[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.]
ISIS threatens the Islmaili capital of Syria The fear of ISIS continues to haunt the local residents, especially in Silmiya. Citizens believe the Syrian regime will shelter them from harm
Aleppo: duress as a weapon of war The conditions in Aleppo have become a perpetuating disaster as citizens try to exploit the current dismal conditions.
Syria `moderate` rebels lose ground to Qaeda Pressure looms from Al-Nusra fighters as they drive Syrian rebels out of the Idlib province.
Syria`s Alawites pay heavy price as they bury sons “The impromptu murals of death illustrate the price supporters of President Bashar Assad are paying to defend his rule.”
Al Nusrah Front forces Western-backed rebel group to flee base in Idlib Thomas Joscelyn reports the recent clashes between Al Nusrah Front and the Syrian Revolutionaries` Front (SRF), which had been closely allied with Al Nusrah despite receiving Western support.
Syrian rebels armed and trained by US surrender to al-Qaeda Ruth Sherlock reports that Harakat Hazm and the Syrian Revolutionary Front, moderate rebels in Syria that the US have armed and trained to fight jihadists, have surrendered to al-Qaeda"
John Cantlie, British Hostage, Seen in ISIS Video Apparently From Kobani “A British hostage of the Islamic State has been shown in a video, apparently made in the beleaguered Syrian town of Kobani near the Turkish border, depicting him as a combat correspondent and forecasting that the town is about to fall to militants despite waves of American airstrikes.”
My Captivity Theo Padnos, American Journalist, writes about his experience after being kidnapped and tortured by Nusra Front in Syria. ”Al Qaeda plays with its prisoners’ sleep because it wants to have a controlling presence in every second of their lives, even in the unconscious seconds — perhaps especially in those”.
Women Describe Appalling Conditions in Damascus Jail Damascus Bureau provides an exclusive report about the appalling living conditions detained women were subjected to while they where in Damascus prison.
Is Syrian army heading for victory in Aleppo? Khaled Atallah analyzes the recent development following the successful advancement of the Syrian army, which took control over the strategic town of Murak in Hama’s northern countryside. “Following battles between Jabhat al-Nusra and the Syrian regime forces, the latter took control of Murak, which might open the road to Aleppo.”
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:
الجيش السوريّ يفتح بوّابته إلى الشمال
Alawites find their voice against Assad An Al-Monitor correspondent in Syria reports about protests of many Alawites against the rise in fuel prices, "while many parties consider these incidents collective Alawite rage that might lead to an Alawite revolution against the Syrian regime, there are more forces at play".
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:
"احتجاجات العلويّين"... تحت السيطرة
A Visit to the Tomb of Hafez al-Asad An excerpt from “Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present,” by Christian Sahner about his visit to the Tomb of the late Syrian President Hafez al-Asad in Qardaha.
Syrian youth worry about draft Mustafa al-Haj reports about “a new nightmare has emerged wherein Syrian authorities started a crackdown on youth who have performed their compulsory military service, and they are forcing them to join the Syrian army as “backup” forces.”
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:
السوق إلى الخدمة العسكريّة بصفة "احتياط" تثير قلق الشباب في سوريا
European women convert, join IS Brenda Stoter reports about "European women have been converting to Islam and joining the Islamic State`s ranks in Syria, after watching and hearing stories about jihad on social media platforms."
Is the Syrian regime sectarian? Sectarianism, part two In the second part of Mohammad Dibo`s conversation with Salameh Kaileh and Victorios Shams, prominent Marxist thinkers, the interview explores how sectarianism and class intersect in the dark realms of the Syrian elite.
Regional and International Perspectives
U.S. support for Syrian rebels serves political, not military, purposes Steven Metz discusses the central components of Obama’s counter strategy. President Obama struggles with expectation management and tries to limit U.S. involvement with IS.
Lebanon closes its borders to Syrian refugees, after surge in numbers “Ninette Kelley, the U.N. refugee agency`s representative in Lebanon, said the country has been restricting the entry of Syrians since August.”
Analysis: In Syria, no good options for West A comprehensive analysis of options for a solution to the Syrian crisis.
Syrian civil society in Lebanon: challenges and opportunities
Fadi Hallisso, Co-founder and general manager of Basmeh wa Zeitooneh for Relief and Development, writes about challenges Syrian civil society confronts. “Instead of empowering Syrian civil society and helping it to build its capacity, the aid community is rendering us more fragile.”
Isis in Syria: General reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country`s awkward relationship with their allies-by-default “A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities”
Vijay Prashad writes about youth fighters who joined Jabhat al Nusra because of the need for jobs with social dignity. He also reports about worries of Lebanese in Beirut.
Policy and Reports
Hassan Hassan on how to uproot ISIS in Deir Ezzor Hassan Hassan on the imperative steps that need to be taken and implemented in order to successfully eradicate ISIS in Syria.
Isis exploits tribal fault lines to control its territory Hassan Hassan on the reason behind the success of ISIS’s strategy to “divide and rule.” This strategy has” allowed local forces to govern their own state of affairs.”
“Making Real-Time Drama: The Political Economy of Cultural Production in Syria’s Uprising"
This paper by Donatella Della Ratta was written during Della Ratta residence at The Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. It builds on Della Ratta’s dissertation about "the pan-Arab and national political and economic forces shaping television production in Syria, and feeds on the unparalleled access that she acquired among Syrian drama makers through extensive field research in Damascus and elsewhere."
Economy and Agriculture
Economy Minister: Syrian-Russian committee makes strides in bilateral relations Syrian-Russian Permanent Committee have constructed a bilateral agreement, approving a more efficient line of commercial exchange, facilitating the export of Syrian goods to Russia.
Greening the rubble: Syrians embrace urban farming to stave off starvation Ansar Hevi works with the 15th Garden, a farmers’ solidarity network supporting Syrian agriculture, in efforts to assist Syria’s municipal farmers with their agricultural techniques.
Syria`s 3 ½-year conflict roiling the economy Prices have quadrupled over the past 4 years in Syria. Costs have increased, and businesses have hit rock bottom.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
جهود الفرق التطوعية في خدمة اللاجئين السوريين اينما حلو
This video highlights the significant role of Syrian volunteering teams in providing humanitarian assistance for refugees and displaced people within Syria and in diaspora.
The Rise of ISIS?
A new documentary about the emergence of ISIS released by Frontline
How ISIS Got Its Leader
“What`s known about Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the Islamic State, or ISIS? How did he become an important figure in the group? And who engineered his rise to power? FRONTLINE`s Martin Smith talks to Richard Barrett, a counterterrorism expert with the Soufan Group.”
مغمض العينيين بلا قلق
Said Batal, a Syrian activist, writes about Jobar, a village on the outskirts of Damascus that suffers from the daily bombardment.
عفراء جلبي: أعبّد الطريق أمام المرأة للوصول إلى المنابر
Hasan Arfeh writes about the continuing controversy about the event regarding delivering Eid sermon by Afra Jalabi, a Syrian writer and activist, at the Noor Cultural Centre in Toronto, Canada during the first day of the latest Eid al-Adha.
"فليحان" تقدم سيرة ذاتية للثورة السورية
This article reviews a new book by the Syrian writer Rima Fleihan. The book is a biography of the writer during the first three years of the Syrian Uprising.
قوات كردية تصل إلى مدينة عين العرب لقتال تنظيم الدولة الاسلامية
This article reports the arriving of around 150 Peshmerga fighters to Kobani in order to support the city against ISIS.
لجان التنسيق المحلية في سوريا: تحدي البقاء
Doha Hassan writes about the history and development of the Local coordination committees of Syria (LCCs) that were established in the context of the Syrian Uprising in 2011.
المنظمات الأهلية بين المرتجى والواقع
Hawazen Khaddaj discusses the challenges and the weaknesses of the work and the future of the Syrian civil organizations.
تنظيم "الدولة الإسلاميّة" يقوم بعمليّة تطهير عنيفة ضدّ معارضيها Ali Mamouri writes about ISIS`s use of intelligence apparatus to eliminate its opponents and increase its strength.
The English version of this article can be found here:
IS uses intelligence to purge opponents
«المجاهد» التونسي في سورية متعلم وغير فقير... ابن النظام السابق وابن انهياره
Hazem El-Amin tackles the Jihadist route from Tunisia to Syria (part 1).
«المجاهدون» التونسيون في سورية: خفة الهجرة في ظل التأشيرة التركية وتحت أعين «النهضة»
Hazem El-Amin tackles the Jihadist route from Tunisia to Syria (part-2).
نقاط الضعف والقوة في عقيدة «داعش» القتالية
Alaa al-Lami analyzes the military creed of ISIS and its weakness points.
كيف نحمي الآثار السورية؟
Sulafa Khoury reflects on the challenges that face Syrian archaeological sites and discusses ways to protect these sites from destruction.
“الهالوين السوري” تجربة حقيقية مختلفة
This article discusses a Syrian campaign that was launched in the occasion of the Halloween using the hashtag "AssadDailyHalloween#."
قصّتي معكم... مختلفة
Rima Assaf writes an opinion article sharing her perspective on the Syrian refugee crisis.
الدراما الشامية ولو في الخندق الغميق
Wesam Kanaan writes about a new Syrian television drama series that intends to adopt the Turkish novel "The Forty Rules of Love" by Elif Şafak.
بشرى كعكة أول شرطية في الشرطة السوريـة الحــرة: «نؤسس للمستقبل والتحدي عامل مهم لنجاح المرأة»
Ola Al-Jari interviews Boushra Ka`Kah the first policewoman at the Free Syrian police.
حين يهتف الموالون "الحرية لـ...."
Mohamad Dibo discusses recent protests by Syrian regime loyalists and the reaction of the regime to such protests.