Syria Situation Report: October 6 - 13, 2016

On October 8, Russia vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution authored by France and Spain that called for an “immediate halt” to pro-regime airstrikes on Aleppo City and the reimplementation of a nationwide ‘cessation of hostilities’ deal that collapsed on September 19. A rival resolution submitted by Russia also failed to garner support. France later called for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to launch a “probe” into potential war crimes committed by Russia and Syria in Aleppo City, prompting Russian President Vladimir Putin to cancel a planned trip to Paris on October 19. Meanwhile, Salafi-Jihadist groups Ahrar al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa clashed in heavy infighting throughout Idlib Province and Northern Hama Province that began on October 6. Ahrar al-Sham released a statement accusing Jund al-Aqsa of maintaining ties to the Islamic State, while sixteen other opposition groups released a statement announcing their support for military operations against the group. On October 9, Jund al-Aqsa pledged allegiance to Jabhat Fatah al-Sham - the successor of Syrian Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra - in an effort to end the clashes. Jabhat Fatah al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham subsequently signed an agreement on October 10 to end the infighting, although local activists reported continued clashes despite the agreement.