Clashes are ongoing in Aleppo, Dara, Idlib, Homs, Deir-Ez-Zor, Damascus, Rural Damascus, and Hama governorates as of January, despite many internationally supported attempts of de-escalation. At the beginning of October Russian defense officials and representatives of Syrian opposition groups renewed a ceasefire initially agreed upon in northern Homs governorate at the end of July.? On 15 September, Iran, Russia, and Turkey agreed on the final de-escalation zones in Syria. The zones will include, fully or partly, Eastern Ghouta and the provinces of Idlib, Homs, Lattakia, Aleppo, and Hama.? On 9 July, the US and Russia brokered a ceasefire in southern Syria, reinforced in November.?
Aleppo: Fighting has been ongoing south of Aleppo between HTS and the government since November, causing displacement and structural damage. The governmental forces have been advancing in the southern countryside of Aleppo towards Idlib.? Afrin has been shelled several times by Turkish forces since October, with the attacks becoming more targeted and intensive in January.??? In October, a meeting between Turkish officials and the Syrian opposition resulted in a decision to unify the administration of the border crossings and the army under the interim government. ?
ar Raqqa: The SDF recaptured Raqqa city on 17 October 2017. Raqqa Civil Council was set up by the opposition to rebuild and govern Raqqa.? The SDF forces announced that the city of Raqqa and the surrounding governorate should be a part of a decentralised federal Syria.?
Dara'a: Dara'a is included in the ceasefire agreed by the US and Russia in early July. The number of violations of the ceasefire implemented in July has been increasing since October. Shelling by regime forces has been reported across the governorate, as well as fighting between the opposition and IS-affiliated extremist group, Jaysh Khalid Ibn Al-Walid. Opposition groups have been attacking Yarmouk Basin - the areas controlled by Jaysh Khalid Ibn Al-Walid since October. ???
Idlib: As of December, government forces have been advancing in the southern countryside of Idlib towards the centre and the north of the governorate and the opposition-held Abu al-Dhour airbase. On 7 January, government forces reportedly were in control of Sinjar and up to 100 villages and towns in the governorate. Ongoing hostilities have displaced at least 100,000 people since December.??HTS has gained control of Idlib city at the end of July. Protests have been held against their presence.???
Since September, Russia, Iran, and Turkey started to post observers on the edge of the de-escalation zone in Idlib governorate, which is largely controlled by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS). As a result, Turkey deployed their troops and military vehicles on 12 October and started a military operation. This operation allows Turkish military to encircle a Kurdish enclave, preventing them from reuniting Kurdish-controlled territories, according to the opposition groups. In late October, a meeting between Turkish officials and the Syrian opposition resulted in a decision to unify the administration of the border crossings and the army under the Syrian Interim Government, which was executed by opposition groups in the beginning of November. ????
Hama: Government forces have intensified their offensive in northern Hama since November causing infrastructure damage and a wave of displacement. In the end of December hospitals in the governorate were targeted. ? ? The governmental forces have been advancing against HTS, which is also targeted by IS in the northeastern countryside of Hama.?Pro-government forces regained most of the territory lost in northern Hama governorate during a March 2017 offensive by opposition groups, mainly from HTS.
Homs: Clashes are ongoing in northwestern Homs between IS and the pro-government forces. In the beginning of November the Israeli strikes targeted industrial town Hisya in the governorate. ? Government forces recaptured Al-Qaryatayn on 21 October and they have been fighting to regain the territory in the eastern and southeastern countryside.???
Damascus/Rural Damascus: Following the governmental offensive around Beit Jinn, opposition forces surrendered in the end of December. Both fighters and the civilians have been transferred to opposition-held areas in Idlib and Dara'a.? As of December, clashes between IS and both governmental and opposition forces between besieged Yarmouk camp and Yalda were reported. The government has been launching regular airstrikes on IS and opposition controlled neighbourhoods of Southern Damascus since October. Clashes between IS and the opposition forces followed.?? A government offensive is currently ongoing in southeastern Rural Damascus, along the Jordan border and the government is advancing and taking control of border posts.???
Since November, shelling by Israeli forces, reportedly targeting storage sites of Hezbollah, intensified. The most recent Israeli missile attack was reported in the beginning of January.???
Airstrikes and shelling have been escalating in government-besieged Eastern Ghouta since October, resulting in losses in civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and schools. Intensive shelling, airstrikes, and chemical attacks have been reported. In 2018, clashes and airstrikes occured mainly in Harasta town and Arbin, causing the displacement of at least 5,600 people. The recent escalation in violence caused significant access restrictions, particularly to food and education, as main roads were targeted by shelling. ???? Clashes between non-state armed groups continue to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis. ?
Deir-ez-Zor: As of December most of the governorate was recaptured from IS by the government forces in the west of Euphrates, and by the SDF in the east. The offensives are ongoing where IS still holds a presence, mainly northwest of Abu Kamal. ?
Quneitra/Golan Heights: Increased targeting of towns in the north of the governorate was reported in December and January. In the beginning of November the fighting between the government forces and opposition groups escalated after the suicide attack by an HTS fighter killed at least nine and injured about 20 people in Hader, which is a part of Syrian controlled Golan Heights. ? Israeli airstrikes on government positions have been reported repeatedly in 2017.? The governorate is included in the ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia which came into effect on 9 July; sporadic clashes have occurred since the ceasefire.???
As Sweida: The eastern countryside of the governorate remains under the control of the government. Clashes between the government and the opposition were reported in the western countryside of the governorate in December. ?? The governorate is part of the ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia in early July. However, breaches have been reported.??On 10 July, the SAA launched an offensive on eastern side of the governorate, seizing villages from the FSA. The area of clashes is just outside the ceasefire area convened by the brokers of the ceasefire, which includes most of Sweida. ?
Al Hasakeh: As of December no fighting is reported in the governorate. The SDF operation against the IS was executed in the southern countryside of Al-Hasakeh city in October. Clashes were reported at the entrance to Markada town, which was the last town controlled by the IS in the governorate.?