In this Media Roundup, we collect local news from Syria, which is published mainly in Arabic and Kurdish media, weekly. Our aim is to make this news accessible to a broader readership. The sources come from news channels that we consider the most trustworthy, though we cannot guarantee absolute reliability. The focus is on areas where mainly ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities live, such as ʿAfrin, Al-Qamishli and As-Suwayda.
On November 4, 2019, the Syrian regime sent approximately a dozen military vehicles to ʿAyn SaIsa north of Ar-Raqqah (SMART News). On the same day, Russian troops, accompanied by vehicles from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), reached ʿAyn ʿIsa. Russian troops conducted also a military patrol in ʿAyn Al-ʿArab (Kobanî) (SMART News, ARK News). On November 5, 2019, armed forces of the Syrian regime set up six military bases with around two hundred soldiers on the Syrian-Turkish border between Al-Qamishli and Al-Qahtaniya (Tirbesipî) (SMART News). Another forty armored military vehicles and trucks with equipment, weapons and ammunition reached ʿAyn ʿIsa on November 6, 2019 (SMART News).
On November 7, 2019, further fighting took place between the opposition’s Syrian National Army and the SDF in Ar-Raqqah province (SMART News). On November 8, 2019, numerous soldiers of the Syrian regime and the SDF were killed and wounded in clashes with the Syrian National Army near ʿAyn Isa (SMART News). Following another attack by the opposition troops, the SDF announced the withdrawal of Syrian border guards from border villages near Tall Tamr on November 9, 2019 (SMART News).
On November 4, 2019, the the opposition’s Syrian Interim Government announced the opening of military courts in Tall Abyad and Raʾs Al-ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê) (SMART News). In October 2019, the organization Syrians for Truth and Justice documented the arrests of fifty-four people by the Syrian National Army and other Syrian government forces in ʿAfrin (SMART News, November 5, 2019). On November 6, 2019, the Syrian National Army arrested Nasr Al-Din Habash at a checkpoint on an access road to Raʾs Al-ʿAyn (Serê Kaniyê). Habash is a member of the Yekîtî, a member party of the Kurdish National Council (SMART News).
On November 5, 2019, the PYD’s military wing, the People’s Defense Units (YPG), arrested and forcibly recruited twelve young men in Ar-Raqqah (SMART News). On November 10, 2019, the YPG arrested and forcibly recruited another thirty young men from villages south and west of Ar-Raqqah (SMART News).
According to official information from the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq, more than fifteen thousand Syrians fled across the border into northern Iraq between the start of the Turkish military operation on October 9 and November 10, 2019 (ARK News).