Home > Uncategorized > Syria – Timeline 2017
January 2017
In the first month of 781 victims were killed according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) report. 346 civilians died at the hands of the Syrian regime forces, including 48 children and 37 women. A majority of the death tolls took place in Damascus, resulting in the deaths of 121 civilians. Damascus high death tolls came after the ceasefire brokered for the area on December 30th was violated by the Syrian Regime with an offensive in the rebel held area near Damascus. Opposition forces halted peace talks as a result. In January 2017, Damascus had 5.5 million people deprived of access to safe drinking water after damage to the water supply networks. Other death tolls included 99 civilian deaths at the hands of ISIS, 91 at the hands of international coalition forces, 48 at the hands of Russian forces and 188 from other parties. The U.S. had an increased presence in Syria this month. The U.S. troops carried out raids against ISIS in Syria near Deir al-Zour. The U.S continues airstrikes in Syria as well by striking a training camp in Idlib province, which killed more than 100 fighters.  

At the beginning of 2017, refugee numbers were as follows;
Turkey – 2,854,968
Lebanon – 1,011,366
Jordan – 655,895
Iraq – 230,836
Egypt – 116,013

February 2017
In February 2017, a total of 876 civilians lost their lives, over 55% of which were at the hands of the Syrian-Russian alliance. Syrian Regime forces were responsible for 366 deaths in Syria, including 39 children and 34 women. The Syrian regime continued their offensive in and around Damascus this month, killing 110 civilians alone. Aleppo continued to see a lot of fighting as well, with 353 civilian death tolls total, as Assad and his allies pushed against ISIS in east Aleppo. In the beginning of the month, Turkish-backed rebels also pushed against ISIS forces outside Aleppo and captured two villages. In mid February, the Syrian Arab Army launched rockets in rebel held areas in Qaboun to capture the area.

March 2017
In March 2017, a total of 1134 civilians were killed in Syria, including 217 children and 146 women. 56% of the civilian death tolls were due to the Syrian-Russian alliance, and evidence showed that 90% of the attacks were directly targeting civilian facilities. International Coalition forces had a higher death toll this month, with 260 civilians, mostly focused in al Raqqa committing bombardments with war planes. Death tolls from international coalition forces also included U.S. Marines entering the al Raqqa governorate to take the ISIS stronghold in the area. After being under siege from ISIS for many months, Palmyra was recaptured by Syrian Regime and Russian forces in early may after an offensive was launched to take it back. In late March, Syrian rebels and Tahrir al-Sham began a two month long offensive in northern Hama, in an effort to recapture the city. The Qaboun offensive also continues throughout the month as the Syrian Army gained rebel held areas.

April 2017
In April 2017, 1014 civilians were killed in Syria, including 264 children and 171 women. A majority of the civilian deaths were at the hands of the Syrian-Russian alliances with 719 deaths. The Hama offensive continued throughout this month, with back and forth fighting between the Syrian Regime and Syrian rebel forces. The rebels initially captured 40 positions, but by the end of the month, Syrian Regime forces recaptured almost all lot territory and one more position. In the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun, more than 80 people were killed in an April 4th chemical attack. Witnesses reported that Syrian Regime warplanes dropped bombs on the town, killing 89 people including 33 children and 18 women. Another 541 people were injured. The Syrian army continued the Qaboun offensive, which intensified by the end of April.

May 2017
In May 2017, 964 civilians were killed in Syria, including 224 children and 150 women. A majority of the civilian deaths were at the hands of International Coalition Forces, with 273 deaths. The Syrian-Russian alliance significantly decreased their killings in this month after a de-escalation agreement starting in May 2017. The agreement went into effect in the four established zones of the Idlib governate, Nothern Homs, Eastern Ghouta and parts of Daraa and al Quneitra. Also in May 2017, Russia, USA and Jordan also announced a ceasefire agreement for southwestern Syria including the Daraa, Quneitra and Suwayda governates. The Qaboun offensive came to a close this month, as the Syrian Army claimed it has fully captured the area, and military operations halted to allow an evacuation of an estimated 1,500 to 2,400 rebels. Syrian Democratic Forces gained back control of Tabqa and the Tabqa Dam from ISIL forces this month. ISIL also lost control of Damascus-Palmyra after the Syrian government led an offensive to regain the territory. The U.S.-led coalition killed 42 civiliansin al-Bokamal city this month, and killed 108 civilians in Al Mayadeen after bombings in both of the areas. 

June 2017
In the first half of 2017, 5381 civilians had been killed, including 1159 children and 742 females. A majority of civilian deaths were at the hands of the Syrian Regime, with 2027 civilian deaths total. Unlike other years, International Coalition forces increase their death tolls in the first half of 2017, with 1008 civilian deaths. Other notable death tolls include 866 at the hands of extremist groups and 641 at the hands of Russian forces. De-escalation agreements from the previous month were still in effect, and led to lower death tolls, mostly from Russia, and a slight decrease from Syrian Regime forces. At this point in 2017, UNICEF calculated that 6 million children had been affected by the civil war, with 13.5 million people total affected. Delivering humanitarian aid into Syria remained difficult as a result of active conflict, with at least 1.33 million people in those areas. Syrian government forces reported to have captured over 6,000 sq km of ISIL held territory Homs governmate in early June. The Syrian government also announces in early June that they captured an additional 20,000 sq km of territory. The U.S. continued their increased presence in Syria, and announced they were sending a civilian team to Syria to help the displaced Syrians return home.    

By mid 2017, refugee numbers were as follows;
Turkey – 2,992,567
Lebanon – 1,011,366
Jordan – 660,315
Iraq – 241,406
Egypt – 122,208

July 2017
In July 2017, a total of 814 civilians were killed in Syria. The Syrian Regime was responsible for 248 deaths this month, including 62 children and 33 women. International Coalition death tolls continued to rise up to this point, with 225 total deaths this month. Despite some breaches continuing in de-escalation agreement zones, patients were able to go back to hospitals, markers were opening, and children were returning to schools. There was an 80% drop in civilian killings at the hands of the regime in South Syria Agreement areas as compared to June 2017. The most notable breach of de-escalation zones occurred in late July when 244 barrel bombs were dropped by the Syrian Regime in Darra, Damascus, Suwayda, Hama and Homs. A fifth round of talks organized by Russia, Turkey and Iran takes place in Astana, Kazakhstan discussing the implementation of additional safe zones in Syria. Russia announced the introduction of new “de-escalation zones” in Syria, including in the north of the city of Homs and in East Ghouta region. ISIL continued to loose territory this month, including 6,000 sq km, mostly from government forces and some from rebel forces. In late July, Lebanon fighters and former al-Qaeda affiliates agreed to a ceasefire along the Lebanese-Syrian border.  

August 2017
In August 2017, a total of 772 civilians were killed in Syria. 285 of the deaths were at the hands of International forces. A majority of the deaths by International Coalitions were due to the United States and their war against ISIS in Raqqa. On August 24th, the UN called for a humanitarian pause in Raqqa due to indiscriminate killing by the U.S. forces, which the U.S. rejected. The Syrian Regime forces were responsible for 229 deaths in Syria, including 24 children and 17 women. There was an agreement signed for the northern suburbs of Homs and southern suburbs of Hama de-escalation agreement that went into effect on Thursday, August 3, 2017. On the same date, Syrian Regime forces targeted the rebel town of Eastern Ghouta with 10 ground-to-ground missiles, killing one child and one women. After the ceasefire agreement along the Syrian-Lebanese border in late July, nearly 80,000 refugees arrived back in Syria. By the end of the month, ISIS would also withdraw from the Syrian Lebanese border.

September 2017
In September 2017, 912 civilians were killed in Syria. 498 civilians were killed by Syrian regime forces, including 101 children and 83 women. Russia increased their killings this month after months of lower death tolls. Russia killed 207 civilians including 45 children and 31 women. International Coalition decreased killings in September, but was still responsible for 104 deaths. Four de-escalation zones were still in effect after a series of ceasefires this month including Idlib governorate and the surrounding areas (parts of Aleppo, Hama, and Latakia governorates), northern Homs governorate, Eastern Ghouta, and parts of Daraa and al Quneitra governorates in the southern parts of Syria. The included zones did see a reduction in civilian deaths. However, when taking into account fighters in Syria, September was the deadliest month in Syria, with 3,300 total deaths. In mid September, Iran, Turkey and Russia agree to de-escalation zones in Syria, set to effective for six months. The zones agreed upon were Eastern Ghouta and provinces in Idlib, Homs, Latakia, Aleppo and Hama. Dier al-Zour saw a dramatic increase in fighting over the course of September while ISIS and Syrian Regime forces fought over territory. By the end of September, Syrian Regime forces had captured 1,300 and 1,7000 sq. km. of territory from ISIL. Starting in the beginning of the month, Russian forces destroyed a large convoy of ammunition in the province.

October 2017
In October 2017, 923 civilians were killed, 68% of which were at the hands of the Syrian Russian Alliance. 398 civilians were killed at the hands of the Syrian Regime, including 78 children and 62 women. Russia attributed to the deaths of 221 civilian deaths, including 68 children and 36 women. Other notable deaths include 163 deaths at the hands of ISIS and 71 civilian deaths because of International Coalition Forces. The biggest death tolls took place in Dier al-Zour as the offensive in the territory continues.
Dier al-Zour offensive was started when the Syrian Regime attempted to capture the territory ISIS held. By the end of October, government forces had captured two districts and advanced into a third district. 1,500 civilians were trapped in ISIS-held neighborhoods due to fighting. Other provinces that continued to see heavy fighting include Idlib, Eastern Ghouta and small areas of Hama and Aleppo despite de-escalation agreements. In early October, ISIS did a surprise attack against government forces in Al-Qaryatain. Shortly after, the Russian Defence Minister claims that ISIS had undertaken several attacks across Syria. Turkey crossed the border into Idlib to repel jihadist. After four month of fighting, the US-backed rebel forces captured Raqqa from ISIS in late October. Continuing the mass amount of territory lost by ISIS, the SDF also captured large oil fields from ISIS.   


November 2017
In November 2017, a total of 996 civilians were killed, 79% of which were at the hands of the Syrian-Russian Alliances. There was a 20% increase in the civilian tolls as they continue to topple rebel and ISIS forces. The Dier al-Zour offensive continued this month as fighting between ISIS and the Syrian Regime continued over territory. By mid November, ISIS was pushed to the island of Hawijat Qati and surrendered on November 27th. The situation in Eastern Ghouta began to escalate in November despite de-escalation agreements in the area. The Damascus suburb was under siege from the beginning of the conflict, but fighting did not escalate until this month. Food scarcity was at an all time high this month, and government forces conducted over 400 airstrikes in the area, bombing markets, schools and houses. Reports found that banned cluster munition were used numerous times throughout the month. 

December 2017
In December 20117, a total of 569 civilians had been killed in Syria, a majority of which were at the hands of the Syrian government, with 285 civilians including 49 children and 34 women. Other notable death tolls this month included 97 at the hands of extremist groups and 89 at the hands of International Coalition Forces. The fighting in Deir Ez-Zour continued as numerous parties in Syria tried to push out ISIS militants and gain control of the Euphrates. By the end of the month, more than 173 civilians were killed, and government forces managed to capture and secure the whole western bank after they seized Al-Salihiyah. At that point, Russian forces announced that Syria had been liberated from the Islamic State, and ISIS announced its plans to move its caliphate to Libya. Idlib also saw a significant amount of fighting in December 2017, killing 125 civilians. In mid December, The Syrian Arab Army and National Defense Forces liberated the town from a Syrian branch of al-Qaeda using air and artillery strikes in the area. In late December, Russia announces the establishment of two permanent military bases in Syria, solidifying their continuing presence in Syria and alliance with Assad.

In the course of 2017, over 10,204 civilians had been killed in Syria. The civilians deaths included 2,298 children and 1,563 women. The refugee crisis continued to rise throughout the year 2017, ending with the following numbers;
Turkey – 3,381,005
Lebanon – 1,001,051
Jordan – 655,588
Iraq – 246,974
Egypt – 126,027

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