More Links in News & Events
Share

Military Action, Cholera Outbreak, Infrastructure Loss Plague Syria

By Hari Prasad, program associate, Conflict Resolution Program

The already complex and harrowing conflict in Syria saw a deterioration across the country between July and September 2022.

Tensions between the government of Syria and former opposition armed groups led to two government-initiated sieges in Dara’a Governorate. In addition, local As-Sweida militias mobilized to dismantle two government-backed militias in the governorate. A significant increase in conflict-related activity was reported in northwest Syria. Government forces increased the use of artillery shelling.

  • The above map shows conflict between Turkish armed forces and Turkish-backed armed opposition groups, the SDF, and the SNA from July through September 2022. The largest bubble represents 21 conflict events. Data from The Carter Center and ACLED.

    The above map shows conflict between Turkish armed forces and Turkish-backed armed opposition groups, the SDF, and the SNA from July through September 2022. The largest bubble represents 21 conflict events. Data from The Carter Center and ACLED.

The dire humanitarian situation worsened as a major cholera outbreak spread throughout Syria.

International isolation and sectoral sanctions are exacerbating the deterioration of vital infrastructure and decreasing the ability to respond to health crises. Further, punitive measures are contributing to the crowding out of legitimate economic activity and shoring up an increasingly illicit economy and narco-trade, benefiting those in power. 

Civilians, especially children, continued to be impacted by the high volume of unexploded ordnance in Syria. At least seven children were killed by explosive remnants in one week in just one region.

There were several notable security developments during the third quarter of 2022:

  • The quarter saw a significant reduction in Russian airstrikes on northwest Syria. Despite Turkish rhetoric of a possible new invasion, the overall level of conflict between Turkey and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) decreased as Turkey relied on drones to eliminate SDF figures.
  • The SDF undertook a new operation in the Al-Hol displaced-persons camp to clear out Islamic State group (ISIS) cells. However, ISIS continues to pose a threat to nearly all parties in Syria. Tensions between the various factions in the conflict have allowed ISIS to persist and move across various areas of control.
  • Government forces besieged the towns of Tafas and Jasim in Dara’a Governorate, demonstrating the continued instability in the south.

Security developments in Syria continue to pose a threat to regional stability; the international community should devote attention to furthering the prospects for sustainable peace. As international attention shifts toward other high-profile crises, continued violence and the extensive destruction and deterioration of vital infrastructure are putting the Syrian people under huge strain.

Given the sustained political deadlock, it is important to keep attention on Syria and to adopt policies aimed at laying the ground for a long-term solution while reducing the suffering of the Syrian people, avoiding new outflows of refugees and the outbreak of disease, and combating violent extremism. U.S. and European policies need to evolve beyond the current impasse to help prevent future crises, human suffering, partition, and destabilization of the region.

Additionally, it is important to consider the need for early recovery interventions across Syria. This is crucial for combating the cholera outbreak and other such crises that will inevitably arise in the future. Emergency aid cannot keep up with the damage and degeneration of vital infrastructure.

The Carter Center’s full quarterly update on Syria is available as a PDF and as an interactive map.

Related

Learn more about the Center's Support for Peace in Syria project »

Learn more about the Carter Center's Conflict Resolution Program »