Syrian Conflict

The Syrian War started in 2011 as an uprising and protests against the government of Syria led by Bashar Al Assad.

Developments:  The October 15 deadline has passed for the Russian-Turkish deal which allowed for a buffer zone between the city of Idlib and Syrian/Russian forces. The rebels were told to leave the buffer zone as part of the deadline, however, they have vowed to stay and fight along with a report that there were two shells that came from the buffer zone and killed two Syrian soldiers, but it is unclear who fired the mortar shells.

The border crossing between Syria and Israel has opened in the Golan Heights, which is operated by the UN (with help from Russian military officers).

The border crossing with Jordan has opened as well, allowing for economic trade between the two countries once more. This crossing was opened with the leaders of the Chamber of Commerce in Syria, as well as commercial delegations from both sides. There have already been shipments between the two countries, which will also allow goods to flow from Syria to other countries in the region.

What to watch: With the passing of the October 15 there seems to be little recourse except to go into the area with force, so watch for what Russia in particular will do to handle this. Russia has honored the unstable ceasefire even after the deadline but it is unclear how long that will last.

Analysis: With little left for the rebels to negotiate there seems to be fewer options besides going in militarily to defeat the rebels. The rebels do not appear to be very coordinated. You have Hay’et al-Sham, Hurras al-Deen, and Ansar al-Islam, along with the Turkish backed National liberation Front operating in this area.

There was shelling coming from the buffer zone, but it is unclear who fired the shells which killed two soldiers on the Syrian side. It looks more as each day passes that Russia and Syria will have to enter with force, much to the disappointment of the UN and Western countries, who are warning that this will be a large scale humanitarian crisis with the very populated area of Idlib.