An air raid in eastern Syria along the Iraqi border made brief headlines Nov. 9. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported at least 14 people were killed in the strikes, mostly fighters. The attacks hit a convoy of “fuel tankers and trucks loaded with weapons” in Deir az-Zor province, the Observatory said. (Al Jazeera) This set off immediate speculation that the raid was the latest in the small but growing handful of times over the course of the 10-year Syrian war that the US has bombed forces allied with the Assad regime, generally targeting the Iran-backed paramilitary network in the country. The Deir az-Zor strikes did immediately follow the slaying of a US aid worker in Iraq. (The National) However, Israel has for years also carried out sporadic air-strikes on similar targets in Syria, and has likewise come under suspicion in this attack. (ToI, Haaretz)
Getting far less media attention are ongoing air-strikes by Russia and the Assad regime on the remaining pocket of rebel control in Syria’s northwest. Just three days before the Deir az-Zor attack, Russian or regime strikes near Idlib city targeted a displaced persons camp, leaving at least seven noncombatants dead—and winning few international headlines.
Turkey, meanwhile, in addition to carrying out intermittent drone strikes on the Kurdish autonomous zone in northeast Syria, continues to maintain its own zone of control in Syria’s northwest—where it faces growing civil resistance from the populace. Most recently, the Oct. 7 assassination of media activist Muhammad Abdul Latif (AKA Abu Ghannoum) by militiamen of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) set off protests in al-Bab, Aleppo province. (Syria Direct)