Tracking Conflict Worldwide

CrisisWatch is our global conflict tracker, an early warning tool designed to help prevent deadly violence. It keeps decision-makers up-to-date with developments in over 70 conflicts and crises every month, identifying trends and alerting them to risks of escalation and opportunities to advance peace. In addition, CrisisWatch monitors over 50 situations (“standby monitoring”) to offer timely information if developments indicate a drift toward violence or instability. Entries dating back to 2003 provide easily searchable conflict histories.


Middle East & North Africa


Clashes between local strongmen in south killed dozens, Israeli strike on Iran’s consular facility in Damascus sparked unprecedented direct confrontation, and Iran-backed groups attacked U.S. forces. 

In south, deadly clashes between rival local strongmen killed dozens. In bloodiest upsurge in region in years, underscoring insecurity and lack of state authority, IED 6 April killed eight children in Sanamayn city, Deraa province; group led by local leader Mohsen al-Haimed next day blamed explosion on rival group led by Ahmed Jamal al-Labbad, and attacked homes of latter, killing twenty. Separately, tensions 25 April escalated in Suwayda when local factions arrested three govt officers in response to arrest of university student during anti-govt protests in Feb; govt 28 April sent reinforcements to region, raising concerns of potential military operation. 

Israel struck Iranian consulate, triggering unprecedented direct confrontation. Airstrike on Iranian consular facility in capital Damascus, widely attributed to Israel, 1 April killed two senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) commanders and five officers; in response, Iran 13 April unleased massive barrage of drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles at Israel (see Iran, Israel-Palestine and Conflict in Focus). While direct hostilities late April subsided, risk remained high of direct or indirect attacks between parties and their allies/proxies in Syria. Rocket fire 8 April targeted Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; Israel next day struck army military infrastructure in Mahajjah area, Deraa province; suspected Israeli airstrike 19 April struck army positions in Deraa province.

In east, Iran-backed groups targeted U.S. bases. Iran-backed groups 1 April launched drone attack on U.S. Al-Tanf base, Homs province, and 6 April launched missile at Conoco gas field, Deir ez-Zor province. Rockets launched from Iraq 21 April targeted U.S. base in Rumalyn, Hassakah province (see Iraq).

In other important developments. Türkiye targeted Kurdish militant targets, amid risk of escalation in coming months (see Türkiye). Tribal militias continued attacks on Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF): notably, 3 April killed two SDF members at checkpoint in Dhiban town, Deir ez-Zor province. ISIS insurgency continued as alleged ISIS attacks 18 April killed 22 regime soldiers and affiliated fighters near Sukhna town, Homs province.

Middle East & North Africa


Tit-for-tat strikes continued between Iran-backed groups and Israel, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) continued to battle regime in north west and Türkiye signalled potential operation in north.

In south, Iran-aligned forces and Israel exchanged attacks. Notably, Israeli airstrike 1 March killed three, including Iranian adviser in Banias town, Tartous province. Missiles from Nawa town, Deraa province 16, 17 March targeted Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; Israeli retaliatory strikes 17, 19 March struck targets near capital Damascus. Israel stepped up attacks late March: airstrike 26 March killed seventeen, including advisor of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Iranian-backed fighters, in Deir ez-Zor and Al-Bukamal; Israel 29 March killed dozens of Hizbollah and regime soldiers in Aleppo province. After hiatus since mid-Feb, Iranian-backed groups 26 March resumed attacks on U.S. forces by launching drone at base at Conoco gas field.

In north west, deadly clashes between HTS and regime continued. Notably, regime 7 March launched thirteen drones at HTS positions, killing civilian and HTS member near Darat Izza; HTS ambush 17 March killed two regime soldiers in western Aleppo governorate. Meanwhile, protests against HTS leader Abu Mohammed al-Golani late Feb erupted across Idlib and Aleppo provinces, sparked by reports of torture in HTS prisons. HTS 5 March opened fire on protestors in Darat Izza town, Aleppo province. HTS-backed Syrian Salvation Govt next day released 420 detainees.

In north east, Türkiye threatened new invasion. Turkish President Erdoğan 4 March vowed to launch new operation in Iraq and northern Syria to implement 30-40 km deep security corridor along border. Signs of intra-Kurdish tensions re-emerged after assailants 1-11 March burnt offices of Kurdish National Council (KNC), part of Turkish-backed Syrian National Coalition, in Aleppo and Hasakah provinces; KNC blamed reported Democratic Union Party (PYD)-affiliate, Revolutionary Youth movement.

In east, tribal militias and SDF clashed. Tribal militias, backed by regime and Iran, intensified attacks on SDF; attack 15 March killed SDF member in Diban town, Deir ez-Zor province. Unidentified drones 6 March killed three Iran-backed forces near al-Mayadeen town, Deir ez-Zor. Islamic State (ISIS) attack 6 March reportedly killed eighteen truffle foragers in Deir ez-Zor province.

Middle East & North Africa


U.S. launched wave of retaliatory airstrikes against Iran-backed groups following killing of soldiers in Jan, Türkiye continued attacks on Kurdish targets, and clashes persisted between regime and rebels in north west.

In east, U.S. targeted Iran-backed groups, which continued attacks. In response to 28 Jan drone attack killing three U.S. soldiers in Jordan, U.S. 2 Feb launched most substantial retaliatory operation in Iraq and Syria since escalatory cycle began in Oct with strikes on more than 85 military targets, killing 29 Iran-backed militants in Syria; in show of restraint, U.S. allowed Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) officers to evacuate beforehand. Islamic Resistance in Iraq drone 5 Feb killed six U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) at al-Omar base housing U.S. troops in Deir ez-Zor. Compounding risks of escalation, tribal militias backed by regime and IRGC 6 Feb targeted SDF. U.S.-led coalition 10 Feb intercepted six drone attacks targeting Conoco base, Deir ez-Zor. Meanwhile, Israel 2 Feb reportedly killed three Iran-backed militants in capital Damascus; 7 Feb struck Homs city, reportedly killing ten, including civilians; 21 Feb killed at least two in Damascus; IRGC reportedly scaled back deployment of senior officials and repositioned forces to western countryside.

In north east, Türkiye conducted repeated attacks on SDF. Notably, in Qamishli city, Hasaka province, Türkiye 11 Feb killed two SDF fighters and next day killed Kurdish administration official. With Türkiye seemingly taking advantage of U.S. preoccupation in east to destabilise Kurdish administration, SDF 12 Feb called on U.S. to strengthen its presence in region. Islamic State (ISIS) landmine 25 Feb killed fifteen civilians in Al-Raqqa’s eastern countryside.

In north west, regime forces and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) clashed. Regime forces, backed by Iranian proxies, targeted HTS with suicide drones in Idlib province: notably, 12 Feb killed two near Jisr al-Shughur city and 18 Feb killed and injured eight HTS fighters near Saraqib city.

Islamic State (ISIS) continued attacks; security forces killed protestor in south. ISIS 13 Feb reportedly killed nine soldiers near al-Sukhna town, Homs province. Security forces 28 Feb killed demonstrator at anti-govt protest in Suwayda city in first fatality since protests erupted in Aug.

Middle East & North Africa


Hostilities escalated as Iran-backed groups traded blows with U.S. forces, Israel killed Hamas and Iranian commanders, and Türkiye intensified attacks in north; killing of U.S. soldiers in Jordan could provoke retaliatory strikes in Syria.

In east, Iran-backed groups and U.S. exchanged tit-for-tat attacks. Iran-backed militias launched nearly 30 attacks on U.S. bases during Jan: notably, Islamic Resistance in Iraq 2 Jan announced attacks on Al-Shaddadi, Al-Rumaylan, Al-Malikiyah bases housing U.S. personnel in Hasakah province; 14 Jan attacked U.S. Kharab Al-Jir base in Hasakah province and Conoco base in Deir ez-Zor province. U.S. retaliatory attacks on 7, 8 and 14 Jan targeted Iran-backed groups in Al-Bukamal, Al-Mayadeen, and Deir ez-Zor cities. In major escalation marking first fatal strike on U.S. forces since Gaza war, Iran-aligned Iraqi militants – likely operating in Syria – 28 Jan killed three U.S. personnel in Jordanian base on Syrian-Iraqi border (see Jordan), raising prospect of imminent U.S. retaliation in Syria.

In south, Israel targeted Hamas and Iran, Jordan continued airstrikes. Iran-backed fighters 1 Jan reportedly launched rockets at Israeli-occupied Golan Heights; Israel next day struck Kanaker village in southern Damascus countryside. Israel 8 Jan killed Hamas commander Hassan Akasha in Beit Jinn village, Rif Dimashq. Israeli airstrike 20 Jan struck capital Damascus, killing five Iranian military personnel, including Iran’s head of intelligence in Syria, and several civilians; Iran vowed to respond. Presumed Israeli missile targeting IRGC base in Damascus 29 Jan killed seven, including three IRGC members and civilians. Israel 31 Jan struck army positions in Deraa city. In Suwayda province, Jordan continued airstrikes targeting trafficking.

In north, Türkiye intensified shelling as part of strikes on Kurdish militants. In response to killing of over a dozen Turkish soldiers in Iraq (see Iraq), Turkish military announced it 12-16 Jan conducted 114 airstrikes targeting Kurdish forces in Syria and northern Iraq; notably, Turkish drone 14 Jan killed three regime soldiers in Qamishli, Hasakah province. In north east, intensified Turkish shelling cut over 1mn off from electricity. 

In north west, hostilities persisted between regime and opposition. Deadly clashes between regime forces and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)/National Liberation Front 3, 9, 10, 18 and 19 Jan erupted along frontlines in southern Idlib province; shelling 1 Jan killed eleven civilians near Aleppo city. Meanwhile, Iran 15 Jan launched direct attack on alleged ISIS target in Idlib, in retaliation for deadly bombing (see Iran). 

Middle East & North Africa


Israel and U.S. traded deadly tit-for-tat attacks with Iran-backed groups amid tensions over Israel-Hamas war, hostilities persisted in north west, and Islamic State (ISIS) maintained its desert insurgency.

Israel launched airstrikes, U.S. and Iran-backed groups targeted each other. Israel continued to target various locations, including in retaliation against alleged Hizbollah rocket launches. Notably, Israeli airstrike 2 Dec killed four Iran-linked militants in capital Damascus; drone 8 Dec killed four, including three Hizbollah fighters in Quneitra province. In significant attack, airstrike 25 Dec killed prominent Iranian commander Razi Mousavi; Tehran warned Israel to expect “smart response”. Drone attack 29 Dec targeted warehouses in Al-Bukamal; confirmed casualties included at least four Hizbollah members and six Iranian-linked militants. Meanwhile, U.S. 1 Dec struck alleged “Islamic Resistance” headquarters in Al-Bukamal. Attacks 14 Dec targeted U.S. base in Conoco gas field, Deir ez-Zor, and Al-Tanf and Rukban bases, Homs; in response, U.S. 9 Dec struck military site in Al-Mayadin, Deir ez-Zor.

In north west, hostilities continued. Rebel raid 7 Dec targeted army in Aleppo province, claiming seven army members as casualties. Rebels 17 Dec targeted govt forces in Latakia province, prompting Russia 18, 19, 25 Dec to resume airstrikes targeting Idlib city and countryside, killing at least five civilians. Shelling in Idlib throughout Dec killed at least sixteen civilians; UN reported 40% of fatalities since early Oct were children. Meanwhile, in Aleppo province, Manbij Military Council 16 Dec fired rockets at Turkish base in Sheikh Nasser village. SDF claimed Turkish airstrikes 23-25 Dec killed eight civilians in SDF-controlled area (see Türkiye).

ISIS continued to show signs of resurgence. Suspected ISIS attack 8 Dec killed Iranian commander and four others in Al-Bukamal city, Deir ez-Zor province; same day killed seven pro-regime fighters near Al-Bukamal. Russian airstrike 15 Dec killed ISIS militants near Al-Sukhna village, Homs province, and Al-Rasafa villages, Hama province.

Anti-govt protests continued in south amid unstable Syrian-Jordanian border. Anti-govt protests in Suwayda city 1, 9, 10, 15, 20 Dec demanded political change, release of detainees. Jordan mid Dec reportedly launched airstrikes after cross-border raids (see Jordan).

Middle East & North Africa


Hostilities in north west and Türkiye’s operations in north east continued at lower intensity, Islamic State (ISIS) maintained deadly desert insurgency, and Israel, U.S. and Iran-backed groups traded fire amid Gaza war.

In north west, fighting eased. Hostilities between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and regime gradually returned to levels before escalation triggered by 5 Oct attack on Homs military academy. Nevertheless, Russian airstrikes 11 Nov continued in Idlib province, regime continued shelling south of M5 highway and suspected HTS suicide drone attacks on army positions persisted; drone attack 18 Nov killed regime colonel at Aleppo military college.

In north east, Türkiye continued intermittent strikes. After ending major air campaign late Oct against Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated targets, Turkish drone strike 15 Nov reportedly killed three militants near Kobane city, Aleppo province. Türkiye 17 Nov announced killing PKK’s “ideological division manager”. Four drone strikes 23-25 Nov hit vehicles across north east, killing veteran PKK commander.

ISIS exacted high toll on regime forces in centre. ISIS maintained high-level of attacks, making Nov deadliest month for pro-regime security forces in central desert in 2023. Notably, fighting around Doubayat gas field, Homs province, early Nov killed over dozen Iran-backed Afghan fighters. Two ISIS attacks 8 Nov killed at least 30 pro-govt militants and soldiers. ISIS cells expanded operations to Kawm axis between Sukhnah town, Homs, and Resafa town, Raqqa, and 11 Nov besieged regime forces. ISIS militants 22, 24 Nov conducted rare attacks inside regime-held towns along Euphrates.

Syria saw Israel-Hizbollah clashes and hostilities between U.S. and Iran-backed forces. Suspected Hizbollah drone from near Homs city 9 Nov targeted school in Israeli city Eilat; in response, Israeli airstrikes 10 Nov killed at least seven Hizbollah members south of Homs. Rockets 11, 14 Nov targeted northern Israel, triggering retaliatory shelling. Israeli airstrikes 22 Nov reportedly killed two Hizbollah affiliates near Damascus. Israel 26 Nov again incapacitated Damascus International Airport. Meanwhile, Iranian and Iran-backed forces continued dozens of attacks on U.S. positions, including rocket strike 29 Nov; U.S. 8, 12 Nov retaliated by striking two targets in Deir ez-Zor, killing at least eight in latter.

Middle East & North Africa


Marking one of most violent periods in years, regime and Russia esca-lated bombardment in north west, Türkiye intensified strikes and ISIS maintained desert insurgency; Israel-Hamas war threatened to spread to Syria.

North west witnessed most intense bombing since March 2020 ceasefire. Suspected Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS)-operated suicide drones 5 Oct struck Homs mili-tary academy graduation, killing at least 89 soldiers and civilians and injuring over 270; by striking more than 140km away from Idlib, attack may signal new phase of HTS campaign against regime. In response, regime and Russian forces same day began intensive shelling of Idlib and Aleppo provinces, which during Oct killed at least 50 civilians and displaced almost 70,000. Drone attacks 7 Oct reportedly targeted Russia’s Istamo airbase in Latakia province and Aleppo city 8-18 Oct. Russia 13 Oct increased airstrikes in Idlib and regime forces mid-month intensified shelling; HTS and allied groups retaliated with artillery, snipers, and guided missiles, while suspected HTS-operated drones targeted communities across north and east Hama.

In north east, Türkiye intensified anti-Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) strikes. In response to 1 Oct PKK attack in Turkish capital Ankara (see Türkiye), Turkish FM Hakan Fidan 4 Oct declared all PKK and People’s Protection Units infrastructure “legitimate targets”; subsequent drone strikes targeted water and energy infrastructure and Syrian Democratic Forces targets, killing more than 50 and exacerbating humanitarian crisis.

Islamic State (ISIS) attacked in centre. ISIS stepped up pressure on regime forces in Homs province; following 5-18 Oct probing attacks, ISIS 18 Oct seized and held six regime outposts south of Sukhnah town and Wadi Doubayat gas field.

Amid Israel-Hamas war, tit-for-tat attacks between Iran-backed groups and U.S., Israel could escalate. Following Hamas-Israel war outbreak (see Israel-Palestine), Iranian forces reportedly repositioned around 300 Syrian and Lebanese fighters to Quneitra, underscoring potential for Israel’s war on Gaza to draw in regional actors. Suspected Iran-backed forces in Quneitra and Dara’a 11-29 Oct fired artillery shells at northern Israel, prompting multiple Israeli retaliatory strikes: notably, Israel shelling 25 Oct killed eight Syrian soldiers. In east, U.S. 31 Oct said suspected Iran-backed forces conducted total eleven attacks on its positions since 7 Oct; U.S. 26 Oct launched two airstrikes near Mayadeen city in response.

Middle East & North Africa


Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) reasserted control in north east amid tensions with Arab leaders, clashes continued between rebels and regime in north west and anti-govt protests persisted in south.

In north east, tensions simmered between SDF and Arab tribes. Following anti-SDF uprising in Deir ez-Zor province late Aug that saw clashes as Arab tribes effectively abandoned posts and called for unified opposition against group, U.S. officials 3 Sept met Arab tribal leaders and SDF commanders to diffuse tensions. SDF early Sept bolstered forces to regain control of towns and 6 Sept declared end of military operations but near-daily insurgent attacks continued. Renewed clashes 25 Sept erupted in Ziban town, as various actors late month attacked SDF positions across eastern Deir Ez Zor.

In north west, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and regime battled. Hostilities raged in southern Idlib during early Sept amid spate of Russian bombings as regime forces sought to regain strategic hills. HTS raid 1 Sept killed at least 16 soldiers in Latakia province and 2 Sept destroyed regime position in western Aleppo. HTS attack 15 Sept killed five soldiers in Latakia. UN 19 Sept commenced aid deliveries to Idlib for first time since July.

Turkish-Kurdish clashes persisted, Israel conducted airstrikes. Turkish drone 7 Sept killed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) commander in Hasakah province and drone strikes 17 Sept killed five Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) members in Hasakah; 19 Sept killed high-ranking People’s Protection Units (YPG) member in Manbij. SDF 18 Sept reportedly attacked Turkish-backed fighters, killing at least 13 in Tal Battal, Aleppo province. Meanwhile, Syrian state media reported Israeli airstrike 13 Sept targeted Tartous city, killing two soldiers and injuring six, and missile factory in Hama province. Israel 20 Sept struck two Syrian structures in Golan Heights; alleged Israeli drone next reportedly killed two near Beit Jinn (see Israel-Palestine).

Anti-govt protests continued in south. Protests in Suwayda and Deraa provinces, sparked by currency crisis in Aug, took on more overtly anti-Assad tones as thousands marched calling for regime’s downfall. Aside from Baath Party guards 13 Sept firing at protestors in Suwayda, injuring three, regime response centred on negotiations with Druze leaders.

Middle East & North Africa


Major battle erupted between Hei’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and regime in northwest as Russia renewed airstrikes and Islamic State (ISIS) killed dozens in centre; collapsing currency triggered protests.

Hostilities escalated between HTS and regime, leading to fierce battle. In Idlib province, HTS 7 Aug launched raid 10km behind regime lines to destroy Russian-Syrian base, 11 Aug conducted raid on Latakia front, and 26 Aug detonated tunnel bomb beneath regime base in southern Idlib. As of 28 Aug, HTS continued to heavily shell regime forces around southern Idlib amid one of most intense battles in northwest since 2020 ceasefire, although fighting remained contained to artillery and sniper fire. Amid hostilities, Russian resumed airstrikes in Idlib: 21-22 Aug killed 15 HTS members and late Aug intensified deadly strikes across region.

ISIS attacks surged in centre. ISIS 7 Aug temporarily captured largest regime position near village of Shoula, Deir Ez Zor and two checkpoints along Raqqa-Deir Ez Zor highway. ISIS 8 Aug killed eight regime troops and pro-govt fighters in Raqqa province and 10 Aug killed at least 25 soldiers outside Mayadeen town. Upsurge in attacks may indicate group’s shift away from areas dominated by international coalition. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) 18 Aug killed group’s eastern region emir in Raqqa city.

Currency crisis sparked rare anti-govt rallies. Syrian pound 16 Aug fell to 15,500 to $1 USD, sparking general strike next day in Suwayda province, protests 18 Aug in Daraa city and rare protest in capital Damascus amid reports of increased social media criticism of govt among Alawites; protestors in Suwayda city 24 Aug raided ruling party’s office. Anti-regime protests persisted late month among Druze population of Suwayda and across opposition-held northern Syria.

Hostilities erupted in northeast, regime allowed aid in northwest. In eastern Deir Ez Zor in northeast, clashes beginning 28 Aug between SDF and Arab groups reportedly killed dozens after SDF 27 Aug arrested commander. After month-long pause, Damascus 8 Aug acquiesced to UN efforts to reopen Bab al-Hawa border crossing for humanitarian aid for six months; HTS-aligned authorities in Idlib, however, rejected aid sanctioned by Damascus.

Middle East & North Africa


New insurgent group emerged in Idlib amid hostilities between regime and Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), Russia blocked cross-border aid, and clashes between Turkish-backed and Kurdish militants continued.

New militant faction emerged in Idlib as hostilities persisted. After “Revolutionary Shield Company” late June emerged in Idlib province, claiming to fight HTS “criminality”, group 14 July executed man accused of being HTS member outside Idlib city and 17 July searched vehicles on M4 highway; attacks come after nearly four years of relative stability in Idlib. Meanwhile, regime continued shelling throughout July, including civilian homes in Jisr al-Shoughur 9 July and “double-tap” attack killing rescue worker in Aleppo province 11 July. HTS 7 July conducted first raid since April, targeting regime position in Latakia, and 10 July shelled regime base in Jurin, Hama, killing one. Unknown group, likely HTS, 19 July conducted drone attack on Russian base in Hmemeim, Latakia.

Russian veto on cross-border aid compounded humanitarian crisis in north-west. Russia 11 July vetoed renewal of UN Security Council authorisation for cross-border aid in north-west, where 3mn have been without aid since 10 July. Govt 13 July said it would allow aid through Bab al-Hawa crossing providing UN does not communicate with “terrorist organisations”, referring to de-facto authorities in northwest.

Turkish-backed and Kurdish forces continued hostilities, particularly in northern Aleppo. In northern Aleppo, controlled by Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (TFSA), car bomb 9 July killed five civilians in Shawa village. Turkish IED 9 July killed three in Manbij city, including senior commander of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)-affiliated Manbij Military Council. People’s Defence Units (YPG) forces 10 July raided TFSA position near Afrin city, killing at least five. SDF forces same day shelled Turkish base near Azaz, north Aleppo. Militants affiliated with YPG 29 July attacked TFSA positions in Afrin; Turkish drones next day struck YPG and regime positions nearby in response.

In other important developments. Alleged Israeli airstrikes 2 July targeted Homs city; 19 July struck near capital Damascus. U.S. airstrike 7 July killed alleged ISIS leader in al-Bab city, Aleppo governorate. Middle East Eye 12 July reported U.S. plans to assassinate leaders of Iran-linked resistance factions.

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