[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 firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday night of every week.]
Regional and International Perspectives
Nasrallah: If takfiris succeed in Syria, all in Lebanon will be eliminated Chloe Benoist on Hassan Nasrallah`s latest televised speech
Registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon passes 1 million mark According to the UNHCR, Lebanon has become "the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide"
Lebanese soldiers shoot dead Syrian man near Ersal Al Akhbar reports that “there were no reports of soldiers being wounded in the incident, fueling speculation that the men may have been unarmed.”
Hezbollah, Syria, and Egypt on the verge of an understanding? Sami Kleib reports: “Documents of meetings that Al-Akhbar obtained reveal an initiative proposed by Iran a while ago that suggests gradually transferring presidential powers in Syria to a national government. Will Saudi Arabia accept it?”
Armenians mourn rebel takeover of Kasab in Syria Justin Salhani meets with Armenians (from Syria and Lebanon) in Beirut’s Burj Hammoud.
Can Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood Salvage Its Relations With Riyadh? Raphael Lefevre explains that “the relationship is now taking a dramatic turn following the kingdom’s declaration in early March that the Brotherhood is a “terrorist organization,” alongside groups like the Saudi branch of Hezbollah, al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front in Syria, and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a Syrian jihadi organization.”
The unknown role of Kuwait`s Salafis in Syria Suhaib Anjarini claims that “major credit goes to unofficial Kuwaiti money in arming a number of the biggest armed groups in Syria such as Ahrar al-Sham, Jaysh al-Islam, and al-Nusra Front.”
Obama reassures Saudis over Mideast policies The US president sought to assure the Saudi king of his intention to support Syrian rebels and to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb.
Saudi Arabia: Obama seeks to ease backlash over Syria A news report on Barack Obama’s second official visit to Saudi Arabia.
Obama addresses Syria, Iran and women`s right in Saudi visit Instead of raising human rights issues with the Saudi king, the US president meets Maha al-Muneef, a women’s rights activist.
Obama seeks to reassure Saudi Arabia over Iran, Syria Jeff Mason and Steve Holland provide an account of the US president’s meeting with the Saudi king.
Saudi Arabia calls for `changing the balance of forces` in Syria The Saudi crown prince calls for “changing the balance of forces” in the fighting in Syria.
The Emirate of Lost Souls Elizabeth Dickinson explains how “once in the Gulf, many Syrians find themselves caring not just for immediate family members but for an array of friends and relatives: the aunt in Egypt, the parents in Jordan, the cousin still studying in a Damascus university.”
Then and Now Mohamed Fouad compares Egypt’s foreign policy shifts in the past year by focusing on the state’s relations with Syria and Hamas.
Waiting for Another Spring Hanan Badawy sheds light on the international refugee regime’s efforts to resettle Syrian refugees, and the complications they face in this regard in Egypt and European countries.
Kesab Attacked by Both Turkish-Supported Rebels and Syrian Regime “Turkish officials said that the Turkish military shot down a Syrian aircraft. They said the plane had violated Turkish airspace on Turkey, near the Syrian border around the Armenian villages of Kesab.”
Turkish opposition leader says Erdogan wants war with Syria Amberin Zaman reports that “Turkey’s main opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu of the Republican People’s Party, says that the Turkish prime minister is bent on provoking war with Syria to divert attention from government corruption.”
Syrian women refugees humiliated, exploited in Turkey Brenda Stoter reports that many women risk being exploited and sexually harassed.
Turkey Says Syria Security Leak "Villainous" as YouTube Blocked Turkish authorities denounced the leak as a "villainous act" and a "declaration of war."
Tapping the Foreign Ministry Is No Fun; It`s Espionage (1)-(2) Murat Yetkin analyzes the leak as “a really worrying situation for Turkey.”
Turkish Tomb in Syria Becomes Flashpoint for Conflict What does the story of Abu Basil have to do with the current crisis? Fehim Taştekin asks.
Border Violation or Election Ploy? After Turkey shot down a Syrian plane, some claimed it was part of a ploy to make the AKP look strong in the upcoming elections, Aslı Aydıntaşbaş reports.
Was Shoot Down of Syrian Plane Linked to Turkish Elections? Kadri Gürsel comments on the suspicions that the government is involved in crisis engineering to minimize the loss of its votes.
Increasing Danger for Turkey to Enter into Syrian Quagmire Lale Kemal argues that “Turkey may this time find itself being dragged into the Syrian conflict.”
Constructs Hasan Kanbolat recalls that the “deep state” set off a bomb in Mustafa Kemal Atatürk`s home in Thessaloniki when the Democrat Party (DP) began to lose its power.
ISIS Emerges as Threat to Turkey Semih İdiz writes that most Turks would prefer that Ankara step back from its current Syria policies and distance itself from any support for jihadist groups.
“Obama Approval of Manpads for Rebels Would Violate US Agreements, Policy, and Endanger Airliners,” by James McMichael, who argues that “ if President Obama gives his approval for their supply to Syrian rebels, he will violate several international antiterrorism agreements that prohibit the supply of Manpads to non-state actors.”
Pourquoi la violence n’est pas une solution en Syrie An interview with Haytham Manaa
Aleppo Shabbiha Disobey Military Orders An All4Syria update translated by the Syrian Observer alleges to “clashes using heavy machine guns between pro-Assad Shabbiha paramilitary and regime forces at the Nakkarin front in the city of Aleppo.”
Government Remains Confident, While Stretching its Manpower in Latakia Syria Deeply interviews Yezid Sayigh, senior associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center, and Omar Lamrani, military analyst at the geopolitical firm Stratfor.
Damascus Lawyers Dismissed From Union The Syrian Observer translates this update from Al Watan, stating that “the Lawyers Union has dismissed a number of lawyers who have left Syria without informing their branches”
Le viol, arme de destruction massive en Syrie Annick Cojean presents a lengthy report on the sexual violence happening within Syria and its neighborhing camps. The report also contains testimonies from victims.
Family, Sect No Longer Make up Assad Inner Circle The Syrian Observer translates this update from al Quds al Arabi, presenting the prevailing belief “among Jordanian officials that those who make up the regime`s more sensitive circles have been changed recently in favor of Iranian and Lebanese advisers.”
Syrians rally in support of rebels’ coastal offensive Marlin Dick says “demonstrations in rebel-held towns and villages in half a dozen provinces were staged under the slogan “support the call to arms for the coast.”
Le « cavalier seul » des Kurdes de Syrie C.R. contends that the PYD offers a third alternative between the regime and the opposition, to focus on Kurdish autonomy.
Yabrud: no one’s graveyard Racha Abi Haidar asks: “ how was life in the city without its people? What do military leaders and the civilians who stayed behind have to recount?”
Sham al-Islam: Its Project and Promise in Healing the Wounded Lands of the Levant Daniel Abdullah translates a statement by the group which “has played a significant role in the Anfal campaign around Kassab of March 2014” according to Joshua Landis.
The Strands of the Military Opposition in Syria: An Interview with Yasser Munif (Part 1) In Part I, Yasser addresses the basic division between the political and the military opposition, and discusses the loosely used designation of the Free Syrian Army. He also addresses the regime and the opposition’s use of sectarianism, with emphasis on the responsibility of the regime setting up of the context within which such manipulation occurs.
Musings of an Iraqi Brasenostril on Jihad: Muhajireen Battalions in Syria Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi explores “the nature of these groups and what links, if any, they have with ISIS/Jabhat al-Nusra.”
The roots and grassroots of the Syrian revolution (Part 1 of 4) “In a series commemorating the uprising`s third anniversary, Syrian revolutionary activist Joseph Daher answers key questions still circulating in the western digital commons. In this first part he offers us a short history of the socio-economic causes behind the protests that sprang up across Syria in March 2011.”
“Do Syrians Want To Fight Until Victory or Do they Want a Ceasefire?” by James McMichael, who reviews the research conducted by Vera Miranova, Loubna Mrie and Sam Whitt, which shows that “civilians want a negotiated peace as quickly as possible, while rebel fighters are determined to fight on for military victory. (See the Voices of Syria project.)”
The Free Syrian Armies: Institutional Split Aron Lund describes “the background to the February 2014 split in the Free Syrian Army (FSA), a network of rebels fighting the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad with Gulf and Western support.”
The Free Syrian Armies: Failed Reconciliation Aron Lund’s follow up article on the split.
Who`s who: Shebal Ibrahim “Rustom Mahmoud writes for The Syrian Observer about Shebal Ibrahim, the `Prince of the Youth Movement` in Qamishli”
Revolutionary Left Current in Syria: Establishment of the “People’s Liberation Faction” to commemorate the third anniversary of the Syrian Revolution
Syria: Blaming the Opposition Frederic C. Hof’s stance on the recent statements by Robert Ford, who claimed that the opposition did not do enough to gain the trust of the minorities.
Jabhat an-Nusra reacts on ISIS spokesman al-’Adnānī (Part II) – Abū Firās as-Sūrī Pieter van Ostaeyen translates the statement
Syrian Kurds, rebels find common enemy in ISIS Wladimir Van Wilgenburg claims that “bitter enemies less than a year ago, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party and the Free Syrian Army are cooperating to fight the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.”
Suspects into Collaborators “Peter Neumann argues that Assad has himself to blame”
Rape and ransoms: Hilal al-Assad’s ‘thug’ legacy The Syrian Observer translates this piece from al Arabiya by Mohanad Hage Ali, who suggests that “some accuse the regime of orchestrating the death of Assad`s cousin, Hilal al-Assad, to diffuse the Alawite sect’s growing resentment”
As the World Celebrates Gains for Women, Syria Measures Women’s Losses Yahia Alous reports for The Syrian Observer
In Syria, the Brotherhood’s influence is on the decline Hassan Hassan says “the most notable of these limitations is how the group could compete ideologically on the ground without contradicting the non-violent principles it has repeatedly announced to Syrians.”
The Death of an Assad Aron Lund profiles Hilal al-Assad, who was killed last week.
Syrian Kurds blame Iran, Turkey for ISIS attacks
The Ansar al-Sham Battalions Tam Hussein reported on the group from Syria’s north.
Syria`s Islamist rebels force Christian activist to wear veil “Aggression by Islamist rebels against civilian opposition activists has only increased disillusionment with what started as a noble revolution,” reports Edward Dark.
The moderate rebels: A needle in a haystack “If the nature of the Free Syrian Army’s name was ambiguous since its inception in 2011, it is clear today that it is nothing but a label for media consumption. In fact, it never constituted an umbrella group and it did not succeed in creating real leade
Parliament Passes the Election Law The Syrian Observer translates this update from al Watan, which says that “Candidates applying for the nomination need to be have been residents of Syria for at least ten consecutive years”
Maaloula Nuns Waiting to Return to Convent: Mother Superior The Syrian Observer translates this update by al Sharq al Awsat, in which Mother Superior Pelagia Sayyaf states that “The nuns are living their lives normally, waiting for the security conditions to be conductive to a return to our convent in Maaloula”
Al-Ghadfa Local Council: A Success Story “Mohammad Kassem writes for The Syrian Observer on a successful local council experience in Northern Syria”
Life in Raqqa in the Year Since the Regime Withdrew According to All4Syria “ISIS took advantage of the withdrawal of the Ahrar al Sham and Jabhat Al Nusra groups at the end of September 2012 and turned the province`s entire life” (Translated by the Syrian Observer)
Damascus: Workers still go to factories despite risk Laith al-Khatib explains how “many workers in Damascus and its countryside continue to work in the industrial zones surrounding the capital even though the war has hit their workplaces and homes, and despite their daily exposure to death.”
The “People’s Court” and Asayish prisons: A Foundational Building Block for Self-rule in Qamishli The Damascus Bureau reports.
Syria’s Kessab: The devastation of an Armenian safe haven Kevork Almassian reports on the attack.
Bustan al-Qasr crossing in Aleppo: Daily humiliation and nonsensical rules Basel Dayoub describes the daily humiliation people suffer from as they attempt to move between the divided city.
Arts and Social Media
Congratulations, You Have Been Martyred! Michael Peck says “two new online games from the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) organization depict Sunni fighters blowing up Iranians and attacking the Saudi Arabian government.”
“Sage” by Hani Mawed “The film “sage” deals with the consecutive expulsions and displacements (in Arabic: Al Nakba – The catastrophe) that the Syrian Palestinians have suffered from in their lives, the latest being the expulsion from Syria”
Iranian activists launch website monitoring Iran’s role in Syria “Using the name “Naame Shaam” (نامه شام), or “Letters from Syria”, the project is a source of independent and reliable news and commentary on the Syrian revolution and the Iranian regime’s role in trying to suppress it.” Here’s the group’s Facebook page.
Syria crisis: Spanish journalists freed after ISIS kidnapping Javier Espinoza and photography photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova were freed after 6 months of captivity in Syria.
Infographic: Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria Hisham Ashkar was able to track 322 of those fighters.
Syria: Defying Security Council on Aid Access Human Rights Watch’s update on the matter.
Syrian Pianist Helps Children In Conflict An interview with Malek Jandali
Syrian Torture Archive: When Photographs of Atrocities Don’t Shock Reflections on the release of thousands of photos taken of prisoners in Syria, which reveal torture and murder by the regime
Christian Minorities in Syria by Photographer Archilleas Zavallis Photos of the Christian communities in north-eastern Syria illustrate their determination to stay alive through the war.
Joint Statement Calling for Release of Arbitrarily Detained Journalists and Others in Syria
Policy and Reports
Squeezing the Life out of Yarmouk: War Crimes Against Besieged Civilians An Amnesty International report published on 10 March, 2014.
Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos - Statement to the Press on Syria
UN brands polio outbreak in Syria and Iraq `most challenging in history`
Economy and Agriculture
Syrian Government Banks Prohibit Loans, Fearing Bad Debts An update from al Iqtissad translated by the Syrian Observer says that “Sources said that if the Central Bank does not approve the request of the Credit Bank, the latter will incur significant losses”
Whole Generation Unemployed, Guns are a Means to a Living Another update by al Iqtissad stating that “with unemployment skyrocketing, many men are taking up weapons with regime and opposition militias to earn a living”
Fueling Conflict: Syria`s War for Oil and Gas David Butter contends that “Syria’s oil and gas resources are too small to be considered a prize in the struggle over the country’s destiny, but energy issues still play an important part in the conflict.”
Aid Becomes New Syrian Obsession Silin Ahmad for The Syrian Observer says that “aid has become the only thing to motivate starving Syrians and Palestinians”
Reconstruction in Syria to cost 165 bln USD: report
Syrian civil war detailed map
Panel Event -- The Syrian Tragedy: Where From? Where to? (3 April, George Mason University)
Ali Mustafa: Truths About the Syrian Revolution An event commemorating the slain Ali Mustafa
Return Unifies Us: Global Day Of Action For And By Palestinian Refugees
مآلات سورية مرسومة؟
Samir al-Aitah critically assesses the way in which events transpired in Syria for the past three years.
حرية بعد حرية
“Freedom after Freedom” is the title of a short video describing the brutality of the actions of the Assad regime and the Islamists in Syria.
سويسرا: اليسار والثورة السورية
Joseph Daher criticizes the stance of the Stalinist Left in Switzerland and in the world in general regarding Syria.
ما الذي يريده.. أردوغان؟
Mohammad Khroub asks, “what does Erdogan want?
لماذا لا يمكن أن يكون العنف حلا في سوريا
In an interview with La Croix newspaper’s Editor-in-chief, Haytham Manna explains why he doesn’t think violence can be the solution in Syria.
قطر والسعودية... وأميركا بينهما
Munther Khaddam on relations between Qatar, Saudi and the United States regarding Syria.
اليسار المصري والثورة السورية
Abir Yehya, Dima Omar and Mahinour al-Masry write about the views and stances of the Egyptian left regarding Syria.
في سوريا... الكارثة تكشفها الأرقام
Maataz Hisso presents the figures for the destruction that Syria has witnessed since the uprisings in 2011.
الطغاة العرب: من غابَ ومن حضر... ولماذا؟
Asad Abukhalil writes about the Arab Summit that was held in Kuwait.
القلمون فرصة لعودة حزب الله إلى لبنان؟
Sharl Saba on Hezbollah, its strategies in Syria and politics in Lebanon.
الفشل الثاني لتيار الإسلام السياسي السوري
Mohammad Sayyed Rasas on the second failure of the Syrian political Islamic current.
اضحك على مهزلة قانون الانتخابات بعصر العصابة البعثية
A satirical video making fun of the logic of the Baathist electoral laws as the date of the upcoming Syrian elections approaches.
يحدث الآن الجامعة العربية و مواقفها من الثورة السورية
Radio Ana hosts a discussion among different opposition personalities about the Arab League and its stances and actions towards Syria.
ميرامية" فيلم لهاني موعد"
Bidayyat Audio Visual Arts produces a short movie entitled “Meramiyeh” (sage) about a Palestinian Syrian who had to flee Syria and seek refuge once more, this time in Lebanon.
الانتفاضة التي فشلت في التحول إلى ثورة
Samir S’eifan writes about “the uprising that has failed in turning into a revolution.”
القمة الأميركية السعودية: المصالح ستبقى مـتوافقة
The US president sought to assure the Saudi king of his intention to support Syrian rebels and to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb.
اللاجئون السوريون: في انتظار ربيع آخر
Hanan Badawy sheds light on the international refugee regime’s efforts to resettle Syrian refugees, and the complications they face in this regard in Egypt and European countries.
الانتفاضة التي فشلت في التحول إلى ثورة
Samir S’eifan writes about “the uprising that has failed in turning into a revolution.”
لقاء خاص مع د عارف دليلة أستاذ الإقتصاد السياسي - الآن
Interview with Syrian opposition figure and political economist Aref Dalila on Al-Aan TV.
كسب" والجرح الارمني المفتوح"
Annahar reports on the story of the Syrian city of Kassab and the experience of Armenians during the early 20th century.
رواية يراد دفنها: القتلى السعوديون في سوريا
Fuad Ibrahim on Saudi fighters and their fate in Syria.
مؤتمر التآمر على سوريّا وفلسطين
Zuhair Andraos criticizes the Arab Summit in Kuwait, calling it the “conference of conspiracy against Syria and Palestine.”
غزوة «الأنفال» في الساحل السوري
Munther Khaddam on the fighting in Kassab.
عن الثورة السورية والمسألة الكوردية, حوار مع الصحفي والناشط الكوردي السوري شيار نيّو
Joseph Daher speaks to Kurdish Syrian Activist Shayar Neyo about the Syrian revolution and the Kurdish case.