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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

Situation in the desert south-east of Damascus

25 Jun. The SAA is advancing north-east along the Iraqi border and has almost reached the T2 pumping station. The spokesperson for the US-coalition Dillon states that they welcome this development because they are not in the land-grabbing, but the killing-ISIS business and are fine with Syrian and Iranian-backed forces doing the same.

The German daily WELT publishes an article by Seymour Hersh who had contacted its publisher Stefan Aust after his former publisher London Review of Books decided to not publish the already paid for piece, because it basically confirms the positions of the Russian and Syrian government that no Sarin attack happened in Khan Sheikhoun on April 4, and states that US military knew it when they attacked a Syrian airbase two days later.

Second day of spillover fire and Israeli strikes - J. Post; Rusvesna.

24 Jun. Israel acts as Al Qaeda's air force again, and more on Moon of Alabama. However, unidentified Russian MoD source told Russian RIA that al-Nusra armored vehicles were hit; while Syrian military source did not mention military casualties or equipment losses (SANA).

'Good neighbor' buffer zone policy offers some support to some rebels, such as Fursan al-Joulan; 4 groups, about 800 fighters in total-WSJ. Spillover fire blamed and strike video provided here.

23 Jun. Problems with reckless behaviour of officials adressed by Assad on Jun 20 while launching the "National Project for Administrative Reform" are reacted upon today through several arrests done by Damascus traffic police. This comes a day after news of a crackdown on looting pro-Governments militias in Aleppo reaches "Western" "analysts".

Battle for Raqqa

The SDF has completed the siege of Raqqa by taking al-Kamb on the southern banks of the Euphrates.

22 Jun. It is said that Russia negotiates with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan on deployment of a police/peacekeeping force to Syria. A day later the Kazakh foreign minister denies any negotiations.

US Defense Minister Mattis tells his Turkish counterpart that the weapons given to the YPG would be taken back once ISIS is defeated.

The Turkish army sends large reinforcements into the Euphrates Shield zone, sparking YPG fears of an attack on Afrin canton.

Russia fires S-300 over Mediterranean Sea from the naval base in Tartus, Syria, on unknown target. Some connect this to reports of a U.S. Air Force RQ-4 Global Hawk crashing in California. Speculation is that the drone may have actually been a EQ-4 coordinating attacks against "ISIS".

The Russian Foreign Ministry now has verification through various channels and deems the death of Baghdadi "highly likely".

21 Jun. Iraq: ISIS blows up Mosul's historic Al-Nuri mosque with the iconic leaning minaret (built in 1172-73) where Baghdadi proclaimed the "caliphate" in 2014.

In an interview new French president Macron breaks with the position of his predecessors in "that I have not stated that Bashar Assad's departure is a pre-condition for everything because nobody has shown me a legitimate successor".

20 Jun. US F-15 fighter jet shot down armed Iranian-made Shaheed-129 drone after it advanced on Tanf, where US SOF trains rebels

The ceasefire in Deraa ends without the "rebels" showing interest in further negotiations. The SAA goes into offensive and captures a significant base west of the city. Hours later, they lose the base again.

The Russians have not been able to confirm the death of ISIS leader Baghdadi yet.

Situation around Raqqa

19 Jun. The SAA liberates Resafa (aka Sergiopolis) from ISIS. At the end of the day SANA reports over twenty towns and an oil field liberated in southern Raqqa province.

Following the downing of the SAA jet, the Russian military de facto implements a no-fly-zone for US-coalition jets west of the Euphrates ('planes will be tracked by air defense as targets'). The US-Coalition prudently re-positions its aircrafts, 'continue target ISIS', Australia halts its air strikes in reaction.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry writes two letters to the UN Secretary General and the president of the Security Council complaining about the repeated US aggressions against the SAA and calls on the UNSC to "break its silence and condemn these cowardly and reckless military actions, particularly as they are carried out by an illegal coalition, adding that this blatant US aggression can only be seen as a violation of Security Council resolutions on combating terrorism, the sovereignty and independence of the Syrian Arab Republic, international law, and the UN Charter."

The joint Syrian-Iraqi Chamber of Commerce and Industry is inaugurated in Baghdad.

18 Jun. US F/A-18 fighter jet shot down Syrian SU-22 attack plane dropping bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqa. Also reported by SDF and Kurdish sources, and Rusvesna. SANA, Almasdar News: the plane was conducting a raid on IS positions. But a US Navy ( statement claims Syrian forces first attacked Kurdish SDF forces, chasing them from the town of Ja'Din ("which sits approximately two kilometers north of an established East-West SDF-Syrian Regime de-confliction area" and per Peto Lucem's latest, just on the ISIS side of the line (Adam Larson tweet)). Then at 6:43 p.m., a Syrian SU-22 "dropped bombs near SDF fighters south of Tabqah" and "was immediately shot down by a U.S. F/A-18E Super Hornet" in accordance with rules to protect coalition partners. There's no claim the bombs were dropped on or aimed at the SDF fighters, as opposed to ISIS. Pilot (Ali Fahd) landed in rebel area and was located; clashes as well as negotiations with SDF were reported. Reports differ on whether he was liberated or still held prisoner by Kurds.

  • CBS: US F18 fired 2 missiles at range of 0.6 miles; 1st missed, 2nd blew rear SU-22 off; chute spotted
  • Majd Fahd: SDF now holding negotiations with the government to get the downed jet pilot back to his family

'A number of mid-range ground-to-ground missiles were fired from the IRGC aerospace force’s bases in Iran’s western provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan' on 'terrorist sites in Syria’s Deir Ez-Zor' in retaliation for the June 7 terrorist attacks in Tehran - Tasnim News

17 Jun. A ceasefire of initially two days is implemented in Deraa after negotiations between the SAA and "rebel" forces operating near the Jordanian border. Part of the negotiations is said to be a reopening of Nassib border crossing which is in "rebel" hands since spring 2015.

New rounds of Syria talks in the established formats are scheduled for July 4 in Astana and July 10 in Geneva.

16 Jun. After a new wave of rumours about ISIS leader Baghdadi's death, the Russian Ministry of Defense states that they are in the process of checking whether he was among the "30 commanders and 300 militants eliminated" in a strike on a meeting on the southern outskirts of Raqqa city on May 28.

FP: Two top White House officials push for an offensive in southern Syria, while def. sec. James Mattis, military commanders, and top U.S. diplomats (Brett McGurk) all oppose.

15 Jun. The SAA is advancing along the Palmyra-Deir ez-Zor highway and has liberated the western parts of the Arak oil and gas fields.

14 Jun. U.S. moves HIMARS long-range guided MLRS rocket launchers into al-Tanf on Syria-Iraq border - Reuters. TASS quotes Reuters report, + discusses second US base being established at Al Zakaf--as claimed by a rebel leader Abu al-Atheer, but denied by the official OIR spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon.

13 Jun. It turns out that the damage of the Euphrates Dam is not confined to the control room, but eight turbines have been destroyed and the whole machinery and equipment looted.

A military source told the correspondent of rusvesna, located in Syria, that on June 13, 2017 in the province of Hama in the vicinity of Zellakiyat, which is located on the border of the de-escalation zone, the positions of government troops were attacked by combat unmanned aerial vehicles - "kamikaze". Such drones were ordered in May by US special operations forces to fight ISIS (rusvesna infers those were the same, Switchblade, photos and video from the ground shown).

In a wide-ranging two hour podcast episode, Mark Ames and Gary Brecher interview well-connected Al Rai-correspondent Elijah Magnier.

12 Jun. Large column of IS vehicles is shown (quoting IS media wing) moving in the desert, said to be from Raqqa to Deir-ez Zor (Rusvesna, robo-translated), while it is also reported that ISIS is in mass retreatment from eastern Aleppo/western Raqqa provinces against the advancing SAA. However some of the video fragments were shown back in 2014 (0:21 here is 1:43 above, and everything after 1:43 is at the same location- same foreground white stone, distant structures, etc); see also Paveway on MOA.

The infamous Iranian General Qassem Suleimani visits SAA, PMU, (Afghan) Liwa Fatemiyoun, and Hezbollah at their new meeting point at the Syrian-Iraqi border.

11 Jun. With the beginning of the operation to liberate Raqqa, the Turkish-backed "Euphrates Shield" mercenaries have increased their attacks on Kurdish forces especially in Afrin canton, as a YPG statement summarizes.

ISIS retakes the Division 17 army base north of Raqqa in a surprise counterattack.

10 Jun. YPG fighters drive through a new liberated neighborhood in Raqqa. (In addition to Arabic, Russian text is seen on one of the buildings: институт шариата аиши -institute of Sharia AIShI).

In a phone call between Lavrov and Tillerson, the Russian FM urges his counterpart to prevent further attacks by the US airforce against the SAA.

9 Jun. Despite the illegal US attacks on their forces, loyalists are reported to have reached the outskirts of al-Tanf (town). Later reports say that the SAA has reached the Iraqi border northeast of al-Tanf border crossing and met there with the Iraqi army. (map). Video, said to show pro-government forces at the Syrian-Iraq border north-east of Al-Tanf.

WaPo correspondent: CENTCOM spox unaware of 4th strike on pro-Assad forces. Says there has been 'activity' but no additional strikes.

Commander of Russian Armed Forces in Syria Sergey Surovikin alleges that the pattern of ISIS retreats from sites attacked by the SDF to those where the SAA is fighting is the result of collusion with the US.

"According to available reliable information, in early June ISIL terrorists entered into collusion with the command of the Kurdish armed units ...(and) left the populated localities of Tadia and al-Hamam located 19 kilometers southwest of Raqqa offering no resistance and headed toward Palmyra.

WSJ: 'U.S. in Talks With Moscow on Syria Safe Zone' (free summary-Rus.) It is claimed that at least 2 secret meetings took place in Jordan. No official comment from the US or Russia.

Photos and video show phosphorous munitions use by the Western coalition in Mosul and/or Raqqa. (Coalition claims it is used for smoke screens, masking and marking).

8 Jun. ISIS retreats from the 20 villages on the southern bank of Lake Assad that separated the areas controlled by the SAA to the West and the SDF to the East.

Third US strike on pro-government forces near al-Tanf is reported (OIR spokesman), (Rusvesna),(Almasdar News)

US shot down pro-government armed drone near Al-Tanf.

Q: The drone that was shot down, was that an Iranian Shahid 129?
COL. DILLON: ... had to be pro-regime -- a regime drone. It was an MQ-1-like drone (Predator) and that's as far as I know right now.
Iranian Shahed-129 videos: 1 2; Iranian Chinese-made CH4.

7 Jun. Syrian Army pounds jihadi rebels in Daraa as major offensive begins

6 Jun. The SDF announces that the "Great War" to liberate Raqqa from ISIS has officially begun. It is said that US Apache helicopters and Marines are providing assistance - Sputnik quoting Capt. Jeff Davis Pentagon briefing, which actually says:

"We have there assisting in this battle Marine M777 howitzers, which are providing a significant enabling capability to our special operations forces and partners on the ground," Davis said, adding that U.S. attack helicopters, AH-64 Apaches, are also being used.

Operation Inherent Resolve press release indicates support but is less specific.

Another coalition airstrike on pro-government forces near al-Tanf - (Rusvesna), (TASS-Eng.), (Almasdar News), (video) ,(coalition statement).

It is said that in this airstrike 2 were killed, 15 wounded, 2 self-propelled howitzers 'Gvozdika', one 'Shilka' and several vehicles destroyed -report and photos.

5 Jun. Saudi Arabia along with other GCC countries cuts diplomatic ties, trade and traffic with Qatar, because of the latter's alleged support of "terrorists". Both countries have been training and funding terrorist groups operating in Syria.

In a night offensive in Deir ez-Zor, ISIS managed to break through the SAA's defense lines and is still advancing in the morning with heavy fighting and Russian Airforce bombardment going on.

Heavy fighting in Daraa area with urban and rural fighting continuing.

4 Jun. The US-supported Maghawir al-Thawra "rebels" announce that they have established a new camp in the desert half-way between al-Tanf and Bukamal at the border to Iraq "to combat ISIS".

The SDF takes Azadi Dam 20 km west of Raqqa from ISIS. In Iraq, the PMU takes the important city of Baaj near the border from the terrorist group.

3 Jun. According to military sources talking to Al Masdar, ISIS has withdrawn from Maskanah and the SAA taken over the group's last stronghold in Aleppo province. (video with combat footage).

Meanwhile the SDF takes from ISIS Mansoura town 20 km east of Tabqa.

Assad is interviewed by Indian TV (transcript).

2 Jun. The SAA continues the encirclement of Maskanah and cuts off the main supply road between the city and Raqqa.

After the "success" of Euphrates Shield, and the SAA making it to Lake Assad - are the Kurdish cantons connected or not? Somehow yes, finds this article.

1 Jun. In an interview with Al Monitor Muhannad al-Talaa, the leader of the US-backed Maghawir al-Thawra "rebel" faction, claims that there are 150 US Troops at al-Tanf base, in addition to troops of five unnamed coalition countries including two Arab nations.

30 May. According to Voltaire Network, three channels of communication have been opened up between the US and Russian armies to coordinate actions in Iraq and Syria.

Ten of thousands of refugees are heading to Tabqa from both Raqqa and Maskanah, Kurdish sources report.

The PMU visit ten mass graves in the regions they have taken over from ISIS the days before. The graves had been identified by satellite imagery before but couldn't be reached out of security concerns. They are believed to contain the remains of Yezidis murdered in several massacres in late 2014.

In a TV interview, PMU leader Hadi al-Ameri announces that starting today, his forces will secure the border going south all the way to al-Qaim (where the Euphrates crosses into Iraq). He added that they won't in the long run let the US control any part of the Iraqi-Syrian border and have informed them of that intent. Syria they would only enter with Damascus' permit.

Russian 'Calibr' strike on IS targets east of Palmyra-report and video. (The US-lead coalition was informed in advance).

29 May. Iraq: With only a small ISIS pocket left in Mosul city, the Hashd al-Sha'abi (PMU) advance west and take several villages from ISIS, making contact with Singal to the north and closing-up to the Syrian border. In the afternoon they officially reach the border. During the advance significant numbers of Peshmerga, mostly Yezidis, are reported to defect to the PMU (here's why).

28 May. Syria's Foreign Ministry writes a letter to the UN asking them to ask the US-coalition to stop their randomly-seeming airstrikes that again killed 35 civilians in Deir ez-Zor province this week.

The US-led Coalition dropped leaflets warning SAA and allies to stay beyond 55 km from Al-Tanf HQ. An SAA source told Al Masdar that after back-checking with the Russians, they are going to ignore the warning and move ahead.

27 May. Advancing against crumbling ISIS defenses in eastern Aleppo province, the SAA stands at the gates of Maskanah.

A speech by Professor Michael Gunter causes controversy because he mentioned that Iraqi Kurdistan "President" Barzani, like Palestinian "President" Abbas, has long exceeded the term limits and therefore democratic legitimation he was given.

26 May. Ramadan starts on Friday evening.

The Russian Foreign Ministry again criticises the OPCW for not starting an on-the-ground investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Khan Sheikhoun, blaming resistance by the US, UK and France.

Just like a year before, PYD co-chair Salih Muslim is denied a visa for entering the USA for a Kurdish conference.

Russian air force attacked and destroyed a large column of IS vehicles - report, photos/video (map). Southfront report suggests that the convoy was part of IS preparation of counter-attack in recently liberated Damascus-Palmyra desert areas.

25 May. In a massive advance in eastern Homs province, the SAA takes back a vast area of (mostly desert) land from ISIS, leading to the reopening of all roads between Damascus and Palmyra for the first time since 2014.

The SDF issues an ultimatum until end of the month to fighters in Raqqa asking them to lay down their arms and have their situation settled.

24 May. Report on IS attack on Aleppo-Khanaser road, north of Ithriyah. Mobile groups captured several checkpoints and approached the road; the threat was contained by SAA units arriving from Aleppo and Ithriyah. Report photos are also seen here.

23 May. Syrian army moving towards Jordanian and Iraqi border, and featuring Russian/Soviet equipment: TOS-1A Solntsepyok '(Sunheat'), "Crocodile" MI-35 helicopter gunships; 152 mm howitzer Msta-B; Chinese HJ-8 ATGM

22 May. After a rapid advance against ISIS in eastern Aleppo province over the weekend, the SAA stands 10 km west of Maskanah, fighting off IS attempts to counter-attack (photos)

A massive ceasefire breach in the morning by Nusra and allies in the Deraa pocket is met with a strong response by the SAA.

21 May. Iraq: Rudaw reports that the US is supporting a project called Taqadum for the decentralization of government power not only with good words but with above $100 million. The US-appointed head is a Kurd.

19 May. Despite the illegal US bombardment, loyalist forces continue to advance in several areas in the south-east including the Damascus-Bagdad motorway towards Al-Tanf border crossing.

Appears to be 'Kata'ib Al Imam Ali' with a Kornet heading to Al Tanf on 18 May

18 May. U.S. military carried out an air strike on Thursday against militia supported by the Syrian government who had moved against U.S.-backed fighters near the town of At Tanf (map, near the border with Jordan, Iraq) -Reuters

The coalition struck pro-regime forces that were advancing well inside an established de-confliction zone northwest of At Tanf, Syria, May 18, and that posed a threat to U.S. and partner forces at At Tanf. This action was taken after apparent Russian attempts to dissuade Syrian pro-regime movement south towards At Tanf were unsuccessful, a coalition aircraft show of force, and the firing of warning shots. Coalition forces have been operating in the At Tanf area for many months training and advising vetted partner forces engaged in the fight against ISIS. The agreed upon de-confliction zone agreement remains in effect.

ISIS forces massacre up to 52people (video) after temporarily taking control of the village of Aqarib Al-Safi in the eastern countryside of Hama.

17 May. According to a McClatchy report, actions taken in early January by the then-designated National Security Advisor to Trump, Michael Flynn, delayed the operation to take Raqqa with the YPG after he got paid by Turkish lobbyists.

15 May. Al Aan reporter Jenan Moussa publishes her documentary "Undercover In Idlib" based on three sources who went undercover to the province to see who is in control and how life is. (full video with English subtitles).

'Spetsnaz from USSR' said to be deployed in eastern Homs, near Palmyra. Report 1, 2 includes a video, said to be of a 'Kornet' launch.

Earlier video, The muslim "Turan" battalion attacks position of the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham

14 May. Canadian media finds that the al Nusra Front has, despite the reward on its leader, so far managed to stay off the US' (and Canadian) list of terrorist organizations after its latest shapeshift into Hayyat Tahrir al-Sham.

270 thousand Basic Education students start taking their final exams.

13 May. The SAA takes full control over the Damascus suburb of al Qaboun, a long-time stronghold of militants.

12 May. Another evacuation deal is reached in the Damascus suburb of Tishreen, while in Barzeh already the second batch of militants takes a bus ride to Idlib.

After having started to advance again in eastern Aleppo province in the previous days, in the evening the SAA takes over Jirah airbase from ISIS who retreat to the Maskanah plains north-west of Tabqa.

11 May. In a NYT op-ed Sinam Mohamad, speaking for the Syrian Kurds, asks for a US pledge that, as the title reads, "Once We Beat ISIS, Don’t Abandon Us", looking for protection against Erdogan's Turkey. Erdogan is scheduled to meet Trump in Washington on 16 May.

10 May. Four officers from the Russian Special Operations Forces were awarded medals for operations in Syria. A 16-strong Russian unit managed to repulse attacks by 300 jihadists while Syrian forces had withdrawn. Russian sources say the battle happened in Aleppo Province against al-Nusra Front, but the details of the battle more closely match the defense of the T4 airbase after ISIS recaptured Palmyra.

The SDF finally liberates Tabqa dam and the remaining part of the city 50 days after launching the operation. A "forced withdrawal" of the remaining 70 ISIS fighters contributes to the success.

The State Department offers a $10 million reward for information leading to the capture of Nusra-head al-Jawlani.

9 May. The US administration decides to arm the YPG directly, not only the arab parts of the SDF like they claimed to do before. Ankara is not amused.

Assad is interviewed by Belarussian State TV (transcript).

8 May. Syrian FM al-Moallem states that Syria supports the Astana memorandum and the de-escalation zones and announces that reconciliation processes like the recently finished one in al-Waer have started or are discussed in the Damascus suburbs of Barzeh, al-Qaboun and Yarmouk camp.

The Syrian ambassador to China estimates that 5,000 Chinese citizens of the Uighur ethnicity are fighting in various Islamist militant groups in Syria.

7 May. The SAA starts an operation to secure a puffer zone south-east of Damascus to prevent militant groups, the so-called Maghawir Al-Thawra who are US-supported, operate out of Jordan and have recently advanced in the desert, from coming close to the urban areas.

6 May. According to Kurdish sources, 3,485 Yezidi women and girls who were kidnapped by ISIS during their attempt to conquer Sengal are still missing.

Russian FM comments on chemical weapons reports

5 May. The de-escalation memorandum signed in Astana comes into force. Russian envoy Alexander Lavrentiev believes that those safe zones are closed to coalition aviation, however that is not explicitly spelled out in the memorandum. Russia stopped using aviation in deescalation zones from May 1. The defense ministry holds a press briefing about the "Principles of implementation of the Memorandum on Syria de-escalation zones signed in Astana”. The four zones are described as

  • Idlib pocket with over 1 million inhabitants, controlled by 14,500 militants
  • Rastan pocket with 180,000 inhabitants controlled by 3,000 militants
  • East Ghouta pocket with 690,000 inhabitants controlled by 9,000 militants
  • Deraa pocket with 800,000 inhabitants cotrolled by 15,000 militants

German special police forces in Leipzig arrest a Syrian man who was as Nusra commander involved in the conquer of Tabqa in early 2013 and then joined ISIS after the schism between the groups.

4 May. Oksana Boyko interviews Alexander Shulgin, the Russian representative to the OPCW, about why no formal investigation into the Khan Sheikhoun incident has been established.

An SDF statement denies earlier reports by SOHR that ISIS has left Tabqa city and dam following a deal. They are still on the dam while fights in the northern neighbourhoods of the city have reignited. No deal has been made.

In Astana, Russia, Iran and Turkey sign the Russian memorandum on de-escalation zones (text)

TASS and RIA Novosti report that Russia has noticed that "stringers from Al Jazeera" have recently shot footage of a fake chemical attack in Jisr al-Shugour, which is planned to be released and blamed as real on the SAA before next Sunday.

First appeared 30 Apr. in Iranian sources and social media, and Rusvesna quoting a Syrian mukhabarat (security) source. Claims of dead babies taken from a morgue at that time too.

An eighth batch of bus riders from al-Waer district of Homs city finishes the reconciliation agreement.

3 May. On the day the Mhardeh power plant in northern Hama province is put into operation for the first time in seven months, Nusra shells the giant Al-Zara power plant in southern Hama province.

At the press conference following the Putin-Erdogan meeting in Sochi, Erdogan says that the perpetrators of the Khan Sheikhoun incident did it to sabotage the ceasefire, and that he and Putin agree that they have to be brought to justice. About the "de-escalation zones" unity was expressed as well. Meanwhile in Astana, the "armed opposition" delegation headed by Mohammed Alloush, the brother of Zahran, the deceased head of the Saudi-sponsored Army of Islam group currently engaged in turf wars in the eastern Ghouta, left the negotiations complaining about ceasefire violations and the involvement of Iran in the talks.

2 May. Several participants and delegations arrive in Astana ahead of the next round of "Syria Settlement" talks due May 3/4.

Trump-Putin phone call. On Syria: The conversation...included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons. The United States will be sending a representative to the cease-fire talks in Astana, Kazakhstan on May 3-4-WH readout. (Kremlin readout does not offer call details). Sputnik on the Russian "deescalation zones" proposal

SDF forces have liberated Tabqa city and the remaining ISIS forces in unknown numbers are under siege on the southern part of Tabqa dam.

Al Monitor has spoken with senior Turkish military people and reports what they said about the reasons for the recent attacks on Kurdish targets in both Syria and Iraq that angered both Russia and the US.

1 May. Similar to appearances of US forces further east, Russian military is spotted together with YPG forces near the Turkish border in Afrin canton.

Archive 2017
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Archive 2016
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Chemical Weapons (starting late 2012)

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

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

Aleppo Aid Convoy Attack (September 19, 2016)

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

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

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

Houla (May 25, 2012)

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

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

Homs Massacres (2011-present)

Main article: Homs Massacres
Homs Districts all labels.png

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

Situation in Syria.png

Ukraine News

Poroshenko, Kiska - EU entry at Uzhgorod
Alley of Angels, in memory of killed children of Donbass. Ukraine "über alles"?-Donetsk Partisan

24 Jun. In the first hours of the newest agreed ceasefire, Ukraine violated it 7 times, twice in Mariupol area (small firearms fire), 3 times near Donetsk (tank and mortar fire), 2 times near Gorlovka (small firearms). 'Bread' ceasefire, to gather crops, 24 Jun.- 31 Aug., was negotiated by the contact group on 21 Jun.

23 Jun. DPR MOD: in the past week, 328 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 2840 missiles, artillery, tank and mortar shells fired. (Rus.)(Eng.)Ombudsman: 4 people (2 civilian women and 2 soldiers) were killed, 6 people (5 soldiers and 1 civilian man) wounded (1 soldier critically wounded -MOD).

22 Jun. Macron wants to know what is happening with Minsk agreements ("neither war nor peace"), and so plans to have a Normandy format meeting before G-20.

Preparation for Putin-Trump meeting at G-20 is not conducted in practice, according to both sides

21 Jun. NATO's F-16 (apparently Polish) closely approached Russian DM Shoigu plane flying over neutral waters of Baltic sea, and was steered off by escorting Su -27 -video. Shoigu was heading to Kaliningrad for a meeting on 'security issues from the Western strategic direction'.

DPR: 81 years old woman died from injuries received in Yasinovataya shelling by Ukraine on 19 Jun.

20 Jun. OSCE claimed (in initial twit version, now apparently softened) that their observers were assaulted in Yasinovataya by 'armed DPR men' (nobody was injured). DPR investigates, calls this a provocation (designed to coincide with Poroshenko visit to USA, arrests some suspects, who are said to be not members of DPR armed forces or security services.

19 Jun. DPR. A young woman was killed by Ukrainian shelling of Kominternovo. An old woman was wounded by Ukrainian shelling of Yasinovataya

It is said that Poroshenko administration on the eve of his US visit develops some new plan presented as halting ATO, some 'peaceful reintegration', possibly even change of legal status of rebel areas --and, somehow, emergency military rule in Ukrainian-held Donbass. DPR reaction after 3 years of war is skeptical.

18 Jun. DPR MOD: 1 DPR soldier was killed, at least two houses damaged. New provocations feared prior to Trump meeting with Poroshenko (who visits on 19-20 Jun) , and contact group meeting on 21 Jun.

Ukrainian AF killed and wounded in 'ATO', Maidan, Kiev

16 Jun. DPR MOD: 447 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 3850 missiles, artillery, tank and mortar shells fired. 1 DPR soldier and 3 civilians were killed, 5 civilians were wounded (Rus.)(Eng.)

13 Jun. An old woman, 1939 DOB, was killed by Ukrainian sniper fire in Sakhanka -DAN news (Eng.)

12 Jun. Two civilians were killed in overnight Ukrainian shelling of Petrovskii and Kievskii districts of Donetsk. According to DPR MOD, with a video from the scene, OSCE did not attend the scene due to lack of asphalted road leading there. 'A shot fired from BMP-1 gun in Mar'inka took lives of 2 people, a mother and her son'. (Discussion).

Anna News correspondents recorded from Kalinovo Ukrainian night shelling of LPR (1:49-2:17;2:38), while that same Ukrainian position is shelled by Ukrainians themselves (2:16-2:27; 2:51-3:18; also around 4:00-4:40 from another direction). Lights in Popasnoe, Ukr. held, seen at 4:42. Camera is on a forward LPR position, there are no LPR positions in front of the camera. 5:46-6:02, cameraman is spotted and fired on, 120 mm mortar shell lands nearby. 6:07 -6:21, LPR is shelled some more; 6:23 more shots on LPR from Troitskoe. Ukrainian sources reported that UAF positions were shelled in Popasnoe and Troitskoe by the militants

11 Jun. 'Water of Donbass' pumping station near Yasinovataya lost power again due to Ukrainian shelling, affecting water supply in several large cities in soutwestern Donbass. Russian JCCC reps and plant operators came under Ukrainian fire when visiting the station (casualties were luckily avoided).

10 Jun. LPR weekly report (multimedia, Rus.) Ukraine fired 1506 mortar and artillery shells and grenades. Zhelobok attack: 7 houses destroyed, 2 civilians wounded. LPR claims that 11 UAF were killed and 18 wounded, bodies were left in the grey zone near Zhelobok, some of them could be saved if evacuated in time. On 7 June in the afternoon (Zhelobok attack day), OSCE SMM patrol near Muratovo (Ukrainian-held) heard 30 MLRS missiles. LPR: those were fired from Zolotoye (Ukrainian controlled).

Zhelobok report & photos, by "Prizrak' commissar 'Dobryi'.

DPR MOD: 395 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 3800 missiles, artillery, tank and mortar shells fired (Rus.)(Eng.) DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 7 people (6 soldiers and 1 civilian woman) were killed, 24 people (16 soldiers, 1 civilian woman, 7 civilian men) were wounded. 736 DPR people are in Ukrainian custody (426 confirmed and 303 being verified; + 7 new petitions regarding DPR supporters arrested by Ukraine, dated from Aug. 2015 to June 2017).

8 Jun. In the past day, 1 DPR soldier was killed and 1 wounded.

LPR official report: in the past day, Ukraine fired 413 mortar and artillery shells banned by Minsk agreements. 4 soldiers and 2 civilians wounded, 7 houses destroyed.

Opolchenie report: Zhelobok settlement, LPR (map) is under control of 'Prizrak' (LPR), and partially by Ukraine in the grey zone; before the attack, the situation was similar. Some heights which were captured by Ukraine remain under their control. Fierce artillery duels continue, and extend to Donetsk suburbs. 'Water of Donbass' report that equipment at a pumping station near Yasinovataya were damaged by Ukrainian shelling, and pumping cannot be restarted without repairs and clearing of unexploded munitions. Videos: (1) media, the head of the administration and the representative of LPR militia came under UAF shelling; (2)shells hit residential buildings on the streets of 50 years of the USSR, Michurin and Voikov in the city of Kirovsk.

Ukrainian losses in the past day according to the official report: 2 killed and 11 wounded (including 1 killed and 8 wounded in Zhelobok, in Rusvesna reading of the official data).

Small IED explosion at the US Embassy in Kiev, no damage or injuries.

7 Jun. BREAKING: UAF attacked from two directions near Zhelobok, LPR, on the day of a scheduled meeting in Minsk-Rusvesna report. Opolchenie report: UAF is using heavy artillery and tanks to override first line of defense. When attacks started, LPR defenders were ordered to use light weapons only. Residential areas in Kirovsk city center were shelled, serious destruction is reported. LPR spokesman: 2-3 platoons UAF involved in the attack.

6 Jun. DPR. In the past day, 7 people were wounded, 11 houses damaged by Ukrainian shelling.

3 June. US program of junior leader military training in Ukraine, with photos, and more multimedia on recent US deployment to Eastern Europe -Cassad.

2 June. DPR MOD weekly update (Rus.), (Eng.) 389 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 3632 missiles, artillery, tank and mortar shells fired. DPR ombudsman: 2 DPR soldiers killed, 11 people (5 DPR soldiers, 3 civilian men, 3 civilian women) wounded (MOD gives lower numbers). 23 houses damaged. -All that in the background of announcements of new attempts of ceasefire.

LPR dismisses Kiev's reports on Ukrainian army advance (Eng). Anna news video report from Bakhmut road, near Zhelobok and Frunze, checkpoint 31, LPR--there have been no recent advances of Ukrainian forces. However, they occupy positions in grey zone for quite some time, in violation of Minsk agreements; LPR complained to OSCE many times.

1 Jun. Adam Osmaev, a Chechen accused in the past of preparing an attempt on Putin, was wounded in a shoot-out in Kiev with a man who presented himself as a French journalist. The attacker was also wounded by shots fired by Osmaev's wife. Ukrainian sources give different details, telling that Osmaev car was shot at.

Ukrainian media published a photo of the alleged attacker, who has Ukrainian internal and external passports. Gerashenko tries to make a case connecting the attacker to Russia. Ukrainian reports, photos suggest that he may be Arthur Denisultanov, who has a criminal past. It is said that he threatened Umar Israilov, former Kadyrov bodygauard, later killed in Vienna, Austria. He was questioned in Austria and testified against Kadyrov, but was not believed, sent back, and later claimed that his testimony was falsified by police.

30 May. DPR MOD warns on new Ukrainian provocations, says that previous ones were incompletely covered by OSCE (Eng.)

Ukraine is drafting around 4000 reserve officers, those under 43 years old who did not serve in the army before (this includes university graduates). The draft is for 18 months.

Plans to have a meeting in Normandy format, with OSCE participation, were announced by President of France Emmanuel Macron in a press conference with Putin. (Syria, hacking, media issues touched on as well).

Netherlands ratifies EU-Ukraine treaty

29 May. Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka, shelled by Ukraine, 2 houses destroyed.

SBU conducts searches in Yandex offices in Kiev and Odessa, under criminal code article of treason -TASS.

28 Ukraine failed to follow through on an agreement on separation of forces in Stanista Luganskaya.

Ukrainian-controlled Krasnogorovka was shelled, civilians were wounded. DPR announced an investigation; after conversations with locals submits that shelling was from Ukrainian-controlled Marinka and Kurakhovo.

27 May. 1 DPR soldier was killed; a civilian woman was wounded.

26 May. DPR MOD: 378 ceasfire violations by Ukraine in the past week, 4456 missiles, artillery, tank and mortar shells fired. 4 DPR soldiers were killed and 4 wounded; 8 civilians wounded (Rus.)(Eng.)

25 May. DPR Minsk negotiator announced that another attempt of separation of forces is scheduled on 28 May in Stanitsa Luganskaya, LPR.

LPR commander Vladimir Tsvyah, call name Combat, and his reconnaissance chief were killed on the front lines, according to a war correspondent A. Rogatkin.

24 May. A civilian, 64 years old woman, was wounded and later died in hospital when Ukraine attacked a coach station in Trudovskie, Petrovskii region, Donetsk. 3 civilians were wounded in total in that attack.

23 May. US assistance to Ukraine is cut to 1/3 of current level, from 667 204 mln USD (page 60); earlier reports suggested that assistance will be replaced by loans.

Another Ukrainian provocation is reported in Avdeevka. DPR says that it was shelled with MLRS from Vodyanoe, in order to blame DPR. A civilian was wounded.

Second anniversary of Mozgovoi death - report has notes from his diary (2014-2015, of anti-oligarchical sort), a poem he wrote, photos and videos.

22 May. Northern suburb of Donetsk was fired on by Ukraine with MLRS missiles

A woman was wounded by Ukrainian shelling in Yasinovataya

Avdeevka coke-chemical plant was shelled by Ukraine, around a hectare of territory was on fire

21 May. One DPR soldier was killed by Ukrainian shelling

20 May. Poroshenko sends a batch of "beautiful T-80 tanks" to the front line. Also, meets Merkel.

A marriage in DPR, soldier & an author/ war correspondent.

In the past day, 3 DPR soldiers were killed, 1 wounded.

Two civilians were wounded when Ukraine opened fire on a coach station in Trudovskoe, western Donetsk; by preliminary information, RPG was used.

Residential area of Makeevka was hit by Ukrainian fire, houses were damaged -report and photo

19 May. DPR MOD: In the past week, 324 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 2146 mortar, tank, artillery shells and missiles fired. , 2 DPR soldiers and 2 civilians killed, 5 soldiers and 6 civilians wounded. (Rus)(Eng.) (Strelkov: 5 killed, Yasinovataya checkpoint, on 17 or 18 May).

DPR ombudsman, 6-18 May: 14 killed, including 13 soldiers and 1 civilian woman killed on 17 May in Krutaya balka (video); 42 were wounded including 25 soldiers, 8 civilian women, 9 civilian men, including 2 children.

LPR sit-reps, Eng (still no disengagement in Stanitsa Luganskaya as of 18 May, despite many past attempts).

18 May. "Arrested SBU saboteur" give details about killing of LPR commander "Baggi"; appears to have a written text below camera view but give many details and could be legit) . Cooperated in investigation experiments, giving many details, quickly.

17 May. Ukraine shelled DPR in the past day, after raising more accusations. 1 DPR soldier was killed, 2 wounded. (Eng.)(Rus.)

Ukrainian move to ban in Ukraine Russian-based social media such as Vkontacte was criticized (Ukr. source) by a Human Rights Watch representative and by Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland. Media coverage: (Ukr. source); (TASS Eng).

Document on EU visa liberalisation with Ukraine is signed

14 May. Basurin: 1 DPR soldier wounded.

Poroshenko talks about continuing with Normandy format, describes details of US involvement, etc (Ukr.)

Президент наголосив, що США не лише стратегічний партнер України, але і одна з країн-гарантів Будапештського меморандуму. «Безумовно, розраховуємо на дуже потужну і ефективну підтримку України з боку США, в тому числі і в Нормандському форматі», - зазначив Глава держави. Він додав: «Найближчим часом планується обрати спеціального представника США, який буде відповідати за координацію дій з Україною». ...Змінювалися прізвища, але був відповідний дипломат в ранзі посла, який повністю був проінформований про весь зміст переговорів у Нормандському форматі, і вони координувалися з нашими американськими партнерами

13 May. Ukrainian-controlled Avdeevka residential area was shelled, and 4 civilians were killed. Ukraine accused Novorossian fighters (Zhebrivskii)(, with photos). DPR : 'This is another provocation, on orders of OG "Donetsk" commander with the involvement of the 72nd separate mechanized brigade, the Right Sector *, the National Guard of Ukraine, as well as foreign media, staged before Minsk'. - The 72nd brigade shoots on the positions of the DPR, the "Right Sector" shoots on Avdeevka, foreign media reports this." Opolchenie correspondent 'Krik' gives angry, emotional account close to DPR version of events, mentions a mortar strike by Right Sector (timed by VK 5:07 pm).

  • A warning on provocation planned during Eurovision competition in Kiev was given on May 3. Details do not fully match (9 May in Kiev in the warning). However, Poroshenko drama, cancelling his Eurovision speech
  • Basurin: After a thorough study of photos and video materials, which are demonstrated by the Ukrainian media, we affirm that the strike was inflicted from the side of the Vodyanoe settlement, which is under the control of Ukraine, and where, according to our intelligence, just the day before yesterday, FOUR tanks arrived and along two howitzers D-30 and self-propelled artillery "Acacia." We have previously repeatedly noted the presence in this area of such weaponry" (photos, graphics in the report)(Eng).
  • Geolocated at Cassad

Basurin, posted on 14:10 local (Eng. transl.),(video): in the past day, 1 DPR soldier killed and 1 wounded. More shelling and provocations expected, prior to a contact group meeting in Minsk on May 15.

UAF sit-rep.

13 May In Krivoy Rog and ex-Dneprodzerzhinsk (now Kamenskoe), Dnepropetrovsk region of Ukraine, the radicals set fire to the offices of the "Opposition block" (Rusvesna),( no victims, no suspects).

12 May DPR MOD: In the past week, 331 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 2122 artillery, mortar and tank shells fired. 3 DPR soldiers were killed and 3 wounded. 7 civilians were wounded. (Rus.), (Eng.)

LPR: In the past week, 47 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 996 artillery and mortar shells fired (Rus.)(Eng).

UAF: In the past day, two Ukrainian servicemen were killed in action yesterday, and six more were wounded ... One of the killed troops was an engineer who was demining an area, and the rest came under hostile fire.

11 May. Lugansk and Donetsk referendums were held 3 years ago (HQ, pro-peace, music/poetry commemoration video).

Ukrainian documentary investigation of Sheremet murder (20 July '16 news) appeared, claiming that an SBU man was seen near his home on the night of the murder; SBU spokeswoman Elena Gitlianskaya after movie release stated that this person was fired or left SBU on 29 Apr. 2014. More on Sheremet and talk pages.

Approval of visa-free regime for Ukraine keeps moving on, expected to be in place this June.

10 May. A woman and a girl wounded by UAF shelling in Kuibyshev district of Donetsk; woman refused hospitalization, the girl hospitalized -DAN news (Eng). One DPR soldier was killed and one wounded.

1 UAF soldier was killed and 4 wounded.; Eurovision/,

After a clash yesterday, another bloody clash between 30-40 Banderas and some 8 Afghanistan vets in their office in Nikolaev 1,2.

T-34 tank and Katyusha, V-Day parade in Donetsk, May 9, 2017.

9 May. Victory Day parades in Donetsk, Lugansk, Simpheropol, Sevastopol, Moscow (video).

Rusvesna: Kmeimim, Aleppo, too.
Odessa videos: 'immortal regiment + young sailors, and music + sing-a-song+ clashes in the end.
Kiev videos: clashes, OUN HQ 1 2,UNSO vs. 'Immortal Regiment'.
Dnepr: ATO vets clashed with redflag 'socialists' and harshly subdued by police 1234.Filatov fuming, cutting funding to WW2 and funds ATO vets. Next day, regional and city police chiefs were fired.
Mariupol: competing marches, St. George band burned by Ms Bandera.
Immortal regiment-Moscow.
The Value of Remembering-Amb. John Tefft, with a-call-for-unity type message.
Apparently Poroshenko reconciliation twitt

8 May. DPR. Civilian woman is wounded by Ukrainian shelling in Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka -DAN news.

On the eve of the traditionally revered 9 May WW2 Victory Day celebrations (photo report), two fragmentation-type munitions were placed on a rode to Saur-Mogila memorial site, one of them exploded. No injuries or deaths reported. Zakharchenko blames Kiev. It is claimed that munitions were set on a timer and one exploded before Zakharchenko was about to travel the road for the celebrations. It is said that more timed charges were discovered after search. Presumed photos appeared (Timer-Odessa); Rusvesna has stock photos.

Mother-Motherland, Kiev
Mother-Motherland, Kiev, May 8, 2017

Poroshenko chutzpah attempt to link the so called 'ATO', results of which are covered here, with WW2 day of remembrance, showing himself and some ATO veterans in the background of Soviet WW2 memorial, despite being quite the opposite in that context. (Below: state emblem of the Soviet Union covered by Ukrainian and EU flags for the sake of presentation). Kiev plans to switch to 8 May holiday, aligning with the Western V-Day, instead of the traditional 9 May holiday in USSR/Russia; the move was criticized in Russia.

Odessa. Vandals destroyed avenue of birches in memory of victims on May 2, 2014 , destroyed Zhukov memorial --Timer-Odessa.

5 May. DPR MOD: in the past week, 339 ceasefire violations by Ukraine, 1788 banned by Minsk agreement missiles, artillery and mortar shells, tank shells were fired. 1 DPR soldier was skilled and 3 wounded. 1 civilian was killed and 5 wounded. (Eng.)(Rus.)

LPR: 39 ceasefire violations, 1,011 artillery and and mortar-shells fired by Ukraine (Eng.)

A document emerged in social media appearing to show a response of Ukrainian presidential administration official, telling that Minsk agreements are not legally binding and based on goodwill (TASS).

According to Ukrainian official sources, Russian ships 'attempted to capture' Ukrainian vessel, ordering it to 'stop and lay in drift' (застопорить ход и лечь в дрейф), (Rusvesna)( That happened near Crimea where territorial waters may be disputed; Ukrainian sources make a point of the vessel response that it was in Ukrainian waters, while Russians believed it briefly entered Russian territory. Eventually the vessel continued on his way to Skadovsk. It is said that vessel crew will receive rewards, for what (if not accidental) could be a provocation with tragic consequences.

4 May. Radio Svoboda published a video of OSCE car explosion (see news, 23 Apr.) Rusvesna: who filmed it, and why? (geolocating camera on Ukrainian territory, and making a case that it is filmed by a high-res camera from Ukrainian fire correction mast). A user claim but no primary evidence that this is OSCE camera. Rusvesna: OSCE cameras display technical info, time, etc, and attribution. LPR blames Ukraine for the attack.

2 May. Odessa massacre anniversary. Most of Kulikovo field is blocked by police, people bring flowers to the Trade Union house. Reports and photos: Timer-Odessa; Rusvesna; Cassad


More videos on talk page


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


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

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


Official Ukrainian sources

Ukrainian media


Minsk Agreements

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


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Ukraine (2014 - Today)

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

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

Kobane (2014, July, September - Summer 2015)

Main article: Assault on Kobane
Kobane water cannon.jpg

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

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

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

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

Tremseh (July 12, 2012)

Main article: Tremseh massacre
Confiscated tunisian passports.jpg

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

Other research...