13 Jun. According to press reports, Iraqi officials complain that the US is refusing to hand over 40 to 50 ISIS commanders of Iraqi origin they/the SDF have captured in the endgame in al-Baghouz.
9 Jun. A funeral ceremony for al-Sarout in the Turkish border town Reyhanli sparks a controversy in Turkish society over the relationship of the state to radical jihadis.
8 Jun. In fights in northern Hama the SAA kills prominent Jihadist leader al-Sarout to the great mourning of the "western" press.
31 May. According to Al Masdar, both US forces and the SDF attack "Syrian government ferries" carrying oil from the eastern banks across the Euphrates.
Also according to Al Masdar, a Turkish observation post came under cross-fire during fights between the SAA and "rebels" in northern Hama.
28 May. Around 50 activists disrupt the Berlin annual shareholder meeting of Germany's largest weapons manufacturer Rheinmetall and demand a stop of weapon exports to Turkey because of that country's attacks on Rojava. Among many other war machines, the company produces the Leopard II tank. Its' Italian subsidiary RWM Italia continued selling weapons to Saudi Arabia despite a German export ban to Saudi
26 May. The SAA has reversed the gains of the HTS counter-offensive, reinforced their troops and resumed the northern Hama operation.
22 May. A group of about 700 jihadists starts a counter-offensive in northern Hama and takes several places back from the SAA.
18 May. While the "European Song Contest" is going on in Tel Aviv, Israel attacks Syrian territory with drones and missiles for the second consecutive day.
10 May. Ziad Fadel summarizes the first couple of days of the SAA offensive in northern Hama.
7 May. 'A powerful strike' by the Russian aerospace forces and Syrian government forces on Idlib-based militants is reported, countering their reported preparations for an attack. north of Hama. From May 6, SAA conducts a military operation in north Hama; the settlements of Janabar, Al-Bana and Tel-Osman came under government forces control.
6 May. Russian airbase in Kmeimim was attacked twice with unguided rockets salvos from the area near Zavia settlement in Idlib, with fire correction by drones. It is reported that attacks were repelled with no casualties or damage, and that attackers positions were destroyed. There has been 12 earlier repelled attacks since early April, 8 of those with improvised drone munitions, other attacks with MLRS.
28 Apr. salon.com publishes the second, concluding part of their detailed interview with Sharmine Narwani.
26 Apr. In recent days militants in the south-western part of the Idlib pocket have fired Grad missiles at targets in Latakia province including the Russian Hmeimin base but also civilian suburbs. Today the Russian Airforce replies with massive bombardments of where the missiles were coming from.
25 Apr. The 12th round of the so-called Astana Meetings takes place in the Kazakh capital - now renamed Nursultan after the currently resigned long-time president's first name - with delegations from Turkey, Russia, Iran, Syria and the UN.
On Chinese invitation, Syria attents the global summit of the Belt and Road Initiative in Beijing.
22 Apr. SANA reports that in the last month, Russian and Syrian forces have evacuated around 4,000 civilians from Al Rukhban camp, which is around 10% of those entrapped there due to lacking US cooperation.
21 Apr. The old bridge in Raqqa city is opened after the sustained damage to it has been repaired.
salon.com publishes part one of a wide-ranging, essential interview with Syria expert and war reporter Sharmine Narwani.
20 Apr. Firat News Agency publishes an interview with a Rojava official about the future of the 11,000 male ISIS fighters and 72,000 family members that are in prison resp. camps after the defeat of the terror cult.
Elijah Magnier reports that Hezbollah leader Nasrallah has told his top commanders that he expects an Israeli surprise war on Lebanon this summer, in which the whole leadership including himself would be targeted for assassination.
17 Apr. After Iranian foreign minster Zarif had a "long" meeting with Assad the day before, he is now in Ankara to brief Erdogan on the results.
16 Apr. Brazil and India reopen their Syrian embassies.
15 Apr. Jenan Moussa publishes an investigative report based on the leaked contents of the smart phone of Tunisian-born German citizen Omaima Abdi, who went to Syria in 2015 to join ISIS, married the most famous German ISIS fighter Denis Cuspert AKA Deso Dogg and is now back in Germany living as if nothing had happened. (in the evening the story is making top news in Germany)
12 Apr. It is reported that differences between "Assad and armed opposition" over composition and nature of the constitutional committee have been narrowed down. The 150-member body would be split equally between representatives chosen by the Syrian government, the Syrian opposition and Syrian civil society, with 50-members each. The Syrian government was not allowed to object to the names of the representatives of the opposition; with the rest of the body, it is said that "Assad's regime has given its consent to all names but four".
7 Apr. The German capital Berlin's district of Kreuzberg - known for its multi-cultural and leftist milieu - starts the first city partnership between a German and a North-Syrian city partnering with the city of Derik, where the Rojava parliament is located. Several other city partnerships are in the planning stages.
4 Apr. The Venezuelan foreign minister visits Assad and Moallem in Damascus.
27 Mar. Close to midnight Israel attacks several targets they claim are Iranian weapon depots on the outskirts of Aleppo with air-to-surface missiles fired from jets outside of Syrian airspace.
23 Mar. The SDF declares "the military victory over ISIS after six years of continuous war and great sacrifices."
22 Mar. Interdepartmental coordination headquarters of Russia and SAR issued a statement "On measures to eliminate the Rukban camp for internally displaced persons" , seeking to close the camp while working with tribal leaders, US and Jordan (robo-translation).
Cassad: "Fighting at Bagous, 22.03.2019", published 23 Mar., reports some continued fighting.
21 Mar. Trump recognizes "Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights".
20 Mar. All over the region, people are celebrating Newroz, the start of the new year/spring at the astronomical spring equinox.
Following the resignation of long-time president Nursultan Nazarbayev, the parliament decides to rename the capital city of Kazakhstan and host of Syria talks from Astana to Nursultan.
Cassad: "The last camp."
Russian defense minister Shoigu meets Assad in Damascus to discuss the fight against terrorism and other topics. According to the MoD, he also delivered a message from Putin.
18 Mar. Assad receives a high-ranking joint Iranian-Iraqi military delegation including the chiefs of staff of both armies to discuss cooperation in the fight against terrorism.
17 Mar. An SDF statement gives numbers about the Baghouz fight, but doesn't declare it finished. According to this, 29,600 ISIS members (incl. families) surrendered and 1,306 were killed, while the loss on SDF side is 11 fighters.
Turkey opens a new border crossing connecting Hatay province with the Syrian Afrin canton in the Jandaris district.
12 Mar. A joint Russian-Syrian statement again points out the grave situation in Rukhban camp and calls on the US to let the prepared convoys in. It mentions that without the cross-border efforts of the Jordanians there would be no water supply at all, and that satellite footage shows several new mass graves in and near the camp.
While "hundreds" of ISIS fighters have surrendered in Baghouz during the last 48 hours, the "endfight" is still going on.
11 Mar. According to Turkish AKP-friendly Yeni Safak newspaper, the US has interrogated 2000 ISIS fighters and given 140 of them new identities and passports. ISIS leader al-Baghdadi is in US custody according to the paper which opens the article with a picture allegedly showing him in a US military vehicle (of which ISIS has taken over plenty in the conquer of Mosul).
10 Mar. It looks like the remaining ISIS fighters under siege in Baghouz are finally preparing to surrender.
Assad receives a Chinese delegation headed by the assistant foreign minister.
9 Mar. The Russian MoD again complains that the US is sabotaging the Syrian-Russian attempts to evacuate the civilians willing to return home from al-Rukhban camp where the conditions are "disastrous".
8 Mar. Joint Turkish-Russian military patrols along the border of the Idlib deescalation zone start today with the Russians patrolling the outside and the Turks the inside.
7 Mar. The UK MoD is ridiculed for its claim, answering a FOIA request, that in their air attacks against ISIS only a single civilian died while 4,013 "targeted individuals" were killed and 302 wounded.
5 Mar. Andre Vltchek publishes his report from the Idlib frontlines.
28 Feb. The situation in Baghouz remains unchanged, although the surrounded remains of ISIS have let go some more civilians, likely due to food shortages, and the SDF says it rescued 24 of their fighters who had been taken as hostages by the terror cult. In the evening ANHA reports that around 200 fighters and their families have just surrendered.
Wladimir van Wilgenburg is in Raqqa and tweets some impressions from the former ISIS capital including from the already renovated central square.
27 Feb. Russia and Syria accuse the US of preventing refugees from leaving the al-Rukhban camp in the shadow of their al-Tanf base to return home.
25 Feb. Assad visits Tehran and meets Khamenei and Rouhani.
22 Feb. The US now says it plans to keep 400 soldiers inside Syria, half of them at al-Tanf and the other half in Rojava.
17 Feb. Assad gives a speech to local lawmakers from around the country.
The US military warns the Kurds that it will "have to" stop any assistance to them in case they "partner" with the Syrian or Russian governments.
16 Feb. Afternoon: According to the SDF, ISIS is besieged in a tiny spot of a few hundred square meters but still holds many civilians as human shields, so the operation isn't finished yet. Meanwhile, the SOHR has already reported that the remaining fighters have surrendered and the pocket, and with it the caliphate, is history.
14 Feb. Putin, Erdogan and Rouhani meet in Sochi for a trilateral summit on Syria.
13 Feb. For the first time in weeks, ISIS releases battle footage from the fight in the former Hajin pocket. Meanwhile, they are trapped in a 1 km² area and have been given a 24 hours ultimatum to surrender by the SDF.
12 Feb. SANA accuses the US-led "coalition" of having killed almost 100 civilians in two air attacks on refugee camps near the last ISIS-occupied territory in al-Baghouz village in the former Hajin pocket.
It is said that an attack with explosives, attributed to IS, has targeted the headquarters of the French military intelligence in Raqqa (no independent confirmation or coverage in mass media; picked on Cassad). It is also reported by Iranian PressTV, by Sputnik in Arabic, and by Lebanese media. It is unclear where those news originate. More strange claims about it here, in French. 1, 2.
11 Feb. The Russian defense minister visits his Turkish counterpart to discuss Idlib ahead of the trilateral meeting including Iran planned for February 14 in Sotchi.
10 Feb. The SDF rescues around 200 civilians used as human shields by ISIS in al-Baghouz village and sends them to refugee camps in the area.
8 Feb. According to British media, alleged ISIS leader al-Baghdadi has fled the Hajin pocket to a desert hide-out after an attempt to kill him by a rival among the "500 remaining fighters" failed.
6 Feb. According to SANA, the Turkish army has transported 1500 foreign jihadists from Turkey into Idlib province in recent days.
5 Feb. Apparently Erdogan still has no success in convincing any other power of his idea about a buffer zone inside northern Syria.
4 Feb. ISIS remains again try to flee the Hajin pocket to Iraq and are stopped by the PMU.
The US State Department calls on foreign nations to take back their citizens among the now over 800 ISIS fighters the SDF is holding captive.
Elijah Magnier explains why the claims by Western analysts that ISIS could return when US troops leave are wrong.
The YPG captures alive the known German ISIS torturer Martin Lemke and his two wives.
1 Feb. A certain Dr. Neshat Dihile on Egyptian TV shows alleged Turkish state documents of a plan that amounts to genocide against the Kurds. Today Firat News Agency publishes an English translation of the alleged secret plan.
31 Jan. SANA reports that a ten truck SARC human aid convoy was prevented to reach Hajin town by a local militia who say they were ordered by US forces to keep the convoy away.
30 Jan. Following the release of Leyla Güven, a statement in support of her and many others on hunger strike for the end of the isolation of Abdullah Öcalan is signed by hundreds of intellectuals and read in front of the German Parliament.
A Turkish military delegation is heading for Moscow to discuss Syrian matters tomorrow.
29 Jan. Reports that the SDF has asked Hezbollah to mediate in the negotiations with the government are declared untrue by its spokesperson.
According to Firat News Agency, the remaining ISIS fighters in the Hajin pocket demand that they get a "corridor" to move to Idlib over Turkey, otherwise they would harm the civilians they hold as human shields. The SDF reportedly refused.
France takes back 130 French ISIS fighters hold captive by the SDF to put them on trial. This makes it the first Western country to answer the SDF calls to take their captured ISIS terrorists back.
28 Jan. Syria and Iran sign a number of agreements, among them about long-term strategic economic cooperation.
27 Jan. Asma al-Assad continues her cancer treatment and underwent a successful surgery.
26 Jan. The ISIS fighters remaining in the Hajin pocket show no signs of giving up.
25 Jan. Activist Leyla Güven, who has been on a 79 days hunger strike demanding the end of isolation for Kurdish leader Öcalan, which has sparked solidarity demonstrations all over Europe, is released from Turkish prison.
24 Jan. A "solidarity pause" in front of the Venezuelan embassy in Damascus is attended by many political and public figures after the government had already condemned the "flagrant interference" in Venezuelan affairs by the US and its satellites.
23 Jan. Reports come in that after further SDF advances in the Hajin pocket, parts of the remaining ISIS fighters have surrendered, which led to the securing of many civilians. The remaining gangs are now reduced to the territory of a single village at the Euphrates, Marashidah.
After former US anti-ISIS envoy Brett McGurk said in a CNN interview on Monday that Turkey has provided ISIS "with everything they needed" over the years, PYD's Salih Muslim points out that this is obviously true, but not news to anybody who followed the events in Kobane.
22 Jan. Bashar al-Ja'afari calls on the UN to stop the constant Israeli attacks in violation of international law and invokes the prospect of "symmetric" retaliatory attacks on Tel Aviv airport.
21 Jan. Another Israeli air attack on targets near Damascus takes place.
Jordan opens the main Jaber border crossing with Syria for the first time in three years.
20 Jan. A Syrian delegation attends a bilateral private sector forum in Abu Dhabi.
19 Jan. Russian military police said to be on patrol in Manbij -Cassad (photos).
Hawar News Agency publishes a ten points list it says it obtained from Kurdish sources that represents their position in the negotiations with Damascus over the future of Rojava.
18 Jan. DIA civilian killed in Syria identified; Green Beret, two language specialists, SEAL-turned-DIA civilian among dead in ISIS-claimed bombing in Manbij, Syria; Trump meets with families of soldiers killed in Syria.
17 Jan. The SDF takes Al-Susa in the Hajin pocket and reduces ISIS to a territory of four villages.
16 Jan. Unsurprisingly, the idea of a Turkish-controlled "safe zone" along the border on Syrian soil, brought up by Erdogan for years and now picked up by Trump, is opposed by the Kurds, Damascus and Moscow.
15 Jan. According to Arab media, the PMU have stopped a US military reconnaissance mission in Anbar province border region and forced them to return to their base.
14 Jan. Alexander Yefimov becomes new Russian ambassador to Syria.
13 Jan. Trump tweets "Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds."
Several gulf airlines are briefed on the situation at Damascus airport in preparation for a resumption of flights.
According to the Syrian govenment, negotiations between them and the Kurds about resolving the situation in Rojava have "intensified". This seems to be confirmed by a statement from PYD co-chair Shahoz Hesen.
12 Jan. Another Israeli attack on targets near Damascus ends with most missiles intercepted.
As part of the surrender agreement, HTS is now in control of the Taftanaz airbase.
11 Jan. Italy considers to re-open its embassy in Damascus.
According to a US military spokesperson, the withdrawal from Syria has begun.
10 Jan. After HTS scores several victories in the Idlib-internal "rebel" war, the Turkish-backed gangs basically surrender and agree that those areas will be run by the HTS' "salvation government" in the future.
9 Jan. At a joint press conference with his US counterpart, the Jordanian Foreign Minister demands that Israel returns the Golan Heights to Syria.
7 Jan. Heavy snow falls in several parts of Syria.
6 Jan. The winners of the Syrian Science Olympiad are honored in Damascus.
5 Jan. Under heavy bombardments by US-coalition jets, ISIS withdraws from the town of al Shafa in the Hajin pocket. Five fighters are captured by the SDF, among them one from Ireland and two from the US.
4 Jan. Heda Saratova, member of Chechnya human rights council, says that women and children, including at least one woman-a mother of many children and a child with Russian citizenships, from Chechnya, were killed, and more injured, in US-led coalition airstrikes in IS-held Deir ez-Zor area during the holidays. Asks for a corridor for women and children to leave. (Rus.)(Robo-Eng).
3 Jan. The "rebel" war between HTS and Turkey's proxies is now raging over the whole Idlib pocket. A SOHR summary counts casualties in the hundreds over the last three days.
The Iraqi airforce attacks another ISIS meeting in Hajin pocket, killing seven leaders.
Jaysh al-Islam, who were green-bused from the eastern Ghouta to Afrin canton, declare their intent to move south and join the "rebel" war in the Idlib pocket fighting their old rivals al-Qaeda/Nusra/HTS.
ISIS forces in the Hajin pocket cross the Euphrates and attack a SAA camp, killing 20+ soldiers before fleeing in the direction of Homs desert. Meanwhile on the other side of the river, the SDF is still advancing against the cult.
1 Jan. In a new round of the inter-"rebel" war inside Idlib pocket, al Qaeda captures several towns and villages from the Turkey-backed Nouredine al-Zinki group after the latter had killed a couple of fighters of the former.