[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.]
Why the victory in Kobane matters
Aron Lund claims that victory in Kobane was no “Pyrrhic victory,” the U.S. backed Kurdish defeat of the Islamic state in northern Syria was the beginning of a serious turn of events for the Islamic State.
Syrian coalition approves draft document of basic principles for a political settlement in Syria
National Coalition issues a 13-point list of principles for Syria.
In Hameh, a snapshot of life after a cease-fire
Saber, a resident of Hameh, describes the living conditions for civilians following the truce between the regime and the rebels.
Regime Closes Bakeries in Liberated Areas
State closes down bakeries in Idleb and in areas that opposition occupies.
Trial of Louay Hussein postponed until March
Hearing of opposition figure, Louay Hussein, postponed after being charged with “weakening the national sentiment.”
To ease human suffering, Syrian volunteers host carnivals, crowdfund medical care
The Mulham Volunteer Team has created an environment of comfort and ease for many of the Syrian refugees, giving them hope and a way out of the despair that lies within their community.
Islamic State pulls forces and hardware from Syria`s Aleppo rebels
While the Islamic State is under pressure from U.S.-led air strikes, they have started to evacuate several small villages in northeastern Aleppo and heading east.
Interim Govt. faces bankruptcy amid mass corruption
Syrian Interim Government on the verge of bankruptcy due to corruption and nepotism.
Syrian townspeople insist U.S. airstrike killed civilians
Syrians claim that U.S. kills 25 to 60 Syrian civilians in bombing of ISIS prison in al-Bab, but denies truth of reports.
What does Assad really think about Syria`s civil war?
Jeremy Bowen gives his insight on Syria’s brutal war, entering its fifth year, following his interview with Bashar al-Assad.
Inside Syria’s Jails
Alise Mofrej, an Arabic teacher and Syrian activist, reflects on her own experiences in detention.
Syrian air strikes kill 82 after rebel rocket attack: monitor
Reuters reports about Friday Feb 6th`s strikes by Syrian air force that killed 82 people in an opposition district outside Damascus following rocket attacks by armed opposition group that hit the government-controlled areas of Damascus.
Distorting the Story of Syria’s Heritage Destruction
Eva Bartlett shares her perspective on the destruction of Syria’s heritage.
Syria conflict: BBC exclusive interview with President Bashar al-Assad
In an exclusive interview with the BBC`s Middle East Editor Jeremy Bowen, Mr. Assad denied that his forces had dropped barrel bombs indiscriminately on rebel-held areas and killing thousands of civilians.
Rockets fall on Damascus
Mustafa al-Haj reports that " Jaysh al-Islam began a wide-scale rocket attack on Damascus in response to the Syrian regime’s shelling of eastern Ghouta, which allegedly killed civilians."
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:
سكان دمشق وريفها ..بين صواريخ المعارضة وبراميل النظام
Aleppo`s displaced find refuge in Kurdish regions
Mohammed al-Khatieb reports about residents of Aleppo who fled "the regime’s shelling toward the north, mainly to Sheikh Maksoud neighborhood, where the local council tries its best to meet their needs."
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:
المناطق الكرديّة ملاذ للنّازحين
Syrian Kurdish journalists confront danger to report on war
“Kurdish journalists talked to Al-Monitor about their experiences on the battlefield in Syria`s northeastern provinces.”
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:
صحافيّو الحرب هدف الإرهاب والصحافيّون في الحرب هدف الموت يوميّاً!
Regional and International Perspectives
Don’t believe the hype, ISIL is still on the offensive
Hassan Hassan discusses the misconception that the Islamic State is playing a defense game. There is a distinction between ISIL’s territory and military front.
Syrian Refugees and Regional Security
Syria’s refugee crisis is becoming drastically worse. Benedetta Berti on whether to aid refugees today or face a bigger problem at the regional levels both from a humanitarian and security perspective.
The world leaders who protested against terror in Paris have been watching Syrians being killed and tortured for four years
Alawite Syrian writer Dima Wannous accuses world leaders of their hypocrisy towards Paris versus the Syrian regime and its terrors.
Engaging in Politics, Assad-Style
Yezid Sayigh believes Assad will not make concessions to opposition. Assad looks to hang by a thread and hope the U.S. or regional allies accept the regime’s terms, but chances of U.S. acceptance are slim.
Syrian rebels call on Israel to bomb Hezbollah-Iran-Syria positions
Syrian rebels attempt to reach out to Israel to prevent the further increase of support the Syrian government is getting form Hezbollah, Iran and Russia.
Isis has reached new depths of depravity. But there is a brutal logic behind it
Hassan Hassan describes ISIS and their core ideology, and how their savagery has become effective at changing the paradigm of how to understand Islamic history.
Dispatches: Jordan’s Executions Are Not the Answer to ISIS Brutality
Eric Goldstein writes against the Jordanian authorities response to the brutal murder of al-Kasasbeh by executing death row prisoners, and argues that such actions do not weaken ISIS.
Source: ISIS wants more hostages
Paul Cruickshank and Steve Almasy report that ISIS has plans since the middle of last year to kidnap Westerners and others in neighboring countries.
Guess Who’s Bombing ISIS?
Micah Zenko comments on the UAE’s behavior of suspending airstrikes against ISIS and the dynamics of the counter-ISIS coalition warfare.
Islamic State punishes cleric who objected to pilot`s killing: monitor
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an Islamic State cleric who objected to the group`s decision to burn to death al-Kasasbeh has been removed from his post and will be put on trial.
Policy and Reports
The Shiite jihad in Syria and its regional effects
Phillip Smyth reports on the Shia foreign fighter movement.
Landis: Assad Wants Cooperation From Unwilling U.S., No Partner In Syria
Joshua Landis claims that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad seeks to strategically team up with the U.S. against a common enemy, the Islamic State.
قصص لم تُحكى عن اللاجئين المستضعفين في سوريا
In a recent report, Amnesty International met with refugees from Syria in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq who shared their stories of loss, uncertainty, hardships, hopes and dreams.
The English full PDF version of this report can be found here:
Hardship, hope and resettlement: refugees from Syria tell their stories
Syria Situation Report: February 03-10, 2015
According to Institute for the Study of War (ISW), “ISIS Continues to Lose Ground in Northeastern Aleppo: ISIS appears to be contracting in response to continued gains by the YPG and allied rebel forces.”
TSG IntelBrief: The Islamic State’s Greatest Enemy
According to Soufan Group, a New York-based security and intelligence firm, the Islamic State has targeted both aid workers and journalists because “the goals of those two professions—providing aid and information—are anathema to the group.”
TSG IntelBrief: Extremists and Rebels Battle for Northern Syria
According to Soufan Group, a New York-based security and intelligence firm, “amid reports the Islamic State is withdrawing from parts of Aleppo, the fighting in northern Syria has increasingly become Turkey’s regional battlefield.”
Economy and Agriculture
Syria approves budget
An overview on Syria’s contracting economy and the Assad government’s financial distress.
People`s Assembly Calls for Monitoring of Markets and Fuel Prices
“regarding the exploitation of circumstances inside Syria.”
Should Syria only import the necessities?
Following the chaos in prices and the rise of the dollar exchange rate, Aabid Fadliah (economy and banking expert) advises against limiting imports.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
Map: How the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria has surged since October
A visual on the amount of foreign fighters who have joined ISIS.
Over 200,000 people killed in Syrian conflict so far — SOHR
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights changes Syrian Casualty figures dramatically. The number of dead civilians jumps drastically.
Lost in Syria
Nicholas Schmidle tells the story of an American itinerant named Eric Harroun that secretly joined the fight against Assad. An intensive story on how his adventure became a disaster.
A Formal U.S. War On The Islamic State
Joshua Landis discusses the status of the Islamic State on NPR, and says that: “Unless you’re willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars, you’re not going to fix Syria.”
We left them behind promo
We Left Them Behind, a documentary about kidnapped journalists who vanished in troubled Syria. It investigates their stories from the moment they put foot in Turkey until their disappearance in Syria. The film took place in four different countries. From the USA to Turkey, Syria, Germany and back to the USA.
تطبيق سوري لمساعدة اللاجئين على التكيف في الغربة
A Syrian young man issued an application to help Syrian refugees to cope with displacement.
وبلّغ مازن درويش... يا ضيف المعتقل سنوي
Wesam Kanaan comments on Mazen Darwish 2012 arrest developments and the false charges against him by the Syrian regime.
الدراما السورية تعيد النازحين إلى الواجهة
Maher Mansour writes about new Syrian drama TV projects that deal with refugee issues.
«سوريا» حنا بطاطو: الطبقة لا الطائفة!
Yazan El-Haj reviews the Arabic edition of Batatu`s book, “Syria`s Peasantry, the Descendants of Its Lesser Rural Notables, and Their Politics.”
بالصور.. مخرج فلسطيني يحلّل فيلم حرق الكساسبة لحظة بلحظة
Nizar Abu Ziad, a Palestinian director, analyzes ISIS` 22-minute film entitled “Healing the Believers` Chests” that records Al-Kasasbeh murder.
حكايات المعتقل: الحلقة 14 والأخيرة
Ghassan Aljbai recalls his interactions with Miriam Cooke, an American academic in Middle Eastern and Arab world studies, 16 years ago in Damascus.
المعارضة السورية وسؤال الشرعية
Akram al-Bunni writes about the Syrian opposition and questions its real authority and legitimacy.
بشكل سري.. جزر القمر تفرض فيزا على السوريين
The Comoros, secretly, imposes new visa restrictions on Syrians` entrance into the country.
«المساكنة» تدخل حياة الناشطين السوريين
Judy Salam investigates the spreading of cohabitation as a life style choice among many Syrian youth in neighboring countries.
نيران داعش .. تفضح الجميع
Afra Jalabi criticizes the selective empathy with victims of violence in Syria depending on the identity of the killer.
هل “دولة المواطنة” تحقق تطلعات الكُرد السوريين ؟ (1)
Farouk Haji Mustafa shares his perspective on the future of the Syrian state and equal citizenship rights that might meet the Syrian Kurds aspirations.
حُرق الكساسبة فهل داعش هو المجرم الوحيد
Ammar Daiob criticizes representing ISIS, after al-Kasasbeh execution by burning, as the only criminal force in the ongoing conflict in Syria and ignoring other political powers’ violations and crimes.
هكذا "يسلب" ويصنع "داعش" أمواله ويثري خزائنه
This article highlights the strategies that Da‘ish uses to build its economy incomes.
داعش يوزع منهاجاً دراسياً جديداً في الميادين بدير الزور
This article reports that Da‘ish started to distribute an Islamist Wahhabi curriculum in the schools of Mayadin city in Deir ez-Zor Governorate.
هل يمكن للأسد أن يكون شريك في مواجهة داعش؟
Haid Haid explores the possibilities of Al-Assad`s army to win the battle against ISIS and Al-Nusra front.
الجيش العربي السوري أيقونة النظام واليسار «المرقّط»
Romeo Hassoun shares his perspective about the symbolism of the Syrian army, the involvement of the army in the current conflict, and its role in the future.
استراتيجية أوباما في الحرب على «داعش» والنظام السوري
Raghida Dergham analyzes Obama`s strategy to combat Da‘ish as well as the Syrian regime and the impact of the nuclear negotiations on this strategy.
تنظيم الدولة الإسلامية: منطق المغالاة في العنف
Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck argues that ISIS strategy in showing extreme power and cruelty aims to motivate people to put pressure on their governments to withdraw their troops from the coalition.
الليرة السورية بعد تراجع دور «المركزي»
Ibrahim Miro discusses the impact of the conflict-related economic challenges that face the Central Bank of Syria and its effects on the quick deterioration of the exchange rate of the Syrian pound.
رسالة من جندي بجيش الأسد في مثلث الموت للجيش الحر
Gadaf Rajah shares the content of a letter that a Syrian soldier with the Syrian regime army wrote to the rebels in Southern Syrian.
المنتدى الثقافي الاجتماعي: آخر قلعة مدنية مقاومة في سراقب
This article highlights the experience of the Cultural Social Forum in Saraqib city in northwestern Syria, as an example of civil resistance.
إعلاميون يحاربون التحرش باللاجئات السوريات والعنف ضدهن
Lubna Salim writes about Khatwah Campaign to combat violence against women and the contributions of Syrian journalists to this campaign.