[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 email@example.com by Monday night of every week.]
Regional and International Perspectives
Al-Qaeda’s Corridor Through Syria Vijay Prashad explains how “over the past month, ISIS has made remarkable gains. Its operation, named Expunging Filth, has either expelled or absorbed the Free Syrian Army units along the spine of northern Syria.”
Jordan’s Rural Poor Chafe Under The Burden of Hosting Syrian Refugees Rania Abouzeid reports from Zaatari, where the refugee crisis is burdening the infrastructure and impacting the local population.
Pressure Mounts on Turkey Over Radical Groups in Syria Semih İdiz comments on the latest Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on the need for Turkey to prevent the influx of jihadists to Syria.
Syrian Family’s Tortuous Journey Into the Unknown “BBC`s Matthew Price has been following the progress of one Syrian family who sought asylum in Austria after arriving on the island of Lampedusa in Italy.”
French Intelligence sees “steep rise” in Western mujahidin in Syria The author provides highlights of the assessment made by the French intelligence regarding Western involvement in Syria.
Obama’s Uncertain Path Amid Syria Bloodshed Mark Mazzetti, Robert F. Worth, and Michael Gordon provide a “close examination of how the Obama administration finds itself at this point — based on interviews with dozens of current and former members of the administration, foreign diplomats and Congressional officials”
Lebanese Hostages in Syria Released
Weapons, fighters flow to Syria`s next battlefront as offensive looms Nicholas Blanford claims that “the Syrian Army, backed by militants from Lebanon`s Hezbollah, is poised to launch an offensive to dislodge rebel groups from the Qalamoun region, a strategic area of arid mountains lying between Damascus and Homs, adjacent to Lebanon’s eastern border.”
In Isolated Syria, Assad Shifts Away from Pan-Arabism Dave McAvoy writes: “While no one can predict what will happen in Syria, when the wife of the general secretary of the Baath party appears on TV and makes it clear that Syrians aren’t Arabs, it’s pretty safe to say that Baathism as an ideology is well and truly dead.”
Enduring Exile Alia Malek provides a vivid account of a Syrian Armenian’s painful choice to go live in Armenia.
Paolo Dall’Oglio, martyr d’une révolution « traînée dans la boue » Regarding the disappearance of Father Paolo, Fady Noun says the latter knew what he was getting into and was willing to sacrifice his life for the revolution.
Syria As We Know It Is Gone A pessimistic outlook on the situation by Brian Michael Jenkins.
Political science says Syria’s civil war will probably last at least another decade An equally pessimistic outlook by Max Fisher, who examines how “studies have identified several factors that tend to make civil wars last even longer than the average.”
Syria: Grand Compromise or Total War?Ibrahim al-Amin concurs that “for yet another decade at least, Syria will remain the focus of attention for the region and the world, before the Syrian people are able to take matters into their own hands.”
The Dilemma of Syria’s Alawites Joshua Hersh meets with a Syrian opposed to the regime, who is feeling alienated from the opposition.
Syria’s Opposition Must Go to Geneva Radwan Ziadeh claims that “the Geneva II conference, likely to take place in November, is perhaps the last opportunity for the Syrian opposition to prove to the Syrian people that it has not forgotten them.”
Misdefining Syria’s Civil War Sami Mahroum says “two major problems with the proposed Geneva-based process will prevent it from achieving its goal. But an alternative formula might just work."
Syrian opposition sets conditions for talks Hannah Allam on coallition leader Ahmed Jarba’s conditions for Geneva 2.
Before Geneva 2, Al-Qalamoun Battle And The Duel Against ISIS George Semaan says “Geneva 2 will be a decisive event that will determine the Syrian opposition`s fate and the future of the relations between the two superpowers (i.e. America and Russia) and the regional powers.”
Syria frees 10 women prisoners as part of three-way hostage swap, initially meant to release 126 of them.
Syrian Women Excluded From Prisoner Exchange Regarding the prisoner swap, Radwan Mortada explains how “Syrian sources informed of the issue said, "none of the 112 Syrian women prisoners mentioned will be set free as part of the exchange, except eight or nine who do not have any criminal penalties."
Azaz Diaries of Detention: Sakr, Erdogan, and Abu Ibrahim Mohammed Nazzal conveys the experience of one of the hostages, Mohammed Munzer.
Rising Up and Rising Down Amal Hanano reports from Kafranbel, the town “not yet ravished by the regime or Islamist extremists,” where activists have found increasingly sophisticated ways of disseminating their stance vis-a-vis the war.
Meeting Syria’s Mujahedeen Omar Kayed asks: “What does a person think about when he blows himself up in the presence of those he considers enemies? What is the last thing he sees? What is the last thought that passes through his mind? What is the nature of the feelings in his heart?”
Kfar Nabl’s Schools Re-Open Despite Shelling Abdallah Kleido on the hesitation over whether or not schools should re-open in Kafranbel.
Lone Protester Takes Stand on Raqqa Abductions Zaina Erhaim on a primary school teacher’s solitary protest against extremists in Raqqa.
The damage done to `Syria`s oldest church` seen first hand Christine Marlow reports from Yabroud.
Residents of Eastern Ghouta Fear another Chemical Attack A report from Hamouriyeh, a town just outside the Syrian capital.
In Rebel-Held Areas, High School Graduates Are Being Left Behind Mohammed al-Khatieb explains how “students from Syria’s rebel-held areas are in limbo in their quest for higher education. The majority, fearing arrest and perilous commutes to campuses in neighboring cities, refuse to enter state-sponsored universities. Promises of accessible universities in rebel-held “liberated areas” have, thus far, fallen flat. The cost of attending school abroad is prohibitive for most families.”
Syria’s Rising Abductions Glen Johnson says “in the case of kidnapping for money, victims are carefully selected on the basis of the family`s wealth. Ransom demands for Syrian nationals vary from US$2,000 to $20,000. A Western hostage can reportedly fetch as much as $600,000.”
Arts and Social Media
How One Syrian Radio Station Took on Al Qaeda David Kenner explains how ANA media association’s activities have been interrupted in Raqqa as a result of the intimidation tactics from extremist groups there.
Syrian Journalist Pays The Price For Standing Up To Al-Qaeda Mike Giglio has more information on Rami Al-Razzouk, an ANA correspondent who was arrested at a checkpoint near Raqqa.
Freedom to Rami al Razzouk – ANA’s statement regarding Razzouk’s arrest.
"My children were swallowed by the sea" “Swedish Radio`s correspondent Cecilia Uddén was given permission to visit the police station and spoke to Soha, a mother who was on the boat when it sank. She had taken her four children with her on the boat, only one survived.”
ALEPPO: Collective Statement by Civilian Groups. Oct 6, 2013 “We as civilians and nonviolent movements, believe that the declaration by some armed parties at this critical juncture is a premature step that must be reconsidered.”
Syria`s first Kurdish-language newspaper Karlos Zurutuza on Nu Dem (New Time) and challenges in publishing an edition every fifteen days.
Syrie : Radio Rozana, les ondes de la guerre On a Paris-based opposition radio airing six hours of content daily.
« Mariam », le cinéma syrien au mépris du danger An acclaimed film by Syrian-Palestinian filmmaker Basil al-Khatib, telling the story of three women of the same name who living through various wars in Syria.
Musings of an Iraqi Brasenostril on Jihad: The Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham Billboards in Raqqa Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi provides a useful visual evidence of dangerous developments in Raqqa.
Policy and Reports
Syria Polio Outbreak “Spreads” “At least 22 people - most of them babies and toddlers - are now believed to have contracted polio in Syria, the World Health Organization has reported.”
Burning to Death: A Special Report on the Use of Incendiary Bombs A report prepared by the Violations Documentation Center in Syria.
Anything But Politics: The State of Syria’s Political Opposition An International Crisis Group report suggesting that “often derided for its infighting or dismissed as irrelevant, Syria’s political opposition reflects the contradictions, misunderstandings and conflicting geopolitical interests upon which it was founded.”
Economy and Agriculture
Cabinet Discusses state`s General Budget for the 2014 Year The Syrian Observer translates an article from a pro-government outlet claiming that the “government allocates SYP 50 billion in 2014 to compensate the families whose houses were damaged”
جنيف 2» يؤجّل الاستحقاقات: «القاعدة» أولاً»
Hussein Ayyoub on “Geneva 2” and the regional and international dynamics in the Syrian struggle.
«المعارضة السورية ومؤتمر «جنيف 2
Munther Khaddam writes about the Syrian opposition and their stance on “Geneva 2”.
أكذوبة نصر أكتوبر
As’ad Abukhalil critically assesses the propaganda surrounding the “October Victory”.
بعد القوارض هواجس الشتاء تداهم الزعتري
Hadeel Ghabboun on the situation in Tal az-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.
«الحرب وغلاء الأسعار سرقا البسمة.. و«خرجية العيد
Report on the economic situation in Syria and the absence of the joy of Eid al-Adha in the country due to the increase in the cost of living.
إجلاء مئات المدنيين من معضمية الشام المحاصرة
Report on civillians fleeing al-muaddamiah in the Damascus Rif due to the deteriorating security situation in the area.
ماجد حبو:المجلس الوطني اسوأ بضاعة معارضة فاقدة الصلاحية من مخلفات الدور القطري
Majed Habbo on RT talks about the Syrian National Coalition and the stance about “Geneva 2”.
!سوريا: لا تهدئة.. ولا عيد
Assafir writes: while the international and regional powers argue and discuss a “solution” for Syria, the situation in the country continues to decay.
إعلام الأحزاب الجديدة في سوريا
Walid Breksiyah discusses and analyses the official media outlets of the new political parties emerging out of the Syrian struggle.
!نقاش سوري: أمان الدجاج في القفص
Haifa Bitar on the polarization of the discussions regarding Syria.
إشهار السيوف السورية الموالية والمعارضة
Hussein al-Awdat on the “radicalization” of both the opposition and the regime in Syria and the polarized situation in the country.
"رئيس "معارضة الداخل" لـ "النهار": لا غالب ولا مغلوب.. وتنحي الأسد ليس شرطاً لـ"جنيف 2
Ali Muntesh reports on the statements of the leader of the Syrian National Coordination Body inside Syria Hassan Abdel Azim about “Geneva 2”.
سوريا ونفق العدمية الجهادية
Omar Qaddour on the use of mortars by both the regime and the armed opposition.
معارضة الداخل السوري تستعد للمشاركة في «جنيف 2» في ظل رفض الائتلاف
Assarq al-Awsat reports: the internal opposition prepares to participate in “Geneva 2” while the Syrian National Coalition refuses to join.
نحو جنيف2 والمعارضة الوطنية السورية
Malek al-Hafez on the Syrian opposition and Geneva 2
صادق جلال العظم والعلوية السياسية!!
Nebras Dalloul expresses his disappointment with the statements and views of the Syrian opposition member Sadeq Jalal al-Azem about Syria in general, and “Geneva 2” in particular.
سوريا وجيجك: دليل المُستخدِم إلى الحرب الأهليّة
Yazan al-Hajj writes about the attacks against Slavoj Žižek for the article he had published on the Guardian, which was translated and published on the Assafir Newspaper website.
عيد الأضحى في سوريا: قذائف واشتباكات
Tarek al-Abed writes about the realities in Syria during Eid al-Adha.
الأمم المتحدة: أكثر من 800 سوري أوقفوا في مصر منذ أغسطس
UN reports that more than 800 Syrian were stopped since August while illegally fleeing from Syria to Egypt.
من رامبو إلى كيلو: عن المثقّفين والقوّادين والخونة
Seif Daana criticizes the stances of known intellectuals and members of the historical opposition in Syria such as Michel Kilo.
الشيخ رياض ضرار يروي قصة اعتقاله وأحداث سجن صيدنايا
Sheikh Riyadh Drar tells the story of how he was detained and the situation in Sednaya Prison.
«الأوروبيون يطرقون أبواب معارضة الداخل: محاولة لتعويض خسارات «الائتلاف
According to Wassim Ibrahim, the Europeans are beginning to connect with the internal opposition to “make-up for the losses of the coalition”.
الفكر العلماني: مقاربة للواقع السوري
Maataz Hisso on secularism.
الأسد وربيع العرب: ثورات أم تثوير؟
Bashir Eissa on the external and internal contexts of the uprisings that have swept different countries in the Middle East since 2011.
تفاهمات ميدانية بين «الحر» ودمشق
Assafir reports that there are some changes in the stances of the “Free Syrian Army” from the regime.
سوريا ومشروع المشرق الجديد
Abdallah Bin Amarah offers his view on the strategic importance of Syria.
فراغات إقليمية بعد تراجع القوة الأميركية
Mohammad Sayyed Rasas on the “weakening” influence of the United States in the Middle East and its impact on the region.
Sada Hamza assesses the International Crisis Group report on Syria entitled “Anything But Politics: The State of Syria’s Political Opposition”.
أيّ شرعية بقيت للائتلاف السوري المعارض؟
Tarek Aziza on the compromised legitimacy of the Syrian National Coalition.