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Syria Media Roundup (September 9)

[Image of two Syrian children sitting on the side of an overhead-pedestrian-crossing above Thawrah Street in Damascus, barefoot and bedraggled. Image by Dimashqi Lens via Flickr] [Image of two Syrian children sitting on the side of an overhead-pedestrian-crossing above Thawrah Street in Damascus, barefoot and bedraggled. 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

Southern Front rebels are at risk of disintegrating “Reports emerged last Friday that a leader of one of the largest factions in southern Syria had been ousted by his comrades. The episode is part of a broader campaign that could unravel what is often cited as the most successful model for the rebels across the country.” 

Turkish-backed FSA rebels set their sights on last IS Aleppo stronghold after border victory Three rebel sources from participating factions say that their next step is to advance southwards towards al-Bab after taking the last IS held villages in northern Aleppo.

Turkish-backed rebels clear IS from Turkey's Syrian border Turkish-backed rebels cleared Islamic State from Turkey's Syrian border, securing a 90 km (55 miles) corridor and marking a substantial gain in Ankara's plan to drive out Sunni militants and stop the advance of Syrian Kurdish fighters.

US envoy visits Kurds in Syria amid Turkey tensions Washington dispatched a top envoy to meet with allied Kurdish forces inside Syria last week, a State Department official said Monday following tensions after Turkey began operations in the war-torn country.

Syria’s Rebels Lose a Symbolic Stronghold After four years of siege and deadly warfare, Darayya’s residents submitted a deal to evacuate the town. Darayya was heart to insecurity and violence, and is undoubtedly a signal of regime victory.

Will Darayya Normalize the Expulsion of Civilians? With Iranian and Russian support Assad seems to be winning in the areas that matter most to him. 

In Damascus Coffee Shops, Women Make Up for Lack of Young Male Workers Capital witnessing an increase in the number of women in work usually undertaken by men, as many have suddenly become the primary breadwinner for their families.

Analysis: How Evacuating al-Waer and ‘Other Darayyas’ Will Help Assad The recent ultimatum directed at the besieged city of Darayya is just one example of a larger strategy of brutal population displacement that Assad’s government will use to regain control of opposition-held Syria. 

Syrian forces besiege rebel-held Aleppo as Turkish-backed fighters drive Islamic State from border The fighting complicated efforts by the U.S. and Russian to reach a ceasefire deal for Syria, whose civil war is in its sixth year. 

Turkish tanks roll into Syria, opening new line of attack Umit Ozdal and John Davison reports that Turkey and its rebel allies opened up a new line of attack in northern Syria on Saturday (2 September 2016) as Turkish tanks crossed the frontier from Kilis province, making a western thrust in an operation to sweep militants from its border.

US forces hit Isis targets in Syria with mobile rocket system, official says US diplomat says military hit Islamic State targets along Turkey’s border as Turkish-backed Syrian rebels seize villages from militants. 

Syria regime cuts off rebel-held Aleppo, renewing siege: monitor Syrian government troops on Sunday (4 September 2016) seized a military academy south of Aleppo city, once again encircling the rebel-held districts in the east and placing them under siege, a monitor said. 

Islamic State 'loses all territory along Turkey-Syria border' Militants belonging to the so-called Islamic State group have lost all territory along the Turkey-Syria border, according to the Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency.

Israel strikes back at Syrian army after mortar fire hits Golan Heights Israel has sought to avoid being drawn into Syria's complex war, but has attacked Syrian military targets when conflict spills over.

Douma: Survived Bombardment and Hunger .. Arrested By Army of Islam In one of the streets of Douma (Rural Damascus), Abu Mohamad stopped in the middle of the street trying to connect his cell phone to the internet, but a group affiliated with the Army of Islam, arrested the man and put him in prison for "treason and dealing with of the Syrian regime." 

Turkish-backed FSA rebels set their sights on last IS Aleppo stronghold after border victory One day after Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army rebels drove Islamic State fighters from the last villages they held along the border in northern Aleppo province, three rebel sources from participating factions tell Syria Direct that their next step is to advance southwards towards al-Bab.

Suicide bombs kill dozens in Syrian government bastion Tartus At least 35 reported dead in coastal city, while central city of Homs and north-east town of Hasakeh also hit. 

Syria conflict: Government helicopters 'drop chlorine' on Aleppo Syrian government forces have been accused of dropping barrel bombs containing chlorine from helicopters on a suburb of Aleppo, injuring 80 people.


Regional and International Perspectives

The Hidden Scars All Refugees Carry Viet Thanh Nguyen reflects on his journey as a Vietnamese refugee in the U.S. and compares the unwelcome reactions by the majority of Americans in 1975 toward Vietnamese refugees to the similar reaction that  Syrian refugees face today in Europe and the United States.

Can IS survive killings of its core leadership? Hassan Hassan comments on ISIS group recent announcement of the killing of Abu Muhammad al-Adnani, its spokesman since 2010. 

In Turkey, a Chechen Commander Makes Plans for War in Syria Marcin Mamon shares the story of Rustam Azhiyev, a Chechen Commander who is better known as Abdul Hakim, which highlights the underlying goal of  Chechens going to Syria which is the hope for a global war with Russia that will allow them a chance to regain their homeland.

Why Is Turkey Accusing Me of Plotting a Coup? Henri J. Barkey reflects on the ways in which  Turkey’s pro-government press targeted him with accusations ranged from organizing the coup on behalf of the C.I.A. to setting up communication links for the plotters.

“Why the UN’s Excuses For its Aid Fiasco in Syria Fail to Convince,” By Reinoud Leenders Reinoud Leenders writes: "Judging from the UN’s comments on its aid agencies’ conduct in Syria, business will go on as usual –too bad if it throws a lifeline to the Syrian regime."

Turkey Must Open Its Heart to Refugees Teymour Ashkan argues "If Turkish youth directly engage with Syrians through community service, they may begin to develop relationships and bonds that reduce misunderstandings and tensions."

U.S.-Russia deal on Syria in jeopardy U.S. officials are still debating whether to join Russian war in Syria that they already said would be a quagmire.

The Only Syrian Solution Bret Stephens proposes that a partition plan in Syria won’t solve everything. But the Balkan example shows it can work.

Syria conflict: Opposition unveils transition plan The umbrella group representing Syria's political and armed opposition factions has set out a plan for a political transition to end five years of war.


Policy and Reports

Life expectancy in Syria fell by six years at start of civil war Study shows drop from 75 to 69 in Syrian men between 2010 and 2013, and falls in other countries affected by Arab spring. 

Syrian opposition to reveal transition plan next week On the fall of Darayya, and what it means for Syria's rebels

Mass evacuations from Syrian cities 'now likely' After flight of thousands from besieged Darayya, citizens of many more towns will leave, says UN envoy Staffan de Mistura.

Al Qaeda Is Gaining Strength in Syria While Washington sits on the sidelines, the siege of Aleppo has cleared a path for the return of America’s greatest enemy. 

The ultimate barbarity Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad turns Syria’s hospitals into death traps as part of a “kneel or starve” policy. 

America has accepted 10,000 Syrian refugees. That’s still too few. In this Washington Post editorial, the board writes: "The modesty of the numerical goal is incommensurate with the weight of the challenge posed by some 5 million Syrian refugees, including roughly 1.1 million already in Europe."

Taking Sides: How the UN lost Impartiality, Independence and Neutrality in Syria This report by The Syria Campaign says that the "United Nations (UN) in Syria is in serious breach of the humanitarian principles of impartiality, independence and neutrality."

THE DAWN OF MASS JIHAD: SUCCESS IN SYRIA FUELS AL-QA`IDA’S EVOLUTION Charles R. Lister in a new paper details how Al-Qaeda's success in Syria has fueled a process of evolution towards localism and revolutionary integration.


Syria Conflict Mapping Project Reports

TURKISH INCURSION INTO NORTHERN SYRIA SIGNALS TURNING POINT IN ANTI-ISIS FIGHT Turkey is unraveling America’s anti-ISIS partner in northern Syria in order to position itself as a major power broker in planned operations to retake Raqqa City.

SYRIA SITUATION REPORT: SEPTEMBER 1 - 7, 2016 Pro-regime forces reinstated the siege of Eastern Aleppo City on 04 SEP following heavy clashes with opposition forces.


Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media

The Long Road From Raqqa to Europe After the self-proclaimed Islamic State killed his son, Khalaf and his family fled their home in Raqqa, Syria for Europe. This is the story of their journey, which has yet to end, as the closing of borders has continued to tear them apart. 

Why one-sided reporting on Syria harbours big dangers Lars Hauch writes that by ignoring people who live in areas under Assad, Western media play into the Syrian regime’s hands and make a peace even harder. More than 90 percent of the published news, analysis and articles ... focused either on Islamic State or rebel-held territory.

Shocking footage from inside Isis prison reveals 'violent torture tools' used against female sex slaves Syrian rebel fighters have uncovered what is thought to be a prison used by Isis militants to imprison and torture women. Sexual stimulants, contraceptives and narcotics were reportedly found in the enclosure. 

Syria: who is fighting whom? This explanatory video by Channel 4 News clarifies the groups and parties who are involved in the five-years-old conflict.


Arabic Links:

ظاهرة التّسرّب المدرسيّ في سوريا: الأسباب، النّتائج والحلول This report investigates Syrian children school dropout numbers and negative effects in present and future.

اليونيسيف: نحو مليونين و600 ألف طفل سوري محرومون من التعليم UNICEF says approximately 600 thousand children inside and outside Syria, do not go to school.

حدود سوريّة الشماليّة تشعل حروباً متعدّدة الأطراف Despite the current truce, the border between Turkey and northern Syria is still riddled with unrest.

An English version of this article can be found here: Truce brings quiet, but not stability, to Turkey-Syria border

الأشرفية.. في حلب Aziz Tbsa shares the story of Ashrafiyeh a suburb in the outskirts of Aleppo and his memoir there. 

وفاة شامل الأحمد أحد أبرز إعلاميي حلب Syrian media activist Shamel Al-Ahmad died from dangerous injury he suffered due to the bombing of an explosive barrels on Aleppo

أطفال بلا نسب This investigative report explores the deprivation of Syrian women from registering their children who are born in the war after the disappearance of their fathers.

مسودة أميركية للاتفاق السوري: روسيا «تجبر» النظام على وقف القصف والعمليات الهجومية Ibrahim Hamidi reports about the draft of US- Russia deal over Syria. 

بعيداً عن التسييس، ماهي حقيقة "جهاد النكاح" وهل هناك جذوراً تاريخية وعقائدية تربط الجنس بـالجهاد This article explores Sexual jihad historical and ideological roots including the concept of Sabaya or enslaved women.

السياحة ضحيّة أخرى للحرب السوريّة Domestic tourism failed to compensate for the major losses incurred by Syria’s tourism sector as a result of the war.

An English version of this article can be found here: Syria's tourism ministry hopes to lure visitors, despite war 

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