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Syria Media Roundup (August 17)

[Another neighborhood in Aleppo destroyed. Image by Dimashqi Lens via Flickr] [Another neighborhood in Aleppo destroyed. Image by Dimashqi Lens via Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Monday night of every week.]


Inside Syria

Death of a Syrian arms salesman The death of a Syrian arms salesman, Cheg Cheg, has dealt a significant blow to rebel factions who now have to deal with various smaller arms dealers in search for weaponry. 

The tale of two victories against Syria's worst killers In southwestern Aleppo, anti-government forces broke a montht-long siege enforced by the regime. In eastern Aleppo, a coalition of Arab and Kurdish forces drove out ISIL from one of its critical strongholds, Manbij.

Diabetes Patients Battle for Insulin in Syria Hiba Dlewati explores the diabetes crisis across the war-torn Syria and the constant struggle to obtain the insulin needed to treat the disease.

Analysis: The Political Moves Behind the Siege of Aleppo Nearly all of the major power players involved in the Syrian conflict have a part to play in the ongoing battle for Aleppo. Expert Youssef Sadaki explains how Syria’s largest city could determine the balance of power in the Syrian War.

Fighting in Aleppo Leaves 2 Million Without Water, U.N. Says Civilians in Aleppo lack access to running water due to the escalated fighting, beseeching combatants to declare a humanitarian pause to permit emergency deliveries of aid to fix damaged pumps.

Ten Reasons Behind the Success of the 'Six-Day War' in Aleppo… and Its Collapses According to leaders in the Islamist and moderate groups, Western diplomats, and officials and civilian activists in Aleppo, 10 reasons can be noted for the “Aleppo coup"

An Arabic version of this article can be found here: عشرة أسباب وراء انتصارات «حرب الأيام الستة» في حلب... وانهياراتها 

Tribes of Syria: Pieces on a chessboard? Haian Dukhan provides his insights into the role of Syrian tribes in the Syrian conflict. “Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, debates have been going on about the role of urban people versus the role of rural people in igniting and leading the uprising. Tribal identity still plays a role in the Syrian civil war, and is used by the different parties involved.”

Syria’s rebels unite to break Assad’s siege of Aleppo A lifeline has been re-established to the opposition-held city. But will hardline jihadis reap the rewards for leading the successful offensive? 

Syria Regime Drafts Prisoners, Teachers to Bolster Depleted Army State workers are being pressed into battle as President Bashar al-Assad’s regime tries to take advantage of Russian support. 

Outside help behind rebel advances in Aleppo Syria’s opposition has hailed rebel advances in the strategic city of Aleppo as a stunning success for ragtag forces, while the international community looked on as 300,000 Syrians suffered a weeks-long siege. 

Battles rage across Aleppo as Assad regime fights to quell rebels ‘Airstrikes of unprecedented ferociousness’ said to be continuing after collapse of siege on Syria’s second largest city. 

Syrian war: Five children killed as MSF hospital destroyed in latest air strike to hit vital medical facilities Hospital in rebel-held northern province of Idlib that specialized in pediatrics hit by series of airstrikes in broad daylight, leaving 13 people including five children, two women and four staff killed.

KHALED OMAR HARAH, SYRIAN ‘MIRACLE BABY’ RESCUER, KILLED IN ALEPPO Khaled Omar Harah, one of the longest-serving members of the Syrian Civil Defense, a group of rescuers also known as the White Helmets, was killed in Aleppo, Syria, on Thursday during fighting in the city.

Who Is Laying Siege to Whom in Aleppo? Aron Lund unpacks the situation in Aleppo with the help of a map, simplifying the unclear besiegement/counter-siege situation in Aleppo.


Regional and International Perspectives

Opinion: Why the United States must change its failed policy in Syria Hassan Hassan describes how US policy in Syria is vindicating one of the most critical mantras of extremists: “that the international community is not a friend to the Syrian people.”

U.N. chief warns of unprecedented 'catastrophe' in Syria's Aleppo United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Tuesday of an unprecedented "humanitarian catastrophe" in Syria's Aleppo and urged Russia and the United States to quickly reach a deal on a ceasefire in the city and elsewhere in the country. 

The Shifting Definition of ISIS' Caliphate Kevin Newton explores the definition of caliphate in relation to ISIS and criticizes a Western tendency to equate the idea of a caliphate with the necessity of pan-Islamic worldly power. 

What’s the future of the Kurds in Aleppo? Paul Iddon explores possible scenarios for the future of Kurds in Aleppo in light of the ongoing battle there. 

Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq Seumas Milne argues that the sectarian terror group won’t be defeated by the western states that incubated it in the first place 

An epic Middle East heat wave could be global warming’s hellish curtain-raiser “In coming decades, U.N. officials and climate scientists predict that the region’s mushrooming populations will face extreme water scarcity, temperatures almost too hot for human survival and other consequences of global warming.” 

FRACTURED LANDS: HOW THE ARAB WORLD CAME APART Scott Anderson tells the story of the catastrophe that has fractured the Arab world since the invasion of Iraq 13 years ago, leading to the rise of ISIS and the global refugee crisis.


Policy and Reports

“What the Rebel Loss of Aleppo Will Mean for Syria,” by Landis, Heras, Lund & Abdulhamid What the Rebel Loss of Aleppo will mean for Syria? Four Analysts respond – Joshua Landis, Nicholas Heras, Aron Lund and Ammar Abdulhamid. 

How to End the Chaos in Syria Syria is descending toward civil war, if it is not already embroiled in one. What can be done to stop this, or at least limit it? 

Syria: Government Airstrikes Closing Down Hospitals Syrian and Russian military attacks on hospitals in recent weeks during the government air campaign in the Aleppo region are causing deaths and injuries and shutting down medical facilities.

An Arabic version of this report can be found hereسوريا: الضربات الجوية الحكومية تغلق المستشفيات


Syria Conflict Mapping Project Reports

Russian Airstrikes in Syria: July 14 - August 9, 2016

Russia continued to conduct strikes in Aleppo from July 28 – August 9 in support of the regime campaign to besiege Aleppo City and force the surrender of the primary stronghold of opposition factions acceptable to the West in Northern Syria


Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media

Al Zaatari – 4 Years of Displacement To mark Al-Zaatari´s 4th year in existence, UNOSAT releases this story map to show the ways in which the camp has changed over the years, providing shelter and more for thousands of Syrians who hope to return home someday. 

Aid workers speak out about mental health: 'I was afraid they would think I couldn't handle it' In a Guardian survey of aid workers, 79% said they had experienced a mental health issue and 93% said these were work-related. Here contributors share their stories.

Missing gay Syrian refugee found beheaded in Istanbul Muhammed Wisam Sankari had feared for his life in Turkish city, having fled war in Syria a year earlier, rights group reports. 

The Battle for Aleppo: Political and Security Repercussions This video includes a conversation with MEI Senior Fellow Charles Lister on the siege of Aleppo and the dynamics within Syrian opposition groups. Hosted by Paul Salem, vice president for policy and research at The Middle East Institute. 

Pictures appear to show British special forces on Syrian frontline Images published by BBC depict soldiers securing the perimeter of a rebel army base following an attack by Islamic State. 

She Swam to Escape Syria. Now She’ll Swim in Rio “Everything about Mardini’s route to the Rio Games has been unlikely. She will compete on the first refugee team at an Olympics, a feat that was unthinkable less than a year ago when she was neck-deep in the Mediterranean Sea swimming for her life.”


Arabic Links:

سلمية: ذاكرة ليست للنسيان “Through the use of innovative forms of storytelling mixing research-based written content, infographics and documentary videos, the project’s objective is to fill this gap by documenting a comprehensive, chronological account of the events as they happened, in all their complexity and diversity, in the 6 cities, with a focus on civil movements and creative disobedience.” This is the story of the city of Salamiyah and how it experienced the Syrian revolution.

An English version of this article can be found here: Salamiyah 

هنا القامشلي.. انتفاضة الكرد السورية This is the story of the city of Al-Qamishli and how it experienced the Syrian revolution.

An English version of this article can be found here: Qamishli 

حصار حلب يدفع المعارضة إلى شنّ الهجوم الأكبر عليها Opposition factions in southern Aleppo have made significant advances after launching attacks in response to the one-month-long siege imposed by the regime on Aleppo’s eastern neighborhood

An English version of this article can be found here: Could this be the last battle for Aleppo? 

أهالي جيرود يُخرِجون الفصائل المقاتلة ويخشون غدر النظام Fearing to be targeted by the Syrian regime forces, civilians in Jairus, in the eastern Qalamoun region in Damascus Province, force armed groups to leave their city 

يوم «سقطت» حلب... بـ«البروباغندا» جئناكم! Suhaib Anjarini writes about the Syrian opposition's propaganda that accompanied the recent military operations in Aleppo

عملية تصفية الضباط العلويين إلى الواجهة.. نجل منفذ عملية كلية المدفعية في 1979: معارك اليوم انتصارٌ على الطائفية Yaser al-Yousef, a political leader in Zinki Movement, and the son of Cpt. Ibrahim al-Yousef  who killed about 200 Baathist/Alawite officers in Aleppo Artillery College in 1979, claims that the military operations in Aleppo and the recent offensive on Aleppo artillery school is a declaration of war against political sectarianism 

هل أن تغيير جبهة النصرة اسمها مجرد خطوة تكتيكيّة؟ By separating from its parent organization, Jabhat al-Nusra — now Jabhat Fatah al-Sham — could attract members who had been hesitant to be associated with al-Qaeda.

An English version of this article can be found here: Jabhat al-Nusra’s rebranding is more than simple name change 

اللاجئون السوريون وإدمان الأجهزة الذكية Why did the Syrian refugees buy smartphones and why they're addicted to them?

حقائق ستتعرّف عليها للمرّة الأولى عن الجولاني Al-Monitor has exclusive information about the life of Abu Mohammed al-Golani, the leader of Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (formerly Jabhat al-Nusra). Witnesses talked about his jihad in Iraq and his journey back to Syria from where he announced the formation of Jabhat al-Nusra in 2012.

An English version of this article can be found here: Who is Golani, Nusra's No. 1 man?

المعارضة السّورية منقسمة حّيال فكّ ارتباط النصرة عن القاعدة Kamal Sheikho reports on the division among the Syrian opposition over the tactical decision of Jabhat al Nusra to split from al-Qaeda

المحيسني لـ«القدس العربي»: لا ضغوط على الفصائل لوقف معركة حلب وتنظيم «الدولة» خوارج و«النصرة» كسبت شعبية أكثر بانفصالها عن «القاعدة» An interview with the Saudi cleric Shaykh Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini who claims that Nusra's split from al-Qaeda made it popular among the people.

حاضَر في مجلس الأمن ورفض اللجوء إلى أوروبا.. “منقذ الأطفال” شهيدًا في حلب Khaled Omar Harah, a member of the rescue group known as the "White Helmets," and one of the longest-serving members of the Syria Civil Defense has been killed in the rebel stronghold of Aleppo,

جردة حساب سوريّة Thaer A. Deep criticizes the role of Syrian intelligentsia and Syrian opposition during the Syrian uprising

قيادي في «أحرار الشام» يرحب بقرار «النصرة»: النظام انتهى ومعركة حلب ستغير قواعد الحل  Labib al Nahhas, foreign affairs director for the Islamist fighting group Ahrar al Sham, reflects on the recent military operations in Aleppo and Jabhat al-Nusra’s decision to split from al Qaeda.

مجلس عسكري مشترك... اقتراح روسي لـ «تذويب» صلاحيات الأسد  Russia might propose the formation of Joint military council between the Syrian Arab Army and the Free Syrian Army

حلب.. والمدن التي دمرها آل الأسد Youssef Bazzi writes about Aleppo and other Syrian cities that were destroyed by Al-Assad’s family.

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