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Syria Media Roundup (November 14)

[Image of a man carrying the body of a child killed in an air strike in Douma. Image by Emilymarie111 via Flickr] [Image of a man carrying the body of a child killed in an air strike in Douma. Image by Emilymarie111 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

Syrian economy in tatters after 5 years of war Business faces pressures from multiple directions because of civil strife and sanctions.

In Syria, Aleppo's Fate Is Sealed Despite months of preparation, the Syrian rebels’ last-ditch effort to break the loyalist siege on Aleppo appears to be on the verge of failure. 

How the White Helmets Have Evolved During the Civil Over the past three years, the Syrian Civil Defense, a volunteer operation active in eight of Syria’s 14 provinces, has had to adapt technically and emotionally in order to continue doing one of the hardest jobs in the conflict.

Replacing Religious Education: Making Ethics a Compulsory Subject?  Lawmakers divided on push to substitute religious education with ethics courses in an effort to educate children against sectarianism. 

Assad in Person: Confident, Friendly, No Regrets Anne Barnard describes the visit of a group of Western visitors into President Bashar al-Assad French-Ottoman palace on Monday night (Oct 31). 

Russia calls for Aleppo rebels to leave in Friday truce Vladimir Putin orders 10-hour humanitarian pause in Syrian city to ‘prevent senseless casualties.’ 

This makeshift hospital hung on for 4 years during Syria’s war. Now it’s closing. After four years of struggle and siege, no doctors remain at Madaya makeshift hospital. The hospital now is closed for good.

Syria conflict: Rebel force targets IS 'capital' Raqqa A US-backed Kurdish and Arab force says it has begun an operation to capture Raqqa, so-called Islamic State's "capital" in Syria. 

President Assad laughs and says he sleeps fine when asked about all the children killed in Syria ‘I sleep regular, I sleep and work and eat normal and do sports.’ 

President Assad: Syria is ready to co-operate with Donald Trump President-elect has vowed that the US will be less interventionist in the Middle East in future, a stance welcomed by Damascus. 

Long Read: Why Khan Eshieh Palestinian Camp Could Be the Next Yarmouk As fighting intensifies in the area around Syria’s Khan Eshieh – the so-called “camp of return” – and UNRWA draws parallels with the Yarmouk camp in Damascus, thousands of Palestinian refugees who call Khan Eshieh home face displacement for a second time.

Extreme tourism: Wanderlust Westerners drawn to war-torn Syria The 5-hour drive from Beirut to Syria is too tempting for some Westerners to resist.

Raqqa: Syrian Arab fighters pull out of Kurd-led offensive Arab brigade says disagreements forced withdrawal from operation, leaving only Kurds involved

Wheelchair Race Gives Hope to Injured in Besieged Eastern Ghouta Amid the rubble in the Damascus suburbs, a wheelchair race sheds light on the growing number of people with lifelong injuries caused by the conflict in Syria, and survivors’ attempts to reengage with a war-ravaged community.

‘We are watching’: Russia’s fight to take Aleppo for good is about to begin Haid Haid says that Russia's Aleppo ceasefire is purely tactical. It's imminent end will have a catastrophic impact on at least 250,000 people. The world is watching. 

Syrian army warns Aleppo rebels of 'strategic offensive' within 24 hours Government forces clash with rebels on the outskirts of eastern Aleppo, warning them in messages they have 24 hours to leave.

ISIS Financial Officer Flees Raqqa Amid Western-backed Offensive Local source reveals Abou Akrama al-Anbari fled ISIS’ de facto capital in Syria with $300,000 as Kurdish-led forces launch operation to retake city.


Regional and International Perspectives 

The U.S. Has Intervened in Syria, But Not In The Way You Think The United States intervened militarily in Syria under the premise of the “war on terror” and the fight against ISIS, but their presence is actually helping the Syrian government.

Syrian Rebels Brace for a Trump Cutoff, and Look for a Silver Lining “New leaflets dropped over rebel territory promised safety to anyone willing to leave, an offer so far met with skepticism on the rebel side, with the government saying rebels refused to let people out." 

Syrian rebel in Austria on 20 civil war murder charges Austrian prosecutors say that they have charged a Syrian rebel with 20 murders that took place in his home country. 

'I froze, realising I'd stepped on a body': Syrian journalists in their own words Five reporters in exile describe the risks they have taken and the horror they have witnessed reporting the civil war. 

On the Issues: Comparing Clinton & Trump on Syria Alexander Schinis reviews answers to how will the U.S. new president approach Syria?

For America & Syria’s Sake, Don’t Vote Green Clay Claiborne: "In general, the Western left has taken a shameful attitude toward the Syrian conflict. Instead of supporting the Syrian people’s struggle against dictatorship, many leftists have promoted an anachronistic view of Russia and its allies, and accused Syrian revolutionaries of being Western proxies."

Analysis: How Civilians Will Lose in the Battle Against ISIS in Raqqa As the U.S.-led offensive against ISIS pushes fighters out of Mosul into Syria, a similar offensive has begun against militants in Raqqa, but that’s not likely to stop them from mounting attacks, writes journalist Mohamad Bazzi.

Mass grave containing 100 beheaded bodies found near Mosul, says Iraqi military Iraqi coalition forces launched an offensive on the Isis-controlled city on 17 October.

Iraq has never seen this kind of fighting in its battles with ISIS Loveday Morris reports "since pushing into Mosul a week ago, Iraqi commanders say their forces have been shaken by some of the most complex fighting they have ever encountered in battles against the Islamic State."

What does Trump's victory mean for the Middle East? Gilbert Achcar states that Syrians and Palestinians to suffer most with the doors to refugees slammed while US-Israel relations are in question.

Trump and the Middle East Maintaining a foothold, Mr Trump will probably let the Pentagon finish the job against Islamic State in Mosul if it has not fallen by January 20th. He might, he says, create safe zones in Syria, to prevent refugees from heading west.

Donald Trump Likely to End Aid for Rebels Fighting Syrian Government President-elect Donald J. Trump said Friday (11 November) that he was likely to abandon the American effort to support “moderate” opposition groups in Syria who are battling the government of President Bashar al-Assad, saying “we have no idea who these people are.”


Policy and Reports

Americans dislike the Islamic State more than Putin or Assad. Here’s how that shapes policy preferences A new poll shows that Americans want to put aside differences with Russia and join forces against the Islamic State, even though Americans also report disliking its president, Vladimir Putin. Shibley Telhami explains what is behind the findings.

A Secondary Thought Donald Trump’s policies on Syria suggest he may favor Assad and has learned little about the country, suggests Aron Lund.

You Don’t Need a No-Fly Zone to Pressure Russia in Syria Steven Heydemann writes: "Two steps are needed to advance America’s Syria policy. The first is to move beyond a discussion limited to no-fly zones or increased support to the armed opposition; the second is a cleareyed, fact-based assessment of just how risky further American involvement might be. Both are possible between now and when the next president takes office." 

New York panel highlights fissures on the left over Syria Eamon Murphy writes: "The expectation was that Tuesday evening’s debate on “Syria and the Left,” held at the Brooklyn office of Verso Books, would be contentious. Online, discussion had become hopelessly vitriolic. Emotions were rising as the carnage in Aleppo seemed to approach an apex. “Eight hundred people were interested in the Facebook event,” I heard a Verso employee say as the audience filtered in."

Eastern Aleppo down to 'last food rations': UN The UN also warned that incoming cold weather will be a 'real killer' for residents of Aleppo

Analysis: Lebanon’s New Presidency May Enact Anti-Refugee Agenda Lebanese analyst Kareem Chehayeb examines what the election of a new president after two and a half years of political stalemate will mean for the million Syrian refugees in the country. 

Syrian opposition left with nowhere to turn after Trump's victory US president-elect likely to endorse Russia’s policy of bombing rebels to the negotiating table. 

Sisi Congratulates Trump on Presidential Win Sisi and Trump appear to have similar desires for the Middle East region, as well—especially Syria. Both leaders believe ISIS is a greater threat than President Bashar Al-Assad, and have shown a willingness to preserve the Syrian regime for fear of the alternatives.


Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media  

Toronto exhibition highlights Syria’s ‘living history’ Syrian exhibit is the first time that virtual-reality technology has been used in North American museum. 

How these Syrian doctors are helping refugees in Lebanon Amid limited resources, Syrian doctors who fled their country resume their work in Lebanon to provide the refugee population with the necessary medical treatment.

Louvre may safeguard artefacts from war-torn areas French president François Hollande made proposal at opening of Louvre-Lens show on Mesopotamia.

Trump Explains The Syria Conflict - Terrorists Have to Go - Will Work With Russia In this CBS interview with Trump, he states "I love the fact that Russia is hitting ISIS" and that it is over for the Saudi and Qatari financed terrorists.

You Can’t Sit With Us, Ivanka Women closely associated with bigotry, no matter how fashionable, do not tend to leave positive legacies among the upscale consumer. You won’t see Joseph McCarthy’s wife’s face on a brand of high-end candles, or Asma al-Assad’s placid face on a fancy line of bedding, or Imelda Marcos brand footwear for the woman on the go.

Syrian girls say building minds will help build futures “Education is important because it builds a person’s mind, and the mind will build the future,” says Ethar, a 15-year-old Syrian girl with a winning smile. 

Aleppo residents turn creative to defy siege Batteries powered by bicycles are among the inventions of besieged Aleppo residents.


Arabic Links:

إلام تطمح تركيا في شمال سوريا؟  As Turkey advances in northern Syria as part of its Euphrates Shield offensive, taking control of al-Bab and Manbij would give Ankara access to the Aleppo front.

The English version of this article can be found here: What is Turkey up to in northern Syria?

اليابان: 6 لاجئين سوريين حصلوا على اللجوء!  Only 6 Syrian refugees out of 7586 were accepted in Japan.

العمليّات العسكريّة الزاحفة والهدنات تثير التوتّر في صفوف الثوّار السوريّين في الجنوب Syria's Southern Front forces, which face threats from the Islamic State and the government from various directions, have so far managed to hold their ground in the Daraa area despite government offensives and truces that pressure local communities into agreements with the Assad government.

The English version of this article can be found here: Creeping offensives, truces spread tensions in south Syrian rebel ranks

في نقد تفكير مؤيدي الثورة السورية  Mohammed al-Haj Saleh reflects on the ways in which the Syrian opposition discourse might have benefited the war on terror discourse. 

على أعتاب اللجوء، نساء سوريات يتحررن من سلطة أزواجهن For some Syrian women living in Lebanon, the bitter realities of life as a refugee have nourished an unexpected side effect: empowerment.

The English version of this article can be found here: For some Syrian women, refugee life proves unexpectedly liberating 

فيديو مؤثر | لاجئة فلسطينية تلتقي بعائلتها بعد عام من الاعتقال  A video of a young Syrian Palestinian refugee from Homs meets her family after a year in the Syrian regime detention.

هاربون من "الجنة".. سوريون تخلوا عن حلم البقاء في أوروبا Many Syrian refugees are going back from Europe to Syria due to the delay in the family reunions procedures.

تداعيات رئاسة ترامب على الشرق الأوسط  Mahmoud Jaraba writes that the extraordinary election of Donald Trump is generating much uncertainty, including about the implications for the Middle East. Our regular contributors share their take on what the election could mean for a region in turmoil, covering a range of countries from Morocco to Iran and issues from refugees to energy. Join the conversation by sharing your own thoughts.

The English version of this article can be found here: The Implications of a Trump Presidency for the Middle East 

ترامب وسوريا: انتظروا أردوغان!  Subhi Hadidi reviews Trump's views on Syria and reflects on the possibility of prioritizing alliance with Turkey.

واقع التعليم السوريّ والتغييرات عليه  Syrian refugee children in Turkey are being educated in a variety of government, private and religious schools.

The English version of this article can be found here: Educating Syrian refugees still a challenge in Turkey 

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