General developments & political & security situation
The security situation across the country remains volatile and unstable, with the main hotspots in As-Sweida, Ar-Raqqah, Hama, Aleppo, Deirezzor and Idlib governorates
• In northwest Syria, sporadic violence reported however the overall cessation of hostilities has been maintained. After the Russian-Turkish agreement of “Demilitarization Zone” on 17 September 2018, several NSAGs announced their acceptance while others have reportedly rejected the agreement. Subsequent to the re-opening of a humanitarian crossing point at Abu Thuhour on 25 September, approximately 140 families (450 individuals), all returnees, crossed into government-controlled areas between 25 - 26 September. At an EU-Hosted High Level Event on Syria, the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, noted the recent Russian-Turkish deal represents an opportunity to advance the political process. The Special Envoy also hoped all sides will continue to engage in good faith, putting protection of civilians first, and looking to address the threat of terrorism strictly in accordance with international humanitarian law.
• In the northeast of Syria, SDF continued military operations against ISIL around Baghuz, Hajin, As-Susah, and Ash-Sha'Fa towns with several counter-attacks by ISIL reported. Populations continue to flee the violence, and some are seeking shelter in a new informal camp. So far, the population at the camp/site is approximately 100 families / 470 individuals within 73 tents.
• In the southwest, new advances were reported in SAA’s military operation against ISIL militias around Al-Safa volcanic field, in the north-east of As-Swieda desert along the administrative borders with Rural Damascus. A peaceful demonstration took place in As‐Suwayda city in support to the Hostages that were kidnapped on 25 July during ISIL attack on As‐Suweida. Syrian national media reported a US-Russian agreement on Al Rukban camp.