[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.]
Shielded by the State: Assad’s monopoly over Syria’s public institutions “In Syria, the state and the regime are not the same,” says Kheder Khaddour. Khaddour explains how this impacts the conflict in Syria.
Inside Aleppo, Syria`s Most War-Torn City “Over three years, this crude slaughter by both sides has turned Aleppo into a Syrian Stalingrad. It has also divided the city in two distinct halves.”
Assad support not enough to keep Alawites in Syria Alawites feel like they are fighting a losing battle, and have been forced to flee Syria as ISIS continues to gain control of more territory in Syria.
Beheaded Syrian scholar refused to lead Isis to hidden Palmyra antiquities Khaled al-Assad, a Syrian scholar, was murdered by Islamic State militants because he refused to reveal where valuable artifacts had been moved for safekeeping.
Government airstrikes on market in Syria kill more than 80 While the Assad regime has murdered countless civilians through airstrikes on rebel-controlled areas, the attack on Douma is uncommon and the area is classified as a stronghold for the Islamic State army.
Syrian Rebel Leader Subhi al-Refai on U.S. relations with Ahrar al-Sham Subhi al-Refai is a leader of the Revolutionary Command Council (RCC) shares with Aron Lund his personal analysis of the question of U.S. relations with Ahrar al-Sham.
Liwa al-Sayyida Ruqayya: Recruiting the Shi`a of Damascus Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi provides an insight into the Shi`a militiaو Liwa al-Sayyida Ruqayya.
Why haven’t Syrian banks collapsed under sanctions and war? According to Rashad al-Kattan "more than four years of biting sanctions have not resulted in any critical mass of businessmen abandoning the embattled regime"
Civilians `biggest losers` of opposition infighting in eastern Ghouta Mustafa al-Haj reports that "the residents of eastern Ghouta are falling victim to disputes between the warring factions in the area, as each accuses the other of monopolizing control of tunnels and food commodities."
The Arabic version of the this article is available here:الغوطة الشرقيّة... حصار من النّظام وتجّار أزمة واحتكار في الداخل
Perilous journey for Syrians fleeing to Turkey Mohammed al-Khatieb reports that "with official border crossings between Syria and Turkey closed, smugglers have begun assisting Syrians wanting to cross into Turkey to safety and to work."
The Arabic version of the this article is available here: دخول السوريين إلى تركيا الرحلة المستحيلة
Regional and International Perspectives
U.S. Sidelines Its $500M Syrian Rebel Army The Obama administration has itself a new proxy force to fight ISIS, but not the rebel army it’s committed half a billion dollars to assemble.
Amid regional tectonic shifts, new push for Syria peace emerges The Iran nuclear deal and fears about the imminent collapse of the Syria state have lent urgency to stalled diplomacy, says Michael Pizzi.
The trouble with Turkey`s favorite Syrian Islamists Turkey’s close relationship with Ahrar al-Sham runs counter to U.S. interests and raises serious questions about Ankara’s aims in Syria.
Syria conflict: UN `horrified` by attacks on civilians Syrian government airstrikes on rebel-held areas have causes numerous civilians causalities, and has totally disregarded the need to protect civilian lives.
Forget Sykes-Picot. It’s the Treaty of Sèvres That Explains the Modern Middle East.Nick Danforth argues that even after ninety-five years since the collapse of the short-lived treaty of Sèvres, it had consequences that can still be seen today.
Security Council Unanimously Adopts Resolution 2235 (2015), Establishing Mechanism to Identify Perpetrators Using Chemical Weapons in Syria The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2235 to form an international investigation unit for the purpose of identifying perpetrators of chemical weapons attacks including chlorine gas attacks.
Why Turkey Is Fighting the Kurds Who Are Fighting ISIS Sarah Almukhtar and Tim Wallace report on why "Turkey is more actively targeting Kurdish insurgents with the P.K.K. than it is fighters with the Islamic State".
The ‘magic words:’ How a simple phrase enmeshed the U.S. in Syria’s crisis Hannah Allam reports that ignorance, miscalculation and a desire to be ‘on the right side of history’ affected Obama`s decision when he uttered the ‘magic words’ by calling for Assad to step down. Allam demonstrates how the non-intervention in Syria damaged the credibility of the the american administration among the opposition.
A Personal War: America’s Marxist Allies Against ISIS Matt Bradley and Joe Parkinson report on the PKK and its Syrian affiliate, the People’s Defense Units, or YPG, and the alliance between these Kurdish forces and the U.S.against ISIS.
How to think about Islamic State According to Pankaj Mishra, the “Islamic State is often called ‘medieval’ but is in fact very modern – a horrific expression of a widespread frustration with a globalised western model that promises freedom and prosperity to all, but fails to deliver”
Donald Trump says if you`re from Syria and a Christian, you can`t come to the U.S. as a refugee According to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump "If you`re from Syria and you`re a Christian, you cannot come into this country" as a refugee.
Newlyweds Are Accused of Planning to Join ISIS “A newlywed Mississippi couple who were arrested on the way to the airport for a trip to Syria to join the Islamic State”
Zarif pushes Syria plan ahead of Iran-GCC talks Ali Hashem reports that “with a nuclear deal in hand, Iran is focusing on jump-starting regional diplomacy and dealing with Syria.”
Policy and Reports
Grim expert assessments of Syria’s peace process Aron Lund on how the de Mistura project will affect Syria’s future, and in turn, what it has in store for the region.
The Syrian non violent movement "Perspectives from the Ground" This report provides an overview of the reflections of Syrian activists on the reality of their movement, as well as the movement’s role, potential and ability to regain the lead.
“Under A Scorching Sun” A special report by the Violations Documentation Center (VDC) in Syria on the violations in Raqqa Governorate, mainly in Tell Abiad city and its rural surroundings, following the fighting between the Kurdish forces and Islamist groups.
The Arabic version of this report can be found here: تحت لهيب الشمس الحارقة
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
Activist displays 50,000 photos of Syrian victims in front of the White House Activist Tamer Turkmani displays a wall of 50,000 photos in front of the White House to raise awareness about the suffering in Syria.
Syrian online satirical show gains popularity Syrian online satirical show has ridiculed political events and political figures by focusing on deriding their actions, in turn, this undermines their image and support people have for them.
المدارس السرية Sout Raya reports about the "Secret Schools", in the opposition-held areas, which are operating in mosques and basements after the the targeting of schools to provide basic education.
تسنيم.. طالبة سورية تحقق العلامة التامة ولا تجد مقعدا لها في الجامعات التركية Tasneem Hassoun ranked first in high school, yet she couldn`t find a seat at any Turkish university.
تحت لهيب الشمس الحارقة " الرقة - أحداث تل أبيض - مركز توثيق الانتهاكات في سوريا VDC - تقرير-آب 2015 "Under A Scorching Sun, ” a special report by the Violations Documentation Center in Syria, on the recent events witnessed in Tell Abiad (Raqqa Governorate).
كيف صُنعت داعش؟ | أربع دقائق مع جلبير أشقر Gilbert Achcar provides his insight into how ISIS was formed.
Economy and Agriculture
Syrian opposition adopts Turkish lira in liberated north “Currency switch aims to protect Syrians` liquid assets from a collapse of the SYP, says economist."
Hundreds of casualties in air raids on Syrian market At least 110 civilians killed and 300 injured in a string of regime air raids on Douma, Syria.
بعد جريمة سليمان الأسد الأخيرة: الموالون يتخطّون الممنوع، والنظام خاسرٌ على كلِّ حالٍ Rateb Shabo writes about the unprecedented protests in Latakia against Suleiman al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad`s cousin, who killed the air force official, Colonel Hassan al-Sheikh.
أين المشكلة في مفهوم «العلوية السياسية»؟ Yassin al Haj Saleh criticizes Sadiq al-Azm` s controversial concept the "political Alawitism."
النظام السوري يفرج عن الصحفي مازن درويش A claim states that theSyrian regime released journalist and prominent Syrian rights defender Mazen Darwish.
طائرة روسية تنقل مملوك الى الرياض للقاء محمد بن سلمان: لقاء مصارحة واتفاق على التواصل Wafiq Qanso reports that the Syrian chief of the office of home security general Ali Mamlouk has visited Riyadh and met with the Saudi deputy Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman as a result of a Russian-brokered initiative.
The English version of the this article is available here: Russian Brokered High Level Syria-Saudi Arabia Discussions: Al Assad’s Security Adviser meets Saudi Deputy Crown Prince
الشبكة السورية للمرأة السورية تفصل لميا نحاس بعد تحريضها على إبادة الأقليات The Syrian Women`s Network discharged lawyer Lamia Nahhas who called for the extermination of minority in Syria by stating that Syria’s ‘minorities are evil and must be disposed of.’
الطائفية في سوريا: من ألفها إلى يائها Mohammad Dibo writes about sectarianism in Syria.
إمبراطورية آل مخلوف المالية..أسرار علاقة خال بشار الأسد بإسرائيل Ibrahim Saleh report on the financial empire of the Makhlouf family and the relationship between President Bashar al-Assad’s uncle and Israel.
إقرار العمل بالليرة التركية في مناطق الشمال السوري Syrian opposition forces decided to replace the Syrian currency with the Turkish in areas of Northern Syria.
ليست حربنا Amer Mohsen writes about the Turkish military campaign against the PKK.