Syria Situation Report: September 1 - 7, 2016

Pro-regime forces reinstated the siege of Eastern Aleppo City on 04 SEP following heavy clashes with opposition forces. The new advances demonstrated the critical role played by Russia in enabling gains by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad even as Russia and the U.S.  struggled to reach a deal to reestablish a nationwide ‘cessation of hostilities’ and restart stalled political negotiations on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in China. Meanwhile, ISIS conducted a wave of major suicide attacks on 05 SEP targeting regime positions in Tartous City, Homs City, and Damascus in Western Syria as well as the Syrian Kurdish YPG in Qamishli and Hasaka City in Northern Syria. The surge in attacks came only one day after opposition groups backed by the Turkish Armed Forces successfully cleared ISIS from the entire length of the Syrian-Turkish Border in Northern Aleppo Province. ISIS has set conditions for expansion into Western Syria since 2014 and will likely further activate these capabilities in the face of continued losses to coalition forces near Ar-Raqqa City in Eastern Syria.