Dar’a Deal Collapses amid Violent Regional Escalation

In-Depth Analysis   On 29 July, Government of Syria forces began a major military push in Dar’a al-Balad. Intense clashes broke out as the 4th Division, 9th Division, Military Security, and local militias sought to advance into the area amid heavy bombardment via surface-to-surface missiles, mortar shells, and tank fire, marking the deadliest and most […]

Autonomous Administration Calls for UN Political Recognition

In-Depth Analysis   On 18 July, Elham Ahmad, the president of the Syrian Democratic Council executive committee, called for “official political recognition and inclusion [of the Autonomous Administration] in all dialogue regarding the country’s future.” Ahmad and the Autonomous Administration have called for the United Nations to recognise the political body as a standalone entity […]

Spotlight on Aid Sector Wages as Damascus Increases Salaries

In-Depth Analysis   Inflation fears are high one week after the Government of Syria announced a 50 percent salary increase for public workers. The pay raise was announced on 11 July and will take effect in August (see: Syria Update 12 July 2021). The pay bump is a belated, partial response to the demands of […]

In Last-Minute Vote, UN Salvages Cross-Border Mechanism — For Now

In-Depth Analysis   On 9 July, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to extend the mandate granting UN aid access to northwest Syria from Turkey, through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing. The resolution, 2585, extends the cross-border aid system’s mandate for six months, with another six-month extension contingent on a substantive assessment by the Secretary […]

Dar’a Siege: Russia Abouts Face, Amps up Pressure

In-Depth Analysis   Since 24 June, Dar’a al-Balad has been under siege by Government of Syria and Russian forces, which have blocked the entry of food and other basic necessities and intermittently shut off electricity and water. Main roads linking Dar’a al-Balad, the half of Dar’a city that remains under the partial control of reconciled […]

Bye, Bye Badia: IS Challenges SDF in Bid for Wider Relevance

In-Depth Analysis On 22 June, Islamic State (IS) media released a 38-minute audio statement recorded by the group’s spokesperson, Abu Hamza al-Qurashi. The recording was primarily intended to boost the spirits of IS affiliates in contexts as far-flung as Western and Central Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; although Syria was not the focus of […]

Deadly Afrin Hospital Attack As Violence Flares in the Northwest

In-Depth Analysis On 12 June, local and media sources reported that at least 22 people were killed and 50 injured in a two-part rocket attack in Afrin city, northern Aleppo Governorate. The first salvo targeted residential neighbourhoods and was followed by an attack on Shifa’a Hospital, which had received many of the victims of the […]

Duma Release Focuses Attention on the Explosive Detainee Issue

In-Depth Analysis On 5 June, local and media sources reported that hundreds of people gathered in Duma’s town square anticipating the release of detainees, as promised during the recent presidential elections by a prominent local sheikh on behalf of the Syrian Government. They left in disappointment and rage. Although local sources indicate that as many […]

Deadly SDF Crackdown as Conscription Sparks Menbij Unrest

In-Depth Analysis On 1 June, media sources reported that between six and eight people were killed, and at least 25 injured in Menbij when Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) sought to quell public demonstrations against military conscription. The protests flared in response to the implementation of a 3 May conscription decree issued by the Autonomous Administration […]