11/18/2014

  • Employees of the Local Council in Aleppo city are staging a sit-in to protest the Interim Government’s delay in paying the salaries of the members of the council, and its decision to decrease salaries.

  • Fighting around the northern Aleppo city of Kobani has continued: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.886486&lon=38.354216&z=14&m=b
    • 4 coalition airstrikes targeted the Islamic State in the Security Square on the northeastern front in the city.
    • The YPG was able to advance in fighting in the eastern part of the city, capturing 6 buildings, killing 13 IS fighters, and also capturing weapons and ammo.
    • A video of the fighting by the YPG: 
    • Peshmerga in the city yesterday: 
    • Reuters footage of airstrikes today: 

      ypg 11-18-2014


  • The Islamic Front detonates a government-held building in the Saif al-Dawlah neighborhhod of Aleppo, killing 3 government fighters: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.189326&lon=37.127266&z=15&m=b


  • The Islamic Front repairing roads in western rural Aleppo

  • Rebels announced the beginning of an offensive in Quneitra to capture the town of Khan Arnabah and the city of Madinat al-Ba’ath (Madinat al-Shuhada’a) in order to help the push into Western Ghouta outside of Damascushttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.180807&lon=35.890274&z=13&m=b
    • Madinat al-Ba’ath has been the provincial capital since the city of Quneitra was largely destroyed in the 70s during fighting between Syria and Isreal.
    • There was heavy fighting for Mardinat al-Ba’ath.
      • Rebels captured the Governate building and the Military Security building at the western entrance.
    • A rebel convoy: 
    • Fighting for Madinat al-Ba’ath, mostly here: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.174000&lon=35.861156&z=16&m=b


  • 20 people, including 4 fighters, were kille by 2 barrel bombs dropped last night on the Islamic State controlled city of al-Bab in Aleppohttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.370019&lon=37.529984&z=13&m=b
    • One bomb hit the entrance to the city, while the other hit a restaurant in the city center.

  • 14 civilians, including 5 children and 3 women, were killed by barrel bombs on Kafr Hamra in Aleppohttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.254517&lon=37.090359&z=13&m=b
    • g 11-18-2014 q 11-18-2014

  • There was heavy fighting between rebels and government forces in the Sakhur and Bostan al-Pasha neighborhoods of Aleppohttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=36.224300&lon=37.177477&z=14&m=b

  • Fighters from Jund al-Aqsa raided the village of Deir al-Sharqi, outside of Maarrat al-Nu’man in Idlib, looking for wanted fighters from the Syrian Revolutionaries Front.
    • 6 fighters from the al-Nasr al-Qadim Battalion were arrested, as weapons and ammo from their HQ was seized as well.
    • Jund al-Aqsa participated with Jabhat al-Nusra in the recent infighting in Idlib against the SRF and Harakat Hazm.

  • Abu Azzam al-Ansari, the spokesman for Jabhat al-Nusra in Idlib, has denied that they have reconciled with the Islamic State and plan to team up against them to fight other groups.
    • This was a story that was widely circulated in media outlets last week, apparently using information from a member of the Syrian Revolutionaries Front, which was expelled from most of Idlib this month in fighting with JaN.
    • He confirmed that Salahhuddin Shishani, the leader of the Chechen group Jaish al-Muhajireen Wal-Ansar, went to ar-Raqqa last week to try and work out a cease fire so that JaN could focus on fighting the government. But he said that the IS refused the proposal.
    • Shishani speaking about the meeting. He said he was sent by JaN and the Islamic Front, and that the IS refused the truce because both groups are kuffar (non-believers), and they cannot make peace with the kuffar: 

  • Maarrat al-Nu’man in Idlib was hit by airstrikes: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.648160&lon=36.682835&z=14&m=b


  • Sarmin in Idlib was shelled with heavy artillery: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.903095&lon=36.734247&z=14&m=b


  • Jabhat al-Nusra has re-opened the main road to Idlib city. The road was closed after the government arrested 2 women, who have now been released. The women were relatives of JaN fighters who participated in the assault on the city on October 27.

  • An Al Monitor article on the rebel offensive in Daraahttp://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/11/syria-rebels-daraa-south-damascus.html#

  • Fighting around al-Sheikh Miskin in Daraa has continued: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=32.834741&lon=36.151886&z=12&m=b
  • Barrel bombs were dropped in Inkhil in Daraahttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.024209&lon=36.136093&z=13&m=b


  • A government tunnel detonated by Jaish al-Islam in Beit Sahm in Western Ghoutahttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.468896&lon=36.339941&z=15&m=b


  • Rebels bombing and storming a government-held building in Jobar in Eastern Ghoutahttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.529769&lon=36.333933&z=15&m=b


  • Airstrikes hit Douma in Eastern Ghoutahttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.576084&lon=36.397104&z=14&m=b


  • Jaish al-Islam claimed to have killed 15 government fighters who were attacking Jobar in Eastern Ghoutahttp://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=33.530592&lon=36.335521&z=15&m=b
    • Shelling on Jobar: 

  • 2 airstrikes hit Saqer Island in Deir Ez Zor, which the government is attempting to capture from the Islamic State and trap their forces within the city: http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=35.321988&lon=40.166445&z=14&m=b


  • The UN reported that since the beginning of the war, 60% of Palestinian refugees in Syria have become either internally displaced, or become “refugees a second time over” in the neighboring countries.
    • Between 16,000 and 18,000 Palestinian refugees are also still living in the Yarmouk Refugee Camp in Damascus, which has been under siege by the government since July 2013 and which has been allowed to receive very little aid since then. The camp has not had running water for the last 69 days.
    • The UN also reported that 2/3 of schools in Syria are unusable, either due to damage or to their location in hard to reach areas.

  • The Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies conducted a telephone survey with 5,100 respondents from Syrian refugee camps and 7 Arab countries, and found that 85% of the Arabs surveyed hold a negative view of the Islamic State, while 59% support the coalition airstrikes against the group. However, 73% have a negative view of US foreign policy in the region.
  • US Secretary of State, John Kerry, disputed the notion that the coalition airstrikes, which have largely targeted the Islamic State, are helping Assad.
    • He said that they are both “symbiotic” and rely on each other for power.
    • He said that Assad “purports to be the last line of defense against ISIL. Both are stronger as a result.” He also noted that “Assad has relentlessly bombed areas held by the moderate opposition while doing little to hinder ISIL.”
      • Prior to the coalition airstrikes, the Syrian Air Force regularly targeted the IS, but now they are free to largely focus on the rebels.
    • A large criticism of the airstrikes is that because they only target Assad’s enemies, but not the Syrian military, they are helping him by default by allowing greater amounts of resources to be diverted to fighting the rebels. Another criticism has been that they are targeting the IS for the crimes it has committed, while ignoring the equally abhorrent crimes committed by the government.

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