WHO Syria, Week 40, 29 September - 5 October 2018

Situation Report
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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, Deir-Ezzor and Idleb governorates

• In northwest Syria, the security situation in the northern area remains volatile and unpredictable. The main focusing, for the time being, remains towards implementing the RF-Turkish Demilitarization Zone agreement - implementation agreement is uncertain, notably due to the public rejection by some NSAGs. Despite the agreement, SAA artillery shelling was reported NSAGs positions in the towns of Jisr al-Shughur, Rajm Al‐Haye, Al‐Kinda and Al‐Najeya and Kokfin in south rural Idlib. Humanitarian crossing point at Abu Thuhour remains open. From 25-29 September, a reported total of 545 families (1,751 individuals), all returnees, crossed from Abu Thuhour into government-controlled areas. SARC identified 3 main locations where returns are being recorded: Tall Ed-Daman, Al-Bwieder, and Al-Tarfawi (and surrounding villages). Two major UN donors temporarily requested a suspension of the use of their funds for cross-border humanitarian deliveries through the Bab Al-Hawa border crossing point (Turkey) following reports that a non-state armed group (NSAG) had been taxing deliveries by implementing partners. On Saturday 29 September, the NSAG in a statement announced that fees imposed on trucks used for the delivery of humanitarian aid would be stopped.

• In the northeast of Syria, in addition to several small instances of violence across the northeast, SDF continued military operations against ISIL around Baghuz, Hajin, As-Susah, and Ash-Sha'Fa towns with several counter-attacks by ISIL reported. On 1 October 2018 the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps launched a missile attack targeting ISIL headquarters in the eastern bank of the Euphrates river. According to IRCG, the attack was in response to ISIL’s attack on a military parade in Ahvaz city on September 22. On 2 October, an IED went off reportedly targeting an ambulance near Al Busairah hospital, 35km southeast of Deir-Ezzor city, resulting in several casualties.

• In the southwest, SAA’s military operation against ISIL militias around Al-Safa volcanic field continued in the north-east of As-Swieda desert along the administrative borders with Rural Damascus. On 29 September 2018 information about an agreement between GoS and representatives of tribes in Rukban Camp on a possible reconciliation was received by the UN. Official sources reported that Transportation Ministry has completed logistical preparations to reopen the Nasib border crossing point with Jordan on 10 October 2018.