to have begun with the expulsion of government forces from Kobane on this day in 2012, is celebrated (Interview with Saleh Moslem, Interview with YPG spokesperson).

AP publishes a report from Talbiseh in the former Rastan pocket, speaking to locals about the situation after the reconciliation deals.

18 Jul. Israel: The Knesset passes with small majority controversial changes to the basic law, declaring the country "the Jewish Nation State", making Hebrew the language of the state and Arabic having 'a special status', and declaring Jerusalem the capital city (full text)

According to the Pentagon, the SDF holds around 600 "Foreign Terrorist Fighters" from more than 40 countries in prison.

17 Jul. The political wing of the SDF says that they will soon open offices in Government-controlled areas of the country.

15 Jul. Up to 1,000 "White Helmets" and their families are in danger of assassination and other intimidation according to "Western" media reports about efforts to evacuate or rescue them from Syria by "The Netherlands, Britain, France, Canada and Germany".

14 Jul. With reconciliation agreements in the important towns of Inkhil and Tal Al-Harrah, the "rebel" pocket in the south continues to implode.

13 Jul. Iraqi media reports that the US is planning a new military base in the country. Its location shall be close to the Syrian border, the Euphrates and the "international road" crossing at Al Bukamal/Al Qaim.

Elijah Magnier reports that "a top Syrian decision maker" told him that the US delivered - through Russian brokering - a message to Assad saying that they want to leave Al-Tanf and the northern regions as soon as possible and have only one condition: That Iranian forces leave as well. Assad reportedly replied that Iran also doesn't want to stay longer than necessary to defeat the Takfiris, but will stay exactly that long by his request.

Rudaw reports that in Al Tabqa the local authorities have reached an agreement with the Syrian government to run the Tabqa Dam together.

12 Jul. In the south, the SAA has taken over a couple of places including the town of Tafas in which some "rebels" had preferred to join ISIS over sticking to the surrender agreement. The town of Hayt even closer to the ISIS pocket has been handed over to the terror cult before the SAA could reach it. Negotiations in Deraa city are still going on, but in the afternoon reports come in that an agreement was reached and Russian military police has entered the "rebel"-controlled southern parts of the city.

Airstrikes on two villages near the Iraqi border kill more than 50 civilians. The US-led "coalition" is accused and doesn't deny, says they are investigating.

10 Jul. Among the places at the Jordanian border the SAA takes over is the old border crossing south of Deraa city.

9 Jul. The SAA continues to advance along the Jordanian border and has according to some reports already encircled the "rebels" in the southern part of Deraa city. Meanwhile, the Russians claim that a total of 90 towns and villages have joined the truce agreements.

8 Jul. The Syrian cabinet approves a plan on how to restore public services in the liberated areas in the south.

SANA reports that an Israeli attack on T-4 airbase in Homs was answered by intercepting several missiles and hitting one jet.

7 Jul. Russia is so far unsuccessfully putting pressure on gangs in western Deraa and Quneitra to come to an agreement with the SAA like their comrades further east have done.

Representatives of 55 clans and tribes meet at a forum in Aleppo directed against intervention in Syrian affairs by the US, France and Turkey.

6 Jul. According to several reports in the afternoon, the SAA has taken control of the Nassib border crossing with Jordan and raised the Syrian flag.

The OPCW publishes a preliminary report about their investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma which was used as justification for the FUKUS missile attack in April. No traces of chemical weapons were found.

5 Jul. In a steady advance from the east, the SAA clears a large area of land along the Jordanian border and stands only a few kilometers away from the Nassib border crossing.

4 Jul. According to Elijah Magnier, the number of fighters in the ISIS pocket next to the occupied Golan heights is estimated between 1,500 and 2,000. As he points out, nobody is offering them any deal.

Another round of negotiations fails in the south after the SAA rejects a list of demands issued by the FSA.

The SDF takes two more villages at the Iraqi border from ISIS in their ongoing and slowly progressing "Al-Jazeera Tempest" campaign.

Key Kurdish political figure Aldar Xelil states at a conference in Raqqa that while his side is ready for dialogue, the Syrian government has yet to make a serious effort and the reports of ongoing negotiations are false.

Lavrov and the Jordanian foreign minister hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow.

3 Jul. The Russian air force launches "massive" attacks on targets near Jisr al-Shughour and the Turkish border. This region is known to harbour the "Turkistan Islamic Party" gangs which Russia accuses of having launched the recent attacks on the Khmeimim base.

According to the UNHCR, around 300,000 civilians had to flee and are internally displaced by the fighting in the south. 60,000 of them are said to have gathered at the Nassib border crossing to Jordan. The agency calls on Jordan to open the border and on the countries of the region to take care of these people.

2 Jul. According to military sources talking to Al Masdar, high level negotiations between the SAA and the YPG, resp. their civil control institutions, are going on with the end goal of finding a way to reunite forces. A local agreement over comparatively minor issues has reportedly already been reached in Hasakah, where the government has never ceased to have an outpost in otherwise Kurdish-controlled lands.

The source continued that the government is attempting to convince the Kurdish Democratic Federation to agree to the following:

  • Join forces with the government across the country
  • Handover the Tal Kojar and Simalka border-crossings into Iraq
  • Handover the Al-Darbasiyah and Ras Al-‘Ayn border-crossing into Turkey

The YPG is asking in return that the government make the Kurdish language a part of the Syrian educational system, count the period the YPG fighters served as service in the SAA, and give a Kurdish official a permanent seat in the Syrian oil ministry.

After several rounds of negotiations, the important southern FSA stronghold town Busra al-Sham surrenders to the SAA.

A second repelled drone attack on Khmeimim airbase is reported. Russia blames jihadi groups from central Asia. In the evening the base is attacked a third time. Russian air defense shot down small aerial vehicles aproaching Khmeimim airbase.

1 Jul. Sunday Times: UK RAF Typhoon fighter jet dropped a 500lb laser-guided bomb "during a firefight" last month near the intersection of Syria’s border with Iraq and Jordan (apparently near al-Tanf). A Syrian army officer was killed and seven others were wounded, "according to local reports."

Cassad: another attempted drone attack on Khmeimim airbase, drones shot down; some videos. No casualties or damage reported.

Some FSA groups in Tafas refuse to follow the agreed hand-over of the town to the SAA and instead pledge allegiance to ISIS in its neighboring little pocket in the shadow of the occupied Golan heights.

Firat News Agency publishes a report on the state of the historical sites from the neolithic age located in northern Syria.

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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
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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
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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.


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Ukraine News

23 Sep. 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.

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).

31 Aug. Dmitry Trapeznikov (profile page, 1, 2) was appointed acting head of DPR.

Zakharchenko is killed by an explosion in a restaurant 'Separ' in Donetsk. Alexander 'Tashkent' Timofeev, assistant chair of the council of ministers, is wounded in the same explosion - Rusvesna, Cassad, TASS. Russian FM press director Maria Zakharova (Wikipedia) blames Ukraine for the killing. It is reported that several 'Ukrainian saboteurs and connected persons' were arrested in Donetsk. State of emergency is introduced in DPR- report. Putin sent condolences (full text, Rus., Eng).

There has been two explosions at two different defense plants in Russia today (1, 2). Technological causes were cited. Several people were killed, injured, missing.

30 Aug. Zakharchenko announced 3 days of mourning in DPR for the death of Iosif Kobzon, who was born in Donetsk region and was a People's Artist and Hero of DPR.

28 Aug. Poroshenko: 'We are ready for the termination of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership between Ukraine and Russia'. Russian commentary (sample) links timing of this with Ukrainian efforts to obtain additional Western credits (and elections). The treaty includes an article supporting territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders; so far that was the rationale for not denouncing the treaty.

Ukrainian guided antitank missile had a direct hit on civilian 'Belaz' used in open pit mining. The driver was killed.

Muzhenko describes Ukrainian 'Smerch' strike on a large column of vehicles (he claims it to be 150-200 vehicles), on the night of 14 July 2014 (ie 13/14 July night). 'On the second day, reconnaissance aircraft were raised to assess the scale of the event. Smoke did not give an opportunity to reveal the real picture, and only by the end of the third day it became clear that "there the fields were burned out and there were a few skeletons of the burnt equipment"' --(FWIW. Not previously discussed. Noted, MH17 crash, 17 July).

24 Aug. 'Walk me past the Maidan', Soviet-era song over 2014 Kiev footage (Korotich/Moritz, Nikitiny).

DPR. Ukraine decided to mark its independence day by shelling Donetsk, Gorlovka, as if to confirm its 'Nazi/Bandera' image promoted by official talking heads in the East. Then, some sort of a 'work accident' befell them in Gorlovka. In Kiev the "Independence Day" parade was joined by the US Tennessee National Guard and greeted by the attandent John Bolton. British marched there too.

23 LPR. Failed Ukrainian attack near Zhelobok /Krymskoe (map) resulted in Ukrainian casualties. According to UAF spokesperson Dmitry Gutsuliak (report, video) 4 UAF soldiers were killed and 7 wounded.

Denis Pushilin, DPR, expresses an opinion that there will be elections of the head of republic and the parliament, and also another referendum on the republic independent status, if Ukraine will not extend the law on the special status of Donbass.

20 Aug. Daniil Bezsonov, DPR: the UAF military leadership and the headquarters of the occupation forces are daily spreading deliberately false information about the huge number of shelling by our Republic, as well as a similar number of "mirror" responses by UAF. So, when we record 3-4 shootings from Ukraine, the occupiers say that we shell them 50-60 times, and they respond in 40 cases. All these "fables" are voiced for the sole purpose - to show the Ukrainian electorate and the world community that in fact the conflict is in a hot phase and has not stopped for a day. (Noted: number of shelling greatly vary by the day; Bezsonov describes overall exaggeration tendency. DPR JCCC report has 40 violations by UAF firing 605 munitions in the week of 13-19 Aug).

DPR Industry and trade ministry announced 'beginning of the restart' of the 'Strirol' chemical plant in the frontline Gorlovka. Sites of the neutralization and purification plant for industrial wastewater were launched. (Earlier Bezler raised concerns on the state of affairs, in particular location of some expensive chemical hardware).

Attendees of a hardcore punk/rock group "oDemontaGo" concert in Mariupol were attacked (1), (2) by masked men believed to be from the radical groups. The group has been outspoken against the radicals.

18 Aug. Ukrainian forces fired 5 mortar shells on Gorlovka.

DPR representative at JCCC: in the past day Ukraine violated ceasefire 5 times, fired 97 munitions on DPR.

Ukrainian 'Buk' crashed into a building in Kiev during preparations for a parade (video).

17 Aug. According to DPR representative at JCCC, Ukraine fired BMp-2 guns on Staromikhailovka from Krasnogorovka when a Red Cross mission was delivering humanitarian aid, despite written guarantees by both sides. The mission was sheltered and then evacuated.

16 Aug. DPR soldier was killed by Ukrainian sniper fire near settlment of Leninskoe. According to DPR MoD a sniper pair was then eliminated.

DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 5 people (4 soldiers and a civilian woman) were wounded by Ukrainian fire.

14 Aug. Ukrainian forces shelled Gorlovka, a house sustained a direct hit, and at 20:35 a school was hit. General security deterioration on the contact line is reported. A firefight along Bakhmutka roadway, near Donetsly settlement is reported.

10 Aug. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 4 DPR soldiers and one Ukrainian soldier were killed (it is reported that an Ukrainian soldier was killed by UAF when he tried to defect to DPR). 11 people were wounded (9 soldiers, a civilian man, and a civilian woman).

9 Aug. UN OHCHR published a report, Human rights violations and abuses and international humanitarian law violations committed in the context of the Ilovaisk events in August 2014. (Discussion, Rusvesna, from pro-Russia side).

8 Aug. Ex-head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, General of the Army of Ukraine Nikolai Malomuzh: 'If Putin goes for a new offensive against Ukraine, NATO's response will be tough'

7 Aug. It is reported that a driver and two DPR female military medics were killed when Ukrainian forces fired guided anti-tank missile on their marked ambulance car. They were responding to a medical emergency call placed by a woman living in Naberezhnoe, Novoazovsk region. Aftermath is shown on DPR video, including missile guiding wire and engine.

Ukraine fired 16 mortar shells from on Sakhanka village, DPR south, from Lebedinskoe.

6 Aug. Ukrainian forces fired small firearms on settlement of Naberezhnoe, a man (1975 DOB) was wounded; also shelled Staromikhailovka near Donetsk (map)from BMP and grenade launchers, one house burned down, three other houses were damaged.

3 Aug. DPR ombudsman: in the past week 3 DPR soldiers were killed, 4 soldiers were wounded. Since the start of the year, 101 people were killed (95 men, 6 women; the number includes 2 children under 18)

1 Aug. Nadezhda Savchenko, still in preliminary detention in Ukraine, wrote a letter to Trump asking to help with release of Ukrainians held in Russia, calling Poroshneko 'the most corrupt president in Ukrainian history'. She earlier wrote to Putin asking to pardon Ukrainians held in Russia. In April, Savchenko sister Vera appealed to Trump to help Nadezhda, linking her arrest with her political positions and plans to run for Ukrainian presidency.

28 Jul. Events marking 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus' in Moscow (Cathedral Square of the Kremlin; St. Vladimir monument-Putin speaking); and in Kiev. Russian sources describe significance of the event and celebrations, processions in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus'. While Ukrainian media make a case for procession of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyivan Patriarchate (not canonically recognized breakaway from the Moscow Patriarchate).

27 Jul. DPR ombudsman: In the past week, 4 people were killed (2 soldiers; and 2 children killed by landmine explosion). Four people were wounded (3 soldiers and a civilian woman).

25 Jul. Lug-info: Participants of the humanitarian working group of the Contact Group had to take a break in connection with the anti-Russian rhetoric of the representative of Ukraine Irina Gerashchenko, who soon left the meeting, having prior to that offended the DPR representative and ombudsman Darya Morozova. This follows early incident in May, 2018 directed at DPR acting FM Natalya Nikanorova ('fans' page'): Today at a political group meeting, for the first time in 87 sessions, the Ukrainian side sounded not only frankly provocative statements, but also direct threats of physical abuse and prosecution. Russian patriotic opposition is having an issue (Donetski, 1, 2).

24 Jul. A civilian woman, 1987 DOB, is wounded by Ukrainian shelling of Dokuchaevsk.

One of FEMEN founders Oksana Shachko committed suicide in Paris.Oksana left a note in English, addressed to the Parisian bohemia, with whom she had been in close contact recently: "You are all fake "

Amid reports of Ukrainian 'unified command' insisting on fighters of volunteer battalions joining UAF or withdrawn (Naev and Yarosh seen having a chat here) , a [report video emerged which appears to show SBU disarming volunteers at a gunpoint. The video was challenged by SBU spokes-girl Olena Gitlyanska. Video circumstances are unclear, posted on youtube by a user with little history. More in discussion.

Graham Phillips offers color-intensive pro-Kremlin propaganda from Artek, Crimea, to counter brownyellowish report by BBC (video).

22 Jul. In Lvov, another anniversary of SS division 'Galichina' is celebrated, with SS uniforms and staged funerals On this day in 1944 the division was surrounded and defeated in Brody. (Cassad; + earlier anniversary report from May).

20 Jul. Bloomberg: Putin told Russian diplomats that he made a proposal to Trump to hold a referendum by residents of Donbass rebel territories on their status, under international auspices, to help resolve the conflict. (Russian patriotic opposition comments are quite skeptical, pointing out that several referendums in Transnistria, all overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia, had little practical effect).

US National Security Council spokesman Garret Marquis: “The Administration is not considering supporting a referendum in the eastern Ukraine” .

DPR ombudsman: in the past week 3 soldiers were killed, 5 people (4 soldiers and a civilian woman) were wounded.

Ukraine has transferred to DPR the body of a former opolchenie fighter lured to Ukraine and apparently killed by Ukrainian services after torture, while trying to blame DPR for his death (report + photo at the bottom).

19 Jul. Boris Filatov, mayor of Dnepr(opetrovsk) posted on Facebook that he has been monitoring teachers for signs of 'separatism', with over 30% supporting it. He states that 'now they will be fired or not hired', 'legally irreproachable, without the ability to recover by a court decision'. He points out that at present the Humanitarian Department holds contests for new appointments of school principals (quite critical coverage by dialog.ua).

16 Jul. Trump meets Putin in Helsinki-live updates -NY Times, TASS.

Press conference transcript and video (Kremlin; White House, realclearpolitics.com). Putin interview to Fox News (Fox News; Kremlin).

An interview highlight, stated cooperation on Israeli security and humanitarian matters in Syria, while discussing other issues. Fox interview highlight here

15 Jul. DPR MoD: 2 ceasefire violations, one home damaged. It is said that 'Right Sector' militants opposing orders to withdraw uncontrolled nationalistic units from the war zone deployed and detonated an IED, destroying Ukrainian armed forces 'Ural' vehicle and killing 3, wounding 6 UAF soldiers (no independent confirmation).

13 Jul. DPR ombudsman: in the past week 2 DPR soldiers were killed and 2 wounded, despite agreed ceasefire. DPR MoD: 34 cesefire violations in the past week by Ukraine, 79 mortar shells fired, small arms also used; 13 houses were damaged.

8 Jul. Rusvesna: planes carrying US marines landed in Ukraine. USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the United States Sixth Fleet, has entered the Black Sea for Sea Breeze-2018 joint US-Ukrainian exercises.

6 Jul. DPR ombudsman: In the past week 3 DPR soldiers were killed, 3 were wounded (2 soldiers and a civilian man). 89 killed were killed, 190 wounded since the start of the year. According to ombudsman data, 4656 were killed in DPR since the start of the conflict.

DPR MOD: 49 ceasefire violations in the past week (46 a week before). Small arms, mortars, BMP and BTR weapons were used; anti-tank guided munitions fired on a truck carrying water supply.

5 Jul. Yulia Timoshenko (video): (There) is an extremely dangerous plan which so far Peter Poroshenko intends to realize in Ukraine. In principle, he wants that presidential elections are not held. Now a deep negotiation process has begun with those who allegedly lead the "LPR-DPR", that is, in fact, with the people who today occupied part of Ukraine. Poroshenko wants to initiate the beginning of a big war. He wants additional territories of Ukraine to be seized. He wants everything to burn, everything on fire. He wants to use this to impose the martial law and not to hold elections in principle. Russian patriotic opposition Donetsk blogger Donetski (donrf) comment argues that it would be a mistake for Kremlin to place a bet on Timoshenko, and in fact there is little hope that any of the options currently looked at will resolve the situation in Donbass, for the ordinary people living there. (He does not offer an alternative solution in his post).

4 Jul. DPR added famous Ukrainian prisoners exchange negotiator Vladimir Ruban to its prisoners exchange list. (Ruban was arrested on 8 Mar. 2018 after a provocation involving weapons smuggling arranged by Ukrainian services).

2 Jul. Ukraine named 23 Russians held by Ukraine whom Ukraine is ready to exchange for Ukrainians held in Russia and Donbass (Interfac),(newsone.ua).

1 Jul. Ukraine violated 'bread ceasefire' 9 hours after its start, shelling Dokuchaevsk.

Despite ceasefire, Ukraine fired anti-tank missiles and destroyed a Kamaz vehicle delivering water to DPR armed forces. The driver was critically wounded.

30 Jun. Civilian man was wounded by Ukrainian shelling of Gagarin mine pit, near Gorlovka.

Prior to start of ceasefire, Ukraine shelled settlement of Donetskii, LPR

At around 23:00, a powerful explosion at natural gas distribution station in Novoazovsk region was reported, leaving southern part of DPR without gas supply. Reasons are unknown, with sabotage not excluded.

28 Jun. DPR MoD: Ukraine made two failed attempt to attack in Gorlovka direction. Attacks were repelled, using small arms fire. Up to 3 UAF soldiers were killed and at least 3 wounded. Ukraine responded with artillery and tank fire, to cover advance of their RSG group. However RSG group was spotted and fired on; two group members were wounded. After that, RSG withdrew.

In the morning Ukraine fired mortars and ten 122 mm artillery shells on Gorlovka. In the past day, Ukraine fired 75 shells, 3 buildings in Dokuchaevsk and Donetsk were damaged.

27 Jun. Contact group negotiated new 'bread ceasefire', starting 1 July

23 Jun. Ukraine fired on Dokuchaevsk, a civilian woman, 1942 DOB was wounded.

DPR MOD: Ukraine fired mortars and light weapons on Zaitsevo and Gagarin minepit near Gorlovka. Also Ukrainian 'occupiers bands' said to attack Ukrainian-held villages Yuzhnoe, Gladosovo, and Metallist (to blame DPR for attacking civilians) .

Ukraine fired AGS and twenty five 122-mm artillery shells from Vodyanoe and from Gnutovo on settlements of Leninskoe and Sakhanka, near Novoazovsk, DPR (map). Four Ukrainian tanks arrived to Andreevka, DPR appealed to OSCE to see them withdrawn.

Two Ukrainian groups, about 15 fighters in total, attempted to break through DPR positions near Mariupol. One of the groups triggered an explosion trying to defuse land mines, another proceeded but was repelled by DPR forces small arms fire. It is said that by preliminary data up to 3 UAF soldiers were killed and 4 wounded, and one DPR soldier was wounded (DPR video report).

Ukraine shelled Gorlovka, one residential house is damaged.

In Krivoy Rog, Dnepropetrovsk region, nationalistic activists and police argued with 54 old man over St. George ribbon displayed inside his car. The man said that he was raised in the USSR, that this is a matter of his faith, and that if they are not happy with the Soviet past, they should take down surrounding buildings constructed in the Soviet era. He was supported by a passing by woman. Police stated that those symbols are banned by the Ukrainian law. Activists and the man argued about the war in Donbass, with the man saying that he belongs to Ukraine but 'nobody asked you to come/ fight in Donbass' . They also argued about the flag, red-and-blue (UkrSSR) vs yellow-and-blue (Ukraine). Police eventually removed the ribbon, with the argument continuing. (dialog.ua, Rusvesna, video).

22 Jun. On the anniversary of the start of operation Barbarossa (the Nazi invasion of the USSR, 1941), and the start of what is known as the Great Patriotic War, a large public gathering in Lugansk cheered as judges announced life sentences to the top Ukrainian leadership for war and other serious crimes, quoting articles of the Ukrainian criminal code. The event felt heavily scripted and 'Soviet', yet strong and genuine feeling were apparent underneath too.

OHCHR report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, Feb-May 2018 is published. Item 18: majority of civilian casualties from shelling and small arms is attributed to Ukrainian fire.

21 Jun. In the evening, Ukraine resumed firing on DPR (Donetsk airport, Yasinovataya checkpoint) from large caliber machine guns and automatic grenade launchers; later mortars and (tripod)-mounted anti-tank grenade launchers were used to fire on Zaitsevo. It is reported that DPR suppressed Ukrainian firing position near Kominternovo, near Mariupol, which was used to shell the village for days.

Poroshenko called Putin on the phone (press statements: Kremlin, Poroshenko office).

Russia-born SBU general Alexander Kuts was named new governor of Ukrainian-held Donetsk region. Kuts served in 'anti-corruption' branch of SBU till 2014. Since 2015 he was head of Donetsk SBU, and was accused by Zakharchenko in being one of organizers of Motorola assassination.

Text and audio of one of the recorded conversations of Poroshenko with a runaway Ukrainian MP and oligarch Onishenko is published, allegedly showing corruption.

Aleksei Bidusenko, who is said to change sides to join LPR taking secret documents with him, has been captured by Ukrainian reconnaissance group. The announcement quotes Rusvesna article (24 June 2017). In that article it is stated that the Ukrainian side is seeking Bidusenko who has left his post with some documents, and that LPR opened a search for him too, trying to help him to escape. (His fate is unclear from the 2017 article).

20 Jun. Ukraine shelled Gorlovka, a civilian man was wounded.

19 Jun. (morning), Kiev. Protesters gather in front of the Rada, shout 'Gan'ba', some clashes with the police (video). Many are war or ATO veterans protesting worsening social conditions.

15 Jun. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 5 DPR soldiers were killed, 17 people (6 soldiers, 8 civilian men, 3 civilian women) were wounded.

13 Jun. Anatoly Gritsenko, Ukrainian ex-DM, claims that he is one of the participants of 'a working group' which includes members from Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany and the US, with experience at the level of (ex) foreign ministers, defense ministers, ambassadors. He claims that the group meets from time to time in Europe to develop proposals for the leadership on issues such as peacekeepers, elections, amnesty. (Gritsenko versions of those proposals are not too different from Volker's).

12 Jun. Ukraine shelled Donetsk, Gorlovka areas with mortars, BMP guns, and small firearms. One DPR soldier was killed. A civilian was wounded in Dokuchaevsk by Ukrainian large caliber machine gun fire. It is also said that Ukraine deployed anti-aircraft systems near Kramatorsk, provocations feared.

LPR. it is reported that Ukrainian special operations forces arrived dressed in Russian uniforms; provocations feared.

Trump and Merkel have friendly chat during a break in the summit

9 Jun. The G7 leaders, meeting in Canada, fail to reach an agreement on a communique condemning Russia for its "illegal annexation of Crimea".

8 Jun. Ukraine fired mortars on (1) Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka. A civilian was wounded (2) Sakhanka, in DPR south; a civilian was wounded here too; a residential building, gas pipeline and power lines were damaged

7 Jun. Putin: if Ukraine attacks in Donbass, that will have 'very heavy consequences for Ukrainian statehood as a whole' (answering a question from Zakhar Prilepin, as reported by Rusvesna, full QA transcript to appear. Many questions, including Skripal, etc ).

Ukraine fired mortars on Golubovskoe village, LPR, a civilian bus was hit, 6 passengers were wounded

6 Jun. Donetsk water filtering station lost power as a result of Ukrainian mortar shelling. This happened on the same day as OSCE SMM intensive monitoring near the station ended.

Ukrainian MoI Avakov: The Minsk process played a role and at the moment it is dead (robo-translation)

31 May. Suspect arrested in Babchenko affair tells that (he believed) he was helping Ukrainian security services. He is a Ukrainian businessman involved with weapons deliveries for ATO with in the past -strana.ua . Organizer suspect name has been made public. His attorney: Boris Herman (Герман, German) is an Executive Director of the Ukrainian-German joint venture "Schmeisser", the only non-state enterprise for the manufacture of weapons in our country. It has long industrial relations with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Boris himself is known for his volunteer activity for the needs of ATO. It is his optics that is used on the rifles of our snipers, namely, he upgrades and creates the most powerful sniper complexes based on existing army weapons.

In another report, the hired 'killer' himself came to SBU. Ukrainian activist, ATO veteran, and formerly Christian Orthodox hierodeacon Alexey Tsimbaliuk claimed on social media that he is that 'killer'.

Arkady Babchenko shot dead with 4 bullet holes to his back (fake)

30 May. Arkady Babchenko arose from dead to have a press conference (Rusvesna)

29 May. DPR MOD: one DPR soldier is killed by Ukrainian shelling

Pro-Ukrainian, pro-Maidan, Russian (opposition) journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed by unknowns in Kiev (TASS, Echo 1, 2; TV Rain; FB; Meduza; Rusvesna/photo, Nebenzya/UN). Ilya Ponomarev (could be hired Ukrainian ex nats-batts); PM Vladimir Groisman ('Russia is behind'), Russian FM (demands investigation).

UNSC briefing on Ukraine. Nebenzya on video here, Eng.

28 May. DPR ombudsman. In the period from May 18 to 25, 9 people were killed (including 6 were military personnel, 2 civilian women and one civilian man), 17 people were wounded (including 6 servicemen, 4 civilian women and 7 civilian men). Since the beginning of 2018, 68 people were killed (including 57 military men, 7 civilians and 4 civilian women), 145 people were wounded (including 89 military personnel, 36 civilians men, 19 civilian woman and one child under the age of 18). Since the beginning of the armed conflict in the Donetsk People's Republic 4635 people were killed, among them 610 women and 4025 men, including 76 children under the age of 18.

27 May. After attempted Ukrainian attacks on Gorlovka, it is said that situation somewhat stabilized.

Gazprom and Turkey signed the 'Turkish stream' protocol. This comes few days after it was announced that Russia gave Turkey a 1 bln USD discount in a dispute over past deliveries.

26 May. Reports of Ukraine shelling and/or (unconfirmed) establishing positions in Petrovskoe, south of Donetsk (map), a supposed separation zone, threatening DPR-held city of Dokuchaevsk. In a later report, it is denied that Ukraine made advances in Petrovskoe, which is still under DPR control. Ukraine established positions in Viktorovka from last summer, and have recently returned to their old position on height 202.9, 2 km south of the village.

RT publishes a 50min documentary film about the construction of the recently opened bridge over Kerch Strait which connects Crimea with mainland Russia.

23 May. DAN news: captured Ukrainian soldier testified on Ukrainian plans to 'attack' in Donbass before the start of the football World Cup in Russia (14 June-15 July), and that recently given to Ukraine Javelins and other heavy equipment will be 'placed on the front lines' prior to the attack (no independent confirmation). Poroshenko recently presented Ukrainian official version of Javelins purpose, highlighting his role in getting them (but even taking the official version, propaganda or motivational use,- if not more, - is not excluded) .

A policeman is killed by Ukrainian artillery shelling of Gorlovka.

European "Human Rights" court decided that Ukrainian ban on land sales is a human rights violation, in a case brought up to the court by 2 (two) Ukrainians. In response, alternative MP Lyashko threatened to 'burn' Rada if the moratorium is lifted. (It was long feared that lifting the ban, pressed on by Ukraine sponsors, will result in loss of control on top of the range but low priced Ukrainian agricultural lands to transnational conglomerates).

BBC: Trump lawyer 'paid by Ukraine' to arrange White House talks

21 May. An important bridge is destroyed in LPR, it is feared that this may indicate preparations for a major Ukrainian attack.

As part of continued escalation near Gorlovka, Ukrainian 'Donbass' battalion attacked DPR checkpoint, capturing 3 and killing 1 DPR soldier. Ukrainian losses also reported.

Ukrainian sources showed aerial video of strikes on DPR positions, praising those strikes.

19 May. Gorlovka and vicinity remains a flashpoint. A civilian woman, 1932 DOB, and a DPR soldier were killed. Ukraine shelled residential areas with banned munitions, said to contain nails. New Ukrainian positions near captured by Ukraine Yuzhnoe came under DPR fire; it is said that 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 1 wounded.

18 May. DPR. Oleg Mamaev, commander of '[Piatnashka' (Пятнашка) battalion died of his wounds received in Avdeevka industrial zone flashpoint.

According to Russian sources, 3 Canadian instructors were killed and two American wounded by landmine explosion, some Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. DPR blames Ukraine in attempting a provocation by presenting this as a DPR attack.

Ukraine captured settlement of Yuzhnoe near Gorlovka.

Reporters without borders on the arrest of Kirill Vyshinsky, a Ukrainian journalist who heads RIA Novosti Ukraine

17 May. Civilian woman, 1983 DOB, resident of Golmovsky near Gorlovka killed by Ukrainian shelling, her daughter was orphaned.

Russia opens a criminal case against the Washington Examiner author Tom Rogan for "public calls for terrorist activity on Russian territory" in the article mentioned below.

15 May. In a ceremony Putin opens the vehicle section of the 19 km long bridge over Kerch Strait that will connect mainland Russia and Crimea. The Washington Examiner asks Ukraine to blow up the bridge.

13 May. Residential areas of Gorlovka shelled by Ukraine, a civilian man wounded, several houses hit.

8 May. Belorussian citizen who served in Donbass opolchenie was sentenced to two years prison term in Belarus'

7 May. Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka, was shelled by Ukraine, an old woman was wounded.

6 May. Ukraine shelled Gorlovka, a civilian man, 1938 DOB, was wounded, several houses were damaged

5 May. Marat Mazitovich Musin, founder of ANNA news, often reporting from Syria, died from natural causes in at a gathering of military-sport organizations and cadets in Kazan', from blood clot/heart problem. He was economics professor, and an author of 19 or more books, some co-authored with el-Murid.

4 May. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 6 people (4 soldiers and 2 civilian men) were killed, 14 people (7 soldiers, 4 civilian women, 3 civilian men) were wounded. Since 1 Jan'18, 51 were killed (44 soldiers, 6 civilian men, 1 civilian woman), 108 were wounded (72 soldiers, 23 civilian men, 13 civilian women).

3 May. Brazilian ex-opolchenie Rafael Lusvargi (earlier (7 Oct'16) captured by Ukraine in transit, charged, sentenced, and released by Ukrainian court decision prior to a failed group of prisoners exchange, living since in a monastery in Kiev) is outed by 'Radio Liberty', said to be after local employer of Brazilian embassy was present at a meeting of his attorney with Brazilian consulate reps, trying to secure his Brazilian passport. Lusvargi was then captured and harassed by members of a right-wing paramilitary group S-14. Later it was said that he is in SBU custody. New trial will be in Pavlograd. Brother of his attorney fears for Rafael's life and safety. Lusvargi will be kept in custody, by the decision pf Pavlograd court

1 May. DPR MoD: A civilian couple was wounded on May holidays by Ukrainian shelling of Verhnetoretskoe. The Ukrainian militants suffered a well-deserved punishment: their gunspots were suppressed by the military personnel of the DPR from the armament not prohibited by the Minsk agreements

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'.

Videos

More videos on talk page

Photos

  • 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.

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 2018
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Archive 2017
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Archive 2016
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Archive 2015
09 10 11 12
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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 - 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...