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17 Dec 2013 description

In Syria, government military aircraft targeted rebel-held districts in the northern city of Aleppo, killing at least 15 people according to opposition activists. In parallel, Damascus announced that it had retaken control of the key Damascus – Homs supply highway after gaining ground in the battle for the strategic Qalamoun region. London and Washington decided to suspend all non-lethal assistance to the Syrian opposition fearing that military equipment may fall under the control of Islamic radical groups.

09 Dec 2013 description

Snapshot 3 - 10 December

In Syria, the conflict has been going on for over 1,000 days, and to date, the war has displaced 6.5 million people internally and forced 2.3 million to cross into neighbouring countries. Meanwhile, Washington indicated that it has been in talks with Islamist opposition factions non-linked to Al-Qaeda, in order to push for a negotiated settlement to the crisis.

02 Sep 2013 description

In Syria, intensive fighting continued in Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Rural Damascus and Homs. Intensive clashes which ignited at the start of the month between Government and opposition groups in the governorate of Lattakia appeared however to have ceased. At the start of the week, the US warned that a military strike against Syria was imminent, following the alleged use of chemical weapons near Damascus on 21 August. By the end of the week, President Obama indicated that he would seek congressional approval of the Congress before undertaking such an action.

26 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, fighting continued in Aleppo, Al-Hasakeh, Dar’a, Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, Hama, Homs, Idleb, Rural Damascus and Quneitra. A large-scale chemical weapons attack in Ghouta killed hundreds of people, according to opposition groups that blamed the Government on 21 August. After some delay, Damascus allowed UN inspectors to visit the site of the alleged chemical attack while denying being behind the assault. Meanwhile, over 1.9 million Syrians have been registered with UNHCR or are awaiting registration in neighboring countries.

19 Aug 2013 description

Snapshot 12 – 19 August

In Syria, fighting between governmental forces and opposition groups has been concentrated in Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Lattakia and Rural Damascus this week. Meanwhile, infighting is ongoing within the opposition. As during previous weeks, FSA forces have clashed with Islamist opposition groups on multiple occasions while Kurdish groups continued to fight with Islamist groups in the north of the country. The mass influx of Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries is ongoing. As of 19 August, over 1.9 million Syrians had fled the country.

12 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, large-scale fighting between opposition and Government forces has been reported across Al-Hassakeh, Ar-Raqqa, Homs, Aleppo, and especially Lattakia and Damascus governorates. Increasing strife between combatants of the FSA and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic fighters continue to also be reported, especially around Aleppo and its countryside. In addition, as clashes increased between Kurdish armed groups and fighters of the ISIS, the President of Iraqi Kurdistan openly floated the idea of staging an intervention in Syria to support fellow Kurds.

05 Aug 2013 description

In Syria, Government forces are advancing in Homs and expected to retake opposition-held districts in the short-term, while operations have been ongoing in other major cities, including Aleppo and Damascus. Meanwhile, infighting within opposition forces is spreading between various armed groups. Clashes are continuously reported between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh and Ar-Raqqa governorates.

22 Jul 2013 description

In Syria, despite the start of the Holy Month of Ramadan on 9 July, large-scale operations have been ongoing in several major cities, including Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, and Idlib with regime forces pushing to extend the gains obtained over the past weeks with support of the Lebanese Hezbollah fighters. Infighting within opposition forces has escalated in recent days with clashes reported between various Islamist and more moderate groups, notably between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda affiliated Islamists near the border with Turkey in Al-Hassakeh governorate.

15 Jul 2013 description

In Syria, the regime’s offensive on Homs governorate and city is on-going with artillery and air strikes, displacing 400,000 and leaving an estimated 2,500 and 4,000 civilians trapped in and around the city. Some 2 million people in Government-controlled areas in Aleppo are affected by a siege of opposition forces that is blocking food and medicines from entering several areas. While the UN and the Red Cross have called for a truce during the month of Ramadan, the cease-fire was rejected by the Government.

08 Jul 2013 description

In Syria, the regime’s offensive on Homs governorate and city is on-going with artillery and air strikes being reported. An estimated, 2,500 and 4,000 civilians are allegedly trapped in and around the city. Meanwhile, the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries continues to increase and is now approaching 1.75 million people according to UNHCR.

03 Jun 2013 description

Snapshot 27 May – 03 June

In Syria, the government military continued its offensive on opposition-controlled Qusayr, a strategic city in Homs province connecting the capital to the Mediterranean coast. Humanitarian agencies expressed alarm over the fate of thousands of civilians still trapped in the city. The UN estimates that over 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Syria. While an estimated 5 million people are internally displaced, the number of Syrians registered or awaiting registration in host countries has surpassed 1.6 million.

27 May 2013 description

Une stratégie unique qui englobe pour la première fois l’aide humanitaire, la coopération technique et financière, les mesures de politique économique et commerciale et la coopération avec les pays de l’Est : ce tournant important a été salué aussi bien par le Parlement que par l’opinion publique, soulignent le directeur de la DDC Martin Dahinden et Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Secrétaire d’Etat et directrice du SECO, dans le rapport annuel 2012 sur la coopération internationale de la Suisse qui vient de sortir de presse.

27 May 2013 description

The just-published 2012 Annual Report on Switzerland's International Cooperation sets out a unified strategy that encompasses – for the first time – humanitarian aid, technical and financial cooperation, economic and trade policy measures, and cooperation with the countries of Eastern Europe. SDC Director-General Martin Dahinden and State Secretary and Director of SECO Marie-Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch stress that this important milestone has been welcomed both by Parliament and by public opinion.

06 May 2013 description

In Syria, fighting between the Government and opposition groups continued in all governorates apart from Tartous and As-Sweida. Following a large scale offensive by the Government initiated on 26 April, heavy fighting has been reported in and around Damascus. Clashes in Eastern Ghouta forced the closure of Damascus international airport. Approximately 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in the country while some 4.25 million people are displaced and over 1.4 million people have fled into neighbouring countries.

15 Apr 2013 description

Heavy fighting continued throughout Syria, with shelling reported from all but two of the Governorates in the country. The violence in densely populated places, including Aleppo, Homs, Deir-ez-Zor, Idleb and central Damascus remained intense. More than 400,000 people have fled Syria since 1 January, bringing the total number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries to around 1.32 million as of 14 April, according to UNHCR.

18 Mar 2013 description

By decision taken by Minister for International Development Heidi Hautala on 15 March, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has granted its humanitarian assistance funds for the first part of the year, totalling EUR 39.8 million, to people suffering from the world’s crises. This time, Finland targets humanitarian assistance to Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Earlier this year, EUR 3.5 million was already granted for the acute needs of the Syrian crisis.

18 Mar 2013 description

As the conflict in Syria entered its third year, intense fighting was reported across the country, in particular in Damascus, Homs, Aleppo, Idlib, and the area stretching between Damascus and the Golan Heights. The number of Syrian refugees continued to rise, amounting to a total of 1,129,019 as of 18 March.

04 Mar 2013 description

Clashes and violence escalated during the past week in Bangladesh, following the sentencing to death of a senior Islamist leader, marking the bloodiest bout of violence since the country’s independence four decades ago.

Continuous rains have caused floods in Agusan del Sur in the Province of Pampanga in the Philippines. Some 49,073 persons were affected as of 27 February.