[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.]
Syrian students leave besieged areas to take exams
Syrian students and their education have suffered due to the crisis in besieged towns near Damascus. Their educational future remains uncertain as this crisis continues.
Stealing Syria’s Past
James Harkin writes about the illegal trafficking of Syrian antiquities through Antakya (Hatay) and other cities along Turkey’s long border with Syria, and the shifting business of smugglers from smuggling journalists into Syria into smuggling stolen antiquities.
Syria in Revolt
In this long article, Sadik J. Al-Azm outlines the Syrian Uprising in a context that he claims to explain sectarianism and underline causes of Syrian conflict.
The Arabic translation of the same article: سوريا في ثورة؟ صادق جلال العظم
Arts and Social Media
Bloggers: Edward Snowden leaked NSA documents show U.S., Israel created Islamic State
The viral articles purporting to reveal that “documents released by Edward Snowden reveal that American, British and Israeli intelligence agencies worked together to create the Islamic State,” is proven to be a hoax.
Against the Odds: Syria`s Flourishing Mediascape “With increasing awareness of the mistakes that have been made, Syrian activists, once armed with small cameras and producing "militant" content, are now trying to build a more professional environment, and create an infrastructure for independent media to operate in the future.”
Economy and Agriculture
The Syrian Marshall Plan: Why foreign investors are pouring money into the country`s economy
The World Bank has estimated that the cost of rebuilding what has already been destroyed in Syria will be upward of $200 billion. Adam Heffez and Noam Raydan write about Syria as an investment opportunity for foreign investors: “the Syrian economy, having suffered years of ruin, offers early investors the chance to reap significant rewards in the long term.”
Policy and Reports
Most Americans Now Support Airstrikes In Syria, Poll Shows
Emily Swanson writes: "60 percent of Americans now support airstrikes against ISIS in Syria, while 20 percent are opposed. That level of support approached the 64 percent of Americans in the survey who said they support the current airstrike campaign in Iraq."
With Drones In Flight Over Syria, Questions Of Airstrikes Rise With Them
Tom Bowman talks about U.S. surveillance drones and their presence in Syria, “preparing for possible airstrikes against the extremist group that calls itself the Islamic State.”
Syrian rebels detain 43 U.N. peacekeepers in Golan
Unspecified armed group have detained 43 United Nations peacekeepers after the coalition of various insurgent groups.
What Going to War in Syria Would Really Mean for the U.S
Conor Friedersdorf writes about the dilemma of American military intervention in Syria and the set of harrowing tradeoffs that the United States might faces regarding its options in Syria.
Why U.S. Air Strikes in Syria Would Damage, but Not Destroy ISIS
Karen Leigh points out the need for a decisive strategy for bringing ISIS to an end. She states “While military action could put the group on its back foot, it is ideology-driven and would continue to attract fighters – and carry out its brand of brutality.”
Who Has the Advantage as Assad Moves to Take on ISIS?
Joshua Landis and Hassan Hassan give valuable insight on the advantages of the ISIS-regime fight. “As a battle for supremacy looms, ISIS has the momentum, but analysts say that if forced to choose, Western and Arab leaders will back Assad.”
Airstrikes Target Islamic State After Reports Of Yazidi Massacre
W.G. Dunlop reports: “Kurdish forces backed by US warplanes battled to retake Iraq`s largest dam from Islamic State jihadist fighters, whose latest atrocity was a massacre in a Yazidi village.”
UN report points to war crimes committed by ISIS, Syrian government “ISIS forces in northern Syria are waging a campaign to instil fear. (Including amputations, public executions and whippings).”
Regional and International Perspectives
Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order: The concept that has underpinned the modern geopolitical era is in crisis
Henry Kissinger writes about the challenges that endanger the concept of world order that has underpinned the modern era.
Prevent IS From Staying in Syria
Syria will not benefit from west intervention unless opposition unites. “This cannot be done merely through press conferences demanding military intervention, but requires immediate and practical military and political steps.”
ISIS militants threaten Mosul’s female doctors
While female doctors in Mosul, Iraq continue to provide triage due to the critical humanitarian situation, they have pleaded for International support from IS threats.
Yazidis: Between the Islamic State and a Hard Place
Daoud Ali reports on the Yazidis trapped in Mount Sinjar. “They are having to cope with very harsh conditions, amid food shortages and a lack of many basic supplies, and a siege imposed by the radical jihadi group the Islamic State that has led dozens of Yazidis to perish.”
Islamic State turns radical Islam on Syria Muslims
“As Islamic State militants advanced in the Syrian province of Deir al-Zor last month, those who had held out against them faced a simple choice: beg for mercy or face certain death.”
Key Rebel Groups Form Joint Military Command in Eastern Ghouta
“Five rebel factions in the embattled Eastern Ghouta near Damascus have agreed to form a joint military command and to appoint the Islamic Army Commander as the General Chief-of Staff, days after the fall of strategic Mleiha town to Syrian armed forces.”
How ISIS Came to Be
Ali Khedery dives into the history of ISIS/ISIL, how it was formed, how it exists now, and how it will survive unless it is stopped.
You Can`t Understand ISIS If You Don`t Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia
Alastair Crooke points out the lens through which ISIS is seeing the world and vice versa. Crooke explains how ISIS emerged and how they differ from other extremist groups such as Al Qaeda and the Taliban.
IS Back in Business
Peter Harling explains how aggressive ISIS/ISIL really is and how they have shocked the world with their ruthless ideology and become major players in the Middle Eastern region.
SNC Head: IS more of a threat to Muslims than Christians
In this interview with the Lebanese newspaper, al Nahar, George Sabra, the President of the Syrian National Council, reassures the Christians of the city of Mhardeh who fear the behavior of Jabhat al-Nusra that: “The Christians in Mhardeh will not be affected by this mission, because this would affect the Syrian revolution on both moral and humanitarian levels.”
Needs soar as number of Syrian refugees tops 3 million
According to the last reports by the UNHCR, Syria`s intensifying refugee crisis passed a record 3 million people and 6.5 million others have been displaced within Syria.
No risk too great: Syrians take extraordinary measures to escape war
During 2013, a total of 25,500 Syrians were detected trying to enter the EU without entry visas. Lauren Williams writes about the dangerous and hopeless trips through smuggling boats from Izmir, Turkey`s western coastline, to Europe.
Hezbollah`s dilemma in Syria and the spillover to Lebanon
Abdulrahman Al-Masri writes about the dilemma of Hezbollah`s intervention in Syria to support the Assad regime. “According to a report published by the Syrian Network for Human Rights about Shia groups in Syria, it is estimated that there are around 7,000 to 10,000 Hezbollah fighters in Syria, and 300 have been killed since joining the conflict”
Affiliate of Al Qaeda Confirms Capture of U.N. Peacekeepers in Syria
Ben Hubbardaug reports about the capturing of 45 United Nations peacekeepers, who are from Fiji, in southern Syria by Jabhat al Nusra (the Nusra Front), the Syrian branch of Al Qaeda.
مواجهات السويداء تنذر بالمزيد
Khaled Atallah reports from the province of Suwayda for the al-monitor about violent clashes erupted since August 16, between Druze residents of Suwayda province and Bedouins backed by Jabhat al-Nusra, threatening to drag this relatively quiet area into Syria’s civil war.
This is the English translation of the same article:
Clashes between Druze, Bedouins rattle Syria’s south
ناشط إعلامي يقتل قيادياً في الجيش الحر بريف درعا
Capt. Qais al-Qataneh of Alwiya al-Omari in Daraa and one of the first defectors from the Syrian regular army, have been killed after a dispute with Caesar Habib a citizen journalist/fighter from Jabhat al Nusra.
عذراً جورج صبرة فنحن من سنُذبحAsaad Hanna criticizes the last statements by George Sabra, the President of the Syrian National Council, who defended Jabhat al-Nusra after its offensive on the Christian city of Mhardeh, north of Hama.
حصري "لحملة الرقة تُذبح بصمت" تفاصيل السيطرة على مطار الطبقة العسكري
This an exclusive report about how ISIS has taken over the Tabqa military airport and the role of Omar al-Shishani in ISIS’s success.
تحت تهديد السلاح..مافيات تسرق السوريين في باب الهوى
Mohammad Motlaq reports about the suffering of civilians who are moving through Bab Hawa border crossing between Turkey and Syria. According to this report dozens of incidents of theft and looting and threat did happen because of armed groups and gangs that control Bab Hawa.
هل ستحقق العدالة الانتقالية في سوريا العدالة للسوريات؟
Syrian women were victims of the ongoing conflict in different areas; however, Syrian women could contribute in conflict resolution, peace building, and have an effective role in the realization of transitional justice.
اقتصاد السوق الاجتماعي هل يناسب سوريا المستقبل
According to Mohammad Dibo, the direction of Syria’s economy policy after 2005 towards social market economy was based on a distorted version. Dibo discusses that social market economy could be appropriate for Syria’s future but on certain conditions.
Documentaries and Reports
فيلم "ع رصيف حلب" أول فيلم استقصائي يوثق جوانباً من حياة الحلبيين زمن الحرب
“On the Street of Aleppo”, a documentary that captures the daily life struggles in Aleppo during the ongoing conflict in the city.
Archaeology in Syria nowadays: a project for peace
A conference addresses the dangers that threaten Syria’s heritage and how to protect it.
The Islamic State Part 1
“Dairieh heads to the frontline in Raqqa, where Islamic State fighters are laying siege to the Syrian Army`s division 17 base.”
The Islamic State Part 2
“VICE News` exclusive look at the emergence of the Islamic State. Dairieh also gains further insight into the minds of Islamic State fighters as they host celebrations and military parades featuring American tanks and APCs seized from the Iraqi army”
The Islamic State Part 3
In part 3, “The Islamic State, VICE News joins them on their daily patrols during Ramadan, and witnesses how they check on shops and scrutinize produce, while at the same time ensuring their strict rules on women`s appearances are adhered to.”
The Islamic State Part 4
“In part 4 of The Islamic State, VICE News visits the Sharia courts where those accused of infractions are sentenced to harsh penalties, including execution followed by public crucifixion.”
The Islamic State Part 5
“Dairieh journeys 200 miles from the group`s power base in the Syrian city of Raqqa to the border with Iraq. There, after defeating the Iraqi army manning the checkpoint, Islamic State fighters work further to bulldoze the border.”