Note that all of the M5 highway is included with the exception of Ayn Issa (which technically is outside the zone and is occupied by Syrian government troops). Tell Tamer, another town with government troops inside, also falls just outside the zone.
Important sites located inside the zone include Sharaqraq, Qantari, and Turkmen Ali Beyli. The “greater” safe zone, which represents the full Turkish claim of 32 kilometers south of the entire border from Jarabulus to Iraq, also includes the Qara Qawzak bridge, which would mean people in the Autonomous Administration would have only one route crossing the Euphrates River (the Tishrin Dam bridge) to travel to and from Manbij. Even under the “greater” safe zone, however, the Autonomous Administration would maintain control over the Arab towns near the line such as Sarrin, Jurniyah, Mahmudli, Khunayz, al-Hishah, Tall Siman, and Qaltah.
The Sochi Memorandum also states that “All YPG elements and their weapons will be removed from Manbij and Tal Rifat.” This would significantly alter the balance of power in Aleppo province, forcing residents in the area to choose between living in Syrian government territory or Turkish-backed rebel control.
Syrian War Daily can confirm that Al-Sanadid Forces (Quwwāt as-Ṣanādid), an Arab militia of the Shammar tribe allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces, has not yet decided to deploy any forces to assist their Kurdish partners in fighting the Turkish invasion of Rojava. Although Al-Sanadid is at a heightened state of alert, the group has troops standing by at its traditional strongholds al-Yaarubiyah and Tell Hamis.
The Turkish ground forces have not yet crossed the border en masse, although special forces have tried and failed to infiltrate SDF positions along the border (at Bir Ashiq for example). Meanwhile, Turkish Air Force planes have bombed Tal Abyad, Suluk, Qantari, Bir Ashiq, and Hammam Turkman. Pro-SDF forces are also clashing with Turkish-backed militias west of al-Bab in one of the last SDF positions in northwest Aleppo.
L’armée syrienne a pris deux postes de contrôle autour la ville de Khan Cheikhoun le soir 2019-08-18. Ensuite, peu après minuit, les troupes armées avaient lancé un assaut au nord de Khan Cheikhoun et ont pris une partie de la ville.
Le nombre du combattants morts des dernières 24 heures approchant quatre vingt-dix. L’ensemble de la région tenue par les rebelles au nord de Khan Cheikhoun est sous l’assaut écrasant du gouvernement, soutenu par des frappes aériennes sans arrêt de chasseurs à réaction et d’hélicoptères. Presque une mille civils syriennes sont morts au cours des quatre derniers mois, presque tous était dans les zones contrôlées par les rebelles.
The Syrian Army captured two checkpoints from jihadist group Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham in the evening of 2019-08-18. Just after midnight, Army troops launched an attack from the northern direction (an area poorly fortified by rebels) and entered Khan Shaykhun city. Several city blocks and neighborhoods were cleared, as rebel forces engaged in a fighting retreat. The city is now almost devoid of civilians after over ten thousand people fled over the past month northward to refugee camps and rebel-held cities like Idlib. Tahrir al-Sham was also unable to reverse yesterday’s loss of tactically important high ground northwest of Khan Shaykhun despite multiple car bombings, showing the group is now finding it difficult to effectively counter the Syrian Army in prolonged battles.
So far, dozens of fighters have died on both sides, with the death toll of the past 24 hours approaching 100. The entire rebel-held area north of Khan Shaykhun is under overwhelming government assault backed by nonstop Syrian and Russian airstrikes from jet fighters and helicopters. Almost 1,000 civilians have died in the past 4 months, almost all of them in rebel-held areas.
On 30 July 2019, after recapturing the villages of Tal Maleh and Jibeen the day before, the Syrian Army decided to continue its advance in northern Hama governorate. Capitalizing on the rebel retreat from Jibeen, the Army’s Tiger Forces shock troops unexpectedly rushed towards the town of Zakah (Zakat). Supported by an extensive air and artillery bombardment which cratered fields and destroyed several houses, the Army captured a small village called Abu Raidi Gharbiyah and now finds itself in control of key farmlands on the southern and southwestern approaches to Zakah, a town held by the rebels since December 2012. If the Syrian Army manages to capture this town, it could set the scene for an assault on the Free Syrian Army stronghold of Kafr Zita or a move further eastward to besiege the frontline bastion town of Lataminah. The strategic balance in Northern Hama has not been fundamentally altered yet, but the next few days could prove crucial to the future of the area going forward.
Two oil tankers caught fire in an apparent attack in the Gulf of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz on the morning of June 13. One of the two ships, the crude oil tanker Front Altair, had departed from the United Arab Emirates port of Ruwais and was on course for the port of Kaohsiung in Taiwan. The ship is owned by Frontline, a shipping company based in Norway, and is registered under the Marshall Islands.
Satellite images taken less than an hour after the ship reported an explosion show the ship burning and spreading a large cloud of billowing black smoke into the air. Multiple smaller boats can also be seen speeding and circling around the boat, revealed by their large wakes in the sea. Shortly after transiting the Strait of Hormuz, the Front Altair experienced an explosion which created a large hole just above the waterline. Some of the crude oil leaked out while on fire, creating the sideways plume of smoke.
The 23 crew members all evacuated the vessel and were rescued by a South Korean cargo vessel called the Hyundai Dubai that was in the area at the time. The rescue was completed 74 minutes after the Front Altair sent out its distress call, about 30 minutes after these satellite images were captured. According to Iran, the ship has sunk into the water, though there are still conflicting reports of whether this is the case.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the incidents, saying Iran is “responsible” for the attacks. In the speech, he also mentioned a list of supposed Iranian aggressions against the US, citing a “On May 31st, a car bomb in Afghanistan wounded four US servicemembers, killed four Afghan civilians, and wounded bystanders”. This attack (which took place in Kabul, 470 miles away from the Iranian border) was not conducted by Iran, but by the Taliban. Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s main spokesman, said in a statement that the attack targeted a convoy of “senior foreign advisers”.
The latest battle in Syria between the government and rebels is a marked change from the previous six months, in which there was not major conflict between the two sides of the war. However, the death toll of this new round of fighting has already vastly exceeded the death toll of the Battle of Baghouz earlier in 2019, in which the territory of ISIL was captured by the Syrian Democratic Forces. Over 1,100 have died in the past five weeks, compared to around 600 in the six weeks of the Battle of Baghouz. The back and forth fighting and fierce attempt by each side to deny the other a victory is easily seen from this timelapse animation of the five week battle.
This is an interactive map of the 30-kilometer demilitarized zone to be entered by “Russian military police and Syrian border guards” of the Turkish safe zone in northeast Syria, as well the 10-kilometer line of “joint Russian-Turkish patrols” according to the Oct 22 Memorandum of Understanding between the Russian Federation and Turkey (in English and… Read more
Syrian War Daily can confirm that Al-Sanadid Forces (Quwwāt as-Ṣanādid), an Arab militia of the Shammar tribe allied with the Syrian Democratic Forces, has not yet decided to deploy any forces to assist their Kurdish partners in fighting the Turkish invasion of Rojava. Although Al-Sanadid is at a heightened state of alert, the group has… Read more
A recent offensive by the Syrian Army saw the government capture the important rebel cities of Ma’arat Numan and Saraqib. This places the government within striking distance of the de facto rebel capital Idlib, a city which rebels seized in March 2015. With these latest large advances, Assad’s forces could be on track to take… Read more
The above 2 photos show fires and hotspots on 26 May, the day the Syrian Army recaptured the town of Kafr Nabudah from rebels in northwest Hama
The above 2 photos from the day before the rebel capture and the day of the Syrian Army recapture show farmlands burned by Syrian/Russian airstrikes
The above 2 photos show the devastation of wildfires along the north Hama frontline between the Syrian Army and Islamist rebels. Extremely high heat and the bombings and shelling of war have scorched the farmland.