[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.]
If we do nothing about Syria, then the refugees will keep on coming With Syria’s economy and heritage in ruins, Syria’s historic past and hopeful future are both in jeopardy.
In Syria, potential ally’s Islamist ties challenge U.S. In Syria, the government, the Islamic State and an array of insurgents are fighting a complex civil war.
Exploring the `other Syria` As the Syrian civil war continues, its social and cultural values have emerged as the strongest defense against the sectarian strife.
ISIS Damages Temple of Baal in Palmyra As the Islamic State has seized more and more territory in Iraq and Syria, it has destroyed a number of historic sites that have enormous cultural value to Syria’s past.
Syrian soldiers desert their military posts Many Syrian soldiers have deserted their positions in the military for fear of dying in the conflict and fighting fellow Syrians.
Syria`s Druze `not part of this war` “The regime does not differentiate between Sunni and Druze, it considers all of the traitors until they prove otherwise."
What will follow Syria`s hot Summer? Former EU representative in Damascus, Marc Pierini, gives insight on the war in Syria’s shifting tide.
Syrian government air strikes on market kill at least 82 people “Attack on rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus also injures more than 200 in one of the deadliest single incidents since war began five years ago.”
Photos: ISIS terrorist blown up Baal Shamin Temple “New photos appeared on social media show ISIS terrorist blown up Baal Shamin temple dating back to the 3rd century AD in Palmyra.”
The Reality of Ethnic Cleansing and Kurdish State in Syria Badirkhan Ali debunks the anti-Kurdish propaganda disseminated by the Syrian opposition media outlets, particularly those affiliated with Turkey.
Humanitarian crisis in Syria is worsening, `horrified` U.N. official warns Following his visit to Syria, the top U.N. humanitarian official Stephen O`Brien commented on the situation, “I am absolutely horrified by the total disregard for civilian life by all parties in this conflict.”
13 Exclusive Photos Of Looted (And Fake) Syrian Artifacts For Sale “Sources working on the black market that helps to fund Syria’s civil war pass around photos of looted artifacts as well as forgeries, hoping to make a sale.”
Saddest job in the world? The race to save Syria`s history from obliteration Frederik Pleitgen reports from Damascus on the efforts of Syria`s director of the General Department of Antiquities and Museums, Maamoun Abdulkarim, and his team to save Syria`s heritage.
Group: ISIS beheads expert who refused to reveal location of valuable antiquities Don Melvin, Ralph Ellis and Salma Abdelaziz report on the murder of Khaled al-As`ad at the hands of ISIS in Palmyra.
Suleiman Assad Accused of Murdering Sham FM Radio Director After Release “Community calls for the execution of Assad family member on accusations of murdering an army colonel, civil engineer and radio station director”
Assad is more than happy to play a waiting game Hassan Hassan writes about the increased hostilities in Syria as the warring sides prop up their bargaining positions.
Syrian official slams UN envoy`s report “According to information a Syrian official shared with Al-Monitor, it doesn’t seem the report on Syria that UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura submitted to the Security Council recently will have long-lasting effects on the ground”.
The Arabic version of this article can be found here:مسؤول سوريّ: الرياض تنتظر الكونغرس وهذا ما اتّفقنا عليه مع موسكو وطهران
Syrian Refugee Selling Pens While Holding Daughter Sparks Huge Indiegogo Fundraising Campaign Kathryn Snowdon reports on #BuyPens, a huge fundraising campaign, that was sparked after the posting an image of Abdul, a Palestinian Syrian from the Yarmouk refugee camp on social media.
Has Syria`s Arab-Kurdish rivalry reached a breaking point? Mona Alami argues that" the establishment of a safe zone on the Turkish-Syrian border is likely to further deepen the divide between the Arabs and Kurds in the area."
Regional and International Perspectives
Why Russia won`t remove Assad from power “So long as the Assad regime endures, it prevents the Islamic State from consolidating its hold over the whole country.”
Al-Qaida`s Syria affiliate reemerges Analysts say that Jabhat al-Nusra has been able to leverage success into resources, “siphoning off supplies and financing” to partners.
Syrian peace may hinge on Moscow’s game plan “Moscow is increasingly emerging as a center of diplomacy on Syria`s four-year-old civil war.”
Syrians fleeing war find new route to Europe – via the Arctic Circle Many Syrian migrants have moved far north of Russia this year in an unlikely bid to reach an Arctic border crossing with Norway.
Nusra and ISIS targeting, assassinating local Palestinian leaders in Yarmouk The Jafra Foundation speaks about Syrian civil war and the overlooked impact on Palestinian refugees in Syria.
U.N. moves forward with plans for Syria chemical weapons probe An investigative panel will attempt to identify who is behind the chemical attacks, in line with the U.N. resolution.
Whenever you think of migrants arriving in Europe, think of this image Freelance photographer Daniel Etter took a photo of Syrian refugee that provoked an emotional reaction from thousands of people online and social media users.
Trolling ISIS How an Internet scam could stymie ISIS’s online recruiters. Aki Peritz provides an insight into how to challenge ISIS’s recruiting system.
Syria’s media devastation in graphics “A look at recent statistics of attacks on journalists in the country and the process of obtaining credible data, produced by Andreas Reventlow at International Media Support.”
ISIS Throws Gay Men From Roof In Syria, Releases Photos And Recording Of Execution: Video Erica Pishdadian reports on the execution of two men suspected of being gay by ISIS.
UNHCR viewpoint: `Refugee` or `migrant` - Which is right? Adrian Edwards, UNHCR Spokesman explains the difference between the terms `refugee` and `migrant` which have been used interchangeably in media and public discourse.
Molham Traifi: the Syrian activist who keeps on giving Paul McLoughlin & Rand Aljammal writes about Molham Volunteer Team , “[Molham] Traifi was an activist, ruthlessly tortured by the Syrian regime. His name lives on through the Molham Volunteer Team, an activist group helping the victims of Syria`s war.”
The 70s Porno Makeover for Pro-ISIS Warlord Alex Rowell writes about the detention of Lebanon’s ISIS-supporting jihadist warlord, Ahmad al-Assir, who was arrested after two years on the run at Beirut airport.
Why Al Jazeera will not say Mediterranean `migrants` Barry Malone criticizes labelling the drowning refugees in the Mediterranean as "migrants". "We become the enablers of governments who have political reasons for not calling those drowning in the Mediterranean what the majority of them are: refugees."
Archaeologist`s Execution Highlights Risks to History`s Guardians Mark Strauss writes about the brutal death of Khaled al-Asaad at the hands of ISIS and argues that his death is “a reminder that archaeologists can find themselves on war`s front lines, protecting artifacts”.
Tolerant and multicultural, Palmyra stood for everything Isis hates Professor of Greek culture at the University of Cambridge, Tim Whitmarsh writes about the importance of Palmyra.
71 migrants found dead in truck on Austria highway “The Austrian government confirms a higher than expected death toll after the discovery of the truck on a parking strip off the highway in Burgenland state”
Policy and Reports
The Strategy Behind the Islamic State’s Destruction of Ancient Sites “As it expanded across Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State destroyed many archaeological sites, looting them for profit and damaging some to gain attention. This week, activists and government officials said that the Islamic State had blown up Palmyra`s Temple of Baalshamin, one of the smaller but best-preserved structures at the ancient Roman site.”
Focusing on ISIS’ Sexual Violence Misses the Bigger Picture Ariel Ahram criticizes the focus on the abuse of women in ISIS’s territory, which distracts from the larger picture.
ISIS Has Up To 42 Million Supporters in the Arab World Ryan Mauro claims that “An analysis of four polls surveying Arab public opinion towards the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) reveals that the group has a bare minimum of 8.5 million strong supporters and that`s a conservative estimate. If you include those who feel somewhat positively towards the Islamic State, the number rises to at least 42 million”.
A provocative article says the Islamic State is a mystery. Here’s why that’s wrong. Costantino Pischedda criticizes labeling the Islamic State as a unique mystery and argues that existing theories on insurgency and terrorism can help us understanding the phenomenon
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
مهربون يساعدون أيزيديات على الفرار من تنظيم "الدولة الإسلامية" Hundreds of Yazidi women captured by IS have been freed thanks to an international network of smugglers run by the businessman.
The Syrian refugee who says: `Don`t come to Sweden... or at least think carefully about it` Mahmoud Bitar, a Syrian refugee is using social media to dispel what he says are myths about what life as a migrant is like in Sweden.
السلاح الكيميائي والغوطة، عامان على المجزرة Witnesses in Ghouta remember the deadly Sarin gas attack and tell harrowing accounts after two years of the attack.
La destruction de Palmyre par Daech est visible de l`espace An aerial photo shows the destruction of the temple of Baalshamin by ISIS.
تنسيقية مدينة دوما: مؤتمر صحفي لمؤسسات المدينة حول الوضع الإنساني في المدينة A press conference in Douma about the humanitarian crisis in the city.
خالد الأسعد شهيدا على مذبح تدمر: آثار وداعش ونظام Syria Untold reports on the reaction of Syrians following the execution of Khaled al-As`ad at the hands of ISIS in Palmyra and how they perceive the relationship between ISIS, the Syrian regime and archaeology.
أولى الخطوات على الأرض باتجاه المنطقة الآمنة Mohammed al-Khatieb argues that "while the establishment of a safe zone along the Syria-Turkey border promises better living conditions for Syrian refugees, the politics and security concerns involved portend thinning prospects."
The English version of this article can be found here: Is Nusra cooperating with Syrian opposition to support establishing safe zone on Syria-Turkey border?
انهيار هدنة الزبداني وعودة العمليات العسكرية Mustafa al-Haj reports that "after negotiations in Turkey failed, Syrian regime forces and Hezbollah have resumed their attacks in Zabadani while opposition factions, mainly Ahrar al-Sham, have resumed military operations in al-Fawaa and Kefraya."
The English version of this article can be found here: Fighting returns to Zabadani after truce fails
حرس «الأعجوبة» حتى الرمق الأخير Suhaib Anjarini writes about the role of Khaled al-Asaad as a guardian of Palmyra.
لم نكن نريد إسقاط نظام بشار.. وسوريا تتجه نحو التقسيم An interview with Syrian poet and activist Omar Youssef Souleimane who was among the first protesters.
بالوثائق: روزنة تكشف فضيحة فساد كندة الشماط Following the dismissal of Minister of social affairs, Dr. Kinda al -Shammat, Rozana publishes police report allegedly shows that al -Shammat was involved in corruption.
انهيار السلطة الاقتصاديّة للدولة في الشمال السوري Rustum Mahmoud reports on the collapse of the economic power of the state in northern Syria.
حسين غرير: الاحتلال الذي تعرضت له دمشق كان صادماً After his release, Syrian Blogger, and member of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression who was arrested by the Syrian authorities, on 16 February 2012, talks about his experience in prison and his shock of how Syria changed in three years.
مدرسان متقاعدان في القامشلي يتطوعان لزراعة الزهور وتزيين المدينة Two Kurdish retired teachers volunteered to plant flowers in Al-Qamishli
عن الثورات، وعن اصطيادها Thaer Deep writes about the challenges that confronted the uprisings in the context of the "Arab Spring".
كتّاب الدراما السورية: كفى تلاعباً بخيالنا Wesam Kanaan writes about the conflict between Syrian TV drama writers, producers, and directors.
أعطوني جثته إن مات … وإن كان حياً فأخبروني Based on a true story, Malik Abu Al-Khair writes about a Syrian mother of a detained son who desperately wants to know whether her son is dead or alive.
المقاتلات التركية تقصف لأول مرة أهدافا لتنظيم "الدولة الإسلامية" في سوريا Turkish jets took part in U.S.-led coalition airstrikes and hit ISIS targets in Syria.
تعويض مزارعي السويداء بـ200 مليون ليرة لموسم 2015 A commission of estimation of agricultural damage decided to grant 200 million Syrian pounds to support farmers in Al-Suwayda
"اشتر قلم" تجمع 70 ألف دولار للاجىء سوري #BuyPens a successful fundraising campaign to help a Palestinian/Syrian refugee Abdul and his daughter who was selling pens on the street of Beirut.
إعتقال 4 أشخاص ضمن التحقيق في حادث العثور على 71 جثة في شاحنة في النمسا Hungarian police say they have arrested four people over the discovery of the bodies of 71 migrants, thought to be Syrian, in a lorry in Austria.