Tuesday, January 14, 2014


We issue our regular monthly report on Syrian war dead from the NCF's chief Syria analyst, Shree Wood. We recorded 3115 as having been killed on the last month we have data from the month of November of whom just 991 were pro government combatants and over 800 were rebels. Shree's report follows below  and includes comments on the Kurds and foreign fighters. Full background data in detail as compiled by the NCF analysing all available source data on a day to day basis can be found on this link

The line graph below is a timeline which helps to depict the rise and decline in the death figures over the last 13 months from November 2012 to November 2013.

The graph (left) compares the casualty figures for the month of November 2012 and November 2013. The casualty figures for November 2012 were one of the highest as rebel and government forces fought over key towns and military bases. The biggest refugee movement since the beginning of the Syrian war also took place during this month. 

The high numbers for November 2012 were also caused by airstrikes which were ordered by the Syrian government close to the Turkish borders. They bombed the rebel-held town of Ras al-Ain which killed thousands and sent some 9, 000 civilians fleeing across the border into Turkey. 

According to several news sources, Syria warplanes entered Turkish airspace. Ras al-Ain is located in the North-Eastern province of Hasaka which is home to the Kurds. 

The Syrian government condemned France's decision to recognise the newly formed coalition and to arm them as "immoral." According to the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad, "They are supporting killers, terrorists and they are encouraging the destruction of Syria."

France became the first Western nation to recognise the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. President Francois Hollande had invited Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib to Paris for peace talks. The Coalition was also formally recognised by six Arab countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council. 

Most of the country faced an internet blackout as rebel forces made their biggest advance against Assad's forces. They seized a major hydroelectric dam and took over half-dozen military bases around Damascus and Aleppo. 

In early November, Syria's leading Kurdish party, the PYD announced plans to hold elections to establish a a semi-autonomous government and region called Rojevo. The elections will see the establishment of a 82 seat parliament with members being elected from across the region. These members will also have their own local assemblies. This announcement was made following several wins over jihadist rebels in the region.

However, the chief of staff to the Iraqi Kurdistan President, Fuad Hussein commented that, "It was not the right time." This clearly shows the unwillingness of the Iraqi Kurdish government to show support in fear of angering Turkey and its neighbours.

Heavy fighting also took place in eastern Damascus as rebels fought to break a blockade by Assad's forces. The blockade cut of rebel's food and weapon supplies and allegedly turned the "tide of fighting around the capital in Assad's favour." Rebel forces attacked military checkpoints encircling the opposition-held suburbs. 160 people were killed in the 2 day battle in Eastern Ghouta. It was also reported that Hezbollah and the Abu Fadl al-Abbas Brigade joined the battle on Assad's side.

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