Russian Airstrikes in Idlib: Russian airstrikes targeted makeshift camps in the Harbanoush and Sheikh Bahr Nahr areas of Idlib this week. Local observers told Reuters that 20 raids were carried out. This follows a roadside bombing of a joint-patrol of the M4 road by Russian and Turkish forces. According to Russian state media, the attack killed a Russian major general and left three soldiers wounded.
U.S. and Regime Forces Clash: Earlier this week, U.S. troops and Syrian Democratic Forces conducting a joint-patrol near Tal Al-Zahab came under fire after passing through a regime-held checkpoint. U.S. forces returned fire, resulting in at least one Syrian killed. Syrian state media reported that following the firefight U.S. helicopters attacked a Syrian army checkpoint near the city of Qamishli. The spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve issued a statement rejecting the claim of any military reprisal.
Protests in Daraa: The residents of Daraa, in southwest Syria, continue to demand the release of detainees. Earlier this month, a protest was organized against continued detention by the regime. During the protest, the people of Daraa camp blocked the roads to the camp in an attempt to pressure the Assaad regime into releasing detainees. Among those protesting were Palestinian refugees. Last month alone, 19 people were detained by the regime, not including those who were forcibly conscripted. Regime forces were mobilized in response to the protest.
American Journalist Arrested: Over the weekend, Al-Monitor reported Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) militants detained American-born journalist and activist Bilal Abdul Kareem in Idlib. Abdul Kareem and his driver were taken into custody near the city of Atmeh following an interview of Racquell Hayden-Best, the wife of a British aid worker Tauqir Sharif who was arrested by HTS in June. Prior to his arrest, Abdul Kareem had been openly critical of HTS for torturing captives. In 2017, he was stripped of his British citizenship over alleged links to al-Qaeda, and that same year Abdul Kareem sued the United States government for supposedly placing him on a kill list, claiming that he has survived five drone strikes.