General developments & political & security situation
The security situation across the country remains volatile and unstable, while the main hot spots remain As-Sweida, Deir Ezzor, Hama, Aleppo and Idlib governorates.
• The UNSG Special Envoy, Stefan De Mistura, and UN Senior Advisor, Jan Egeland, both visited Damascus for talks with GoS and the UNCT.
• In northwest Syria, the military situation remains volatile and unpredictable with focus on the Demilitarized Zone agreement, on 20 October 2018 Russia and Turkey reportedly extended the period of the implementation of the agreement. Local sources reported that Abu Al-Thohour crossing-point was reopened on 22 October to facilitate the return of IDPs, the crossing had been closed since 30 September. The western part of Aleppo city remains the most active frontline and increased hostilities were reported. On 24 October, DOH Aleppo reported 10 war-wounded due to shelling in several neighborhoods of Aleppo city.
• In the northeast of Syria, national Syrian media outlets reported that in several self-administered areas, SDF seized all health centers and clinics in several neighborhoods of Al-Hassakah city. In eastern rural Deir-ez-Zor, SDF reportedly captured the town of As-Sousah in East rural Deir Ez-Zour from ISIL. The United Nations remains deeply concerned over the safety and protection of civilians following recent reports of airstrikes. On Tuesday 23 October, airstrikes on the city of Hajin reportedly destroyed a mosque, with unconfirmed reports of civilians being killed or injured. This follows a reported airstrike on 19 October on a mosque in Al-Souseh town, during which over 40 people died, including several children. Most of those killed were reportedly internally displaced people from Abu Kamal and Hajin areas of Deir-ez-Zor.
• In southwest Syria, an agreement and an exchange of prisoners was reportedly reached between GoS and ISIL in As-Sweida. SAA continued its military operation against ISIL militias around Al-Safa area, in the north-east of As-Sweida desert along the administrative borders with Damascus governorate.
• In Rukban camp, The UN continues to call upon all parties to ensure safe, sustained and unimpeded access to all people in need, in line with their commitments under international humanitarian law.