Syria Media Roundup – November 11 to 17, 2019

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 11, 2019, the Syrian National Army, supported by Turkey, announced that it would resume military operations against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The authorities accused the SDF of not adhering to the agreed ceasefire (SMART News). On November 12, 2019, the Turkish military shot at people demonstrating against a Russian-Turkish military patrol near ʿAyn Al-ʿArab (Kobanî). Five civilians were injured (SMART News). The SDF announced on November 14, 2019, that four of its members had been killed and fourteen injured in clashes with Turkish forces and the Syrian National Army in Ar-Raqqah and Al-Hasakah provinces (SMART News).

The U.S. Army withdrew from another base in the south of Ayn Al-ʿArab (Kobanî) on November 13, 2019. The units were transferred to a military base in Al-Hasakah province (ARK News, SMART News). One day after the US forces left, Russian units occupied the military base south of ʿAyn Al-ʿArab (Kobanî) (SMART News, ARK News). On November 15, 2019, the Russian armed forces established a helicopter base at Al-Qamishli airport and deployed forty military vehicles, one hundred and sixty Russian soldiers and officers, and air defense batteries (SMART News). Also on November 15, the armed forces of the Syrian regime sent four trucks loaded with weapons, ammunition and military equipment to the north of Ar-Raqqah (SMART News).

Two car bombs and an explosive device mounted on a motorcycle exploded in Al-Qamishli on November 11, 2019. Six people were killed and forty five injured (ARK News, SMART News).

According to a media report of November 16, 2019, the oppositional Syrian National Army formed an economic committee to document the seizure of public and private property. The task of the committee is also to determine other buildings, apartments and shops that are to be seized additionally. Seizures concern, for example, government buildings as well as apartments and shops of SDF employees in Tall Abyad (SMART News).

On November 17, 2019, PYD intelligence agency Asayiş arrested and forcibly recruited seven young men at a checkpoint in Al-Tabqah, Ar-Raqqah province (SMART News).