[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.]
Coming Challenges for Syria’s Rebels Yezid Sayigh writes on mounting problems of governance, and why the Syrian rebels need to demonstrate military coordination, political skills, and administrative capacity.
ISIL seizes Syrian regime`s lucrative phosphate mines “ISIL strikes at heart of Syrian economy with gains in oil, gas and mining following capture of Palmyra and further gains deeper into the province.”
Syrian opposition defends Eastern Ghouta situation Shelly Kittleson unravels the Syria opposition group, Jaish al-Islam, as well as interview with Captain Islam Alloush.
The Kingdom of Silence: Literature from Tadmor prison Overshadowed by the fall of Palmyra`s ancient heritage site, the capture of the notorious jail by Islamic State could prove more significant.
Isil destroys notorious Palmyra prison ISIS destroys notorious prison in the Syrian city of Palmyra. However, some Syrians say Tadmor prison should have been preserved as a reminder of the Assad family`s past and current atrocities.
Evidence Makes Islamic Army’s Leader Main Suspect in Abduction of Razan Zeitoune Omar Al-Muqdad reports about new evidence indicating the possible site where Razan Zeitoune and her colleagues, Samira al-Khalil, Wael Hamadeh, and Nazem Hammadi, are being held and which appears to be the media office of the Islamic Army.
Pirates of the Caribbean actor somehow finds himself in Syria fighting Isis British actor Michael Enright has given his first interview since leaving Hollywood two months ago to join Kurdish troops fighting Isis in northern Syria, where he says he’s ready to die for the cause.
“Syrians have overthrown Staffan de Mistura”: An Interview with Subhi al-Refai In this interview with Syria in Crisis, Subhi al-Refai, head of the RCC`s Executive Office, shares his views about the mission of the United Nations special envoy Staffan de Mistura that failed—largely due to the refusal of Syrian rebel groups.
Syria`s Sunnis and the Regime`s Resilience Chris Zambelis examines the role of Syria’s Sunnis in helping to sustain the Ba’athist regime.
Regional and International Perspectives
UN envoy condemns Syria barrel bomb slaughter Regime bombing of civilian areas deemed “totally unacceptable” by UN envoy to Syria after over ninety civilians were killed.
US Air Force absent as Daesh/ ISIL advances on North Aleppo against Sunni rebels Syrian rebels in northern Aleppo are forced to defend themselves through Islamic State offensives, as US military does not intervene.
Exclusive: key rebels ready to quit U.S. fight vs. ISIS “They were ready to accept American guns and training. But a key rebel group can’t accept the Obama administration’s insistence that they lay off Syria’s dictator.”
While nobody was looking, the Islamic State launched a new, deadly offensive Recent offensive push by the Islamic State in Aleppo indicates that they are far from defeated despite more than eight months of U.S. led airstrikes.
Palmyra, ISIS` Latest Conquest, Has Dark History Of State Torture And Abuse Sophia Jones writes about the story of Dr. Bara Saraj who wrote his memoir under the title, From Tadmur to Harvard. His story captures the modern history of Syria and also the possibilities of hope, knowledge, and peace from the very trenches of despair, torture, and imprisonment.
The Islamic State Brings the War to Saudi Arabia With the deadly suicide bombing of a Saudi mosque, the Islamic State may be debuting a new strategy: lone-wolf attacks inside the kingdom.
U.N. Official: ISIS is `Institutionalizing Sexual Violence` Zainab Bangura, a UN special representative, reports that ISIS “brutalization of women and girls,” is “central to their ideology.”
`A message written in blood` – British poet takes on Islamic State After writing a poem attacking ISIS, Sana al-Yemen found herself at the center of a media frenzy.
UN urges Jordan not to deport Palestinian activist back to Syria Campaigners say deportation of Wael al-Sahlee, a Palestinian-Syrian refugee, who fled Syria with his son in 2012, may result in his death.
ISIS Will Fall Through Internal Revolt According to Richard Barrett, "Rather than train up a few hundred rebels to fight ISIS in Syria, or worry about enabling Shia militia by bombing Sunni targets in Iraq, it might be better to take a longer view. The future of Syria—and increasingly of Iraq—lies in part with the millions of women and children who are now refugees."
Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi Responds to al-Julani’s al-Jazeera Interview Matthew Barber interviews Sheikh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi, a respected Sufi scholar and teacher from Damascus, who “shared his current efforts to ideologically combat IS, as well as his thoughts on the way that Al Jazeera handled the interview with al-Julani, the ranking representative of al-Qaida in Syria.”
Policy and Reports
Syria`s Sunnis and the regime`s resilience Report by Chris Zambelis on Sunni support of Syrian regime explained by the fear of Islamists.
The Children From Nowhere As the Syrian refugee crisis worsens, more and more children are being born without proper identification, and essentially “stateless”.
Secret Pentagon Report Reveals US “Created” ISIS As A “Tool” To Overthrow Syria`s President Assad Nafeez Ahmed provides his insight into the newly Declassified US Government Documents on Syria. Judicial Watch shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad
ISIS Control and Expected Offensives in Central Syria: May 29, 2015 Christopher Kozak and Jennifer Cafarella provide a map that demonstrates areas of control in central Syria following the capture of Palmyra by ISIS.
The Jabhat al-Nusra and Rebel Campaign for Idlib Province Jennifer Cafarella provides a map that demonstrates the situation in Idlib following the capture of Ariha, the final regime stronghold in Idlib Province, by al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) alongside allied Islamist rebels on May 28, 2015.
Coming Challenges for Syria’s Rebels Yezid Sayigh writes that if Syrian rebels are to make political headway with wider social constituencies, they will have to demonstrate a far higher level of military coordination, political skills, and administrative capacity.
An Arabic version of this article can be found here: التحديات المقبلة التي تواجه المعارضة في سورية
بحث في أحوال التلامذة السوريّين اللاجئين في لبنان This study by the Democratic Republic Studies Center explores the situation of Syrian refugee students in Lebanon.
What if No One Is Winning the War in Syria? According to Aron Lund, “Cities will be taken and retaken, and battles will be won and lost, until we all lose track. But you cannot win a war like Syria’s any more than you can win a plague or an earthquake”
The balance-sheet of conflict: criminal revenues and warlords in Syria Syrian expert Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj provides his insights into the war economy in Syria, "As a result of the extended war efforts and the need for revenues to fund them, the national economy is now deeply affected by illicit activities such as trade in antiquities, oil and drugs, as well as smuggling, kidnapping, looting and extrajudicial land expropriations."
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
How war has robbed Syria of its history? (May 19, 2015) "There’s a battle being waged for Syria’s history, where four years of war have devastated cultural heritage sites and looting occurs by all sides of the conflict. Special correspondent Marcia Biggs reports on the flagrant destruction of relics, the big business of smuggling antiquities and what’s being done to stop it."
This video is available with Arabic subtitle here: مترجم: تقرير قناة PBS الأمريكية عن الدمار الآثاري في سورية في ظل الأحداث
المشهد السوري بعد تقدم المعارضة وتنظيم الدولة Al Jazeera`s Hadith ath-Thawra hosts Yezid Sayigh, Hisham Jaber, Asaad al-Zu`bi, Sharif Shehadeh, and Omar Idlebi to discuss the situation in Syria after the military victories of Jaish al-Fatah (The Army of Conquest) in Idlib and the expansion of ISIS.
Obama at War This Frontline video provides insights into the Obama administration’s struggle to deal with ISIS and the deadly civil war in Syria.
The women of ISIS: Who are they? This article and video casts light on who the ISIS women are, and why they moved to Iraq and Syria.
Infographic – Overview on the Military Situation in Idlib Province This infographic provide an overview on the Military Situation in Idlib from March 2014 to May 2015.
قريباً ... طلائع النصر2 Ahrar al-Sham releases a one-minute trailer for new “movie” focused on victories in Idlib.
مترجم: دور الاخوان المسلمين في الانتفاضة في سورية - POMEPS Conversations 46 with Raphaël Lefèvre Marc Lynch, director of the Project on Middle East Political Science, speaks with Raphaël Lefèvre, a Gates Scholar and PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, as well as a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center. Lynch and Lefèvre discuss the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, the Syrian Civil War, and Lebanon.
New map shows capture of Ithria by IS Islamic State takes Ithrya cutting road to Safira and Aleppo.
الأزهر يعتبر أن تدمير المناطق الأثرية في تدمر السورية أمر "محرم شرعا" Al-Azhar considered destroying archaeological sites in Palmyra, Syria a "forbidden" act by sharia.
غَزوة العَلَم المباركة This article comments on the flag issue that occurred during the press conference that gathered Khaled Khoja and Louay Hussein.
مرّةً أخرى.. عن الطوائف والطائفية في سوريا Thaer Deeb comments on sectarianism, sects, and sectarian narratives in Syria.
بعد تقدم المعارضة في إدلب.. أيحجز السوريون تذاكر العودة؟ After recent gains of “Syrian opposition” in Idlib, a report by Doğan News Agency claims that 15,000 Syrians are leaving turkey back to Syria.
خوجة: الائتلاف لم يتمكن من ملء الفراغ الذي تركه النظام Khaled Khoja states that the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces are not able to fill the gap that the regime left in the defeated areas.
هكذا تخلّى النظام السوري عن جيشه في تدمر This article shares the story of a soldier with the Syrian regime army in Palmyra that highlights how the regime abandoned soldiers in the city.
إيران تتهم داعش بالاقتراب من حدودها وتهدد بضربه مباشرة.. وتنفي إرسال قواتها إلى العراق Iran threatens to strike ISIS in Iraq due to the group closeness to its borders.
الجولاني بين مقابلتين: عودٌ على بدء This article comments on the recent Al-Jazeera interview with Abu Mohammad al-Julani, the leader and emir of al-Nusra Front.
تهديد"داعش" لآثار تدمر ..دعاية مقصودة! This article explores ISIS communication and propaganda strategies of dealing with Palmyra archaeological heritage.
الأفول وحرب البربريات Elias Khoury argues that the current situation in Syria is similar to the Ottoman decline time.
"عضاضات" داعش يثرن الهلع بين نساء الحويجة بالعراق This article reports about ISIS’ all-female mordacious team in Iraq, which has the mission to bite and pinch women who do not compile with ISIS interpretation of sharia.
الأفول وحرب البربريات Amer Mohsen writes about the recent declassified documents that reveal how the American administration deliberately allowed the emergence of Islamist groups in Syria to weaken the Syrian regime.