Logo Wide

What Happened Over the Holidays in Syria

U.S. confirms support for SDF, but hints at infiltration in eastern Syria base, while Israel strikes west of Damascus. Catch up on everything that happened over the holidays.
What Happened Over the Holidays in Syria
What Happened Over the Holidays in Syria

.The U.S. military says explosions earlier this month on a base in eastern Syria that injured several U.S. service members were not, as it originally reported, caused by artillery or another form of indirect fire, Militarytimes.com reported. Instead, it is now believed the April 7th attack was carried out by the “deliberate placement of explosive charges” by one or more individuals at an ammunition holding area and shower facility on the base, according to a statement issued Thursday by Combined Joint Task Force – Inherent Resolve, the command that oversees U.S. military operations against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. The incident is under investigation, according to the statement, which provided no other details. The reference to “deliberate placement” of explosive charges on the base appeared to raise the prospect of infiltration and a lapse of base security, or perhaps even an insider attack.

Al-Baath newspaper said on Saturday that there was no truth to the allegations about a Syrian-Turkish meeting in Moscow. The newspaper cited informed sources in Syria as saying, yesterday, “Everything circulating on some websites and social media pages about Moscow hosting a Turkish-Syrian security meeting headed by Maj. Gen. Ali Mamlouk and Hakan Fidan is misinformation and not true.” Arab media websites said that an “intelligence meeting” dealing only with security and intelligence issues was held between the Syrian government and Turkey in the Russian capital, Moscow. On April 6, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates denied what was being circulated about the restoration of relations between Damascus and Ankara.

The Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) said over the weekend that the Syrian regime has acknowledged the deaths of 1,056 Syrian citizens who were forcibly disappeared by the regime through the Civil Registry departments in Syria, including 54 individuals from Deir al Asafeer town whose fate the regime revealed in February and March 2022. SNHR stresses that there are serious concerns over the fate of 86,792 Syrian citizens who remain forcibly disappeared by the Syrian regime. The 14-page report notes that the Syrian regime has been deliberately concealing the fates of tens of thousands of detainees in order to inflict as much agony, trauma, and degradation as possible upon their families, adding that many of those still documented as forcibly disappeared have been ‘disappeared’ for years, noting that the SNHR’s database includes data on at least 86,792 persons forcibly disappeared by the Syrian regime, including 1,738 children and 4,966 women, between March 2011 and August 2021. The report provides a cumulative linear graph showing this record, with SNHR noting that the analysis of the data showed that the first four years of the popular uprising for democracy saw the highest waves of enforced disappearances, with 2012 the worst year to date in terms of the record of the forcibly disappeared, followed by 2013, 2011, and 2014.

Read Also: Moscow Hosts Turkish-Syrian Security Meeting to Contain Ukraine War Effects

General Michael Corella, the commander of U.S. operations in the Middle East, reiterated U.S. continuous support for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in infighting ISIS. According to North Press, The Commander-in-Chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Mazloum Abdi, received on Wednesday the commander of US operations, Michael Corella, and the accompanying delegation. The two sides discussed the ISIS issue and its resurgence in the region, according to the official website of the SDF. Corella also pledged to provide more support to secure the prisons and the camps housing the ISIS members and their families.

A man who allegedly launched a grenade into a crowd of civilians waiting for food in Damascus in 2014, killing at least seven people, has been charged in Germany with war crimes and murder, prosecutors said last week, AP reported on the weekend. The stateless man, identified only as Moafak D. in line with German privacy rules, was a member of the Free Palestine Movement, one of the groups that at the time controlled the Yarmouk district of the Syrian capital on behalf of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government, federal prosecutors said in a statement. They said that, on 23 March 2014, the suspect launched a grenade from an anti-tank weapon into a crowd in the district’s Rejeh Square who were waiting for food aid from UNRWA, the UN agency for Palestinian refugees. At least seven people were killed and three wounded, including a 6-year-old child

Syrian state television reported that Israeli airstrikes had hit several locations in the countryside west of the capital Damascus on Thursday. Syrian state news agency SANA, citing a military source, said Syrian air defenses had shot down “some” of the missiles fired. It said the strikes only caused physical damage but did not specify further. Israel has mounted frequent attacks against what it has described as Iranian targets in Syria, where Tehran-backed forces including Lebanon’s Hezbollah have deployed over the last decade to support President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s war. A pro-government allied commander denied to Reuters that Thursday’s strikes had hit their positions outside Damascus. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli government.

Helpful keywords