[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.]
Note to readers: we are ten days behind but we will catch up during the first week of September. Hold tight!
Regional and International Perspectives
Exclusive interview with Kurdish security chief: Turkey must end support for jihadists The head of the Syrian Kurdish security police forces in northeast Syria, Ciwan Ibrahim, tells Al-Monitor that they are willing to cooperate with Turkey if it halts its support for jihadist groups.
Un silence assourdissant s’abat sur la Syrie Jean-Pierre Filiu on the silence on Syria as another crisis unfolds in Gaza.
How should we think about the Caliphate? Owen Bennett-Jones gives an in-depth analysis and review of the global perception of ISIS. Also, Bennett-Jones questions the action, or inaction for that matter, the west has leaned towards initiating in the Middle Eastern region.
EU Targets Syria Commander, Oil Companies UN imposes sanctions on one Assad’s top commanders, Suhail al-Hasan, and a handful of oil companies in Syria.
`Mummy, why did everyone forget about Syria when Gaza started?` Ian Black explains how “two Middle Eastern crises are separate but linked in many ways.”
10,000 Bodies: Inside Syrian President Bashar al-Assad`s Crackdown Adam Entous Dion Nissenbaum report on“Photographs of Corpses Offer Evidence of Industrial-Scale Campaign Against Political Opponents by Assad Regime, U.S. Investigators Say”
Iraq-Syria: roots of disintegration Hazem Saghieh highlights “Iraq’s fragmentation and Syria’s implosion” as a long-term outcome of their leaders’ imprudence and rash ideology. “The cause of the decline of artificial Arab "nations" created by the European imperial powers, is the fact that the subsequent Arab leaders treated such entities as nations.”
As ISIS Advances, Assessing the State of the Syrian Army Joshua Landis answers the ubiquitous question: How will the Syrian Army respond to the underlying challenge from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that cant be ignored? Can ISIS be weakened or its advance be shifted?
Clinton calls for release of Syrian activist ”Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton demands the release of kidnapped Syrian attorney and human rights activist Razan Zaitouneh.”
Hey UN, What About Eastern Ghouta? Editor K asks the question: Is the UN intentionally neglecting Eastern Ghouta or are they hesitant to help without Syrian Government consent?
Hezbollah, Syrian regime battle rebels in northeast Lebanon Rakan Al-Fakih explains how “Hezbollah and the Syrian regime have increased tension on armed rebels in a major push to uproot fighters opposed to the embattled Assad regime.”
Comparer le conflit Israël/Palestine à la Syrie : un raisonnement fallacieux Pascal Boniface addresses the global argument that some oppose those who stand in solidarity with the Palestinians, and Syria for that matter, and campaign against the bombing of Gaza. “With the underlying idea that if we criticize Israel over any casualties, it is always anti-Semitism.”
This Was the Syrian Civil War`s Bloodiest Week Yet — And You Probably Heard Nothing About It Eleanor Stanford on the increased fragmentation and complication in Syria’s civil war. “The civil war is only intensifying, and with it uncertainty over the future of the Middle East.”
Jordan’s Quiet Emergency Alice Su recognizes that “Jordan’s real crisis is not the threat of encroaching extremism, but the grinding weight of hosting victims from the region’s various humanitarian emergencies.”
Syria’s raging civil war and the west’s inertia Erwin van Veen shares his opinion on the deadlock between the West and Syria. “Despite their proximity in some cases, western countries in particular seem frozen in the spotlights of Syria’s extremity and complexity, unsure what to do and hesitating to intervene.”
Foreign Policy: Too Big to Fail Hassan Hassan asks: has the regime won the war?
Suicide bomber from U.S. came home before attack An American man who went to fight as a jihadist in Syria is reported to have returned to and left from the US after his first bout of training
Obsessing about Gaza, ignoring Syria (and most everything else) Jeffery Goldberg opportunistically uses the suffering of Syrians to lament the attention placed on Israeli bombardments of Gaza.
Syrian Defector “Caesar”
Syrian Military Defector ‘Caesar’ to Testify on Capitol Hill Thursday Syrian military police photographer “Caesar” is scheduled to inform US lawmakers about his documented experience in Syria “as part of a concerted effort to pressure the US government to take more decisive action in the Syrian conflict.”
Mystery Defector Known as ‘Caesar’ Appears in Washington With Evidence of Assad’s Atrocities Correspondent Josh Rogin opens our eyes to the Syrian military police photographer “Caesar” and his work that focuses on exposing the world to the “atrocities and war crimes of the Syrian regime.”
Inside Assad’s Playbook: Time and Terror Drawing from his experience as a Syrian diplomat, Bassam Barabandi says that, for the Syrian regime, “there is always a plan, opportunities are never missed, and there are no accidents: the rise of ISIS is no exception to this rule.”
NPR: War in Syria a War on childhood BBC chief international correspondent Lyse Doucet shares the stories of the children of Syria and the extreme challenges they face on a day-to-day basis with NPR’s Scott Simon, regardless of what side of the clash they are on.
Reflections on Methods Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi shares his experiences and reflects on the methods he used to intensely track and follow the Islamic State (formerly ISIS).
Struggling to Build an Alternative to Assad Khaleid Yacoub Oweis presents the “Structural Flaws and Lack of Protection Undermine Syria’s Opposition Government.”
Too Big to Fall Analyst Hassan Hassan digs deep into the importance of Aleppo. Hassan says “Unless something fundamental changes in the dynamics of the conflict, it may lose its most important foothold in the battle against Assad.”
De l’Irak à la Syrie, aux origines de l’État islamique Journalist Allan Kaval and his analysis on the origins of ISIS. “Between local institutional roots and transnational militant influence, the Islamic State opens a new era in the global jihad.”
Six Pack Under Siege Editor K on “the inspiring story of a young Syrian activist who, despite terrible suffering, refuses to lie down and become a victim.”
Aleppo`s forgotten Christians Edward Dark writes from Aleppo about the fear and anger of Aleppo’s Christians who remain in the ancient city, after the tragic fate of their co-religionists in Mosul.
How did the sectarian nightmare come true in Syria and Iraq? An interview with the Lebanese socialist Bassem Chit, he talks about counter-revolution, imperialism, and how sectarianism is used as a tactic in the current conflict.
Assad Policies Aided Rise of Islamic State Militant Group Maria Abi-Habib writes about the political tactics of the Syrian regime that led to the emergence of the ISIS. The article also reports the role of some factions of the “FSA,” such as Ahrar al Sham in this regard.
Crisis in the Middle East: The end of a country, and the start of a new dark age Patrick Cockburn documents the rise of ISIS, the balance of power and shift of political terrain in Iraq and Syria, and how this has a lasting effect on global politics.
Syrian Forces Advance on Aleppo, Rebels Fear Another Siege Maria Abi-Habib writes about the recent military advances of the Syrian government forces around Aleppo and the impact of the siege on the opposition.
Feature on the horrors witnessed in hospitals in Aleppo Zaher Sahloul tells the story of the aftermath of barrel bombing in civilian neighborhood and M-1 hospital in Aleppo.
Children Eating from the Streets of Hajr al Aswad in Damascus
The Factions of Raqqa Province Joshua Landis shares some insight on the Raqqa province as a whole. Landis claims that “the Raqqa province offers a fairly bleak picture for those who might hope for the Islamic State’s rivals in the province to pose a real challenge to the group’s monopoly on control, foremost because the Islamic State’s rivals lack manpower to carry out sustainable offensives.”
Minority Dynamics in Syria Aymenn Al-Tamimi provides valuable insight to the nature of the complex distribution of Syrian inhabitants and minorities. The dynamics of Syria’s minorities have “remained unchanged and if anything have only solidified.”
Syrian rebels say ISIS on the run around Damascus Nazeer Rida delivers an analysis on the shift of ISIS. “Opposition activists and fighters say ISIS is being forced of out Damascus’s suburbs after clashes with other insurgents.”
The spoils of Regiment 121, captured by the Islamic State ”Assad’s footgrip in Northern Syria has weakened even further with ISIS capturing Division 17 near Raqqa and Regiment 121 near Al-Hasakah.”
Frontline A short film that displays the reality and frontline of the outskirts of Damascus between the Suburb of Jobar and the Abbasyeen square.
The Islamic State (Trailer) “VICE News journalist and filmmaker Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks filming alone inside the self-proclaimed caliphate of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS). Dairieh had access to the internal workings of ISIS as the group made its lightning advance across Syria and into Iraq.”
Pro-regime Syrians take risks to dodge draft The Syrian regime’s ruthlessness continues. “The Syrian army is continuing to conscript recruits for compulsory military service, but young men, including supporters of the regime, are avoiding conscription at the risk of arrest and imprisonment.”
UN sends aid to Syria without regime consent First humanitarian aid convoy enters “rebel-held areas” of Syria without consent of government.
Life in a Jihadist Capital: Order With a Darker Side ISIS’ goals for Iraq and Syria and their progress on international mobilization.
Security Council Voices Grave Concern over Reported Seizure of Oilfields UN Security Council “expressed its grave concern over reports of access to and seizure of oilfields and pipelines in Syria and Iraq.”
Options for addressing the Syrian civil war Authors Erwin van Veen and Iba Abdo analyze “the Syrian civil war’s trajectory, its international entanglements and its current battlefield situation.”
Hazm Movement and Syrian Revolutionary Front: Suspending All Forms of Cooperation with Nusra : Press release
Islamists against Islamists Ghassan Yassine addresses Syrians, civilians, and opposition alike and how they “hope to avert a confrontation between the two fronts because it would negatively impact the opposition in general, especially since ISIS has grown stronger and more coherent.”
Syrian Alawites horrified by rising death toll Al-Monitor reports from Tartous about the sadness and despair of many Alawite families as young men among them continue to fall in high numbers during the ongoing conflict.
Ducking Barrel Bombs in Aleppo, Syrian Rebels Turn to Tunneling Mohammed al-Khateib reports on the new use of tunnels by Syrian rebels in Aleppo.
ISIS is using an all-woman brigage to enforce sharia law in Syria Taylor Wofford reports on the rise of the all-female ISIS morality police in Raqqa.
Across multiple fronts, Syria records one of its deadliest weeks ever A roundtable discussion with several Syria experts investigates the sudden rise in mortalities in Syria in the past week.
Arts and Social Media
Lebanese Family Encourage their Son to Beat a Syrian Boy English subtitled by Ana Press
When reality is stronger than fiction Jim Quilty discusses the FIDMarseille International film festival winning documentary, “Our Terrible Country.” In addition, Quilty addresses the challenges Syrian filmmakers face when determining the authenticity of reporting on Syria.
Ten Things to Remember about Syria Robin Yassin-Kassab illustrates a few aspects of “Syrian reality that can’t be destroyed by war," and inevitably live on through the history and culture of a country that encompasses a majority of the Northern Levant.
Scenes From a Damascene Subway Lilah Khoja imagines a future Damascus, where one can take the train from Jaffa to Damascus, stopping in the Golan for apples, in a dreamy short fiction story.
Policy and Reports
Syrian refugee women face sexual exploitation Giaa Hadid reports.
Cutting off water in al-Hajar al-Aswad neighbourhood threatens the lives of thousands of residents Randeep Ramesh looks at the lives of some of the Britons which are leaving to fight in Syria.
بيان تضامن مع الثورة السورية A statement of support for the efforts made by the Syrian Popular Base to resist the Assad regime in the country.
الهجرة نتيجة للدمار والموت Yassar Halab on displacement and migration as outcome of destruction and death in Syria.
اختبار سوريا بالحديد والنار... الوصفة الأميركية Abdel Muin Zreq presents some old writings and documents that he argues reveal America’s policies and attitude towards Syria today.
هل ينجح مشروع داعش الأميركي بالتغطية على إخفاقاته في المنطقة؟ Khodr Nour Eddine on ISIS and the US policies in the Middle East.
خطاب وأسئلة مقلقة Samir al-Aitah on the inaugural speech of Bashar al-Assad
وفاة 30 شخصا على متن قارب يحمل 600 مهاجر غالبيتهم سوريون AFP report on the death of thirty people in a ship carrying 600 migrants most of whom are Syrians.
!!محافظة دمشق أو… دولة بشر الصبان المستقلة The Syrian National Coordination Body writes about the corruption of the public policies of the governor of Damascus, Bishr Assabban, and the suffering of public workers under him.
السوريون في جحيم ليبيا Wassim Ibrahim recounts the story of a Syrian family that fled to Libya.
(هؤلاء هم من يحملون السلاح (بعض من خارطة السلاح في سوريا Nebras Dalloul offers his analysis on “those who are carrying weapons” in Syria.
عذابات الشعب السوري المتعددة الأوجه Ghayath Naisse on the different struggles of the Syrian people.
سوريا والحلول التفاوضيّة Samir Aitah on negotiations and Syria.
عرسال , عرس السياسيين في لبنان وأزمة مفتوحة على السوريين واللبنانيين معاً The Syrian National Coordination Body reports on events in Arsal.
الزواج الليبرالي ــ الإسلامي في سوريا Mohammad Sayyed Rasas on the history of the unity between the Muslim Brotherhood and Liberals in Syria since The Damascus Declaration in 2005.
Interview — critical take on ISIS from within Syrian revolution Interview with activist Yasser Munif on ISIS.
الثورة والمعارك … في حلب The Revolutionary Leftist Current on the battles in Aleppo.
من ميسوري إلى سوريا: تحت الاحتلال، المقاومة مشروعة للشعوب Al-Manshour publishes a letter of support from “The Bases of Support to the Syrian Revolution” to the family of Michael Brown and the protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.
القيادة الحمساوية والنظام السوري Amer Mohsen criticizes the stance of the leadership of Hamas regarding Syria and its support to the Syrian opposition.
لماذا هو خطر على السعودية؟ داعش... الوعد الوهابي المؤجّل Fuad Ibrahim on the threat of ISIS to Saudi Arabia.
هؤلاء حملة السلاح، بعض من خارطة السلاح في سوريا/نبراس دلول/ يوليو 26-,2014 Nibras Dalloul writes about the main armed groups in Syria and the challenges that face the Syrian national democratic change project.
في ذكرى استشهاد معن العودات/هيثم مناع/ أغسطس On the third anniversary of his brother martyrdom, Dr. Haitham Mannaa writes about the fallouts of the Syrian Uprising since the assassination of his late brother Dr. Maan al Oudat.
تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية على أبواب مدينة عبد القادر الصالح/ أغسطس Al-Monitor reports about the current tension in Marea, the birthplace of Abdul Qader Saleh, the military commander of the al-Tawhid Brigade, after the last offensive by IS in the Aleppo countryside on 13 August.
The English translation of the above article.
سورية والحنين إلى النضال السلمي/أكرم البني/ أغسطس Akram al Bounni writes about the nostalgia for the peaceful struggle against the Syrian regime after the catastrophic results of the armed conflict in Syria.