Recent developments across Syria
May 16, 2021
-In al-Hasakah province, SOHR activists in al-Qamishli city have reported hearing loud explosions in the southern part of the city, exactly the regime forces’ Tartab Military Regiment, where Russian forces are carrying out military training exercises since early morning, with the participation of helicopters. These exercises ignited panic among the residents. It is worth noting that this is the first time for carrying out military exercises by Russian forces in al-Qamishli, using live ammunition. Meanwhile, Russian helicopters were seen flying over the villages of Jam’aya, Khaled Kulu and Qarrah Hasan in al-Qamishli countryside near the Syria-Turkey border. Meanwhile, Reliable sources have informed SOHR that regime forces have expelled groups affiliated to the National Defence Forces (NDF) and other groups of “Ansar Amn al-Dawal” from Zanda village adjacent to Tayy neighbourhood in al-Qamishli city. Regime forces have been stationed in posts and houses where NDF had been stationed for unknown reasons. Meanwhile, local sources have told SOHR that an officer in regime army has restored the house of an old woman near the southern part of Tayy neighbourhood in, after she paid a bribe of an estimated 100,000 SYL, as regime forces had been stationed in this house.
-In Daraa province, popular rejection of the presidential election is growing, especially in south Syria region, as this “fake show” in Syria approaches. In this context, Syrian Observatory activists have monitored new stickers, posters and graffiti on the walls of various cities, towns and villages in Daraa province, including al-Ajami, Tel Shehab, al-Muzayri’ah, Namer, al-Muzayrib, Ataman and other areas in the northern, western and eastern countryside of Daraa, denouncing the holding of the presidential election and calling for boycotting it. Some of these posters and graffiti read “Don’t elect the Zionists’ beloved – Don’t elect the criminal of this age – Don’t elect the tyrant and the murderer of the Syrians”. On the other hand, a demonstration took place in Daraa al-Balad today, in support of the people of Um Batna village in the countryside of al-Quneitra, after regime demanded the displacement of 30 families to north Syria. Also, Unidentified gunmen shot dead a young man from the city of Nawa in the western countryside of Daraa.
-SOHR sources have reported that a civilian sustained injuries after being shot by tribal gunmen in Arra town in the western countryside of al-Suwaidaa, where the civilian was taken to al-Suwaidaa National Hospital. However, the reasons behind this attack remained unknown.
-The head of the Revolutionary Youth Union, Dr. Afif Dalla, died in a traffic accident on Homs-Tartous road. It is still unknown whether the accident was intentional or it took places because of a technical failure or excessive speed. It is worth noting that Dalla was elected as leader of the Revolutionary Youth Union at the end of the tenth general conference in 2020.
-The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights activists have reported that a shepherd from Idlib region had beaten an elderly Kurdish woman with a stick in the village of Satya in Maabatli district, in the areas controlled by Turkish forces and their proxy factions in the north-west of Aleppo. According to SOHR sources, the shepherd brought his sheep to the olive field owned by the old woman, who asked him, in turn, to get them out of her land, while the shepherd replied by saying: “This land belongs to Erdogan not the Kurds, and we are free to act as we want,” after insulting her. After the incident, several residents headed to file a complaint against the shepherd at the military police office which took no action. Meanwhile, the shepherd is still grazing his sheep in the farmers’ fields.
-Turkish forces fired artillery shells on frontlines in the village of Maraanaz, in Kurdish-held areas in the countryside of Aleppo, but no casualties have been reported.
-SOHR sources have reported that Syria Democratic Forces stormed Hawaij village in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor where they arrested nine people for suspicion that “they deal or belong to ISIS”.
-SOHR activists have monitored paper leaflets stuck on the doors of shops and on the walls of SDF-held areas of al-Jazarah, al-Kabar, al-Kasrah and al-Harmoushiyah in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor. These leaflets include threats by ISIS of intensifying its attacks against Syria Democratic Forces and civilians and tribes’ elders “collaborating” with them. ISIS has also warned people not to get close to SDF headquarters and posts or they will be attacked. Some of these leaflets read “our Muslim brothers in the villages of al-Jazarah, al-Kabar, al-Kasrah and al-Harmoushiyah, do not get close to the headquarters or members of the atheist Kurds ‘SDF’, or you will be targeted by the security detachment of the glorious ‘Islamic State’. Oh infidels, the intelligence service’s members, soldiers, Asayish members, tribal elders dealing with the atheists, wait for your punishment. We see you, but you do not see us. Check your heads before they are gone. The incoming punishment will be worse for you, Allah willing.”
-SOHR sources have reported 12 airstrikes at lease executed by Russian jets this morning on Latakia and Idlib countryside. The airstrikes hit positions in Burnas village and surrounding areas in the western countryside of Idlib, and Kabana hills in Jabal al-Akrad in the northern countryside of Latakia. However, no casualties have been reported. It is worth noting that Burnas village hosts a Turkish post. On the other hand, regime forces shelled positions on Kabana frontlines in Jabal al-Akrad, other positions in Jabal al-Turkman,al-Ankawi, al-Qahera, al-Sarmaniyah and Kherbet al-Naqus in Sahl al-Ghab in the north-western countryside of Hama.