General developments & political & security situation
A cease-fire agreement to stop fighting in the besieged suburbs of Damascus failed as government forces clashed with rebels in the opposition-held region.
A-Jaafari: The so-called "non-paper" on revival of Geneva process is rejected … Sochi conference results will be outcome of dialogue between Syrians themselves. The document presented by the group of five - the United States,
France, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the United Kingdom - to the UN Syria envoy on reviving the Syrian negotiations violates the Syrian people's right to self-determination, and contradicts the UN SC resolution 2254, the Moscow platform of the Syrian opposition said.
Russian military diplomatic source stressed the High Negotiations Committee's refusal to participate in Sochi conference undermined its importance, and signaled invalidity of its title.
Russia is expecting positive response for Guterres' participation in Sochi conference … De Mistura will participate in Sochi conference, and Moscow welcomes his participation. About 1,600 people will attend, out of which about 350 are from outside Syria. Lavrov and de Mistura will open the conference which will be chaired by the most senior participant, Ghassan Al-Qalaa, President of Damascus Chamber of Commerce. Sochi is expected to form 4 committees: Conference Presidency, Follow-up, Constitution, and Organization and Appeals. The Kurdish Democratic Progressive Party boycotted as well; and Kurdish Self-administration not participating due to Ifrin.
Sochi Conference concluded, and Syrian national dialogue begins.
Turkish regime continued its aggression on Ifrin, killing 86 civilians- including a whole family of 7, and wounding about 200 others in a week.
Turkish troops and allied rebels on Sunday seized a strategic hill near a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria as they pressed on with a campaign against a Kurdish militia in the region. Erdogan has repeatedly threatened to expand the operations in northern Syria in recent days. Ankara might extend operations eastward all the way to the Iraqi border to clear the YPG militia from areas near Turkey’s southern frontier. This has led to heightened tensions with NATO ally the United States, which has troops deployed in Kurdish-held regions east of Afrin.
The United States has pledged to stop supplying weapons to a Kurdish militia in Syria.
The Syrian Arab Army is conducting an offensive against terrorists of al-Nusra Front in the contact area of the provinces of Hama, Idlib, and Aleppo. The army is using heavy artillery, while support from the air is provided by Russian aviation.
A week before World Cancer Day (February 4), the Ministry of Health asserts that cancer rate in Syria is 1 in 1,000 per year; which is close to rates in neighboring countries; with child cancer accounting for 10% of total cases. The main problem, the Ministry said, is that 70% of cases seek treatment at late clinical stages. The National Registry of Cancer Control Department collects data on new cases from hospitals' records, which reflect about 75% of the incidence at national level. In 2018, data collection will be based on population, beginning form Sweida governorate, then country wide. The Ministry of Health provides chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer patients free of charge, through 10 specialized medical centers in Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, Sweida, Tartous and Homs.
School vaccination campaign launched in Sweida, targeting 31,000 students from 1st, 2nd, and 6th grades in basic education, in 334 schools, and continuing till March 1st ... in Al-Hassakeh, will start February 4th, targeting about 30,000 first graders and 27,000 sixth graders, and continue during the second semester.