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, Latakia, Aleppo, and Hama.? On 9 July, the US and Russia brokered a ceasefire in southern Syria.? A truce, brokered by Russia and Turkey, has been in place between the government and opposition armed groups since 30 December 2016. The truce excluded armed groups IS, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, and the YPG-led SDF, and fighting in areas controlled by those groups has not decreased.? On 6 May, Iran, Russia, and Turkey agreed on "de-escalation zones", but talks in July did not achieve any final agreement.?Despite local violations, there has been a general decrease in violence in the areas where all stakeholders are included in the truce.?
Aleppo: Pro-government forces drove IS out of the governorate at the end of June.? Tensions are rising between the SDF and pro-Turkish forces in northern Aleppo governorate. Shelling has been reported repeatedly.???Protests against SDF forces have been reported. As of end August, airstrikes and shelling by pro-government forces were reported in southern Aleppo governorate, after advancements by HTS.??
ar Raqqa: The SDF launched an offensive on Raqqa in November 2016, backed by US airstrikes, and has been advancing ever since, despite occasional setbacks.??? The IS-held part of Raqqa city is currently besieged. SDF has breached the old city walls and entered the city on 6 June. ??? Since 11 July, the city is militarily surrounded by the SDF, and as of 6 August, SDF has taken control of over half of it.?? Around 2,000 IS fighters are estimated to be still inside Raqqa.?
At the end of July, Syrian government forces and allies have recaptured territory from IS in the countryside southeast of its stronghold Raqqa, following airstrikes in the area.? They advanced into the governorate as part of an offensive to reach the oil-rich province of Deir-ez-Zor, clashing with SDF south of Raqqa.?
Dara'a: Dara'a is included in the ceasefire agreed by the US and Russia in early July. As of 28 July, the ceasefire was generally holding in the area, with limited violations.? Since 3 June, the FSA and pro-government forces had been fighting the largest battle in Dara'a city since 2015, which led to at least 17,000 displaced in the first five days.?
Idlib: Fighting has decreased in Idlib since the beginning of the ceasefire in areas where it applies. In September, Russia, Iran and Turkey have planned 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 has moved 80 military vehicles close to the border with Idlib.??HTS has gained control of Idlib city at the end of July. Protests have been held against their presence.??? Public resentment and demonstrations have been reported after civilians were killed by Turkish border guards who want to prevent people from crossing.?
Hama: Government forces are advancing in IS-controlled areas in east Hama governorate, supported by airstrikes.?? They have besieged the Uqayribat area in the countryside east of Hama, which is connected to another conflict area between the government and IS in northeastern Homs. The government has made significant gains, but also suffered setbacks, gaining and losing territory multiple times.???Pro-government forces have regained most of the territory lost in northern Hama governorate during a March 2017 offensive by opposition groups, mainly from Tahrir al-Sham.
Homs: IS seized many territories in northwestern Homs governorate from the Syrian government in December 2016, including Palmyra. Clashes are ongoing in the area between IS and the pro-government forces.???As of 10 September, clashes are concentrated in northeastern Homs, an area bordering Hama governorate.? Pro-government forces have taken al Sukhna in early August, the last town held by IS in the governorate. Sukhna is on the main desert highway between Palmyra and the government's besieged enclave at Deir-ez-Zor, about 130km to the east. De-mining operations are ongoing.??? Pro-government forces are attempting to encircle IS by advancing through both Hama and Homs.? Russian defense officials and representatives of Syrian opposition groups agreed on a ceasefire in northern Homs at the end of July.? However, it has been difficult to hold. A contentious issue is the release of 7,000 opposition members detained by pro-government forces.??
Damascus/Rural Damascus: Government forces regained control of the Be'er al Qasab area at the end of June, three months after losing it to FSA factions.? A government offensive is currently ongoing in southeastern Rural Damascus, along the Jordan border, forcing residents of Hadalat IDP camp to flee in mid-August. ?? Hezbollah has launched an offensive against IS in the western Qalamoun mountains in August.? As of end August, pro-government forces have regained control of the area on the Syrian-Lebanese border, and agreed with IS on an evacuation plan.? Evacuation has been hampered by US airstrikes.??
A ceasefire was declared in the government-besieged area of Eastern Ghouta on 22 July, but breaches, including airstrikes, continue to be reported. The ceasefire was brokered by Russia and Egypt.???Since mid-June, government airstrikes had been hitting the opposition-controlled Jobar district in eastern Damascus, and clashes have occurred. Jobar is currently divided between government and opposition forces. It is important to both as the western gate to Eastern Ghouta. A 2km section of a strategic highway connecting Damascus to government military bases on the city's northeastern outskirts also runs through the district. Clashes between the same parties are also occurring in Ein Tarma area of Eastern Ghouta.????
Deir-ez-Zor: In early September, pro-government forces have advanced into IS-controlled territory in Deir-ez-Zor governorate, breaking the siege of Deir-ez-Zor city. IS had been sieging areas of Deir-ez-Zor city controlled by government forces since 2015.??Their advances continue.? They have also recaptured an oil field close to the city.? The SDF have also clashed against IS in northwestern areas of the governorate, where they are conducting a separate operation.? The SDF has accused the Russian airforce of targeting its positions in Deir-ez-Zor.?
Quneitra/Golan Heights: Fighting between pro-government and Islamist opposition forces was intensifying at the end of June. The escalation is the result of an offensive by HTS and allied armed groups to try to take al-Baath city, which is under government control.?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.???Israeli airstrikes on government positions occurred between end June and early July.?
As Sweida: Conflict is escalating in eastern Sweida governorate, a desert area, between pro-government and FSA forces. The governorate is part of the ceasefire brokered by the US and Russia in early July. However, breaches have been reported. The government launched an attack on alleged IS positions.??On 10 July, the SAA launched an offensive on eastern side of the governorate, seizing villages from the FSA. The area of clashes just outside the ceasefire area convened by the brokers of the ceasefire, which includes most of Sweida. ?
Al Hasakeh: As of early September, the SDF is preparing a major offensive in IS-controlled areas in the southeast of al Hasakeh towards Deir-ez-Zor.?