Late on January 22, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) repelled a large attack by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra, the Syrian branch of al-Qaeda) in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
According to the Russian military, about 150-200 militants supported by 15-20 vehicles equipped with machine guns attacked SAA positions in the areas of Abu al-Duhur and Abu Sharja. They also employed at least one suicide vehicle borne explosive device. The militants overrun the first line of defense and penetrated about 1.5-2 km deep into the SAA-controlled area.
Then, the military deployed reinforcements with support of artillery units SAA troops repelled the advance and forced militants to withdraw from the recently captured positions.
According to pro-SAA sources, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham members suffered significant casualties.
Peaceful settlement of the conflict and rendering of comprehensive assistance are the main vectors of work in the Syrian Arab Republic.
Representatives of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation carried out a humanitarian action in the settlement of al-Deyr-al-Asad, Daraa province. People received 500 food sets.
In total, since the Russian Centre for Reconciliation started settlement process, it carried out 2,050 humanitarian actions. The total weight of humanitarian cargo delivered amounts to 3,234.2 tons.
Refugees are making their way back home. Ten check points including one at the Damascus International Airport and the Baniyas maritime one are operating with support of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides. As for January 21, 2019, in total 218,360 Syrians returned.
As part of the implementation of the decree of the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, the Syrian authorities continue to work on amnesty for those who evade from military service, including those among refugees and former members of illegal armed groups. As for January 21, 2019, in total 29,337 were granted amnesty.
Social infrastructure is being recovered to create favourable conditions for returnees.As for January 21, 2019, 31,082 houses, 724 educational facilities and 133 medical centres has been recovered. Besides, 980km of roads have been repaired.
Despite the ceasefire regime being established throughout the country, there are still cases of ceasefire regime violation by illegal armed formations in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Over the past day, terrorists have attacked Jubb-al-Mgara and Bsharfa in Latakia province, Zor al-Mahruqah, Abu-Omar and Jubbai in Hama province as well as southwestern (three times) and northwestern outskirts of Aleppo. As a result of the shelling at Eyn-al-Naur in Latakia province, one soldier of the SAR armed forces died, as a result of the shelling at Hiha settlement in Hama province – two servicemen of the SAR armed forces were wounded.
The situation in the Idlib de-escalation zone escalated sharply.
The Jabhat al-Nusra groups simultaneously attacked positions of government troops in areas close to Abu-Duhur and Abu-Sharjah. Armed groups numbering 150-200 fighters on 15-20 pickups with heavy machine guns operated in each area.
During the attack in the area of Abu-Dukhur militants used a suicide bomber on a car bomb, which was destroyed by ATGM fire in front of the frontline of the government forces.
The terrorists managed to penetrate the defence of the Syrian army to a depth of 1.5 km, after which they were stopped by fire and thrown back beyond the contact line by the approached reserves.
In the area of settlement Abu-Sharjah, the fire of the units of the Syrian armed forces, the attack of the militants was thwarted. Having suffered losses, the terrorists retreated to their original positions.
The Center for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides organized interaction with the Turkish side, which is timely provided with information on the situation in the areas of Abu-Dukhur and Abu-Sharj.
Bulletin of the Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides and Refugee Migration Monitoring (January 22, 2019):
Return of Refugees from abroad
Over the past day, in total 974 people returned to the Syrian Arab Republic from the territory of foreign states: 438 people (132 women and 223 children) left Lebanon for Syria via the Jaydet-Yabus and Talkalakh CPs, and 536 people (161 women and 273 children) from Jordan via the Nasib CP.
Since July 18, 2018, in total 107,689 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad:
- 44,717 refugees have left Lebanon (13,540 women and 22,725 children), with 26,528 of them – via the Jeydet-Yabus CP, Zemrani – 4,346 people, 1,834 people via al-Dabusiyah, 854 people via the al-Qusayr and 11,155 via Talkalakh;
- 62,972 people (18,918 women and 32,101 children) have passed via the Nasib CP from Jordan.
According to consolidated information provided by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, as for January 1, 2019 there are still 6,675,308 registered refugees seeking asylum in 45 countries worldwide, with 2,002,592 women and 3,404,407 children among them.
In 45 embassies of the Russian Federation in foreign countries where the Syrian refugees seek asylum, 30 countries (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Germany, Egypt, Iraq, Netherlands, Austria, Denmark, Greece, Switzerland, Cyprus, Belgium, Italy, Romania, Spain, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Argentina, Luxembourg, Croatia, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Hungary, Iceland, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Latvia) confirmed the figures provided by the UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Syrian citizens in these countries.
At present there are 6,345,760 Syrians in these countries: (Turkey – 3,622,366, Lebanon – 948,849, Jordan – 671,551, Germany – 534,011, Egypt – 132,553, Iraq – 252,772, Netherlands – 74,998, Austria – 42,505, Denmark – 17,995, Greece – 13,139, Switzerland-6,702, Cyprus-5,899, Belgium-3,982, Italy-3,836, Romania-3,101, Spain-2,352, Ireland-1,729, Malta-1,289, Bosnia and Herzegovina-1,630, Poland – 1,069, Argentina – 1,496, Luxembourg – 663, Croatia – 530, Slovenia – 460, Bulgaria – 180, Hungary – 51, Iceland – 197, Slovakia – 43, Czech Republic – 39, Latvia – 19).
It is estimated, that 1,712,264 Syrians in nine countries expressed their desire to return back to their homeland(Lebanon – 889,031, Turkey – 297,342, Germany – 174,897, Jordan – 149,268, Iraq – 101,233, Egypt – 99,834, Denmark – 412, Brazil – 149, Austria – 68, Argentina – 30).
Since September 30, 2015, in total 336,969 Syrians have returned back to their homes from abroad (101,116 women, 171,748 children).
Ten CPs have already been deployed for returnees, among them there are:
- five on the Syria-Lebanon border (Zemrani, Jaydet-Yabus (Zabadani), al-Sabusiya (al-Aarida), Talkalakh and al-Qusayr (Qusayr));
- one on the Syria-Jordan border (Nasib);
- On the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic:
- two CPs at al-Salhiyah and Abu al-Duhur
- one CP at Damascus international airport;
- one CP at Baniyas sea port.
The leadership of Syria is taking active steps aimed at increasing the efficiency of the process of repatriation of Syrian refugees from the territory of foreign states.
It is reported that 226 Syrians returned back to:
- Eastern Ghouta (Damascus province) – 30 people (11 women and nine children). Since September 30, 2015 – 138,737 people (41,786 women, 68,922 children);
- 196 people (women – 61, children – 89) and 19 vehicles returned back to the places of permanent residence in Deir ez-Zor and Damascus provinces through the checkpoint al-Salhiyah.
Since August 25, 2018, in total, 34,887 people (women – 11,844, children 16,228), 1,934 vehicles and 2,232 heads of cattle.
Over the past day, no refugees have left the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Since March 4, 2018, in total, 44,736 people (women – 14,413, children 20,398), 4,751 vehicles and 54,841 heads of cattle left the Idlib de-escalation zone.
Since September 30, 2015, in total 1,273,148 IDPs have returned back to their homes in the Syrian Arab Republic (384,114 women, 645,783 children). Since January 1, 2019, 4,552 IDPs (1,555 women, 2,017 children).
Cities and Towns Ready to Receive Refugees
There are 1,497,650 places arranged to receive and accommodate refugees in 412 settlements less affected by the combat actions.
Six buildings were recovered over the past day (Akraba – three, Daraa province, Kafr-et-Tun – two, Hama province, Slim – three , al-Suwayda province) a school in Hama, a bakery and a power station in Bokzata were put into operation.
They assessed the social infrastructure and facilities, housing fund, amount of construction materials available in Djafra (Deir ez-Zor province) and Mellah (al-Suwayda province). In order to improve living conditions for Syrians, and to complete infrastructure rehabilitation it is necessary to supply materials in the following towns:
Djafra –a wheeled crane, a dump truck, 24 windows, 16 cu m of brick, 12 cu m of cement, 13 tons of building bars, 930kg of lime and filling, 1,250m of water pipes, 1,150m of electric cables to overhaul four houses, a bakery and a water pump station;
Mellah – an excavator, a grader, a dump truck, 28 windows, 19 cu m of brick, 14 cu m of cement, 9 tons of building bars, 1,250kg of lime and filling, 1,050m of water pipes, 2,500m of electric cables to overhaul five houses, a medical station and a power station.
Heads of local administrations prepared applications to the Ministry of Public Works and housebuilding to receive construction materials for recovering social infrastructure.
Since July 18, 2018, in total, in the Syrian Arab Republic:
- 724 medical (one over the past day) and 133 educational organizations have been recovered;
- five road bridges and 980 km of roads were recovered (1 km – over the past day);
- 897 km of power line have been installed (1 km – over the past day);
- 574 power substations (one over the past day), 122 water supply facilities, 141 bakeries (one over the past day), 14,256 industrial enterprises have been put into operation.
Currently, in 345 settlements of the provinces of Aleppo, Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, Latakia, Hama, Homs, Daraa, al-Suwayda, al-Quneitra, Raqqa, work is underway to overhaul 2,162 houses, 213 schools, 182 kindergartens, 195 bakeries, 232 water pump stations, 207 power substations, 189 medical centres, and 93 places of worship.
Over the past day the Russian side has carried out a humanitarian action in Deir al-Adas (Daraa province) to distribute 500 food sets with a total weight of 2.16 tons.
Besides, the Kadyrov Regional Public Fund distributed a ton of bread in Aleppo city.
In total, the Russian side has organised and carried out 2,050 humanitarian actions, delivering 3,234.2 tons of food supplies, the bare necessities and bottled water.
Thirty-three civilians including 22 children received first medical aid in the town of al-Salhiyah (Deir ez-Zor province).
In total, 104,355 Syrians were provided with medical assistance by Russian military medics.
The SAA engineering units carry on the mine clearance operation in the settlements of Shaukatliya, al-Othmaniyah, Oufaniya, Trunja, Rafid, Qseiba (al-Quneitra province), al-Zelaf (Damascus province), Ein-Zat, Talbiseh (Homs province).
26.4 ha of the territory, and 2.1km of roads were cleared. They found and defused 36 explosive devices including one improvised explosive device.
In total: 1,661ha of the territory, 3,317 buildings and 269.1km of roads. They found and defused 17,936 explosive devices including 5,403 improvised explosive devices.
Arrangements for Refugee Reception
The government program on restoration settlements liberated from the militants has started in Damascus, Aleppo and Hama provinces. The program consists of three phases: preparation of infrastructure (water supply, electrification), targeted aid to the population, the repatriation of residents to permanent housing. Efforts taken by the Syrian Arab Republic activate repatriation of refugees and internally displaced persons.
National Reconciliation Committees established in Syrian provinces and cities (made up by heads of administrations, police, sheiks, representatives of public organizations and opposition) hold negotiations on joining ceasefire regime and voluntary defection to the side of legal government and the surrender of weapons. Former members of illegal armed formations and internally displaced persons are granted amnesty who lived in the territories earlier occupied by terrorists.
The Joint Coordination Committee of the Syrian Arab Republic on the repatriation of refugees carries out social and economic activities to activate the process of infrastructure rehabilitation; all necessary measures are taken to enable refugees and internally displaced persons to return back to their homeland.
Syrian Ministry of Agriculture and Agrarian Reform has launched a complex of measures to assist small farmers affected by heavy rains and a cold snap in Latakia province . Program participants will receive subsidies for the restoration of greenhouses, the purchase of seeds and fuel.
The SAR Ministry of Health plans to send 11 mobile brigades to Home province, whose mission is to provide medical care to residents of the desert territory who have returned to their places of permanent residence. People in need will receive medicines and basic personal hygiene items.
Officers of the Russian Centre for Reconciliation of Opposing Sides held two working meetings:
- with the Head of the city Security Committee on discuss reduction of crime in the city;
- with administration of Deir ez-Zor province to discuss creation of conditions for repatriation of refugees.