Recent developments across Syria
May 18, 2021
-A group of military vehicles got ambushed by ISIS, at dawn today, south of al-Mateyah village in Maskanah desert, east of Aleppo. According to SOHR sources, five four-wheel-drive vehicles of the 25th Division and the Iranian militias were attacked in the area, while clashes took place between ISIS members and Iranian militias, which led to the death of eight members, including an Iranian-backed leader.
-SOHR sources in west Euphrates region have reported that the IRGC-backed militia of “Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas” has transferred large amounts of weapons, ammunition and long and medium-range missiles, brought previously from Iraq to Syria, to recently-established warehouses near the monuments of Al-Shabli on the outskirts of al-Mayadeen city in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. It is worth noting that these warehouses have been established in a valley with an entrench containing camouflaged cement champers with only one gate for the entry and exit, while soil barriers and bulwarks have been set near them with the aim to protect these warehouses from strikes by Israel and the International Coalition.
-SOHR activists have documented the death of a regime soldier and the son of an official in charge of “Shi’aism” proselytising operations (conversion to Shiite) for the favour of the Lebanese Hezbollah from Qarfa village in Daraa countryside, as the two persons were shot dead by unknown gunmen near the bridge of Kherbet Ghazalah town in Daraa countryside. On the other hand, two members of the Russian-backed 8th Brigade sustained various injuries after unknown gunmen opened fire on them in al-Kahil town in Daraa countryside. It is worth noting that the two militiamen had been fighters in opposition factions, before they struck a reconciliation deal with security services after regime control of the province and joined the 8th Brigade.
-SOHR activists have reported that an unknown young man was found dead and dumped in a farmland in Anab village in Afrin countryside.
-Syrian Observatory sources have reported that militiamen of “Suqur al-Shamal” faction have arrested a civilian from Qastal Khadra village of Bulbul district in Afrin countryside for unknown reasons. It is worth noting that the civilian had been arrested when Turkish forces and their proxy factions captured Afrin canton in 2018, and held in their prisons for more than two years, before he was released. However, the Turkish-backed faction, Suqur al-Shamal, arrested the civilian once again two days ago.
-SOHR activists have documented the death of a man and his son in exchange of fire with the members of a patrol of the Internal Security Forces (Asayish) in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor. The clashes erupted after Asayish Forces stormed the man’s house in al-Sa’wa village in the western countryside of Deir Ezzor. On the other hand, Asayish Forces stormed another house in order to arrest a suspicious person, but he managed to escape.
-SOHR sources have monitored growing tension in al-Shaddadi city and the 47th area in southern al-Hasakah, as protestors opposing the decision of raising fuel prices, including gunmen, have attacked a military headquarters of Syria Democratic Forces and Asayish Forces, injuring one member. The attack has created a state of disorder in the region, spurring members of SDF and Asayish Forces to open fire on the protestors, leaving five injured, amid unconfirmed reports of one fatality. On the other hand, some protesters lifting the internationally recognized Syrian flag were seen attacking headquarters of SDF and Asayish Forces in al-Nashwah neighbourhood in al-Hasakah city, which resulted in the injury of three people.
-Hundreds of residents staged demonstrations in the towns and cities of al-Qamishli, Amudah, Kirke Lake, Kobani, al-Nashwah, Mufti, Al-Salihiya and al-Marsho roundabout, denouncing the Autonomous Administration’s decision of raising fuel prices. The demonstrators demanded the “Autonomous Administration” retract the decision. Moreover, the shopkeepers in Amudah, al-Qamishli, and Kirke Lake went on a strike, in rejection of the decision. While electricity generators have been stopped. On the other hand, residents and activists called for demonstrations in the rest of the “Autonomous Administration” cities. However, the residents fear of Asayish Forces, as in al-Darbasiyah Asayish and police patrols are still roaming the streets to control any protest that might take place. These developments coincided with the current economic hardship throughout Syria, including the areas controlled by the Autonomous Administration, especially with a large number of citizens being affected by Turkey’s seizure of Syria’s share of Euphrates river’s water.
-SOHR activists have reported that an IED explosion targeted a vehicle of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on Hawija road in the city of Al-Busairah in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor, which led to the injury of four members who were taken to the hospital for treatment.
-SOHR activists in Idlib province have reported seeing Turkish forces deploying large number of units along Latakia-Aleppo international highway “M4”, blocking it. It is worth noting that Turkish forces deployed large number of their soldiers on the road between Maarrat Misrin and Idlib city and checked and inspected it using advanced devices.
-Syrian Observatory activists in the “de-escalation zone” have reported clashes, in the early hours of Tuesday morning, on the frontlines of Miznaz-Kafr Halab in the western countryside of Aleppo between regime forces and opposition factions. The clashes were coincided with exchange of bombardment. On the other hand, regime forces shelled positions in the surrounding areas of Atareb city, Kafr Ammah village in western Aleppo, al-Barah, al-Fterah and Fulayfel in Jabal al-Zawiyah in the southern countryside of Idlib. No casualties have been reported.