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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 Dec 2013 description

In Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that an estimated 126,000 people have died during the conflict, more than a third of them civilians. Meanwhile, Turkey and Iran, which support opposing sides within the crisis, jointly called for a ceasefire before the beginning of the peace talks, set for 22 January in Geneva.

25 Nov 2013 description

In Syria, government forces fully control the town of Qara after almost a week of heavy fighting which caused over 15,000 Syrian refugees to cross into Lebanon. Meanwhile, the UN stated that it has brokered an agreement allowing for the Government of Syria and opposition negotiators to meet for peace talks in Geneva on January 22. The opposition reaffirmed the conditions of its participation: the release of prisoners, humanitarian assistance for besieged towns, and the exclusion of President Assad from the new transitional government.

11 Nov 2013 description

Snapshot 5 – 12 November

In Syria, the opposition agreed to participate in international peace talks in Geneva under the condition that President al-Assad is excluded from any transitional government, which constitutes a major obstacle to the initiation of the process as the Government stated it will not enter discussion if this demand is upheld. The peace dialogue has been repeatedly postponed and will not go ahead as planned in November. To date, the overall number of Syrian refugees is over 2.2 million and the number of people in need in the country stands at 9.3 million.

04 Nov 2013 description

Snapshot 29 October – 5 November

In Syria, the opposition remains divided over their participation to proposed peace talks in Geneva, with a decision being expected by 9 November. In Damascus, the Government repeated that it will not enter discussions if President al-Assad is forced to resign. While the overall number of Syrian refugees went over 2.2 million, revised estimates indicated that the number of people in need in Syria has increased from 6.8 million in April to 9.3 million in late October. An estimated 6.5 million are internally displaced.

28 Oct 2013 description

In Syria, fighting has intensified in October with the Government gaining control of strategic areas around Damascus and south of Aleppo. Meanwhile, while the number of Syrian refugees has reached almost 2.2 million people, parties to the conflict and international actors are increasingly focused on the Geneva II conference scheduled to take place in November after having been postponed several times.

22 Oct 2013 description

Snapshot 15 – 22 October

In Syria, conflict is of high intensity in Rural Damascus, Dar’a, Aleppo, Idleb, and Homs, and Damascus city has repeatedly been under fire from opposition mortar rounds. Clashes between rival opposition groups have spread, culminating in a bloody battle over the control of some northern Aleppo neighbourhoods. While Government forces have made gains in Rural Damascus, the opposition has won ground in Dar’a, with both sides renewing efforts to gain a firm upper hand before the proposed Geneva II peace talks in November.

18 Oct 2013 description

The Global Food Security update provides a quarterly overview of key food security trends in vulnerable countries. Information is provided by WFP VAM field teams and partners.

In focus

• In Syria, revised estimates indicate that the number of IDPs has risen to 6.5 million from 4.25 million in July. Vulnerability is increasing due to conflict, reduced economic activity, reduced crop production and high prices. As of October, UNHCR reports that over 2 million Syrians had found refuge in neighboring countries.

15 Oct 2013 description

Snapshot 08 – 15 October

In Syria, heavy fighting is ongoing in Rural Damascus, Dar’a, Aleppo, Idleb and Homs, with government forces making gains in Rural Damascus while the opposition has won ground in Dar’a. Despite the call of al-Qaeda’s leader for opposition fighters to unite, inter-group fighting has escalated in Aleppo over control for neighbourhoods. Meanwhile, the Syrian National Council announced that it did not intend to participate in the proposed Geneva II peace talks.

08 Oct 2013 description

In Syria, heavy fighting along the border with Jordan in the southern province of Dar’a is on-going. After a week-long battle in Aleppo, the Government army regained control of the strategic town of Khanasser which is located on a key supply route between central Syria and Aleppo. Meanwhile, ground fighting is ongoing across Syria, with clashes extending to the previously relatively stable governorate of Tartous.

30 Sep 2013 description

In Syria, heavy fighting continues between the Government and opposition groups as well as infighting within the opposition. Against this background, the UN Security Council endorsed the Russia-US agreement on the elimination of Syria’s chemical stockpile. There are now over 2.1 million Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries. As of 27 September, heavy shelling is preventing an estimated 70,000 Syrian refugees from crossing into Jordan, leading them to face severe food insecurity as they remain stranded on the border.

16 Sep 2013 description

Snapshot 09 – 16 September

In Syria, heavy fighting continues, with air-strikes on opposition controlled areas in Damascus and on-going offensives in Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Idleb, Homs and Al-Hasakeh. Meanwhile, after three days of talks in Geneva, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reached an agreement on a disarmament proposal under which Syria’s stockpiles of chemical weapons are to be eliminated by mid-2014. The Syrian Minister for Information has indicated that Syria will abide by the terms set out in the plan.

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.

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.