This report provides an overview of the key events in Syria during the month of October 2023, focusing on political, security, and economic developments. It examines the developments at different levels.
The escalating tensions in Gaza have markedly impacted regional dynamics, prompting:
Key sites such as the US's al-Tanf base, al-Omar oil field, and the al-Shadadi base have been subjected to intensified UAV and rocket attacks by these militias. Additionally, the Koniko gas pipeline, the American base in “Rubarba” near al-Malikiyah, and the “Kharab” base have sustained damage from these attacks.
Beginning October 7th, Israel escalated its military actions against Syrian Regime and Iranian-backed militia targets, executing over nine strikes in different areas. Significantly, Israel targeted Aleppo International Airport four times, Damascus International Airport twice, and four military locations in Daraa. These strikes in October represent a strategic shift, aiming to:
In another development, the military college in Homs city was attacked by unidentified drones, according to regime media, resulting in the deaths of dozens, including officers. This attack is notable for several reasons:
The attack on the military college led the regime, with Russian support, to launch airstrikes and heavy artillery bombardments on over /30/ locations in Northwest Syria, blaming what they labeled as “Terrorist Organizations” for the attack. This resulted in the deaths and injuries of dozens, including /14/ children, /12/ women, and /38/ men.The regime aimed to use this incident to:
Following the “PKK's” claim of responsibility for the Ankara attack near the Turkish Ministry of Interior on the 1st of October 2023, the Turkish Armed Forces launched a series of airstrikes and security operations targeting “SDF”, military bases, and vital facilities in northeast Syria, the technical aspect of this operation signifies a shift in the Turkish military strategy and goals:
The Israeli aggression on Gaza affected the political environment in the region and had a direct impact on the Syrian file. During a UN Security Council session, U.S. Ambassador “Linda Thomas-Greenfield” noted that the events in Gaza are:
The French FM “Catherine Colonna” canceled a meeting with the “SNC” delegation, which had traveled to Paris to urge French officials to hold a Security Council session and take necessary actions to stop the Regime military escalation in Northwest Syria.
The “SNC” met with Turkish FM “Hakan Fidan”, focusing primarily on economic demands and the need to empower the Syrian Interim Government to provide basic services to the people.
The Saudi FM contacted the Syrian regime's FM to discuss regional developments and bilateral relations. “Bashar al-Assad” also met with the Iranian FM in Damascus to discuss the Israeli aggression on Gaza. The regime appointed an ambassador to Tunisia, aiming to enhance its effectiveness in regional and international forums.
In the Southern region, at As-Suwayda Governorate:
The Autonomous Administration in Northeast Syria and the Deir Ezzor Civil Council held a conference to involve the people of Deir Ezzor in decision-making and address public discontent in the governorate. The conference included various community segments, administration employees, and local leaders from Deir Ezzor. The conference concluded with recommendations to:
The Supreme Council for Economic and Social Planning has set the 2024 budget for Syria at /35,500/ billion SYP. This is 114% more than last year but 27% less than in 2022 when converted to USD. This budget is unlikely to help the economy grow and will probably cause more inflation and reduce the value of the Syrian lira.
The Central Bank has set the official exchange rate of the Syrian lira to the USD at /12,500/ SYP, close to the black-market rate /13,900/ SYP. Since the start of the year, the Central Bank was and still trying to close the gap between the official and the black-market rates, to encourage people to use the official rate to help increase foreign currency reserves.
Despite the rising cost of living, the Regime government kept on exporting a lot of vegetables and fruits, mainly to Saudi Arabia. This has led to higher prices locally because of reduced supply and increased costs for things like fuel, seeds, transport, and labor. This approach shows a lack of concern for the citizens' living standards and seems to favor the interests of businesspeople and profit over everything else.
Attempts by the administration to regulate the markets and money movements have met with objections from traders. After the Autonomous Administration issued a circular reminding of the necessity to obtain the necessary licenses to engage in currency exchange and financial remittances, set minimum capital clauses, and deposit money with the Monetary Office
The Corruption in within the Autonomous Administration continues to undermine the development of the region and puts pressure on the livelihood of the population, notable incidents:
Idlib witnessed the opening of its first textile factory, this development might inspire other entrepreneurs to establish similar factories in the area. Additionally, the city hosted the (Idlib Markets 2023) exhibition, featuring numerous new companies and stores. This event is significant for several reasons:
In North Aleppo, the Syrian-Turkish Electricity Company has reduced electricity rates to /2.77/ TL for residential use and /3.17/ TL for industrial and commercial use in Jarablus, Afrin, Azaz, and surrounding regions.
Efforts to revive the economy continue, with local councils and organizations collaborating on infrastructure projects like road repairs, water, and sewage pipe installations, and extending electricity networks. To regulate local affairs, several directives have been issued:
However, the agricultural sector in Ras al-Ain is experiencing difficulties. The interim government is grappling with several issues: