#Syria news update: The Month of October 2014

#Syria witnessed few important events in the month of October, which saw a continuation of violence unabated with almost zero political or military solutions available.

First is the ability of al-Nusra to spread its influence in Jabal al-Zawiyah and subsequently diminish the power of Jabhat Thuwwar Suria, an important group led by Jamal Ma’ruf, based in that areas of Idleb.  Jabhat Thuwwar Suria lost fighters and land to al-Nusra, many in its ranks defected also.  There was an initiative to stop the fighting between al-Nusra and other groups, but that failed, and after few days of fights, things tipped to the favor of al-Nusra.

The Islamic State failed to take Kobani, but they are still in it fighting holding, to this day, very key points.  But, the failure to take ‘Ayn al-Arab/ Kobani, did not stop the Islamic State to attack al-Sha’er Gas Field in central Syria and take it from al-Assad forces.  The also attacked T4 airport that is in the area.  The American led air campaign continue against the Islamic State’s positions in Syria.  Their effectiveness is still to materialize.  The Islamic State punished many in this month, cutting heads, crucifying, and even a reported stunning to death.

# al-Assad made some gains but lost few places also.  The most important gain in the month of October was the retaking to the city of Morek.  Now, his forces are poised to attack Khan Shaykhun.  The biggest loss for al-Assad was Tall al-Harra in the south.  The hill was a listening station.  some few villages around, like al-Harra and Zimrin, also fell to anti Assad coalition of groups.  al-Assad made gains in al-Ghuta also, like al-Dukhaniya.  Damascus was bombed few times in this month also by anti Assad groups using mortars.  al-Assad’s air raids continued against targets all over the country.

In Aleppo, the attack against al-Sfeera, by Ahrar al-Sham fizzled quickly.  The battles around Handarat continue, and the Islamic State spread into most parts of Aleppo northern country side.

The dollar vs the Syrian Lira now is 1- 185.  It reached 195 when Americans started bombing IS.

Gaz for cars (Known in Syria as Benzin) is now 135 Liras for one liter.  Mazot (heating) is 80 Liras.  A kilo of lamb meat is around 1400 Liras, and a kilo of Beef is 1000 Liras.


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