This reporting period covers the month of July.
In mid-July, Brigadier-General Manaf Tlass, defector Syrian army officer and former regime insider, announced the creation of a new military organization operating under the name of the “Syrian National Liberation Movement.” The party is an umbrella group that, according to Tlass, encompasses Syrian political and military forces, national figures, tribal elements and civil organizations, all unified by the desire to secure a peaceful political transition of power in Syria. The group is a personal initiative by Tlass and other defector officers, and is not being pushed or funded by any international actor. Meanwhile, in Idlib province, Hay’at Tahrir a-Sham (HTS) launched an expansive campaign of arrests within its own ranks, claiming a vast infiltration of spies and saboteurs operating within the faction as assassinations and kidnappings targeting HTS leaders have risen in recent weeks. At least 300 individuals have been detained in the crackdown, among them ranking members of HTS.
Attached Map: Military Situation in North-West Syria
(For a high-resolution version of this map, please use the form at the bottom of the page)
Opposition & Radical Activity
On 15th July, Brigadier-General Manaf Tlass, a defector officer from the Syrian army who was once close to Bashar al-Assad, unveiled a new military entity known as the %22Syrian National Liberation Movement%22 from his residence in Paris. This purportedly broad coalition brings together an array of Syrian political and military factions, prominent national figures, tribal figures and civil organizations. In a show of support for the group, defector military officers of various ranks convened under the banner of the Syrian National Liberation Movement two weeks later in Afrin, where they vowed to liberate areas of regime control from Assad’s forces.
In Idlib, meanwhile, radical group Hay’at Tahrir a-Sham (HTS) initiated a large-scale wave of arrests and apprehended more than 300 individuals, including civilians as well as high-ranking figures within the organization. HTS claimed it carried out the arrests to root out “CIA agents, Syrian regime intelligence personnel and Russian operatives” active in the area.
Radical groups affiliated with the “Fateh al-Mabin” operations room have continued to sporadically clash with regime forces and kill soldiers in sniper attacks along frontlines in southern Idlib and northern Aleppo. Fateh al-Mabin shelled regime positions with anti-tank missiles west of Aleppo, in addition to sniper hits targeting regime soldiers near southern Idlib’s Jabal al-Zawiya region. Fighters from HTS also launched an offensive operation against regime positions in the northern Latakia countryside, resulting in an unspecified number of dead and injured on both sides.
The opposition group Jaysh al-Nasr announced that it killed several regime forces after targeting one of their military positions in western Hama province on 29th July. Opposition factions also broadcast a video showing their forces targeting a regime position with a guided missile in the village of al-Amqiya, killing more than three pro-regime fighters as a result.
An aircraft belonging to the US-led International Coalition carried out a precision strike against a motorcycle in the al-Bab countryside, killing one person and injuring another. The deceased individual was a prominent member of the radical group Hurras al-Din.
Russian & Regime Activity
Regime forces and affiliated militias have continued shelling cities and villages in the northern Latakia, southern Idlib and northern Aleppo countryside, striking a range of military and civilian targets in over thirty locales. At least six people–mostly women and children–were killed in the attacks, while at least a dozen were critically wounded. While Russia has continued its renewed campaign of aerial bombardment against civilian areas of north-west Syria, the intensity and frequency of these attacks has diminished in recent weeks.
Tensions remain high between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Turkey, with both sides launching periodic strikes across frontlines in the north-west. On 30th July, a Turkish drone strike killed at least one regime fighter in an area of northern Aleppo province under joint control with the SDF. A second Turkish strike the same day meanwhile killed another member of the regime forces and wounded six others, after targeting a military point in the vicinity of the nearby Menagh Military Airport.
With the Mediterranean region witnessing record temperatures in recent weeks, coastal areas of north-west Syria have suffered some of the worst wildfire outbreaks in the country’s recent history. Initial outbreaks began around Hama province’s Sahel al-Ghab before rapidly spreading across Latakia province. Vast areas of ancient coniferous forest have been affected.
Newsletter subscribers will receive a maximum of two emails each month.
2. Limited Liability
We reserve the sole right to unsubscribe users / visitors from or newsletter service, without notice. This action will be taken if we discover a subscriber to have registered under a false email address.
3. Double opt-in
We require all subscribers to confirm their email address upon registration. You will therefor receive a message with a link you will need to use in order to confirm your email address and newsletter subscription.
ETANA will not reproduce, sell, or publish your personal date to any third party. You’ may change your subscription settings, or delete it altogether, at any time.