Regional Analysis Syria - 28 January 2013
The Regional Analysis of the Syria Conflict (RAS) seeks to bring together information from all sources in the region and provide a coherent analysis of the overall situation in the region as well as in each of the affected countries. While Part I focuses on the situation within Syria, Part II covers the impact of the crisis on the neighbouring countries. The Syria Needs Analysis Project welcomes all information that could complement this report. For additional information, comments or questions, please email SNAP@ACAPS.org
Since the uprising against the Assad regime began in March 2011, the estimated conflict-related death toll has surpassed 60,000 people. Over 4 million people are estimated to be affected by the crisis. The humanitarian situation varies significantly across the country, with a range of factors influencing the daily life of the population including the varying intensity and uncertainty of the conflict, the divergence between the situation in Government and opposition controlled areas, available supply routes and the coping mechanisms of the civil society.
Conflict: Driven from large areas in the north and east of Syria, the Assad regime is focused on maintaining a grip on the key axis from Damascus to Homs, and on the coastal Alawite governorates. High intensity conflict involving the Syrian Army and a multitude of anti-Government groups continues in strategic places: Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Dar’a, Rural Damascus, Homs, Idleb and on the outskirts of Damascus city. Other areas held by anti-Government forces witness frequent air strikes, reportedly targeting medical facilities and bakeries.
Meanwhile, a separate dynamic is seen in the Al-Hasakeh governorate, where the Kurdish Popular Protection Units – who have agreed a truce with the Free Syrian Army – clash with the, mostly foreign-recruited militia of the Al-Nusra Front, highlighting the evolving complexities of the conflict.
A large proportion of the country’s infrastructure, such as water facilities, hospitals, schools and houses have been severely damaged or destroyed. The ability of the population to escape violence is restricted by heavy fighting and checkpoints.
Displacement: The fighting, general insecurity and the lack of access to food and livelihoods have led to large-scale displacement. While an estimated 2 million people are displaced within Syria, more than 550,000 people have registered as refugees in neighbouring countries.
Four main types of movement are occurring: movement away from high intensity conflict areas to safer areas either within the same or a neighbouring governorate; movement to a safer location some distance away (such as to low intensity conflict areas such as Quneitra, Lattakia and Tartous); movement out of Syria; and a return to places of origin as they become (relatively) safer.
The fierce battle to control Dar’a governorate, especially the border crossings intoJordan, during January 2013 has precipitated a rapid escalation in the number of refugees into Jordan: average of 3,000 a day from 22-25 January representing a six-fold increase on the average for the previous six months.