Syria Watch

Published on February 22nd, 2017 | by Shelby Vcelka

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Syria Deeply Weekly Update: Inside the ‘universe of degradation’ in Saydnaya; Civilians Under Fire From All Sides In Idlib, Daraa and al-Bab

Syria Deeply
Feb. 17th, 2017
This Week in Syria.
Dear Readers: Here’s your weekly update on the war in Syria.

Despite a nationwide ceasefire that came into effect in December, civilians came under attack this week in several Syrian provinces.

For the first time in more than a year, rebels launched an offensive in the southwestern city of Daraa on Sunday. The offensive, named “Death Rather than Humiliation,” targeted regime-controlled areas in an attempt to prevent their troops from gaining control of the border crossing with Jordan. The Syrian government and Russia responded with intense airstrikes on the city. A Syria Civil Defense worker told Anadolu Agency that bombings destroyed six hospitals in the city, but the civilian death toll is still unclear.

In Idlib, we are beginning to see the civilian cost of excluding groups such as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS), al-Qaida’s former affiliate in Syria, from the ceasefire as factional fighting rages. Thursday’s bombardment on the countryside of the rebel-held province killed at least five people.

In the northern city of al-Bab, at least 45 civilians, including 14 women and 18 children, have been killed since Wednesday by Turkish warplanes and Turkey-backed rebel forces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. The U.K.-based monitoring group said at least 110 civilians had been killed in al-Bab since Turkey started its anti-ISIS operation in the city on February 7. Roughly 10 miles (15km) from the Turkish border, al-Bab is the so-called Islamic State’s last stronghold in Aleppo province.

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