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.
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').
weltnetz.tv 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.
31 May. RT publishes an interview Murad Gazdiev conducted with Assad (transcript).
Over a year late, the US State Department puts the latest alias of al-Qaeda in Syria on its list of designated terrorist organizations.
29 May. Syria takes the rotating presidency of the UN Conference on Disarmament and will head it for four weeks. Some exceptionally peaceful and unarmed country's delegation throws a hissy fit over it and even stages a little walk-out just to return minutes later. (Syrian opening statement)
Syria recognizes the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the protest of Georgia and the EU.
Rumours about an agreement with Turkey over Manbij are denied by the US State Department.
28 May. The EU Council extends their sanctions against Syria for another year, justifying them with "the ongoing repression of the civilian population".
According to Sergey Lavrov, ISIS-related groups are becoming more active in the region protected by the US umbrella around Al-Tanf. He expects active steps to end the "pointless" US presence in this desert spot at the Iraqi border.
27 May. According to Al Masdar, the SAA is preparing "the biggest offensive of the year" in the south of the country with the goal to take back the borders in the Deraa and Quinetra provinces. (Indirect non-intervention negotiations between Iran and Israel has been reported).
Turkey deploys 700 members of the "Free Syrian Police" they trained to Afrin canton, led by one Rami Tlass who sounds like a member of a notorious family of army defectors.
Channel4's Alex Thomson once again travels to Syria and reports from Ghouta.
Four Russian soldiers were killed by rebel fire, 3 more wounded. Two of those were killed were assisting in correcting fire; 5 more were wounded and two of those died in hospital. (Some reports of additional losses including 2 PMC). This happened in Deir-ez-Zor province at night, in an attack by a rebel mobile group. According to Russian MoD, 43 rebels and their 6 vehicles with large caliber firearms were destroyed in this battle. Local newspaper in Chita, Russia reports on funerals of 2 soldiers from an artillery brigade killed by shelling on 23 May; with two more funerals elsewhere. On 25 May, IS reports on an attack on pro-government forces appeared, said to be claiming that 23 were killed and 5 captured in the attack (unconfirmed, possibly exaggerated; reported by el-Murid, not seen on SITE intelligence) . See also 23 May news (relation not established). On 26 May, a video was published by the Russian news agency FAN, The SAA, with the assistance of the allies, defeated the terrorist attacks of the "IS" who attacked a number of military posts located in the Meyadin area in the east of Deir Ez-Zor (map).
25 May. Several vague reports about another missile attack on a military installation in Homs province. Ultra-loyalist Ziad Fadel says it was an unsuccessful Israeli attempt at destroying newly arrived and installed Iranian air defense systems.
Turkey And US Agree On Road Map For Cooperation In Manbij City
red: Russian / yellow: Turkish / green: Iranian
24 May. The Russian defense ministry publishes a map showing the observation points of the three guarantors of the Astana process on the borders of the Idlib de-escalation zone.
The SDF captures alive a central ISIS figure who is believed to have been involved in the planning of several terror attacks in France.
The important Mhardeh power plant in northern Hama is once again bombed out of service by terrorists.
23 May. Coalition strike on Syrian positions near T2 pumping station and Iraq border (map) is reported by Hezbollah media unit -Reuters. Pentagon did not confirm the report.
The National Hospital in Tabqa, which had been used as an ISIS headquarter, opens again to the public. According to ANHA it's the second largest public hospital in Syria.
22 May. The occupiers of Afrin continue to destroy and loot historical sites.
Former Southern Damascus pocket
21 May. After a 48 hour ceasefire, the fighting around Yarmouk camp resumes with a general deal apparently still missing. There was some evacuation going on though, with military sources telling Al Masdar about two batches of dozens of buses with family members that left for the east. In the afternoon, the SAA military command declares all of southern Damascus to be terrorist-free and under its control
19 May. An attack on a Christian church in central Groznyi (map 1, 2). One worshiper, who came to Groznyi from Uzbekiztan, and two police officers guarding the church, from Saratov in Russia, were killed. The young attackers, 3 Chechens and an Ingush, armed with a shotgun, handguns, knifes and explosives, were eliminated in Chechen special forces operation, with Kadyrov on the scene. IS branch in the Caucuses claimed responsibility. Kadyrov sought to deny that IS was involved.
Norwegians fought on the Russian side in Syria -AldriMer.no (robo-translation), via Rusvesna.
SANA publishes images allegedly showing locals greeting the army in the towns of the Houla plains. Technicians are repairing the former pocket's power grid.
The SAA denies reports that an agreement with the surrounded ISIS militants in southern Damascus has been reached.
The once ISIS-controlled Dabisan gas field is operational again in the hands of the government.
18 May. According to SANA news agency, several blasts have occurred near the airport of Syria's city of Hama (said to be Syrian military airbase; El Murid; Cassad-4 lines under PS, more on Syria, 1; updated report with photos). A "Saraya al-Jihad" group claims responsibility a day later.
According to SANA National Flag hoisted over Aqrab town in Hama countryside FARS: Syrian Army on Verge of Liberating Hajar Al-Aswad in Southern Damascus
17 May. Assad meets Putin in Sochi.
Reports in the Iranian press suggest that Saudi crown prince MBS was killed or injured in a coup-like event on April 21. Other reports sought to disprove the theory.
16 May. Syrian flags are raised in Rastan and Talbiseh after the evacuation process in the east and center of the Rastan pocket has successfully been completed (map). According to later reports, the western part of the pocket around the Houla plains is also already in government hands, which would make the Rastan pocket history. The so-called Houla massacre of May 2012 was the event that led to the creation of this wiki, so seeing that place out of "rebel" hands for the first time in six years certainly is something that inspires our curiosity.
15 May. For the first time in five years, the Damascus-Homs part of the crucial M5 highway is open for civilian traffic.
Al-Ja'afari calls the 9th Astana meeting a success (joint statement).
14 May. Iraq: A coalition of maverick Shi'ite cleric Muqtada al Sadr and communists becomes the strongest bloc in the new parliament, followed by the pro-Iranian Fatah coalition and current prime minister Abadi's Nasr coalition in third. Participation was very low with under 45% of voter population.
13 May. The evacuation of the Rastan pocket continues. After 86 buses left Rastan on Saturday evening, today transport vehicles enter the Houla area for the next batch.
12 May. ANHA publishes a report about a visit to the Tishrin Dam, the first (upper) of the three big Dams on the Syrian Euphrates, which unlike the damaged Euphrates Dam produces less energy than needed only because there is not enough water in the river. An open letter sent to the UK prime minister by ecological organizations explains in detail how this lack is achieved upstream by Turkish machinations, using water as a weapon of war.
Iraq: Parliamentary elections take place.
11 May. The third batch of 71 buses leaves the Rastan pocket carrying 3,000 "rebels" and family mostly from Talbiseh north.
10 May. Some kind of another missile exchange between Israel and Syrian territory occurs, which SOHR describes as initial Israeli strike in the night, then return fire from Syrian territory, then an escalation at dawn with around 70 missiles by Israel, of which many were intercepted. Israeli "defense" minister Lieberman comments that they've hit "nearly all Iranian infrastructure" and hope they've "finished this episode". Both Syria and Iran say that it was the SAA, not Iranian forces who returned fire.
Greek magazine Kathimerini publishes an exclusive interview with Assad (SANA version).
Both the SAA and the SDF make progress against ISIS in the respective desert pockets west and east of the lower Euphrates. In the latter, the SDF in cooperation with the Iraqi army captures five high-ranking ISIS leaders alive.
9 May. The Kazakh foreign ministry announces that a 9th round of Astana talks is scheduled for 14-15 May.
Vanessa Beeley publishes transcripts of interviews she conducted with people fleeing the eastern Ghouta through the humanitarian corridors in the last days before liberation.
8 May. According to SANA, Syrian Air Defense has intercepted two Israeli missiles fired at Damascus countryside. Two civilians were killed from the effects of the intercept. However, footage seems to show that ground targets were successfully hit. SOHR claims 15 dead, among them 8 Iranian soldiers. HRW claims 9 dead "pro-regime soldiers".
The National Committee for Dealing with Victims of Children Recruitment meets in Damascus.
7 May. Russian KA-52 helicopter crashed in Syria, both pilots were killed.
While 171 buses have already left southern Damascus in direction north and the fifth batch is prepared there, the first evacuation buses enter Rastan after the militants handed over huge amounts of weapons including dozens of tanks.
YNET Reports: Yuval Steinitz (about 1, 2, protegees 1,2, 3) 'If Assad continues allowing Iran to operate out of Syria, it will be his end'
Lebanon: Preliminary results of the first parliamentary elections since 2009, which took place yesterday, see Hariri's "Future Movement" losing a third of its seats (to 21), while Hezbollah and its allies win an absolute majority (67) of the 128 seats. The Israeli "Education" minister Naftali Bennett educates his twitter followers with the equation "Lebanon = Hezbollah" over this.
Naftali Bennett: Hezbollah’s apparent success in Lebanon’s elections validates Israel’s policy of holding its northern neighbor responsible for the actions of the Shiite terror group.
6 May. The Iraqi Air Force bombs ISIS targets inside Syria.
After some gangs looted hospitals in al-Bab, the people took to the streets in protest again the Turkish occupation, only to get attacked by the army. In protests against this treatment, today six people die at the hand of the Turkish army. Also in al-Bab, there is infighting triggered by the arrival of a group from Qalamoon which had some old beef with another group already in town. Tens of militants are reportedly killed on both sides.
Reports about the misbehaviour of the Turkish-supported gangs are also coming out of Afrin, where the UN says Turkey prevents fled inhabitants from returning to. Meanwhile, Erdogan promises some more land-grabbing after the early elections on June 24.
5 May. After having split the southern Damascus ISIS pocket into two, the SAA eliminates the southern part.
4 May. ANF publishes a summary on the reconstruction of Raqqa.
The evacuation of the Rastan "rebels" is delayed until after the weekend, some thinking because of an actual lack of buses.
Another specific warning about the staging of another "chemical attack" appears in Russian media.
The OPCW has finished its fact-finding mission to Douma.
The US Navy starts flights over Syria from the Truman carrier group.
3 May. According to CBS, U.S. freezes funding for Syria's "White Helmets" as well as several other aid programs in Syria
A Russian SU-30SM plane crashed at sea shortly after take-off from Khmeimim, both pilots were killed. It is said that enemy fire was not involved, preliminary information blames bird striking an engine (update).
While the first Al Qaeda militants from the South Damascus pocket take the bus north, ISIS continues to take a beating.
According to Al Masdar, only the militants in the towns of Rastan and Talbiseh have agreed to the evacuation, while those in the more rural areas of the Rastan pocket (like the Houla plains) refuse.
2 May. The surrender agreement with the militants in the Rastan pocket seeks to complete the disarmament and evacuation in three days, after which the Homs-Hama highway will be opened for the first time in several years.
The US aircraft carrier strike group around the USS Harry S. Truman enters the Mediterranean armed with over 1,000 cruise missiles.
1 May. Following a 24-hour ceasefire in the Rastan pocket, according to Al Masdar sources the "rebels" are ready to surrender and the terms will be discussed tomorrow.
Another deal made is already in the process of realization: Al Qaeda and other factions in southern Damascus are taking a bus ride north, in exchange for the evacuation of the Shia villages al-Foua and Kefraya in Idlib province. This means there is "only" ISIS left to fight the SAA and allies in Yarmouk camp.
The SDF announces that it will relaunch its campaign against ISIS in eastern Deir ez-Zor province. It had been halted after Turkey attacked Afrin in late January. The operation will proceed in coordination with the Iraqi army.
According to sources speaking to Elijah Magnier, Hezbollah considers its mission in Syria to be accomplished and has already withdrawn most of its forces back to Lebanon.