9/29/2014

  • The Islamic State offensive in Aleppo on the predominately Kurdish city of Kobani has continued.
    • 4 people were killed by shells that fell on Kobani. The IS has shelled the city for the last 2 days and is currently within 5km of the city.
    • The YPG claimed to have killed 37 Islamic State members in attacks southwest of Kobani last night.
    • Turkish tanks arrived at the border after several mortar shells landed within Turkey.
      • Recep Erdogan, the President of Turkey, has recently been talking about establishing a buffer zone within Syria that could b protected by Turkish troops.
        Turkish tanks arriving at the border.

        Turkish tanks arriving at the border.

        Turkish tanks on the border with Syrian near Kobani.

        Turkish tanks on the border with Syrian near Kobani.

        Turkish tanks along the border near Kobani.

        Turkish tanks along the border near Kobani.

        Turkish tanks along the border near Kobani.

        Turkish tanks along the border near Kobani.

        Turkish tanks along the border near Kobani.

        Turkish tanks along the border near Kobani.

        People fighting against the Islamic State around Kobani.

        People fighting against the Islamic State around Kobani.

        Shelling on Kobani.

        Shelling on Kobani.

        A mortar that landed in Turkey near the border.

        A mortar that landed in Turkey near the border.

        A YPG fighter injured by shelling on Kobani.

        A YPG fighter injured by shelling on Kobani.

        People injured by shelling on Kobani.

        People injured by shelling on Kobani.

        Graduating YPG and YPJ members.

        Graduating YPG and YPJ members.

        Refugees lining up on the Turkish side of the border to return to Kobani.

        Refugees lining up on the Turkish side of the border to return to Kobani.

        Refugees wait near the town of Suruc after crossing into Turkey.

        Refugees wait near the town of Suruc after crossing into Turkey.

        A cradle left behind near the border by refugees.

        A cradle left behind near the border by refugees.

        Tear gas fired at demonstrators near Suruc, north of Kobani.

        Tear gas fired at demonstrators near Suruc, north of Kobani.

        Protesters near the border.

        Protesters near the border.

        Protestors on the Turkish border run from tear gas fired by Turkish military and police.

        Protestors on the Turkish border run from tear gas fired by Turkish military and police.


  • A position captured from Hezbollah by the Islamic Front in Khan Toman in Aleppohttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.121445&lon=37.054396&z=14&m=b


  • Rebels fighting in Aleppo:


  • 5 people from a single family were killed by airstrike on Telmenis in Idlib.

  • Coalition airstrikes have continued.
    • The IS is currently self-imposing a media blackout about casualties and areas that have been hit, making it difficult to get an idea of either.
    • Walid al-Moallem, the Syrian Foreign Minister, said that he is OK with the airstrikes and said that they should be expanded to target all other militant groups in Syria.
      • A large amount of the anger within Syria against the airstrikes has centered on the fact that the government has not been targeted, and that they have hit Jabhat al-Nusra, which has a wide base of support within Syria and fights with rebels against the IS and the government.
    • In al-Raqqa airstrikes hit IS positions around Tal Abyad. 9 airstrikes hit the IS-controlled al-Tabqa Airbase.
    • In Aleppo airstrikes hit the Manbij 15 times, including its grain silos, and an IS HQ in al-Hesba.
    • In al-Hasakah, airstrikes hit IS positions around the village of Hemedan, near Kobani.
    • An Al-Monitor article about support and opposition to the airstrikes from both pro-rebel and pro-government perspectives: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/09/syria-opposition-regime-against-us-strikes-islamic-state.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
    • A demonstration in al-Houla in Homs against coalition airstrikes:
      •  
      • Smoke from an airstrike that hit outside of ar-Raqqa.

        Smoke from an airstrike that hit outside of ar-Raqqa.

        A graphic on the locations of airstrikes within Syria and Iraq and the participants.

        A graphic on the locations of airstrikes within Syria and Iraq and the participants.


  • 60 Minutes showed an interview that they taped on Friday with US President Barack Obama which in part discussed US actions in Syria: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/president-obama-60-minutes/
    • In response to a question about the strength that the Islamic State has been able to achieve, he said that US Intelligence had underestimated the situation in Syrian and overestimated the ability of the Iraqi army, largely due to Prime Minister Malaki’s factionalization of the government and military.
    • He said that he believes that the issue of radicalization cannot be solved quickly and is a “generational challenge”.
      • “They have now created an environment in which young men are more concerned whether they’re Shiite or Sunni, rather than whether they are getting a good education or whether they are able to, you know, have a good job. Many of them are poor. Many of them are illiterate and are therefore more subject to these kinds of ideological appeals. And, you know, the beginning of the solution for the entire Middle East is going to be a transformation in how these countries teach their youth. What our military operations can do is to just check and roll back these networks as they appear and make sure that the time and space is provided for a new way of doing things to begin to take root.”
    • He said that the situation in Syria is more challenging than Iraq because “the US has few viable options on the ground there.” He aknowledged rebels are being squeezed between both the IS and the Assad government, and also mentioned Jabhat al-Nusra along with the Khorasan group and al-Qaeda. So far in previous statements about the Khorasan group and al-Qaeda, he has not referred to JaN. However, later in the interview he mentions the Khorason group without JaN in a list of threats to the US.
    • He also stuck to his previous statements that arming the rebels early in the war wouldn’t have led to a better outcome.
    • In response to a question about whether only carrying out strikes against the IS ultimately helps the Syrian government, he said “I recognize the contradiction in a contradictory land and a contradictory circumstance. We are not going to stabilize Syria under the rule of Assad, because the Sunni areas inside of Syria view Assad as having carried out terrible atrocities.” He also stated that it will not be possible for Assad to preside “over the entire process” of reconciliation.
      • There has been speculation that the decision not to hit the Syrian military with airstrikes was an acknowledgement by the US that Assad would remain in power in any reconciliation deal.

  • The military is currently pusing to re-take the Dukhaniyya neighborhood of Damascus, which rebels captured at the beginning of the month.
    • Rebels firing on a government tank in Dukhaniyya: 

  • An airstrike on Daraya in Rif Dimashq

  • Rubble in Daraya in Rif Dimashq after an airstrike: 

  • A jet flying over Jobar, next to Damascus

  • The besieged Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Damascus has now had its water cut off for 21 days.

  • The military shelling rebels in Tel Kurdi in Eastern Ghoutahttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.566787&lon=36.483793&z=14&m=b&search=eastern%20ghouta


  • A tunnel in Adra in Eastern Ghouta in blown up by government forces. The military captured the town yesterday.


  • A tour of some large trenches and tunnels found my the Syrian military in Adra

  • Government forces captured Tal al-Sawwan in Eastern Ghouta, next to Adrahttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.581304&lon=36.484308&z=14&m=b


  • The Islamic State claimed to have killed 30 soldiers, and destroyed a BMP, a T-72 tank, and a 23mm gun in fighting outside of Adra in Eastern Ghouta.

  • At least 25 airstrikes hit towns and villages in northern Hama.

  • An airstrike on al-Lataminah in Hama

  • Airstrikes on Kafr Zita in Hama killed 9 people.


  • Division 101 hits a government tank with a TOW missile in Hama

  • Rebels fighting in Morek in Hama

  • A jet flying over Ayn Tarma in Eastern Ghouta

  • The FSA detonates a car bomb that they discovered before it could be used in Daraa province: 

  • On Saturday, the Lebanese Social Affair Minister, Rashid Derbas, called for the establishment of Syrian refugee camps within Lebanon, saying Kuwait would be willing to fund them.
    • There are currently around 1.2 million Syrian refugees within Lebanon, most of them in the Bekaa valley.

  • Mustafa Farhat, an FSA spokesman, said that the first group of FSA fighters have arrived in Saudi Arabia for training in advanced American weapons.

  • An unexploded barrel bomb that was dropped on al-Rastan in Homs.

  • Syrian Civil Defense vehicle that was hit by a follow-up airstrike on the location where they were conducting rescue operations: 

  • The Islamic State executed 2 of its members in al-Bukumal in Deir Ez Zor.
    • One man was executed for embezzlement, the other was executed for planting homing beacons.

  • A gas pipeline burning in eastern Qalamoun

  • Reuters slideshow of scenes from ar-Raqqahttp://www.reuters.com/news/pictures/slideshow?articleId=USRTR47PBT&utm_source=twitter#a=1

  • Zaman Alwsl reported that anger against Assad has continued to grow within the Alawite sect and his home province of Latakia over the large numbers of citizens who have died fighting for the government and the poor job the government has done in honoring their deaths.
    • Assad’s first aide, Hilal Hilal met with 500 families from Assad’s hometown of Qardaha who have lost relatives in the war, after which they received $50 each for their loss. 1,500 soldiers from Qardaha have died in the war.
    • People expressed their anger and frustration after the fall of a series of military bases in al-Raqqa recently, where the soldiers had seemingly been left to be overrun by the Islamic State. Many people could also not get an answer from the government about the fate of their family members in the bases who were presumed to have been killed or captured.
    • https://www.zamanalwsl.net/en/news/6839.html
      Jabhat al-Nusra fighters in Morek.

      Jabhat al-Nusra fighters in Morek.

      A tank captured by rebels in fighting around Damascus.

      A tank captured by rebels in fighting around Damascus.

      Soldiers killed by rebels in Jobar.

      Soldiers killed by rebels in Jobar.

      A rebel killed by government forces during fighting in Eastern Ghouta.

      A rebel killed by government forces during fighting in Eastern Ghouta.

      A rebel killed by government forces during fighting in Eastern Ghouta.

      A rebel killed by government forces during fighting in Eastern Ghouta.

      A rebel killed by government forces during fighting in Eastern Ghouta.

      A rebel killed by government forces during fighting in Eastern Ghouta.


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