Timeline of the Syrian civil war (September–December 2018)

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The following is a timeline of the Syrian Civil War from September to December 2018. Information about aggregated casualty counts is found at Casualties of the Syrian Civil War.

September 2018[edit]

September 2[edit]

  • The French Foreign Minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian indicated in radio channel that "Assad won the war, we have to state this. But he hasn't won the peace."[1]

September 10[edit]

  • The Netherlands halts funding of the Syrian opposition and police forces, saying the chances of them winning the war are "extremely limited". Dutch support for the White Helmets is also expected to end in December 2018.[2]

September 17[edit]

September 29[edit]

October 2018[edit]

October 3[edit]

October 15[edit]

October 31[edit]

November 2018[edit]

U.S. and Turkish soldiers conduct the first-ever combined joint patrol on November 1, 2018, outside Manbij, Syria

November 1[edit]

November 19[edit]

  • The SAA clears the entire Al-Safa volcanic field of ISIL resistance, ending the offensive in the pocket with the Army in full control of all of southern Syria for the first time since 2011 – excluding Al-Tanf in the southeast.[12]

November 21[edit]

  • United States Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis announces the U.S. will set up new observation posts along the Turkish border in northern Syria in order to reduce skirmishes between Turkish forces and armed Kurdish militants in the region such as the October 31 incident. Mattis affirms it is a co-operational endeavor with Turkey and it will not require additional US troops to be deployed to Syria.[13][14]

November 23[edit]

  • Influential Syrian radio host and anti-Assad activist Raed Fares and his colleague Hammoud al-Juneid are both gunned down by unidentified gunmen in Kafr Nabl in rebel-held Idlib.[15][16]

November 24[edit]

  • Syrian government officials accuse Idlib-based rebels of a suspected poison gas attack on Aleppo after Syrian state TV aired footage of more than 50 civilians being admitted to a local hospital for breathing problems and blurred vision following alleged shelling.[17] The rebels would deny the attack, claiming to not possess poison gas nor the ability to launch projectiles of it; instead they accused the government of attempting to undermine the ceasefire.[18]
  • Turkey says the Syrian government and rebels conducted a 20-man prisoner exchange near al-Bab, calling it the "first important step" of a joint Russia-Iran-Turkey-brokered peace process.[19]

November 27[edit]

  • The US-led Coalition establishes its first observation post along the Syrian-Turkish border in Tal Abyad. Local security sources state that there will be three total posts in Tal Abyad and two in Kobani.[20]

December 2018[edit]

December 2[edit]

December 7[edit]

December 11[edit]

  • The Syrian army general command orders the demobilization of some conscript and reserve officers that have served multiple years during the civil war.[24]
  • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported a large number of local civilians and tribesmen from the Khasham and New Akidat area clashed with guards of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and managed to capture several oil wells in the Conoco oil field after SDF personnel allegedly avoided supplying fuel to the village of New Akidat and refugee camps in the region while hoarding fuel for themselves, causing local prices to spike.[25][26]

December 12[edit]

  • Despite recent apparent attempts by the US to dissuade violence in northern Syria, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkey will launch a new military operation targeting US-backed Kurdish territory (DFNS) east of Manbij "in a few days".[27]

December 14[edit]

  • The SDF, supported by heavy US-led Coalition airstrikes, capture the stronghold of Hajin from the Islamic State, depriving the battered terror group of its last de facto capital within its fledgling pocket of territory in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.[28]

December 19[edit]

  • Proclaiming ISIL's defeat, US President Donald Trump orders the deliberate withdrawal of all of the approximately 2,000–2,500 American troops from Syria "within 60–100 days".[29] Reuters reports the move comes after a phone call between Trump and the Turkish President Erdogan.[30] French forces are to remain.[31]

December 21[edit]

  • Following the US announcement to withdraw all troops, Turkey postponed the planned attack on Northern Syria.[32]

December 23[edit]

  • According to the SOHR, at a meeting in Moscow, the Russians offered to deploy troops of the Syrian government along the border between Turkey and the territory of the DFNS.[33]

December 24[edit]

  • With the previous announcement of the withdrawal of US troops, Iraq's Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi says Iraqi troops could potentially be deployed to Syria.[34]

December 25[edit]

  • In the face of the planned withdrawal of US forces and the Turkish preparations to attack the DFNS, the SDF handed over the town of Arima west of Manbij to troops of the Syrian government.[35]

December 27[edit]

December 28[edit]

  • Three days after handing over Arima to the Syrian army amid the continued mobilization of Turkish regular and Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army forces, conflicting reports emerged surrounding the YPG's inviting of Syrian troops to enter Manbij in order to deter the Turks from attacking the city.[38] SOHR stated Syrian troops had deployed around the Manbij countryside while US-led Coalition officials denied that the SAA had taken Manbij as US forces continued to patrol in and around Manbij with no immediate plans to leave. In a future conflict, the Kurds want the Syrians to control Manbij, not pro-Turkish rebels. Turkey decried that the Kurds have no authority to make decisions on behalf of the region's people.[39]

December 30[edit]

  • SANA reports that Syrian President Assad authorized Iraqi warplanes and artillery to strike ISIL targets in Syrian territory without having to seek prior approval from Damascus, a sign of improved relations and coordination between the neighboring countries.[40]

December 31[edit]

  • Syrian government forces and Iran-backed militias intensify their attacks on civilian settlements in Homs and Idlib province's de-escalation zone despite a ceasefire agreement, killing two civilians and wounding six others in a camp for displaced people.[41]


  1. ^ "The Latest: French FM says Syria's Assad has 'won the war'". September 2, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Netherlands stops supporting Syrian rebels, ahead of Idlib offensive – DutchNews.nl". September 10, 2018.
  3. ^ "Russia claims there will be no Idlib offensive after agreement with Turkey to create military buffer zone".
  4. ^ "In rare move, IDF admits Syria strike, expresses sorrow over Russian plane".
  5. ^ "Syria shot down Russian military reconnaissance plane, admits Kremlin".
  6. ^ "Syria Reopens Border Crossing with Jordan".
  7. ^ "Syria's Assad Reaches 'Understanding' With Arab States". Voice of America. Associated Press. October 3, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  8. ^ i24NEWS. "Road to recovery: Syria opens two key crossings with Jordan, Israel". i24NEWS. Retrieved October 15, 2018.
  9. ^ "Turkish military again shells Kurdish positions in Syria". Associated Press. October 31, 2018.
  10. ^ "Turkish Forces Shell Northern Syria, Kurdish-Led Force Responds". Reuters. October 31, 2018.
  11. ^ "US, Turkey begin joint patrols around northern Syrian town of Manbij". November 1, 2018.
  12. ^ "Daesh suffers devastating defeat as Syrian Army liberates entire Al-Safa region". Al-Masdar News. November 19, 2018. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  13. ^ "The US military is putting brand new observation posts in northern Syria". November 21, 2018.
  14. ^ "US to establish observation posts on Syria-Turkey border: Mattis". Rudaw Media Network. November 21, 2018.
  15. ^ "Radio host who mocked Assad shot dead along with his colleague in Syria". November 24, 2018.
  16. ^ "Raed Fares: Syria radio host shot dead in Idlib". BBC News. November 24, 2018.
  17. ^ "Syria accuses rebels of poison gas attack in Aleppo". November 24, 2018.
  18. ^ "Syrian rebels dismiss poison-gas claims". The Washington Post. November 24, 2018. Archived from the original on December 20, 2018.
  19. ^ "Syria regime and rebels swap prisoners, Turkey says". France 24. November 24, 2018.
  20. ^ "Kurdistan 24 captures completion of first US observation post on Syria-Turkey border". Kurdistan 24. November 27, 2018.
  21. ^ Afp. "Syria coalition says it killed IS leader linked to beheadings". The Sun. Malaysia. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  22. ^ "US-led coalition strikes Islamic State figure involved in killing American Peter Kassig". USA Today. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  23. ^ "FAA extends no-fly rule for US carriers over Damascus skies until December 2020". TASS. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  24. ^ "Syrian army demobilises some conscripted, reservist officers". Reuters. December 10, 2018. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  25. ^ "Syrian Civilians Seize Oil Wells From Rebel Group". OilPrice.com. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  26. ^ "Farsnews". en.farsnews.com. Retrieved December 17, 2018.
  27. ^ "Turkey to Launch Operation Against U.S.-Backed Kurds in Syria 'In a Few Days'". December 12, 2018.
  28. ^ "U.S.-backed fighters in Syria capture last town held by ISIS". December 14, 2018.
  29. ^ Baldor, Lolita. "US to withdraw all American troops in Syria, official says". Fox News Channel. Retrieved December 19, 2018.
  30. ^ "Erdoğan-Trump call resulted in US withdrawal from Syria: US official". Daily Sabah. December 19, 2018.
  31. ^ France says it will continue to fight Islamic State in Syria
  32. ^ "Turkey to clear Syria of both YPG, ISIL: Erdoğan". Hürriyet Daily News. December 21, 2018.
  33. ^ "Russia offers to deploy border guards of the regime on the borderline between the two rivers and a delegation of SDF arrives in Moscow to discuss it and discuss the future of east Euphrates". SOHR. December 23, 2018.
  34. ^ "Iraq Says It Could Deploy Military into Syria". VOA. December 24, 2018.
  35. ^ "Breaking: Kurdish forces handover town near Manbij to Syrian Army". Al-Masdar News. December 25, 2018.
  36. ^ "UAE reopens Syria embassy, a boost for Assad". Reuters. December 27, 2018. Retrieved December 27, 2018.
  37. ^ Bahrain says embassy work in Syria continues after UAE move
  38. ^ "Syrian army takes control of flashpoint Kurdish town threatened by Turkey". The Guardian. December 28, 2018.
  39. ^ "Conflicting reports on Syrian entry into key Kurdish town of Manbij". CBS News. December 28, 2018.
  40. ^ "Syria's Assad authorizes Iraqi forces to strike IS in Syria". The Washington Post. December 30, 2018.[dead link]
  41. ^ Syrian regime attacks Idlib in violation of Sochi deal. 1 January 2019. MEMO. Retrieved 11 July 2020.