The present report is the forty-fifth submitted pursuant to paragraph 17 of Security Council resolution 2139 (2014), paragraph 10 of resolution 2165 (2014), paragraph 5 of resolution 2191 (2014), paragraph 5 of resolution 2258 (2015) and paragraph 5 of resolution 2332 (2016), in which the Council requested the Secretary-General to report, every 30 days, on the implementation of the resolutions by all parties to the conflict in the Syrian Arab Republic.
The information contained herein is based on data available to agencies of the United Nations system1 and from the Government of the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as from other Syrian and open sources. Data from agencies of the United Nations system on their humanitarian deliveries have been reported for the period from 1 to 31 October 2017.
II. Major developments
Key points in October 2017
Military activities and instances of significant military escalation that were reported in September continued to be reported in many areas, in particular activities targeting Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) areas in the Governorates of Dayr al-Zawr and Raqqah, as well as in Idlib Governorate and the eastern Ghutah enclave in Rif Dimashq Governorate.
In eastern Ghutah, severe shortages of food supplies and a sharp increase in the prices of basic commodities were reported. The United Nations also received alarming reports that children in besieged eastern Ghutah were suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and that an estimated 400 people with health problems urgently required medical assistance and evacuations.
On 17 October, the Syrian Democratic Forces announced that Raqqah city had been fully retaken from ISIL after months of intense air strikes and fighting, amid reports of scores of civilian casualties, significant damage to the city’s basic infrastructure and the displacement of nearly all civilians from the city. The presence of explosive remnants of war across the city remains a major concern for the protection of civilians and their eventual safe return, and is hampering access of humanitarian partners to Raqqah city.
Military operations in Dayr al-Zawr Governorate continued to impact civilians despite the announcement by Syrian Government forces that they had broken the ISIL-imposed siege on parts of Dayr al-Zawr city last month. In October alone, some 270,000 people were displaced from Dayr al-Zawr Governorate according to the displacement monitoring tracker of the United Nations and its partners, mostly to other parts of Dayr al-Zawr Governorate, but also to Raqqah, Aleppo and Hasakah Governorates. Many of those who remained in Dayr al-Zawr could not be reached with humanitarian assistance owing to the proximity of the fighting or as areas continued to be under ISIL control.
On 12 October, the only vaccine cold room in Mayadin district, Dayr al-Zawr Governorate, was reportedly damaged by an airstrike, resulting in the destruction of over 135,000 doses of United Nations-provided measles and polio vaccines. This represents a setback for the response to the polio outbreak in the area. The United Nations received credible reports of three further attacks that impacted health-care facilities and personnel in October.
In October, the United Nations reached millions of people in need with humanitarian assistance from within Syria, including some 2,793,440 people who received food assistance through regular deliveries; 797,700 people were reached through cross-border convoys and 199,000 people were reached through five humanitarian inter-agency cross-line convoys. Humanitarian inter-agency cross-line convoys reached 41,500 people in the besieged locations of Qabun, Kafr Batna and Saqba in Rif Dimashq Governorate, out of a total of 419,920 people besieged in the Syrian Arab Republic.