Russia says it will create a permanent naval base in Syria to help their ally. Russia already has an active air base in Syria which was effectively being used in the current conflict. Spokesperson:
By doing this Russia is not only increasing its military potential in Syria but in the entire Middle East. The necessary papers are ready and are in the process of being approved by different agencies. We hope we can ask you to ratify these documents soon.
After Hollande cancels a meeting with Putin, the Russian president cancels his visit to Paris, where he was to inaugurate a new Russian Orthodox cathedral and visit a Russian art exhibition on Oct. 19. Hollande:
I made it known to Mr Putin that if he came to Paris, I would not accompany him to any ceremonies, but that I was ready to continue the dialogue on Syria. He decided to postpone the visit…With Russia, France has a major disagreement on Syria and the Russian veto of the French resolution at the U.N. Security Council has prevented the cessation of bombings and enablement of a truce. I’m ready to meet President Putin if we can advance peace, end the bombings and announce a truce.
Following a statement from UK Defence Minister Fallon, Russia defends its action in Syria.
Before launching into incoherent conjecture about Russia’s supposed responsibility for the situation in Aleppo in particular, and Syria in general, it is necessary to think – what has the UK contributed to this poor country? Where was the UK when ISIS nearly reached the Mediterranean coast, almost turning Syria into a terrorist caliphate, like Libya. After all, it was you who controlled the skies at the time. We delivered over 1000 liberated settlements, thousands of tons of humanitarian aid, and thousands of square kilometers freed from ISIS’ hold, to which peaceful life has returned. How many settlements have been liberated, how much humanitarian aid delivered, and how many square feet have been cleared of ISIS by the UK?
President Hollande accuses Russia of war crimes in Syria, and says he wants to sue the country in International Criminal Court for their role in alleged war crimes over the Syrian city of Aleppo. Hollande also says he may not receive the Russian president who is scheduled to visit Paris, late this month, for a church opening ceremony.
I have asked myself that question: Is it useful? Is it necessary? Could we do something that pushes him as well and stop what they’re doing with the Syrian regime — that is to say the help they are providing to the Syrian regime, which sends bombs to the population of Aleppo? If I receive him, I would tell him that it is unacceptable, that it is bad even for the image of Russia. What I tell them, is that these populations are populations that are today victims of war crimes and those who commit those acts will have to pay for their responsibility in front of the International Criminal Court.
Conservative MP Mitchell, who will lead an emergency Commons debate on the situation in Syria, says British forces may join an international coalition that will defend Aleppo against alleged war crimes by Russian air strikes.
What we are saying is very clear. No one wants to see a firefight with Russia, no one wants to shoot down a Russian plane. But what we do say is that the international community has an avowed responsibility to protect and that protection must be exerted. If that means confronting Russian airpower defensively, on behalf of the innocent people on the ground who we are trying to protect, then we should do that…It’s not a declaration of war against Russia but it is an absolute declaration that we will seek to protect the innocent victims of these war crimes. I think that Britain should explore with its allies how it would enforce a no-fly zone. It is clearly not something we can do on our own but as part of a coalition of the willing to confront this appalling catastrophe we should certainly be willing to explore that and implement it if we are able to do so.
A French-backed UN resolution to maintain peace in Aleppo, aimed at protecting the lives of more than 250,000 trapped civilians receives 11 votes in favor, but despite crossing the minimum number of votes, Russia uses its veto power to halt the resolution. It is the fifth time Russia vetoes such a resolution on the five-year -long conflict. A Russian backed Resolution [when] received only four votes in favor which is not enough for the resolution to pass.
Islamic State says al-Adnani, one of its most prominent and longest-serving leaders, was killed in what appeared to be an airstrike on a vehicle traveling in the Syrian town of al-Bab, depriving the militant group of the man in charge of directing attacks overseas. US officials stopped short of confirming Adnani’s death, as assessments often take days and often lag behind official announcements by militant groups.
At least 50 people are killed and dozens more wounded latein an attack possibly carried out by a suicide bomber on a wedding party in the Turkish city of Gaziantep near the Syrian border. A senior security official says the device used was the same type as those employed in the July 2015 suicide attack in the border town of Suruc and the October 2015 suicide bombing of a rally of pro-Kurdish activists in Ankara. Reports say the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber aged between 12 and 14. Turkey’s foreign minister:
Daesh should be completely cleansed from our borders and we are ready to do what it takes for that.
Islamic State claims responsibility for an attack on a traffic police post outside Moscow in which both attackers were killed, calling it revenge for Russia’s aerial bombing campaign in Syria. The militant group made the claim in a video in which the purported attackers say they want to take revenge for Russia killing Muslims in the Middle East.
A video of Daqneesh sitting in a hospital room, covered in dust and rubble goes viral. Daqneesh and his family were injured when their house was destroyed by an airstrike, allegedly by Syrian Government forces. It took nearly an hour to dig Omran out from underneath the rubble. He is released from hospital after two hours. Doctor:
Omran was in the same daze and shock you saw he had when he was in the ambulance. He was in the same situation, he did not cry at all.
23 Syrians die of starvation as government forces besiege the town of Madaya in Syria. Damascus permits MSF to access the town, but refuses to allow residents to leave as they continue to lay siege to the city.
Syrian airstrikes hit a courthouse and prison associated with Al Nusra Front, an al-Qaeda affiliate, killing both guards and prisoners. Reports differ as to the number killed.
A report by Amnesty says Russian airstrikes have killed at least 200 civilians. The group accuses Russia of using cluster bombs in civilian areas and says such attacks could constitute war crimes.Russia’s defence ministry dismisses the report as containing “fake information” and “trite cliches”.
Davutoglu criticizes Russia’s attack on Idlib in north-west Syria,, saying Syrian lands will not be part of “Russian imperialist goals.”
French fighter planes carry out their biggest bombing raid in Syria, dropping 20 bombs on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa. The fighters were launched from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said France had the “legitimacy” to take action against ISIS after the terror attacks in Paris. ISIS casualties are reported, but no civilian casualties. The French Defence Ministry
The first target destroyed was used by ISIS as a commanding post, a jihad recruitment center and a depot for arms and munitions. The second target housed a terrorist training camp.
Anonymous sources in western intelligence agencies have told Fox News that Russia is helping Iran violate a UN Security Council embargo and transport arms and munitions to Syria. The sources say Russian cargo flights have been delivering Iranian weapons to the Russian-operated air base outside of Latakia, a strategic city on the Mediterranean coast, twice a day for the past ten days.
The United States will largely abandon its $580 million plan to train moderate Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State, and instead provide arms and equipment directly to rebel leaders and their units on the battlefield.
The U.S says that Russia is continuing its military buildup in Syria. Aerial imagery shows Russia two tank-landing ships have recently arrived at Tartus and about a dozen Russian armored personnel carriers are now at the Bassel al-Assad airport, named after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s older brother. An Antonov-124 Condor military transporter had flown into the airport, bringing the total number of transport flights to at least four in recent days. Despite the buildup of military equipment, officials noted there was no immediate indication Russia had sent in any ordnance or heavy weaponry. A US military official says “under 50” Russian troops had arrived in Syria in recent days. The Russian naval infantry that are already in Syria say their mission is to protect their military hardware rather joining the war. U.S official:
There’s not consensus in the intelligence community about what it means. You have to take what Russia says with a grain of salt because they haven’t always been transparent and honest about their intentions.
During a meeting with a delegation representing Chinese, Ukrainian, Norwegian and Austrian firms interested in investing in power generation, Syrian Minister for Electricity Khamis encourages foreign companies to invest in the electricity sector of his country, supporting the development process in Syria in its early phase of reconstruction, and providing all the necessary facilities, including procedural requirements.
Prime Minister Harper pledges Canada will take an additional 10,000 refugees from Iraq and Syria over the next four years if the Conservative government is re-elected in October. Canada has already settled roughly 20,000 Iraqi refugees and 2,500 Syrians. The Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada website shows it finalized 19,900 refugee claims from all countries in 2014. Harper:
We must stop ISIS
A pregnant 15-year-old Swedish girl is being held by ISIS in Syria after running away from her foster home with her boyfriend to join al-Qaida. Swedish Foreign Ministry:
We have been informed that a Swedish minor is in Syria. We are in contact with family members,
The 15-year-old, whose name is not disclosed, disappeared from her foster home in Boras, near the south-western town of Gothenburg, on 31 May. It said she is six months pregnant. She and her 19-year-old boyfriend married in a Muslim ceremony in Stockholm earlier this year without their parents’ knowledge and reportedly travelled to Syria via Turkey, where they were recruited by an al-Qaida-linked group. The couple were captured by ISIS fighters in the northern city of Aleppo, and have been moved to an ISIS-controlled area. The boyfriend has been forced to fight for the jihadist group. The daughter had called her parents at least three times while being held by Isis after women secretly lent her a cell phone. Mother:
I spoke to her yesterday and found out she has been moved to a group of women. She is not allowed to be with her boyfriend because they aren’t considered married by [ISIS]. She was very sad and very scared. We don’t know how to get her out of the country. Now she’s in an [ISIS]-controlled area so it will be even harder.
The father says that his daughter might be moved to live with a group of women in Manbij, a town north-east of Aleppo, if ISIS militants did not recognise the marriage.
Russia says the United States is ‘unprepared’ for including the Syrian government in international plans to counter extremist ISIS. Lavrov says he discussed Putin’s proposal on coordinating efforts against IS during a recent meeting in Qatar with Kerry.
I asked him if it wouldn’t be easier to reach an agreement, to sit down at the negotiating table and discuss everything with the involvement of the Syrian Army. Unfortunately, the Americans are unprepared for that.
Lavrov says he also expressed concern about a U.S. decision to provide air support for Syrian opposition groups fighting against Assad’s government. He said he warned Kerry that some ‘grave mistake,’ such as the accidental bombing of civilians, could
explode the situation to such an extent that nobody would be able to control it.
Lavrov also rejects allegations that the Assad government has undeclared stockpiles of chemical weapons. He says ‘groundless accusations’ must be avoided and gave his ‘guarantee’ that all the claims ‘will be double-checked.’
We have every reason to believe that the Syrian government will continue cooperating closely.
More than 1000 Syrians stage a protest in Latakia, calling for the execution of a Assad’s cousin, who has been accused of killing an army officer in a road rage incident. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 1,000 people gathered in the city holding up pictures of the victim. The demonstrators call for the execution of Assad’s cousin. They also chanted slogans in support of the president. Syria’s state media did not report the protest, the traffic incident or the reported killing.
The UN adopts a resolution aimed at identifying those behind chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Ban and the head of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) will be asked to prepare a plan for an inquiry. US ambassador to the UN, Power:
Today’s resolution has been adopted with the council’s unanimous support. This sends a clear and powerful message to all those involved in chemical weapons attacks in Syria. The joint investigative mechanism will identify you if you gas people. It bears repeating as well that we need to bring the same unity that we have shown today to urgently find a political solution to the Syrian crisis.”
The resolution follows months of negotiations between the US and Russia. Syria’s ambassador to the UN denies his government was behind the attacks, claiming the Islamic State (IS) group and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front are to blame. Under the terms of the agreement, a team of expert inspectors will be given full access where possible to all locations in Syria and be allowed to collect materials and interview witnesses. Churkin, the UN’s Russian representative, says he hopes that the joint investigative body will work
impartially, objectively and professionally.
The resolution calls for Ban and the OPCW to recommend a team of investigators within 20 days.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that ISIS abducted 230 civilians, including at least 60 Christians, in Al-Qaryatain hours after the group captured the town. Many of the Christians had fled from Aleppo province, in Syria’s north, to seek refuge in Al-Qaryatain. SOHR says those abducted were wanted by ISIS for ‘collaborating with the regime’ and their names were on a list used by the jihadists as they swept through the town. Families who tried to flee or hide were tracked down and taken by the jihadists. Al-Qaryatain lies at the crossroads between ISIS territory in the eastern countryside of Homs and areas further west in the Qalamun area.
A cousin of Syria’s president shoots dead a senior air force officer in a road rage incident according to a monitoring group. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the incident happened when the cousin followed the officer because he overtook him at a crossroads, then swerved the car around, got out and shot him dead. The cousin has not been arrested.
Syrian government forces, backed by members of Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah group, advance from different directions in the mountain resort of Zabadani near the border with Lebanon. The fighting comes as Ahrar al-Sham insurgent group say that it has stopped communicating with Iranian mediators after they insisted that fighters and residents leave the resort. Ahrar al-Sham says the government aims to clear out the area’s Sunni Muslim population. Syrian opposition groups accuse the government and Hezbollah of displacing thousands of Sunnis from areas along the border with Lebanon and preventing them from returning to their homes.
Coalition warplanes target areas held by the Islamic State group near the town of Tabqa in the northern province of Raqqa, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Raqqa is Being Silently Slaughtered, a local activist group. The Observatory says the airstrikes killed at least five IS fighters and wounded 23, including teenage fighters of the so-called ‘Cubs of the Caliphate.’
Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Arab and African Affairs Abdollahian announces that Tehran will present an updated version of its plan to the UN to settle the crisis in Syria.
The plan will be declared and presented to the UN secretary general after precise consultations between Tehran and Damascus.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that Syria’s Al-Qaeda affiliate, Nusra Front, abducts five rebels believed to have been trained by the United States after raiding areas along the Turkish border. The militant group is now holding a total of 13 men from ‘Division 30.’ It is not immediately clear whether the five men abducted overnight had been on the new U.S. military training programme or on an existing, separate CIA-led program. Pentagon spokesperson says the United States remains committed to defending the Syrian fighters, including against the threat from Nusra Front. There is no official reaction from the Syrian government, but a source says:
[The U.S.] relayed a message to Damascus not to worry about these statements. It’s about hitting Al-Nusra hard, not the Syrian army.
Division 30 rebels in Syria defy their Pentagon-funded programme by pledging to fight against Assad regime troops.
The Division was formed from the honourable sons of Syria to help rid their country of Assad gangs and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).
The Division also rejects a U.S. promise to defend the brigade against al Nusra with airstrikes:
[We have no] connection to the operations of the coalition against any faction on Syrian lands. [We will] not be dragged into any side battle with any faction. We did not and will not fight Jabhat al-Nusra.
Obama authorizes using air power to defend a new U.S.-backed fighting force in Syria if it is attacked by Syrian government forces or other groups, raising the risk of the American military coming into direct conflict with the regime of Assad. Though the new rules allow Pentagon strikes to defend the U.S.-allied force against any regime attacks, U.S. military officials play down the chances of a direct confrontation. The newly trained force is committed to fighting Islamic State, not the Syrian regime, and won’t be fielded in areas the regime controls. U.S. officials say they believe the regime won’t challenge the new force.
Turkey and the US have agreed on the outlines of a plan to drive Islamic State out of a strip of land along the Turkish-Syrian border, in a landmark deal that will draw Turkey further into Syria’s civil war and looks likely to increase the intensity of the U.S. air war against Isis. The YPG accuses Turkey of targeting its fighters inside Syria as they laid siege to Isis-held positions close to another key border crossing, the town of Jarabulus.
Assad says the Syrian army has been forced to give up areas in order to hold onto more important ones in its fight with insurgents, and the scale of the war means the military faces a manpower shortage.
Sometimes, in some circumstances, we are forced to give up areas to move those forces to the areas that we want to hold onto. We must define the important regions that the armed forces hold onto so it doesn’t allow the collapse of the rest of the areas…Everything is available (for the army), but there is a shortfall in human capacity, Mr Assad said. Despite that, I am not presenting a dark picture.
Assad says increased support from states backing the rebels is the reason for recent setbacks and dismisses the view that Syria is heading towards partition into areas run separately by the Damascus government and armed groups fighting him. He says amnesty for men at home and abroad who have dodged military service will encourage thousands of conscripts who want to join the army but hold back because of penalties.
Syria’s two main opposition groups settle longstanding differences to agree that Assad must step down in any deal to end the country’s conflict. The issue has dogged efforts to get the exiled Syrian National Coalition and the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCCDC), to agree a common platform. The two groups say in a statement after a meeting in Brussels that peace:
can be achieved through a political process undertaken by the Syrians themselves, under the auspices of the UN.
They say they now have:
a fundamental and comprehensive change of the current political regime, including the head of the regime and all its leaders, pillars and security agencies.
agreed a road map for the salvation of Syria, including the basic principles of a political settlement, to be adopted by their respective competent bodies.
The U.S., and its allies launch coordinated airstrikes on the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. At least 23 airstrikes are conducted over the two nations, with nine launched over Syria and 14 launched over Iraq. These airstrikes target tactical units and fighting positions in seven cities between the two countries.
ISIS conducts a 24-hour “killing rampage” through the Kurdish town of Kobane, Syria. A majority of those slain are mainly women and children. Over 120 civilians are reported executed in their homes or killed by rocket and sniper fire. The killings are widely seen as vengeance for a series of defeats inflicted on ISIS by Kurdish militia in recent weeks.
Assad sends a personal letter of congratulations to Iranian Supreme Leader, celebrating the occasion of a nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 world powers. Assad calls the nuclear agreement a turning point for Iran. Assad says in a message to Iran;
We are confident that the Islamic Republic of Iran will support, with greater drive, just causes of nations and work for peace and stability in the region and the world…In the name of the Syrian people, I congratulate you and the people of Iran on this historic achievement, This deal provides clear recognition on the part of the world powers of the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear program
SOHR says that since June last year ISIS has executed over 2,150 people in Syria alone. This number includes over 1,300 civilians and nearly 530 Syrian government troops.
We believe that the real number of people that have been killed by IS is higher than the number documented by SOHR because there are hundreds of missing and detainees inside IS jails, and because there are dozens of Kurds who are still been missing since the beginning of IS attack on the countryside of Kobani in September 16.
Charges have ranged from insulting God (blasphemy), spying for the benefit of the Nusayri [Alawite] regime, sodomy and dealing and supporting YPG [Kurdish forces].
Jolie criticizes U.N. Security Council for its lack of action in solving humanitarian crisis in Syria.
We cannot look at Syria, and the evil that has arisen from the ashes of indecision, and think this is not the lowest point in the world’s inability to protect and defend the innocent.
A report by the UN chief Ban to the Security Council lists five priorities for action including the lifting of sieges on 212,000 people, ensuring access to medical aid to all of Syria, and rebuilding the education system. He also says the 15-member council must address barrel-bomb attacks on civilians and ending the practice of denying services as a weapon of war. Ban says barrel bombs are used against civilians in Aleppo, where the United Nations is seeking to freeze fighting as part of peace efforts. Ban:
This conflict has become business as usual.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says regime forces had taken the villages of Bashkawi and Sefat and are battling to block the key highway leading from rebel-held east Aleppo to the Turkish border. The fighting stops traffic on the road, which passes through the town of Tal Rifat and up to the border. They also says fierce clashes are also raging between rebel forces and government troops in the nearby villages of Ratyan and Hardtaneen. It says regime fighters are shelling the town of Hayan, which lies on the road to two government-held villages that rebels have besieged for more than 18 months. Observatory director:
The regime troops have two goals in the area: to cut the road leading from Aleppo to the Turkish border, which is the key supply road for the rebels and to open the way to (besieged) Nubol and Zahraa,
Syria’s U.N. special envoy Mistura says he has won a commitment from the Syrian government to stop shelling the city of Aleppo, before a planned offensive against the city, and that it is up to rebels to also agree to the proposed six-week freeze in fighting. No start date has been agreed. Mistura
The government of Syria has indicated to me its willingness to halt all types of aerial bombing and artillery shelling for a period of six weeks, all over the city of Aleppo.
The U.N. representative of the opposition Syrian National Coalition:
We await a detailed proposal from [Mr.] de Mistura. We’ll study any proposal he puts forward carefully and in detail. The Assad regime’s compliance with any such proposal will be judged by actions, not words. And thus far, his actions have been only brutality and terror.
Over a two-month period, hackers posing as beautiful women steal the Syrian opposition’s strategy, tactical battle plans, supply needs, and large amounts of personal information and online chats. The fake website includes a matchmaking section that infects the victim’s computer when they click on links to women’s profiles. It is unclear who the hackers are working for, but the victims include rebels from the Free Syrian Army, Islamist fighting groups, media activists and humanitarian aid workers.
Judges in the European Union uphold EU sanctions against Mohammad Makhlouf, an uncle of Assad, dismissing his request to be removed from a list of Syrian figures banned from entering the EU and whose assets in the bloc are frozen. The court dismisses an argument that the sanctions breached ‘s right to privacy on the grounds that it prevents him from maintaining his family’s standard of living.
The Council has succeeded in proving that Mr. Makhlouf is a member of the ruling economic class in Syria and it cannot be denied that he maintains links with the regime and has a decisive influence, as a principal adviser, over all the primary circle of rulers of the Syrian regime and, in particular, over his sons…The right to privacy is not intended to protect the individual against a loss of his purchasing power,
The Syrian government and rebels agree on a ten-day ceasefire in al-Waer, the last opposition-held area of the city of Homs. Thousands of residents are stuck in during the siege, only occasionally receiving food and humanitarian aid. Residents say they believe the rebels agree to a ceasefire because they had been weakened in recent months and are running out of supplies. The ceasefire appears to be a result of local negotiation efforts, with talks between the warring sides going on for some time. A resident says food trucks have arrived:
We have been without any electricity, diesel or gas for heaters for too long now. Children are really cold, we live in extreme cold. We hope that after this the roads will open and we can have the freedom of moving.
Lebanon begin imposing entry restrictions on Syrians as the country struggles to cope with more than a million refugees fleeing the civil war next door. The government estimates there are about 1.5 million Syrians in Lebanon, about a quarter of the total population. Some 1.1 million are registered with the UN refugee agency. Lebanese officials say they simply cannot absorb any more. The policy requires Syrians to obtain visas that limit the time they can remain in Lebanon. Interior minister:
We have enough. There’s no capacity any more to host more displaced
Lebanese security officials say many Syrians are turned back at border crossings but they have no exact figures. The flow of Syrians through one popular crossing appears lower than normal. There are no plans to forcibly repatriate Syrians already in Lebanon.
The U.S. military dismisses a claim that ISIS shot down a jet piloted by a Jordanian airforce pilot, and confirms the group has taken the pilot captive. CentCom statement:
Evidence clearly indicates that ISIL did not down the aircraft as the terrorist organization is claiming. We strongly condemn the actions of ISIL, which has taken captive the downed pilot
We will support efforts to ensure his safe recovery, and will not tolerate ISIL’s attempts to misrepresent or exploit this unfortunate aircraft crash for their own purposes.
The Jordanians are highly respected and valued partners and their pilots and crews have performed exceptionally well over the course of this campaign.
The group captures the Jordanian pilot after his plane crashes in Syria while carrying out airstrikes. He was in an F-16 and was able to eject. He is the first foreign fighter to fall into the militant group’s hands since the bombing campaign began several months ago.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says airstrikes by the Assad government have killed at least 232 civilians in the last two weeks. Among the weapons deployed, the regime has dropped least 401 barrel bombs on rebel-held areas in eight provinces. The regime says that it only uses the weapons against terrorists. A refugee camp in Idlib was hit. A man who says his house in Anadan has been destroyed by barrel bombs three times:
Barrel bombs kill those we love most, they destroy houses, dreams and memories, and leave us without any hope that the killing will ever stop.
Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front, who were meant to form the main line of attack against ISIS and have been receiving heavy weapons including GRAD rockets and TOW anti-tank missiles, surrender military bases and weapons supplies to Nusra, the Syrian Al Qaeda affiliate, as it storms villages in Idlib. Nusra members announce on Twitter that they have seized the TOW missiles. Some of the rebels are reported to defect to Nusra.