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Syria Today – Attacks Against SDF; OPCW Calls on Restriction of Chemical Supplies to Syria

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.

On Monday, gunmen attacked Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) posts in Deir-ez-Zor, causing clashes and material damage. At the same time, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons called for restricting the supply of dual-use materials to Syria, leading to criticism from Damascus. Meanwhile, in Lattakia, residents use creative methods to obtain subsidized winter diesel amid slow distribution. In parallel, Turkish intelligence eliminated Bager Öndeş, a “PKK member” responsible for drones, in a precision operation in Syria.

Gunmen attack SDF posts in Syria’s Deir-ez-Zor

The Kurdish agency North Perss said that unknown gunmen launched Monday attacks on several posts of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the eastern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor, eastern Syria.

A military source in the SDF said that unknown gunmen targeted an SDF post with machine guns in the village of Zughair in the northwest of Deir-ez-Zor. Clashes followed the attack, forcing the attackers to flee without causing casualties or injuries. The source added that unknown gunmen also attacked several SDF posts in the villages of Shuhail, Shinan, and al-Jarzi on the bank of the Euphrates, where the SDF responded to the attacks, resulting in only material damages.

Chemical weapons watchdog calls for restricting the supply of materials to Syria

The pan-arab National wrote that the Organisation of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons has called on countries to stop supplies of dual-use material to Syria, which refocused international attention on one of the most gruesome aspects of the country’s civil war. This call to restrict chemical transfers to Syria was heavily criticized by Damascus.

The move compensates for “failed political campaigns” by Western nations, such as the “fabrication of incidents of chemical weapons’ use”, the ministry said in a statement. The OPCW move could undermine a drive by President Bashar Al Assad to re-engage with the international community, which was cut off following the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011.

Lattakia residents resort to “tricks” to obtain subsidized winter diesel

The opposition website Enab Baladi has reported that many residents of Lattakia resort to “a creative method” to obtain their allocations of heating diesel early. To do so, they register and head to municipalities in very cold areas.

The process of distributing diesel in Latakia began at the beginning of November, but it is proceeding at a very slow pace. Fortunately for the people, winter and its cold weather were delayed a little this year. On September 1, the regime’s Ministry of Oil and Mineral Resources announced the start of registration for heating diesel for the winter, starting with an amount of 50 litres as a down payment only for each family, without announcing the number of payments allocated for the entire winter season. The Ministry’s statement stated that priority for delivery after registration will be for families who did not receive their allocations during the last season, and this is determined based on the previous purchase of heating diesel. The allocation of heating diesel for each Syrian family amounts to 200 litres, which was distributed in two batches of 100 litres each until 2021 when the government announced a reduction in the number of allocations to 50 litres in one batch.

Turkish intelligence eliminates PKK’s ‘drone man’ in Syria

The Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah has claimed that the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) announced that Bager Öndeş, a member of the “PKK terrorist” group in charge of the group’s drones and technical equipment, was “neutralized” in Syria in a precision operation. “Neutralized” is a term used to describe “terrorists” captured dead or alive. In most cross-border operations by MIT, terrorists are usually eliminated by unmanned drones. MIT has stepped up operations in Iraq and Syria to eliminate PKK terrorists in the past years, utilizing field agents and drones.

Öndeş, also known as “Akif Amed,” was in Syria’s Tal Rifaat, working for the YPG, the Syrian wing of the “terrorist organization whose presence stretches from Iraq’s north to Syria’s lawless northeast”.

Progress in Repatriations: How Foreign Assistance Is Addressing the Humanitarian and Security Crises in Northeast Syria: Part 1 of 2

The U.S. State Department has said that, as a result of intense diplomatic efforts by Washington, between 2022 and 2023, almost 30 countries repatriated nearly 7,000 family members associated with foreign terrorist fighters from northeast Syria, reducing the population in al-Hol displaced persons camp to fewer than 48,000 people.

Between 2011 and 2019, tens of thousands of men, women, and children left their homes to fight for the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and its al-Qa’ida affiliate predecessor. Following the global Coalition’s territorial defeat of ISIS in 2019, our local partners detained ISIS fighters and relocated associated family members to displaced persons camps in northeast Syria. Roughly 50 percent of al-Hol camp residents are under 12 years of age and unless action is taken, they will remain vulnerable to ISIS recruitment. Children and families of ISIS fighters require basic life support services and advanced rehabilitation and reintegration support, which the de facto NES authorities cannot effectively provide.

Erbil residency office warns Kurdish-Syrian citizens not travel to federal provinces

The Iraqi Kurdish website Kurdistan24 has said that the Erbil residency office notified it on Monday that Syrian Kurds who have Kurdistan Region residency permits should not travel to provinces under the control of Iraqi federal authorities as they might face arrest and deportation. The arrest and deportation are “politically motivated”, the official said, adding authorities in the center and south Iraq “do not sometimes recognize our residency permits.” “Therefore, I do advise Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan] citizens not to travel there,” he said.

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