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Welcome to A Closer Look On Syria

For a word on our approach and how you can contribute to the project, continue here. On the Main Page below are general news and some select incidents studied at ACLOS since its creation in 2012. For more current analysis, check "Recent changes" or "New Pages" in the menu to the left, or use the search box.

Syria News

17 Aug. Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, accompanied by National Intelligence Organization (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, visited Moscow to discuss Syria and other cooperation, met Shoigu and Gerasimov, ahead of a possible start of operation in Idlib (Cassad. photos),(TASS),(Orient).

12 Aug. It is reported that YPG collaborates with the government, provides some 1300 fighters, to wear SAA uniforms, for planned operation in Idlib and Western Aleppo, following 'months' of negotiations with the Russians (Turkish state agency Anadolu),(Rusvesna). The SDF spokesperson calls the Anadolu report a lie.

11 Aug. Syrian first lady Asma al-Assad turns 43 years old.

10 Aug. The SAA has followed the retreating ISIS gangs into the as-Suweida desert where they now stand before the groups's "fortified" as-Safa hide-out, which is a gigantic lava field visible as a black circle from space.

Turkey: While Erdogan asks his people not to panic because of the collapsing lira (and calls Putin), Trump declares per tweet that he has just ordered to double Tarrifs on Turkish aluminium and steel.

Russia and China moved to prevent USA to expand DPRK sanctions list in UNSC 1718 Sanctions Committee, with Russia apparently making references to US recent sanctions on Russia.

8 Aug. The Syrian Presidency announces that Asma al-Assad "started the first stage of treatment of a malignant tumor in the breast which was discovered in its early stage".

The SDF announces that their operation against the ISIS pocket at the Iraqi border has come to a successful conclusion. 71,360 km² and 191 km border were liberated since it started on June 3.

7 Aug. The SAA is following ISIS into the desert between as-Suweida and al-Tanf.

6 Aug. A prominent scientist Dr. Aziz Isber, developer of missile technique, is murdered by a car bomb in Hama province. Many suspect Mossad behind the operation.

The YPG rejects accusations in a HRW report alleging they would routinely recruit child soldiers, saying that these are stories based on hearsay and isolated occasions have been dealt with.

Firat News Agency publishes an interview with a citizen of Afrin, according to whom the conditions in the Turkish-occupied canton are horrific.

With fresh space in Idlib prison (see 2 Aug), Nusra cracks down on rival gangs including recent green bus passengers.

4 Aug. Rania Khalek tells the story of Khaled al Ahmad, "The Mystery Fixer Who Negotiated the End of the Syrian War" (Part II).

Golan Heights, 3 Aug'18

3 Aug. Russian military police accompany UN vehicles on their way to patrol Golan heights separation line, for the first time since 2012-report, photos, video, music. (Former rebels who switched sides, and are still armed, said to be shown standing by the road).

Reuters reports on 'US government memo', in response to a proposal on rebuilding Syria, sent via military channels by Gerasimov to Dunford. Russian MoD confirmed that a letter was sent, expressing regret that confidential communication was made public. It is indicated that return of refugees from US-controlled areas and humanitarian issues, including US-controlled areas, have been raised in the letter.(TASS)

2 Aug. 180 of the 700 prisoners of the Nusra-run Idlib Central Prison, among them around 100 ISIS fighters, manage to flee the institution.

Situation in southern Syria

1 Aug. ISIS again attacks the As-Suweida area from their desert pocket, this time the SAA airbase Khalkhalah. While the attack was repelled, the SAA claims only four soldiers died and no equipment was lost, while ISIS propaganda claims 45 killed soldiers, two destroyed planes and several drones.

31 Jul. According to reports, the ISIS pocket in the shadow of the Golan heights is history after the last ISIS fighters surrender, apparently with a deal to transport them to the desert pocket east of as-Suweida in exchange for the women the terror cult has kidnapped a week ago.

The long line of assassinations of "rebel" commanders in Idlib province continues with two high-ranking Nusra fighters, an Egyptian and an Usbek.

According to "reliable" information obtained by Firat News Agency, a mixed delegation of Iraqi Kurds and Turkish intelligence visited Damascus immediately after the talks with the SDF and tried to convince the government to not further these talks, offering goodies like a consulate in Erbil and secret talks with the Erdogan regime in exchange. The meeting is said to have ended without result.

30 Jul. Russia has established a humanitarian corridor through which vetted civilians are able to leave Idlib province, which is thought to be the theatre of the next big operation once the SAA has finished ISIS in the very southwest.

Russia, Iran and Turkey are meeting in Sochi to discuss the state of the measures taken in the Astana format. Syria is represented by Bashar al-Ja'afari. The US was invited as an observer but refused.

Following a meeting discussing the outcome of the talks with the government, the SDF releases an optimistic statement calling on all democratic political forces in Syria to "join the political path" to a "democratic decentralized Syria". (Firat News Agency has interviewed Salih Muslim, who was not part of the Kurdish delegation, about his expectations)

On this day in 2006, Murray Bookchin died, who was a main influence on the thinking of Abdullah Öcalan, the father of the political system the SDF want to see implemented in all of Syria. Firat News Agency remembers the man and his work publishing a 1969 essay entitled Listen, Marxist!.

In recent days the SDF, with air support from the US-led coalition, has made considerable advances against the ISIS desert pocket at the Iraqi border north of the Euphrates.

Cassad reports (on 31 Jul, showing Jul. 30 map) that IS pocket is separated from the Purple Line. Also in the report: (1)The militants tried to negotiate that they are released into the desert, but it has been denied - the condition for survival is exactly one - the unconditional surrender ; (2)some militants from the "green" groups (FSA) take part in the 'mop-up' of IS together with the Syrian militia. Participation in battles against IS gives them the right to an amnesty and the subsequent integration into the Syrian society (FWIW).

29 Jul. Clashes in the desert following the ISIS terror attack on As-Suweida are still going on.

27 Jul. A delegation of the political wing of the SDF is in Damascus for talks with the government, apparently with some success.

UAE: A Yemeni armed drone sneaks into the UAE and manages to fire three shots at Abu Dhabi airport.

26 Jul. The SAA has conquered all important population centers in the ISIS pocket in the very southwest and has forced the terror cult into a tiny mountain area.

25 Jul. A convoy of ISIS terrorist approaching from the east massacres over 200 civilians, but is repelled in As-Suweida. Three to six suicide bombings are used as a distraction. A number of female hostages are taken and attempted to sell back for ransom.

24 Jul. Sergei Lavrov visits Merkel in Berlin and Macron in Paris to discuss Syria and Ukraine. Both meetings were also attended by Valery Gerasimov, Chief of Staff of the Russian army, who is on the EU sanctions list since 2014 and not allowed to enter. Germany used a waiver to make the meeting possible.

After they broke through the ISIS defenses in the Golan pocket yesterday, today the SAA has liberated several towns before lunch.

The IDF claims to have intercepted a Syrian fighter jet which entered the Golan heights. According to Al Masdar, the SAA confirms the downing of the jet and says it has mistakenly crossed over into the occupied airspace. The pilot Colonel Omran Marii is dead.

23 Jul. Lavrov, Netanyahu, Gerasimov have met in West Jerusalem, discussed Syria. It is said (1,2) that Israel rejected Russian offer to keep Iran 100 km from Syria-Israel border. In TASS version, Netanyahu stated that Israel is interested in complete withdrawal of Iran, without rejecting the Russian proposal.

22 Jul. The Syrian and Russian air forces have conducted 1,900 air strikes on the ISIS pocket next to the Golan heights in recent days.

Netanyahu says Trump, Trudeau asked Israel to help evacuate 800 White Helmets. Bild got a video. It is said that Germany is ready to accept some.

21 Jul. According to Israeli sources, their army helped to evacuate 800 "White Helmets" from the contact line to Syria through the Golan Heights and then to Jordan, from where they are supposed to be transported to "Western" countries. Meanwhile, a large evacuation operation under the usual "green bus north" deal is going on in Quneitra.

20 Jul. In the previous week, the SDF has taken 16 villages from ISIS in the remaining desert pocket at the Iraqi border north of the Euphrates river.

The Russian Hmeimim airbase is under drone attack again.

Iraq: The government declares a state of emergency following mass protests over the lack of basic services like electricity and drinking water.

19 Jul. The series of reconciliation agreements in the south is continuing in recent days and the SAA is now on some hills directly overseeing the ISIS pocket. They and the surrendered FSA "rebels" are jointly guarding the area so no cult members can escape, and plan a joint offensive once formalities are settled.

The civilians of the long-besieged Shi'ite villages Al-Fou'aa and Kafraya in Idlib province are now all evacuated, although reportedly the Nusra terrorists are waylaying on some leaving buses and try to use them to press free more of their imprisoned gang members.

The anniversary of the so-called Rojava Revolution, which is considered to have begun with the expulsion of government forces from Kobane on this day in 2012, is celebrated (Interview with Saleh Moslem, Interview with YPG spokesperson).

AP publishes a report from Talbiseh in the former Rastan pocket, speaking to locals about the situation after the reconciliation deals.

18 Jul. Israel: The Knesset passes with small majority controversial changes to the basic law, declaring the country "the Jewish Nation State", making Hebrew the language of the state and Arabic having 'a special status', and declaring Jerusalem the capital city (full text)

According to the Pentagon, the SDF holds around 600 "Foreign Terrorist Fighters" from more than 40 countries in prison.

17 Jul. The political wing of the SDF says that they will soon open offices in Government-controlled areas of the country.

15 Jul. Up to 1,000 "White Helmets" and their families are in danger of assassination and other intimidation according to "Western" media reports about efforts to evacuate or rescue them from Syria by "The Netherlands, Britain, France, Canada and Germany".

14 Jul. With reconciliation agreements in the important towns of Inkhil and Tal Al-Harrah, the "rebel" pocket in the south continues to implode.

13 Jul. Iraqi media reports that the US is planning a new military base in the country. Its location shall be close to the Syrian border, the Euphrates and the "international road" crossing at Al Bukamal/Al Qaim.

Elijah Magnier reports that "a top Syrian decision maker" told him that the US delivered - through Russian brokering - a message to Assad saying that they want to leave Al-Tanf and the northern regions as soon as possible and have only one condition: That Iranian forces leave as well. Assad reportedly replied that Iran also doesn't want to stay longer than necessary to defeat the Takfiris, but will stay exactly that long by his request.

Rudaw reports that in Al Tabqa the local authorities have reached an agreement with the Syrian government to run the Tabqa Dam together.

12 Jul. In the south, the SAA has taken over a couple of places including the town of Tafas in which some "rebels" had preferred to join ISIS over sticking to the surrender agreement. The town of Hayt even closer to the ISIS pocket has been handed over to the terror cult before the SAA could reach it. Negotiations in Deraa city are still going on, but in the afternoon reports come in that an agreement was reached and Russian military police has entered the "rebel"-controlled southern parts of the city.

Airstrikes on two villages near the Iraqi border kill more than 50 civilians. The US-led "coalition" is accused and doesn't deny, says they are investigating.

10 Jul. Among the places at the Jordanian border the SAA takes over is the old border crossing south of Deraa city.

9 Jul. The SAA continues to advance along the Jordanian border and has according to some reports already encircled the "rebels" in the southern part of Deraa city. Meanwhile, the Russians claim that a total of 90 towns and villages have joined the truce agreements.

8 Jul. The Syrian cabinet approves a plan on how to restore public services in the liberated areas in the south.

SANA reports that an Israeli attack on T-4 airbase in Homs was answered by intercepting several missiles and hitting one jet.

7 Jul. Russia is so far unsuccessfully putting pressure on gangs in western Deraa and Quneitra to come to an agreement with the SAA like their comrades further east have done.

Representatives of 55 clans and tribes meet at a forum in Aleppo directed against intervention in Syrian affairs by the US, France and Turkey.

6 Jul. According to several reports in the afternoon, the SAA has taken control of the Nassib border crossing with Jordan and raised the Syrian flag.

The OPCW publishes a preliminary report about their investigation into the alleged chemical attack in Douma which was used as justification for the FUKUS missile attack in April. No traces of chemical weapons were found.

5 Jul. In a steady advance from the east, the SAA clears a large area of land along the Jordanian border and stands only a few kilometers away from the Nassib border crossing.

4 Jul. According to Elijah Magnier, the number of fighters in the ISIS pocket next to the occupied Golan heights is estimated between 1,500 and 2,000. As he points out, nobody is offering them any deal.

Another round of negotiations fails in the south after the SAA rejects a list of demands issued by the FSA.

The SDF takes two more villages at the Iraqi border from ISIS in their ongoing and slowly progressing "Al-Jazeera Tempest" campaign.

Key Kurdish political figure Aldar Xelil states at a conference in Raqqa that while his side is ready for dialogue, the Syrian government has yet to make a serious effort and the reports of ongoing negotiations are false.

Lavrov and the Jordanian foreign minister hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow.

3 Jul. The Russian air force launches "massive" attacks on targets near Jisr al-Shughour and the Turkish border. This region is known to harbour the "Turkistan Islamic Party" gangs which Russia accuses of having launched the recent attacks on the Khmeimim base.

According to the UNHCR, around 300,000 civilians had to flee and are internally displaced by the fighting in the south. 60,000 of them are said to have gathered at the Nassib border crossing to Jordan. The agency calls on Jordan to open the border and on the countries of the region to take care of these people.

2 Jul. According to military sources talking to Al Masdar, high level negotiations between the SAA and the YPG, resp. their civil control institutions, are going on with the end goal of finding a way to reunite forces. A local agreement over comparatively minor issues has reportedly already been reached in Hasakah, where the government has never ceased to have an outpost in otherwise Kurdish-controlled lands.

The source continued that the government is attempting to convince the Kurdish Democratic Federation to agree to the following:

  • Join forces with the government across the country
  • Handover the Tal Kojar and Simalka border-crossings into Iraq
  • Handover the Al-Darbasiyah and Ras Al-‘Ayn border-crossing into Turkey

The YPG is asking in return that the government make the Kurdish language a part of the Syrian educational system, count the period the YPG fighters served as service in the SAA, and give a Kurdish official a permanent seat in the Syrian oil ministry.

After several rounds of negotiations, the important southern FSA stronghold town Busra al-Sham surrenders to the SAA.

A second repelled drone attack on Khmeimim airbase is reported. Russia blames jihadi groups from central Asia. In the evening the base is attacked a third time. Russian air defense shot down small aerial vehicles aproaching Khmeimim airbase.

1 Jul. Sunday Times: UK RAF Typhoon fighter jet dropped a 500lb laser-guided bomb "during a firefight" last month near the intersection of Syria’s border with Iraq and Jordan (apparently near al-Tanf). A Syrian army officer was killed and seven others were wounded, "according to local reports."

Cassad: another attempted drone attack on Khmeimim airbase, drones shot down; some videos. No casualties or damage reported.

Some FSA groups in Tafas refuse to follow the agreed hand-over of the town to the SAA and instead pledge allegiance to ISIS in its neighboring little pocket in the shadow of the occupied Golan heights.

Firat News Agency publishes a report on the state of the historical sites from the neolithic age located in northern Syria.

30 Jun. A number of towns and villages in the south accept the terms of surrender. These places lie along the M5 motorway to the Jordanian border and the strategic Nassib crossing. Others still refuse with no general settlement being reached.

29 Jun. After the SAA has generally advanced and taken over several towns and a military base from "rebels" in the south in recent days, a 12 hour ceasefire until noon to discuss terms of surrender is announced by the Russian Reconciliation Center. Incoming field reports say that as one result, the three towns of Ibta, Tafas and Dael, just north of Deraa city, have surrendered and will be handed over to the SAA.

Rusvesna version of events, robo-translared: "In the cities of Etbaa, Ta'afas, Daile and El Sheikh Saad, the militants laid down their arms and settled their status. Thus, the government troops came close to the area controlled by ISIS, located in the province of Quneitra. The cities of Teiba, Sayda, Umm Al-Meiyazin and Nasib agreed to lay down their arms and move to the side of the government. Residents of these settlements everywhere hold rallies in support of government forces in anticipation of the arrival of Russian military police and humanitarian aid units. The return of peaceful life to these settlements will allow the official Damascus to take control of highway M5 up to the border with Jordan."

Other reports suggest large number of refugees in the area; neither Jordan nor Israel are willing to allow refugees to enter. Some humanitarian aid is provided. On the Russian side, Kadyrov foundation sent some humanitarian aid too; aid delivery and recently constructed refugee housing shown on photos (Rusvesna).

The SDF-affiliated Syrian Democratic Council (of Kurds in the North) issues a statement accusing Staffan de Mistura of making "blatantly false statements" about the situation in Afrin and covering up Turkish atrocities in his June 27 briefing to the UNSC. In this they agree with Syrian UN ambassador Ja'afari who mentioned the topic among other distortions in his reply to the briefing.

28 Jun. Putin to military graduates: As you know, we started the withdrawal of our forces during my visit to Khmeimim. The withdrawal carries on as we speak: 13 aircraft, 14 helicopters, and 1,140 personnel were withdrawn over the past few days. All these people were tested in combat. You and your comrades-in-arms will have to make full use of this experience when training personnel in Russia ...

CNN claims to have been told that Trump plans to make a deal with Putin which would allow the US to get out of Syria "ASAP".

Three humanitarian corridors are opened for civilians to leave the combat areas in southern Syria.

27 Jun. UK wins bid for OPCW to attribute blame (full text) for chemical weapons attacks (82 countries for, 24 countries against, including Russia, China, India, South Africa, Iran, Syria, 26 abstained, 4 did not cast a vote). Russia criticizes the move but short of leaving OPCW.

26 Jun. At a UN conference in Vienna discussing chemical weapons, the Syrian representative complains that the OPCW is pressured into acting as a political tool of "the West".

24 Jun. Assad gives an interview to Russian NTV (transcript, video).

Turkey: In early presidential and parliamentary elections, Erdogan wins an absolute majority of 52.5% in the first run, while his AKP party loses it for the first time since they came to power and will, with only 42.5% of the votes, have to form a coalition government with the secular nationalist MHP. The left and pro-Kurdish HDP with its leader sitting in jail managed again to stay in parliament with 11.7% of the votes.

The Russian Reconciliation Center reports that FSA groups in 11 southern settlements have joined the SAA in efforts against HTS and other jihadis.

The Russian air force starts participating in the SAA's operation in the south.

23 Jun. The US sends a letter to FSA groups in the south telling them to not expect a military intervention on their behalf.

Berlin: At their annual "Freedom Award" ceremony, the Atlantic Council honours Syrian humanitarian intervention poster child Bana Alabed and former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, famous for her quote that 500,000 dead Iraqi children due to sanctions in the 90s were "worth it" (Eva Bartlett article).

22 Jun. The SAA, led by the Tiger Forces, launches its long-awaited operation in the southern Quneitra, Deraa and Suweida provinces.

Briefing of chief of Russian radiological, chemical and biological defense forces, Major-General Igor Kirillov, critical of OPCW investigations in Syria and of Skripal incident.

ISIS desert pockets

20 Jun. Al Masdar reports that phase two of the SAA's operation against the ISIS desert pocket between eastern Homs and the Euphrates has led to "full liberation" of the "entire" area. The next day reports about further advances include maps that show that there is still a large, but shrinking pocket of ISIS control left in the desert between Palmyra and Deir ez-Zor.

Thierry Meyssan takes a look at the role Germany has played in the war on Syria (Cold war events also mentioned, such as Alois Brunner 'installed in Damascus', among other Nazi officers 'sent all over the world' to fight the Soviets, and to 'organize local secret services' in Egypt, Iran, Syria 'on the model of the Gestapo'). has published another detailed sitrep with the only German permanently accredited journalist reporting from Syria, Karin Leukefeld (Part I, Part II, German language).

19 Jun. At a UN conference against spread of small arms, Syrian ambassador Ja'afari condemns the on-going practice of arming terrorist groups and names as countries involved Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and FUKUS.

The US withdraws its membership from the UN Human Rights Council.

18 Jun. Mysterious foreign airstrikes kill several Syrian, Iraqi troops in east Syria. The US denies that it or members of its coalition were behind what seems to have been armed drone attacks. Later, CNN reports that a proverbial unnamed US government official told them that Israel was behind the attack that killed at least 52 people.

17 Jun. Top PYD Kurd leader Aldar Xelil tells Reuters that they hope Assad is serious about his negotiation offers and think that a deal between them and the Damascus government would be “a historic turning point”.

According to activists, looted and smuggled artifacts from an ancient synagogue in Jobar in the eastern Ghouta have shown up in Turkey, Israel and New York.

Iraq: Just as with the Euphrates river, Turkish upstream machinations with the water supply cause water crisis not limited to drought in the environment of the Tigris (Kurdish Dilja) river.

16 Jun. Aleppo Citadel re-opens for visitors and tourists.

The SDF takes the town Al-Dashishah in the desert of southern Hasaka province near the Iraqi border from ISIS.

15 Jun. After several recent ISIS attacks from inside the Badiya desert pocket, the SAA started a counter-offensive and has liberated around 2000 km² of land, overrunning the cult's defenses. A second phase of the operation targeting the pocket from the south-west is in preparation.

In an interview a YPG representative looks back at the liberation of Gire Spi (Tal Abyad) from ISIS three years ago today.

14 Jun. The US resumes funding of the so-called "White Helmets" organization which was frozen on May 3. $6,6 million are to be allocated through USAID and the State Department.

The SAA extends their deadline for reconciliation negotiations with the "rebels" in Daraa and Quneitra, which has originally been set to today. A member of the reconciliation commitee is shot dead on open streets in "rebel"-held al-Harra town. The doctor is the twelfth member of that committee who has been assassinated during the last two months.

According to information from PMU members, ISIS has, on Iraqi soil, executed 90 of its own fighters for unwillingness to fight the SAA in Syria. The bodies were reportedly thrown into the Euphrates.

13 Jun. Assad gives an interview to Iranian Al-Alam TV's Hosein Murtada (transcript, video).

Kurdish ANHA publishes a detailed report entitled Confessions of terrorist cell linked to Turkish intelligence reveal new facts (Part 1,Part 2).

11 Jun. The Russian defense ministry gives another specific warning about a planned chemical weapons false flag.

10 Jun. The UK's Mail on Sunday publishes an interview with Assad (transcript, video)

9 Jun. Turkey has finished construction of a 764 km long wall on the border to Syria. It is also building a 144 km long wall on the border with Iran.

8 Jun. The chiefs of staff of the Russian and US armies, Gerasimov and Dunford, meet in Helsinki and discuss settlement in Syria and deconfliction in Europe "in a constructive manner".

Reports come in that ISIS managed to break through the SAA defense lines and enter the important city of Albukamal on the Euphrates banks near the Iraqi border. Later it is reported that the SAA managed to secure the city again.

7 Jun. In the village of Zardana in Idlib province a massacre occurs in which according to SOHR at least 44 civilians die. Opposition sources point the finger at a Russian air strike. Russia denies that it flew attacks there and says it knows of infighting with heavy artillery between Nusra and Turkish-backed groups.

6 Jun. The Homs-Hama part of Syria's most important highway M5 re-opens for the first time in seven years.

5 Jun. The Syrian government sends a letter to the UN accusing the US-led "coalition" of crimes against civilians in Hasakah province which the letter says are committed as punishment for their refusal to join "separatist militias" under the SDF umbrella. The letter also accuses the US of directing the remaining ISIS gangs in the desert, all with the goal "to undermine Syria’s sovereignty, safety and territorial integrity".

According to a statistic published by Idlib24, there have been 93 assassination attempts against "rebel" leaders in Idlib province since late April. Over 40 of them have targeted leaders of the al-Qaeda incarnation HTS.

According to a YPG statement, the "last advisory group" has withdrawn from Manbij.

4 Jun. After a meeting in Washington by the two foreign ministers, the US and Turkey release a joint statement in which a mutually endorsed "roadmap" about the situation in Manbij is mentioned (Kurdish view on the statement).

Assad issues two decrees raising the salaries of active military personal by 30% and those of retired military personal by 20%.

The extremely low water levels in the Euphrates due to machinations of Turkey cause draught and animal diseases.

3 Jun. A very close adviser to the late Zahran Alloush turns out to be a government spy.

According to Fars SAA and RuAF launched heavy attacks in northern Hama and Southern Idlib.

According to Southfront and Fars(SAA) and its allies repelled an attack of ISIS along the western bank of the Euphrates River in the southeastern Deir Ezzor countryside.

2 Jun. Representatives of seventy tribes of Aleppo, Raqqa and Hasakah provinces hold a conference entitled "Syrian tribes against foreign intervention and the American presence on Syrian soil".

The Syrian FM Muallem demands that the US leave Al-Tanf immediately.

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Chemical Weapons (starting late 2012)

Main article: Category:Chemical Weapons
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A running theme in Syria news is claims about the use of chemical weapons and the red lines they would cross, if confirmed. Our category on this topic covers most reported incidents, especially all high-profile ones like the one that almost started a world war. In 2013, the allegations mostly involved the use of the nerve agent sarin. Since Syria surrendered its stocks to avert war, the allegations from 2014 to present shifted to use of chlorine gas. In both phases, ACLOS has discovered many problems with the accusation of government CW use, as well as much evidence that opposition forces are the ones actually guilty for many incidents. This trend continued when in early April 2017 the topic hit big news again, just to return once more a full year later.

Aleppo Aid Convoy Attack (September 19, 2016)

Main article: Attack on Red Crescent convoy in Urm al-Kubra
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Around 20 or perhaps 30 civilians are killed in in an attack on an aid convoy near Aleppo, destroying more than a dozen trucks hauling medical aid. This is another disputed incident; the West and its sponsored activists alleges a Russian or Syrian air attack is to blame, while Russia and Syria don't seem to know exactly what happened. ACLOS investigates.

And not to be distracted: this came just two days after the US airstrike on SAA in Deir ez-Zor that killed at least 60 Syrian soldiers in a well-known position of theirs, in a rather implausible "accident."

Houla (May 25, 2012)

Main article: The Houla massacre
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The initial ACLOS investigation. The murder of around 108 civilians, among them up to 49 children, in the town of Taldou belonging to Houla in Homs province, is maybe the most famous event that happened in Syria in 2012. It was immediately blamed on the government and led to several countries expelling their Syrian ambassadors. Initially attributed to the use of heavy weapons, it quickly turned out that most of the victims were killed by short-distance violence. This led to the blaming of Alawite "Shabiha" militias loyal to Assad. While the UNHRC closed their investigation in mid August stating to be reasonably certain that indeed government loyalists were the perpetrators, a lot of the conflicting evidence collected in our research was either washed away or not considered at all, while contradictions in the testimonies of witnesses backing their conclusion were denied. A central question is who was in control over the area at the time - our attempt to answer this based on all collected evidence can be found here.

Homs Massacres (2011-present)

Main article: Homs Massacres
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Although relatively secure by now, the city districts and rural surroundings of Homs were home to some of the most shocking massacres of the Syrian war, especially in early 2012 when rebels had control over most of the city (that was following a short-lived Syrian military withdrawal brokered by the U.N. and Arab Laague). The ongoing ACLOS effort to list and analyze as many massacres as possible, so far includes more than 40, accounting for at least 1,400-1,900 deaths of almost strictly civilians victims. Alleged details are compared with common family names, district demographics, and the usual ACLOS techniques, to establish useable insights. Consider the Khalidiya Massacre of February, 2012, with 138 people killed, rebels said, as family homes were shelled. But the victims were 100% male and 94% adult, pre-segregated just like the prisoners of rebels the other side claimed the victims were. And this one's no fluke; strangely similar patterns repeat over and over in what makes for chilling reading.

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Ukraine News

14 Ukrainian forces shelled Gorlovka, a house sustained a direct hit, and at 20:35 a school was hit. General security deterioration on the contact line is reported. A firefight along Bakhmutka roadway, near Donetsly settlement is reported.

10 Aug. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 4 DPR soldiers and one Ukrainian soldier were killed (it is reported that an Ukrainian soldier was killed by UAF when he tried to defect to DPR). 11 people were wounded (9 soldiers, a civilian man, and a civilian woman).

9 Aug. UN OHCHR published a report, Human rights violations and abuses and international humanitarian law violations committed in the context of the Ilovaisk events in August 2014. (Discussion, Rusvesna, from pro-Russia side).

8 Aug. Ex-head of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Ukraine, General of the Army of Ukraine Nikolai Malomuzh: 'If Putin goes for a new offensive against Ukraine, NATO's response will be tough'

7 Aug. It is reported that a driver and two DPR female military medics were killed when Ukrainian forces fired guided anti-tank missile on their marked ambulance car. They were responding to a medical emergency call placed by a woman living in Naberezhnoe, Novoazovsk region. Aftermath is shown on DPR video, including missile guiding wire and engine.

Ukraine fired 16 mortar shells from on Sakhanka village, DPR south, from Lebedinskoe.

6 Aug. Ukrainian forces fired small firearms on settlement of Naberezhnoe, a man (1975 DOB) was wounded; also shelled Staromikhailovka near Donetsk (map)from BMP and grenade launchers, one house burned down, three other houses were damaged.

3 Aug. DPR ombudsman: in the past week 3 DPR soldiers were killed, 4 soldiers were wounded. Since the start of the year, 101 people were killed (95 men, 6 women; the number includes 2 children under 18)

1 Aug. Nadezhda Savchenko, still in preliminary detention in Ukraine, wrote a letter to Trump asking to help with release of Ukrainians held in Russia, calling Poroshneko 'the most corrupt president in Ukrainian history'. She earlier wrote to Putin asking to pardon Ukrainians held in Russia. In April, Savchenko sister Vera appealed to Trump to help Nadezhda, linking her arrest with her political positions and plans to run for Ukrainian presidency.

28 Jul. Events marking 1030th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus' in Moscow (Cathedral Square of the Kremlin; St. Vladimir monument-Putin speaking); and in Kiev. Russian sources describe significance of the event and celebrations, processions in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus'. While Ukrainian media make a case for procession of Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Kyivan Patriarchate (not canonically recognized breakaway from the Moscow Patriarchate).

27 Jul. DPR ombudsman: In the past week, 4 people were killed (2 soldiers; and 2 children killed by landmine explosion). Four people were wounded (3 soldiers and a civilian woman).

25 Jul. Lug-info: Participants of the humanitarian working group of the Contact Group had to take a break in connection with the anti-Russian rhetoric of the representative of Ukraine Irina Gerashchenko, who soon left the meeting, having prior to that offended the DPR representative and ombudsman Darya Morozova. This follows early incident in May, 2018 directed at DPR acting FM Natalya Nikanorova ('fans' page'): Today at a political group meeting, for the first time in 87 sessions, the Ukrainian side sounded not only frankly provocative statements, but also direct threats of physical abuse and prosecution. Russian patriotic opposition is having an issue (Donetski, 1, 2).

24 Jul. A civilian woman, 1987 DOB, is wounded by Ukrainian shelling of Dokuchaevsk.

One of FEMEN founders Oksana Shachko committed suicide in Paris.Oksana left a note in English, addressed to the Parisian bohemia, with whom she had been in close contact recently: "You are all fake "

Amid reports of Ukrainian 'unified command' insisting on fighters of volunteer battalions joining UAF or withdrawn (Naev and Yarosh seen having a chat here) , a [report video emerged which appears to show SBU disarming volunteers at a gunpoint. The video was challenged by SBU spokes-girl Olena Gitlyanska. Video circumstances are unclear, posted on youtube by a user with little history. More in discussion.

Graham Phillips offers color-intensive pro-Kremlin propaganda from Artek, Crimea, to counter brownyellowish report by BBC (video).

22 Jul. In Lvov, another anniversary of SS division 'Galichina' is celebrated, with SS uniforms and staged funerals On this day in 1944 the division was surrounded and defeated in Brody. (Cassad; + earlier anniversary report from May).

20 Jul. Bloomberg: Putin told Russian diplomats that he made a proposal to Trump to hold a referendum by residents of Donbass rebel territories on their status, under international auspices, to help resolve the conflict. (Russian patriotic opposition comments are quite skeptical, pointing out that several referendums in Transnistria, all overwhelmingly in favor of joining Russia, had little practical effect).

US National Security Council spokesman Garret Marquis: “The Administration is not considering supporting a referendum in the eastern Ukraine” .

DPR ombudsman: in the past week 3 soldiers were killed, 5 people (4 soldiers and a civilian woman) were wounded.

Ukraine has transferred to DPR the body of a former opolchenie fighter lured to Ukraine and apparently killed by Ukrainian services after torture, while trying to blame DPR for his death (report + photo at the bottom).

19 Jul. Boris Filatov, mayor of Dnepr(opetrovsk) posted on Facebook that he has been monitoring teachers for signs of 'separatism', with over 30% supporting it. He states that 'now they will be fired or not hired', 'legally irreproachable, without the ability to recover by a court decision'. He points out that at present the Humanitarian Department holds contests for new appointments of school principals (quite critical coverage by

16 Jul. Trump meets Putin in Helsinki-live updates -NY Times, TASS.

Press conference transcript and video (Kremlin; White House, Putin interview to Fox News (Fox News; Kremlin).

An interview highlight, stated cooperation on Israeli security and humanitarian matters in Syria, while discussing other issues. Fox interview highlight here

15 Jul. DPR MoD: 2 ceasefire violations, one home damaged. It is said that 'Right Sector' militants opposing orders to withdraw uncontrolled nationalistic units from the war zone deployed and detonated an IED, destroying Ukrainian armed forces 'Ural' vehicle and killing 3, wounding 6 UAF soldiers (no independent confirmation).

13 Jul. DPR ombudsman: in the past week 2 DPR soldiers were killed and 2 wounded, despite agreed ceasefire. DPR MoD: 34 cesefire violations in the past week by Ukraine, 79 mortar shells fired, small arms also used; 13 houses were damaged.

8 Jul. Rusvesna: planes carrying US marines landed in Ukraine. USS Mount Whitney, the flagship of the United States Sixth Fleet, has entered the Black Sea for Sea Breeze-2018 joint US-Ukrainian exercises.

6 Jul. DPR ombudsman: In the past week 3 DPR soldiers were killed, 3 were wounded (2 soldiers and a civilian man). 89 killed were killed, 190 wounded since the start of the year. According to ombudsman data, 4656 were killed in DPR since the start of the conflict.

DPR MOD: 49 ceasefire violations in the past week (46 a week before). Small arms, mortars, BMP and BTR weapons were used; anti-tank guided munitions fired on a truck carrying water supply.

5 Jul. Yulia Timoshenko (video): (There) is an extremely dangerous plan which so far Peter Poroshenko intends to realize in Ukraine. In principle, he wants that presidential elections are not held. Now a deep negotiation process has begun with those who allegedly lead the "LPR-DPR", that is, in fact, with the people who today occupied part of Ukraine. Poroshenko wants to initiate the beginning of a big war. He wants additional territories of Ukraine to be seized. He wants everything to burn, everything on fire. He wants to use this to impose the martial law and not to hold elections in principle. Russian patriotic opposition Donetsk blogger Donetski (donrf) comment argues that it would be a mistake for Kremlin to place a bet on Timoshenko, and in fact there is little hope that any of the options currently looked at will resolve the situation in Donbass, for the ordinary people living there. (He does not offer an alternative solution in his post).

4 Jul. DPR added famous Ukrainian prisoners exchange negotiator Vladimir Ruban to its prisoners exchange list. (Ruban was arrested on 8 Mar. 2018 after a provocation involving weapons smuggling arranged by Ukrainian services).

2 Jul. Ukraine named 23 Russians held by Ukraine whom Ukraine is ready to exchange for Ukrainians held in Russia and Donbass (Interfac),(

1 Jul. Ukraine violated 'bread ceasefire' 9 hours after its start, shelling Dokuchaevsk.

Despite ceasefire, Ukraine fired anti-tank missiles and destroyed a Kamaz vehicle delivering water to DPR armed forces. The driver was critically wounded.

30 Jun. Civilian man was wounded by Ukrainian shelling of Gagarin mine pit, near Gorlovka.

Prior to start of ceasefire, Ukraine shelled settlement of Donetskii, LPR

At around 23:00, a powerful explosion at natural gas distribution station in Novoazovsk region was reported, leaving southern part of DPR without gas supply. Reasons are unknown, with sabotage not excluded.

28 Jun. DPR MoD: Ukraine made two failed attempt to attack in Gorlovka direction. Attacks were repelled, using small arms fire. Up to 3 UAF soldiers were killed and at least 3 wounded. Ukraine responded with artillery and tank fire, to cover advance of their RSG group. However RSG group was spotted and fired on; two group members were wounded. After that, RSG withdrew.

In the morning Ukraine fired mortars and ten 122 mm artillery shells on Gorlovka. In the past day, Ukraine fired 75 shells, 3 buildings in Dokuchaevsk and Donetsk were damaged.

27 Jun. Contact group negotiated new 'bread ceasefire', starting 1 July

23 Jun. Ukraine fired on Dokuchaevsk, a civilian woman, 1942 DOB was wounded.

DPR MOD: Ukraine fired mortars and light weapons on Zaitsevo and Gagarin minepit near Gorlovka. Also Ukrainian 'occupiers bands' said to attack Ukrainian-held villages Yuzhnoe, Gladosovo, and Metallist (to blame DPR for attacking civilians) .

Ukraine fired AGS and twenty five 122-mm artillery shells from Vodyanoe and from Gnutovo on settlements of Leninskoe and Sakhanka, near Novoazovsk, DPR (map). Four Ukrainian tanks arrived to Andreevka, DPR appealed to OSCE to see them withdrawn.

Two Ukrainian groups, about 15 fighters in total, attempted to break through DPR positions near Mariupol. One of the groups triggered an explosion trying to defuse land mines, another proceeded but was repelled by DPR forces small arms fire. It is said that by preliminary data up to 3 UAF soldiers were killed and 4 wounded, and one DPR soldier was wounded (DPR video report).

Ukraine shelled Gorlovka, one residential house is damaged.

In Krivoy Rog, Dnepropetrovsk region, nationalistic activists and police argued with 54 old man over St. George ribbon displayed inside his car. The man said that he was raised in the USSR, that this is a matter of his faith, and that if they are not happy with the Soviet past, they should take down surrounding buildings constructed in the Soviet era. He was supported by a passing by woman. Police stated that those symbols are banned by the Ukrainian law. Activists and the man argued about the war in Donbass, with the man saying that he belongs to Ukraine but 'nobody asked you to come/ fight in Donbass' . They also argued about the flag, red-and-blue (UkrSSR) vs yellow-and-blue (Ukraine). Police eventually removed the ribbon, with the argument continuing. (, Rusvesna, video).

22 Jun. On the anniversary of the start of operation Barbarossa (the Nazi invasion of the USSR, 1941), and the start of what is known as the Great Patriotic War, a large public gathering in Lugansk cheered as judges announced life sentences to the top Ukrainian leadership for war and other serious crimes, quoting articles of the Ukrainian criminal code. The event felt heavily scripted and 'Soviet', yet strong and genuine feeling were apparent underneath too.

OHCHR report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, Feb-May 2018 is published. Item 18: majority of civilian casualties from shelling and small arms is attributed to Ukrainian fire.

21 Jun. In the evening, Ukraine resumed firing on DPR (Donetsk airport, Yasinovataya checkpoint) from large caliber machine guns and automatic grenade launchers; later mortars and (tripod)-mounted anti-tank grenade launchers were used to fire on Zaitsevo. It is reported that DPR suppressed Ukrainian firing position near Kominternovo, near Mariupol, which was used to shell the village for days.

Poroshenko called Putin on the phone (press statements: Kremlin, Poroshenko office).

Russia-born SBU general Alexander Kuts was named new governor of Ukrainian-held Donetsk region. Kuts served in 'anti-corruption' branch of SBU till 2014. Since 2015 he was head of Donetsk SBU, and was accused by Zakharchenko in being one of organizers of Motorola assassination.

Text and audio of one of the recorded conversations of Poroshenko with a runaway Ukrainian MP and oligarch Onishenko is published, allegedly showing corruption.

Aleksei Bidusenko, who is said to change sides to join LPR taking secret documents with him, has been captured by Ukrainian reconnaissance group. The announcement quotes Rusvesna article (24 June 2017). In that article it is stated that the Ukrainian side is seeking Bidusenko who has left his post with some documents, and that LPR opened a search for him too, trying to help him to escape. (His fate is unclear from the 2017 article).

20 Jun. Ukraine shelled Gorlovka, a civilian man was wounded.

19 Jun. (morning), Kiev. Protesters gather in front of the Rada, shout 'Gan'ba', some clashes with the police (video). Many are war or ATO veterans protesting worsening social conditions.

15 Jun. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 5 DPR soldiers were killed, 17 people (6 soldiers, 8 civilian men, 3 civilian women) were wounded.

13 Jun. Anatoly Gritsenko, Ukrainian ex-DM, claims that he is one of the participants of 'a working group' which includes members from Ukraine, Russia, France, Germany and the US, with experience at the level of (ex) foreign ministers, defense ministers, ambassadors. He claims that the group meets from time to time in Europe to develop proposals for the leadership on issues such as peacekeepers, elections, amnesty. (Gritsenko versions of those proposals are not too different from Volker's).

12 Jun. Ukraine shelled Donetsk, Gorlovka areas with mortars, BMP guns, and small firearms. One DPR soldier was killed. A civilian was wounded in Dokuchaevsk by Ukrainian large caliber machine gun fire. It is also said that Ukraine deployed anti-aircraft systems near Kramatorsk, provocations feared.

LPR. it is reported that Ukrainian special operations forces arrived dressed in Russian uniforms; provocations feared.

Trump and Merkel have friendly chat during a break in the summit

9 Jun. The G7 leaders, meeting in Canada, fail to reach an agreement on a communique condemning Russia for its "illegal annexation of Crimea".

8 Jun. Ukraine fired mortars on (1) Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka. A civilian was wounded (2) Sakhanka, in DPR south; a civilian was wounded here too; a residential building, gas pipeline and power lines were damaged

7 Jun. Putin: if Ukraine attacks in Donbass, that will have 'very heavy consequences for Ukrainian statehood as a whole' (answering a question from Zakhar Prilepin, as reported by Rusvesna, full QA transcript to appear. Many questions, including Skripal, etc ).

Ukraine fired mortars on Golubovskoe village, LPR, a civilian bus was hit, 6 passengers were wounded

6 Jun. Donetsk water filtering station lost power as a result of Ukrainian mortar shelling. This happened on the same day as OSCE SMM intensive monitoring near the station ended.

Ukrainian MoI Avakov: The Minsk process played a role and at the moment it is dead (robo-translation)

31 May. Suspect arrested in Babchenko affair tells that (he believed) he was helping Ukrainian security services. He is a Ukrainian businessman involved with weapons deliveries for ATO with in the past . Organizer suspect name has been made public. His attorney: Boris Herman (Герман, German) is an Executive Director of the Ukrainian-German joint venture "Schmeisser", the only non-state enterprise for the manufacture of weapons in our country. It has long industrial relations with the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Boris himself is known for his volunteer activity for the needs of ATO. It is his optics that is used on the rifles of our snipers, namely, he upgrades and creates the most powerful sniper complexes based on existing army weapons.

In another report, the hired 'killer' himself came to SBU. Ukrainian activist, ATO veteran, and formerly Christian Orthodox hierodeacon Alexey Tsimbaliuk claimed on social media that he is that 'killer'.

Arkady Babchenko shot dead with 4 bullet holes to his back (fake)

30 May. Arkady Babchenko arose from dead to have a press conference (Rusvesna)

29 May. DPR MOD: one DPR soldier is killed by Ukrainian shelling

Pro-Ukrainian, pro-Maidan, Russian (opposition) journalist Arkady Babchenko was shot and killed by unknowns in Kiev (TASS, Echo 1, 2; TV Rain; FB; Meduza; Rusvesna/photo, Nebenzya/UN). Ilya Ponomarev (could be hired Ukrainian ex nats-batts); PM Vladimir Groisman ('Russia is behind'), Russian FM (demands investigation).

UNSC briefing on Ukraine. Nebenzya on video here, Eng.

28 May. DPR ombudsman. In the period from May 18 to 25, 9 people were killed (including 6 were military personnel, 2 civilian women and one civilian man), 17 people were wounded (including 6 servicemen, 4 civilian women and 7 civilian men). Since the beginning of 2018, 68 people were killed (including 57 military men, 7 civilians and 4 civilian women), 145 people were wounded (including 89 military personnel, 36 civilians men, 19 civilian woman and one child under the age of 18). Since the beginning of the armed conflict in the Donetsk People's Republic 4635 people were killed, among them 610 women and 4025 men, including 76 children under the age of 18.

27 May. After attempted Ukrainian attacks on Gorlovka, it is said that situation somewhat stabilized.

Gazprom and Turkey signed the 'Turkish stream' protocol. This comes few days after it was announced that Russia gave Turkey a 1 bln USD discount in a dispute over past deliveries.

26 May. Reports of Ukraine shelling and/or (unconfirmed) establishing positions in Petrovskoe, south of Donetsk (map), a supposed separation zone, threatening DPR-held city of Dokuchaevsk. In a later report, it is denied that Ukraine made advances in Petrovskoe, which is still under DPR control. Ukraine established positions in Viktorovka from last summer, and have recently returned to their old position on height 202.9, 2 km south of the village.

RT publishes a 50min documentary film about the construction of the recently opened bridge over Kerch Strait which connects Crimea with mainland Russia.

23 May. DAN news: captured Ukrainian soldier testified on Ukrainian plans to 'attack' in Donbass before the start of the football World Cup in Russia (14 June-15 July), and that recently given to Ukraine Javelins and other heavy equipment will be 'placed on the front lines' prior to the attack (no independent confirmation). Poroshenko recently presented Ukrainian official version of Javelins purpose, highlighting his role in getting them (but even taking the official version, propaganda or motivational use,- if not more, - is not excluded) .

A policeman is killed by Ukrainian artillery shelling of Gorlovka.

European "Human Rights" court decided that Ukrainian ban on land sales is a human rights violation, in a case brought up to the court by 2 (two) Ukrainians. In response, alternative MP Lyashko threatened to 'burn' Rada if the moratorium is lifted. (It was long feared that lifting the ban, pressed on by Ukraine sponsors, will result in loss of control on top of the range but low priced Ukrainian agricultural lands to transnational conglomerates).

BBC: Trump lawyer 'paid by Ukraine' to arrange White House talks

21 May. An important bridge is destroyed in LPR, it is feared that this may indicate preparations for a major Ukrainian attack.

As part of continued escalation near Gorlovka, Ukrainian 'Donbass' battalion attacked DPR checkpoint, capturing 3 and killing 1 DPR soldier. Ukrainian losses also reported.

Ukrainian sources showed aerial video of strikes on DPR positions, praising those strikes.

19 May. Gorlovka and vicinity remains a flashpoint. A civilian woman, 1932 DOB, and a DPR soldier were killed. Ukraine shelled residential areas with banned munitions, said to contain nails. New Ukrainian positions near captured by Ukraine Yuzhnoe came under DPR fire; it is said that 2 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and 1 wounded.

18 May. DPR. Oleg Mamaev, commander of '[Piatnashka' (Пятнашка) battalion died of his wounds received in Avdeevka industrial zone flashpoint.

According to Russian sources, 3 Canadian instructors were killed and two American wounded by landmine explosion, some Ukrainian soldiers were wounded. DPR blames Ukraine in attempting a provocation by presenting this as a DPR attack.

Ukraine captured settlement of Yuzhnoe near Gorlovka.

Reporters without borders on the arrest of Kirill Vyshinsky, a Ukrainian journalist who heads RIA Novosti Ukraine

17 May. Civilian woman, 1983 DOB, resident of Golmovsky near Gorlovka killed by Ukrainian shelling, her daughter was orphaned.

Russia opens a criminal case against the Washington Examiner author Tom Rogan for "public calls for terrorist activity on Russian territory" in the article mentioned below.

15 May. In a ceremony Putin opens the vehicle section of the 19 km long bridge over Kerch Strait that will connect mainland Russia and Crimea. The Washington Examiner asks Ukraine to blow up the bridge.

13 May. Residential areas of Gorlovka shelled by Ukraine, a civilian man wounded, several houses hit.

8 May. Belorussian citizen who served in Donbass opolchenie was sentenced to two years prison term in Belarus'

7 May. Zaitsevo, near Gorlovka, was shelled by Ukraine, an old woman was wounded.

6 May. Ukraine shelled Gorlovka, a civilian man, 1938 DOB, was wounded, several houses were damaged

5 May. Marat Mazitovich Musin, founder of ANNA news, often reporting from Syria, died from natural causes in at a gathering of military-sport organizations and cadets in Kazan', from blood clot/heart problem. He was economics professor, and an author of 19 or more books, some co-authored with el-Murid.

4 May. DPR ombudsman: in the past week, 6 people (4 soldiers and 2 civilian men) were killed, 14 people (7 soldiers, 4 civilian women, 3 civilian men) were wounded. Since 1 Jan'18, 51 were killed (44 soldiers, 6 civilian men, 1 civilian woman), 108 were wounded (72 soldiers, 23 civilian men, 13 civilian women).

3 May. Brazilian ex-opolchenie Rafael Lusvargi (earlier (7 Oct'16) captured by Ukraine in transit, charged, sentenced, and released by Ukrainian court decision prior to a failed group of prisoners exchange, living since in a monastery in Kiev) is outed by 'Radio Liberty', said to be after local employer of Brazilian embassy was present at a meeting of his attorney with Brazilian consulate reps, trying to secure his Brazilian passport. Lusvargi was then captured and harassed by members of a right-wing paramilitary group S-14. Later it was said that he is in SBU custody. New trial will be in Pavlograd. Brother of his attorney fears for Rafael's life and safety. Lusvargi will be kept in custody, by the decision pf Pavlograd court

1 May. DPR MoD: A civilian couple was wounded on May holidays by Ukrainian shelling of Verhnetoretskoe. The Ukrainian militants suffered a well-deserved punishment: their gunspots were suppressed by the military personnel of the DPR from the armament not prohibited by the Minsk agreements

Highlights from the past

30 Apr. U.S. Confirms Delivery Of Javelin Antitank Missiles To Ukraine

Poroshenko announced end of ATO and start of 'joint operation of armed forces', which is aimed at 'defending territorial integrity' and will only end 'when the last piece of Ukrainian land is liberated, including Crimea', which is somehow supposed to happen by 'political-diplomatic means'.


More videos on talk page


  • Recent history in a nutshell in those photos to the right:
Poroshenko, Kiska - EU entry at Uzhgorod
Alley of Angels, in memory of killed children of Donbass. Ukraine "über alles"?-Donetsk Partisan
Ukrainian AF killed and wounded in 'ATO', Maidan, Kiev
  • Aftermaths of Ukrainian shelling of the village Zheltoe (Yellow), LPR, 29 Nov. 2016 lug-info.


Note on sources. At present, pro -Ukrainian and pro-Russian sources more often than not offer opposing claims on events, and a choice needs to be made. Currently factual part of reporting by pro-Russian sources appear more accurate, complete, and closer to truth, out of the two available alternatives. It is also less known, as the other side has greater support by the Western mass media. For that reason, a lot of reporting here is based on Russian sources. It is not done for the sake of supporting any pre-determined narrative. If and when Ukrainian sources appear more accurate, they will be used without a reservation.

Some Ukrainian source reporting is very good, for example Tatyana Montyan numerous videos, some of them translated, are spot-on and at times appear closer to reality than any pro-this or that narratives. However the bulk of Ukrainian media is unreliable, and often just unbelievable, not passing cross checks (e.g. as was illustrated numerous times by well-read on both sides Ukrainian journalist Anatoly Sharii); or else, is filled with hate and may cheer more people harmed or killed (any of such sort, from any side, is totally unsupported here).


Official Ukrainian sources

Ukrainian media


Minsk Agreements

Safety zone (no heavy weapons) agreed at Normandy format meeting in Minsk, 12.02.2015. Black: current front line; red-19 September line. At the bottom it says: source: the web site of the President of Russia


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Ukraine (2014 - Today)

ACLOS has covered events in Ukraine since the 2014 regime change and through the ensuing conflict. Three most important subjects among many considered:

  • Maidan snipers February, 2014 Analyzing the mysterious February, 2014 shootings that helped demonize Ukraine's government at just the right time.
  • Odessa Trade Union massacre May 2, 2014 Analyzing the killing of dozens of pro-federalism activists in Odessa, which the civilized world shrugged at and ignored. (based on numerous videos of the event, documented authorities response, and witness interviews; still mostly on talk pages).
  • MH17 (2014, July - Today)
Followed from the very beginning. However still remains mostly on talk page, sub-pages, and sub-page talk pages.

Kobane (2014, July, September - Summer 2015)

Main article: Assault on Kobane
Kobane water cannon.jpg

A very similar chain of events like years before in Ras Al-Ayn (see below), only this time it made the news (months after we started the article). Not least because this time, the attackers call themselves part of ISIS, the "newly arrived" enemy of all that's good and decent.

Ras Al-Ayn (November 8, 2012 - Summer 2013)

Main article: Assault on Ras Al-Ayn
Sere kaniye burial.jpg

Ras Al-Ayn, directly at the Turkish border in the north-east, early November 2012: The Kurdish dominated and mostly self-governed town gets assaulted by hundreds of Islamist fighters coming across the border from Turkey, under the eyes and with help of the Turkish military. After typical sectarian assaults on the civilian population, Kurdish militia takes up the fight against the foreigners. In the process of the following weeks, the town sees shelling by both the Syrian and the Turkish army, several defeats of the Islamists with retreat behind the Turkish border, and finally a fragile truce. On January 16, again large groups of foreign fighters with tanks cross the Turkish border and heavy clashes break out. After a month of heavy fighting, another peace agreement is signed on February 17. Five months later, following an Islamist attack on female Kurdish fighters, heavy clashes lead to the final conquer of the border station by the Kurds, which leads to increasing tensions in other parts of the region.

Tremseh (July 12, 2012)

Main article: Tremseh massacre
Confiscated tunisian passports.jpg

When news of this alleged massacre reached the media, it came with alarming numbers of up to 300 civilians murdered in the small village of Tremseh northwest of Hama. In the following hours and days, both pro- and anti-government sources helped to clear the picture of what is now mostly called the "Battle of Tremseh" between the army and anti-government fighters who had used the village as their base for operations in the region. The real death toll seems to be some civilians caught in the crossfire and a couple of dozen killed anti-government fighters. In addition, many including foreigners were arrested and their arms and equipment confiscated.

Other research...