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Syria Media Roundup (October 3)

[Powerful message about the war in Syria. Image by Alisdare Hickson via Flickr] [Powerful message about the war in Syria. Image by Alisdare Hickson 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

A ferocious assault on Aleppo suggests the U.S. may be wrong on Syria “Syrian and Russian warplanes launched a ferocious assault against rebel-held Aleppo on Friday, burying any hopes that a U.S.-backed cease-fire could be salvaged and calling into question whether the deal would ever have worked.” 

Syrian Rebels Taunt U.S. Troops Michael Weiss discusses whether Turkish-backed jihadis threaten to kill U.S. soldiers in Syria or if it was a carefully crafted publicity stunt. 

Bunker-buster bomb reports may mark new stage in Russia's Syrian assault Deployment of munitions designed to destroy underground structures, if proven, might indicate Russia’s desire to bring siege of Aleppo to speedy end.

How the White Helmets of Syria Are Being Hunted in a Devastated Aleppo Jared Malsin comments on the ways in which the White Helmets have become the targets of bombing in the besieged rebel-held section of the city of Aleppo where at least three of the group’s four operations centers were damaged by airstrikes in one night.

Two hospitals bombed in eastern Aleppo, Syria A Syrian aerial offensive struck the two largest hospitals in the besieged, rebel-held eastern part of the city of Aleppo on Wednesday (28 Sept.).

Syria war: Russia rejects US calls to halt bombing eastern Aleppo Russia has said it will carry on bombing rebel-held eastern Aleppo in Syria, defying US demands to stop.

Darkness and fear in Aleppo as the bombs rain down Liz Sly writes on the effects of the intensifications of Russian-backed assault in Aleppo where at least 1,700 bombs struck the eastern side of the city in the first week after the cease-fire’s collapse. 

Syrian army, rebels wage fierce battles in Aleppo Fighting continues in Aleppo, Syria on  Friday (30 Sep). Assad regime forces have recaptured the Handarat refugee camp and are clashing with rebels over the nearby Kindi Hospital complex.

The Latest: Russia says Syria involvement justified The United Nations called for the evacuation of 846 wounded individuals in Aleppo, noting the limited medical support remaining in the city. 

Stories from inside Aleppo: 'It feels like we are in prison' Aid can’t get in, but stories can get out. The Guardian used Skype and WhatsApp to speak with residents about life under siege

Nearly 100 Children Were Killed in Aleppo Since Friday As the result of the most intense battles in the nearly six-year Syrian conflict, "at least 96 children have been killed and 223 have been injured in eastern Aleppo since Friday," according to a statement from UNICEF.

Russia warns US not to intervene as hospital is hit in latest Aleppo blitz Strike by Assad regime’s helicopters leaves residents in east of the war-torn city with next to no access to essential healthcare.

‘Complete annihilation’: Syrian regime’s Aleppo offensive enters third day Rescuers in rebel-held east Aleppo took advantage of a slight lessening in the pace of Russian and regime airstrikes on Sunday to search for survivors in the rubble on the third day of “the most violent bombing” on the city in more than five years of war.

Syria civil war: Turkey sends 1,000 special forces on secretive mission to secure ‘security zone’ across border In this Exclusive by The Independent : Tensions increase between Ankara and Washington as relations between Erdogan and Putin begin to thaw.

Ancient Syrian Sites: A Different Story of Destruction Hugh Eakin examines the impact of war on Syria's cultural heritage through reviewing three books

US-led coalition destroys two bridges in IS-held Deir e-Zor, leaving civilians in the lurch US-led coalition warplanes allegedly struck and disabled the last two bridges over the Euphrates river used by civilians in Islamic State-held eastern Deir e-Zor province earlier this week, virtually halting the vital cross-river trade that civilians there rely on.

The Syrian Trauma Peter Harling writes that “As this trauma deepens and protracts, Syrians grow ever more isolated and alienated — from one another and from all those gravitating around them, often meaning to help but generally failing to listen”. 

“Remember Syria’s Adib Shishakli,” by Christopher Solomon As policy makers in capitals across the Western World grapple with Syria’s endless violence, Shishakli’s legacy and the lessons from his time are worth remembering today.


Regional and International Perspectives

US threatens to halt talks with Russia on Syria Washington has threatened to suspend U.S.-Russian engagement on Syria if Moscow does not take immediate steps to half a Russian-backed Syrian regime assault on rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

Different strategies needed to win against ISIL in Syria and Iraq The battle for Dabiq is set to begin this week. Hassan Hassan highlights a key complication of the anti-IS war in Syria. 

Analysis: What Syrians Can Expect in a Post-War Landscape The U.S. objective in Syria is a political solution to the conflict. But for this to be successful, it will have to account for the complex governance structures and dynamics already established across Syria, write Daniel Serwer, Rose Youhana and Katherine Preston. 

Peace in Syria is possible. Here’s how it can be achieved Turkish forces need to play a major role on the ground, with backing from NATO and Russia, argues David Owen. 

Judy Asks: Can Russia End the War in Syria? A selection of experts answer a new question from Judy Dempsey on the foreign and security policy changes shaping Europe’s role in the world.

U.S. AND EU SANCTIONS ARE PUNISHING ORDINARY SYRIANS AND CRIPPLING AID WORK, U.N. REPORT REVEALS INTERNAL UNITED NATIONS assessments obtained by The Intercept reveal that U.S. and European sanctions are punishing ordinary Syrians and crippling aid work during the largest humanitarian emergency since World War II.

'Barbaric': UN officials condemn Syria's Aleppo bombardment UN chief, US ambassador slam Assad regime's heavy bombardment of Aleppo. At least 85 killed, 300 injured since ceasefire collapsed.

Russia Rejects John Kerry’s Demands on Syria, Accusing U.S. of Promoting Terror Russia rejected U.S. pressure for a renewed ceasefire in Syria yesterday and fired back that the Syrian opposition “is a U.S.-controlled terrorist international.”

Syria war: Those bombing Aleppo 'must answer to God' - Pope Pope Francis has decried the bombing of Aleppo in Syria, saying those responsible for killing civilians will have to answer to God. 

Failed Ceasefire Bonds Syrian Rebels and U.S. Government Sam Heller writes "The political and diplomatic empowerment of Syria’s armed rebels seems likely to be a fixture of Syria diplomacy going forward, if only as a concession to reality. Rebels, by this point, no longer have to depend on a few Western experts and other gatekeepers to reach Western officials. They have their own political affairs officers, and their own lines to foreign government officials.” 

Isis will be defeated 'by the end of 2017' 'Islamic State don’t stand a chance against a ground assault that is backed by air power,' says senior analyst

Kerry audio leak: secretary of state 'lost argument' over use of force in Syria Russians ‘don’t care about international law and we do’, Kerry says. Russia: force against Assad could cause ‘terrible tectonic shifts.’

Syria conflict: Diplomacy over crisis 'on life support' as fighting continues in Aleppo Russia is reportedly sending in more warplanes US discuss military options in response to airstrikes.

After suspension of USAID project, 250,000 in north Homs without water subsidies More than 250,000 north Homs residents are without reliable and affordable access to water nearly three months after a USAID contractor suspended funding to the Homs Provincial Council.

THE NEW EUROPEANS: Voices from a changing continent “With the worst history of xenophobia, Germany has taken in the most refugees of any European country. The stakes of the experiment are high,” Robert Kunzig writes for National Geographic Magazine.


Policy and Reports

2 million Syrians without water after airstrikes "Intense attacks" in the war-torn Syrian city of Aleppo has left nearly 2 million residents without access to running water, UNICEF said on Sept. 24.

Turkey blocks Syrian refugees from resettlement in the US – for having degrees Turkish officials argue the most vulnerable deserve priority resettlement. Some question whether a degree makes refugees less vulnerable

A Plan for Winding Down the Syrian Civil War: Surge, Freeze, and Enforce Charles Lister provides recommendations on bolstering a failed US Syria policy.

Getting Away With Murder in Sudan and Syria: A Green Light to Use Chemical Weapons Louis Charbonneau writes that Sudan’s leaders learned a lesson from Syria – if you’ve got chemical weapons, use them; the international community will let you get away with murder.

'Giant kill box': Death toll in hundreds as Syrian army storms Aleppo Syrian army advances in northeast of city amid reports of attacks on water supplies, Russia sending reinforcements.


Syria Conflict Mapping Project Reports

Latest battlefield map of Aleppo City The Syrian Arab Army's Republican Guard, backed by Liwaa Al-Quds (Palestinian paramilitary), seized the Handarat Refugee Camp on Thursday (29 September) after a three-day long battle with the jihadist rebels of Fatah Halab.

Anatomy of a Crisis This map shows attacks on health care in Syria. 


Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media

The refugee crisis is a feminist issue. We can’t just sit by and watch Helen Pankhurst says that as the global refugee summits draw nearer, world leaders need to be pressured into alleviating women’s suffering.

Canadians are embracing Syrian refugees. Why can't we? In the past year, 30,000 Syrian refugees have been settled in Canada. One small town raised funds to sponsor the Hendawi family for a year, and the culture shocks were not what they expected.

Syrian Refugee Saves Stranger’s Wedding, Proving Kindness Knows No Borders Jo Du had a malfunction with her dress, but Ibrahim Halil Dudu, a master tailor from Aleppo, had just moved in next door.

Migrant child brides put Europe in a spin Should a 14-year-old married girl who migrates to Europe be viewed as a child - or a spouse?

Doubts about Authenticity Momentous Syria Interview Under Fire German journalist Jürgen Todenhöfer filmed an interview with an alleged rebel commander near Aleppo. The claims made by the commander -- that the US was supporting al-Qaida -- made headlines around the world. But was the interview authentic?


Arabic Links:

قلوب بيضاء تحت ستار أسود Rateb Sha'abo criticizes the domination of hostile Syrian icons and argues that such domination lead to the condemnation of the Syrian culture rather than the condemnation of the Syrian policy.

سورية: شبح التقسيم This study explores and analyzes the possible scenarios of Syria's partition.

“الصحفيات السوريات”: عوائق كثيرة في وجه المرأة السورية Roula Assad, co-founder and the executive director of Syrian Female Journalists Network, reflects on the major obstacles confronting Syrian women during the ongoing war.

ما الذي يمنع قوى الثورة السورية من رصّ صفوفها؟ The myriad opposition factions in Syria could become a truly formidable force by uniting their efforts, but the task appears insurmountable given geographic and political divisions.

An English version of this article can be found here: What's keeping Syria’s rebel forces from consolidating their power?

عائلة "الخضر" السورية تتصدر غلاف أشهر مجلات العالم.. فما حكايتها وعلاقتها بملف "الأوروبيين الجدد"؟ The story of al-Khidr family which appeared on the front cover of National Geographic Magazine.

هولوكوست حلب Yaman Dabiqi discusses the social media usage of the hashtag #HolocaustAleppoin which people shared devastating footage from the city to bring more attention to the bombings that have taken so many lives.

روسيا المصمّمة على النصر في سورية Salameh Kaileh discusses Russia support to the Syrian regime and argues that they are supporting illegitimate state. 

سوريا: هجمات كيمائية قاتلة جديدة Human Rights Watch reports that  Syrian government forces apparently used toxic chemicals in two recent attacks in Aleppo, Syria that killed five civilians and injured dozens. New information also indicates that the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has recently used chemicals as a weapon.

An English version of this article can be found here: Syria: New Deadly Chemical Attacks 

لماذا ينضم السوريون للحرس الثوري الإيراني؟ This report investigates the intervention of Iran's Revolutionary Guards in Syria, and the details of their work as well as their factions distribution on the ground throughout the country.


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