Tracking Conflict Worldwide
Outlook for This Month August 2016
Conflict Risk Alerts
Trends for Last Month July 2016
The month saw protracted conflicts intensify, attempts to resolve them derail and political crises erupt or deepen. In Turkey, a failed coup attempt led to hundreds killed and prompted concern over the government’s commitment to the rule of law and divisions within the security bureaucracy. In neighbouring Syria, regime forces cut off the final supply line into opposition-held areas of Aleppo city, with scores killed in airstrikes and rocket attacks. Violent crises flared up in Armenia and India-administered Kashmir, and both Bangladesh and Afghanistan experienced major terrorist attacks. In Mali, efforts to implement the June 2015 peace deal faced a violent backlash, and in South Sudan clashes between government forces and former rebels left hundreds dead. A new split in the opposition there could make the conflict more difficult to end.
On 15 July, a segment of the Turkish army attempted to topple the elected government and President Erdoğan, failing in the face of resistance from police, part of the army and citizens. At least 240 people were reported killed during clashes, while over 10,000 people were arrested, over 18,000 detained and some 60,000 public officials dismissed in the wake of the coup attempt. The scale of the backlash has prompted concerns in the West over Turkey’s commitment to the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, and more generally over divisions within the security bureaucracy and the state’s capacity to address security challenges including operations against the Kurdish insurgency in the south east.
In Syria, the Assad regime, assisted by re-intensified Russian airstrikes, severed the final supply line into areas of Aleppo city held by mostly non-jihadist opposition forces, amid renewed diplomatic manoeuvering between the U.S. and Russia. Scores were killed by fighting in and around Aleppo as airstrikes and rocket attacks hit civilian areas, where as many as 300,000 people are estimated to remain in encircled portions of the city with dwindling basic supplies. As the regime informed residents and rebels willing to surrender that they could leave through “humanitarian corridors”, the UN called for guarantees of protection and humanitarian access, and insisted no one can be forced to flee. Elsewhere, over 40 people were reported killed in an Islamic State (IS) bombing of Qamishli city near the Turkish border on 27 July, and activists reported that an U.S. airstrike on Menbij city killed at least 73 civilians on 19 July, making it allegedly the worst coalition attack on civilians.
In Bangladesh, a brutal attack on a café in an upscale neighbourhood of the capital Dhaka on 1 July left 22 people, mostly foreigners, dead. Although IS claimed responsibility, officials pointed to the likely involvement of local affiliates of al-Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent (AQIS),