[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.]
Policeman, Rebel, Farmer – Abu Luay Has Seen it All “Working as a policeman before the uprising, Abu Luay quickly defected as the government’s crackdown on peaceful protestors grew steadily more violent. After fighting with various opposition groups for nearly a year, he put down his weapons to create a DIY-electricity project in his besieged hometown.”
ICRC Works to Avoid Massive Water Crisis in Aleppo “As water cuts in Aleppo reach an all-time high, the Red Cross and its local partner organizations are asking for help in publicizing a GPS-enabled map that gives users the ability to pinpoint themselves in relation to a network of restored water wells throughout the city.”
For All Sides, Syrian Peace Will Involve Dealing with the Devil “Assad’s stubbornness may well reflect a flaw in character, but it has been enabled and sustained by backing from Russia, China and Iran.”
The End of the Army of Conquest? Syrian Rebel Alliance Shows Cracks Jaish al-Fateh has recently announced a major new offensive; however, one of its most hard-line factions, Jund al-Aqsa, has publicly quit the coalition.
A History of Mass Exodus: the Uncertain Fate of Syria`s Christians “Accounting for more than 25 percent of Greater Syria’s population at the beginning of last century, Christians are now believed to number no more than 5 percent of Syria’s current population.
Strategic Implications of Assad’s Victory at Kweiris After a two-year siege, the Asad regime retook Kweiris in its first offensive victory against Islamic State. Analysis by Aron Lund.
When fruits are sold by the centimeter, know that you are in Douma Journalists Celine Ahmed and Al Basel Tadros met with the residents of Douma, a town in the Damascus suburbs under the control of the Army of Islam and under siege by the regime for over two years. In such a context, to feed oneself becomes a struggle in itself as residents face soaring prices and deal with unscrupulous traders trying to make a profit.
An Arabic link to this article can be found here: عندماتباعالفاكهةبـ"السنتيمتر" فاعلمأنكفيدوما
Syria: No Word on Activist’s Whereabouts Syria’s authorities have yet to disclose the whereabouts of Bassel Khartabil, a software developer and defender of freedom of information, one month after his transfer to an undisclosed location, twenty-five organizations said on 4 November 2015.
An Arabic link to this article can be found here: سورياـلاجديدحولمكاناحتجازناشط
Why ISIS Is Killing Journalists This article by Abu Mohammed of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently discusses ISIS’s campaign against the media.
Russia Now Has 4,000 People in Syria — And They`re Not in a Rush to Fight the Islamic State Avi Asher-Schapiro writes that the Russian presence in Syria has grown to nearly four thousand personnel—including military and civilian support staff—a sign that Russian President Vladamir Putin is digging in long term to prop up the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Asad.
Iranian carrier ‘purchased UK plane’ to fly elite troops to Syria An Iranian airline last week bought a UK-made plane for the delivery of troops and arms to the Syrian regime, according to a report in the International Business Times, in a violation of the nuclear accord signed between the Islamic Republic and world powers in July.
Why is Russia bombing my town? Raed Fares writes: "Americans should not be so passive in the face of Putin’s farcical anti-Islamic State campaign. Kafranbel’s thriving civil society is in many ways modeled after that of the United States, and in some cases has even received U.S. funding."
Saudi Arabia`s `intensified` support to Syrian rebels is reportedly slowing regime advances Offensives by the Syrian army and its allies, backed by Russian air strikes, are going more slowly than expected due to increased Saudi support to rebels.
Russian soldiers geolocated by photos in multiple Syria locations, bloggers say Russian bloggers said on Sunday (8 November 2015) that photographs have geo-located three serving or former Russian soldiers in Syria, including in locations near Hama, Aleppo, and Homs, suggesting the Kremlin`s operation stretches well beyond its air campaign.
Dramatic rescue of Syrian Jews ends in visa dispute Two of the last Jews in Syria have been spirited out of the country in a dramatic operation, but a third woman has returned to the war-torn nation after Israel rejected her visa, a rescue organizer said Tuesday (10 November 2015).
Syrian forces break 2-year ISIS siege on air base Syrian government forces broke a siege imposed since 2013 by ISIS on Kweiras, the military air base in the northern province of Aleppo.
Regional and International Perspectives
Anti-ISIL air strikes are in need of greater guidance Two foreign coalitions take turns bombing areas under ISIS control and civilians are expected to tell the difference, Hassan Hassan reports.
Duration of Russian operation in Syria to depend on efficiency of Syrian army Kremlin: how long Russia stays in Syria depends on the Syrian Arab Army’s (SAA) “achievements” and should end in a “political settlement.”
Envoys look to gain momentum for peace in Syria As world powers seek to sustain momentum for Syria diplomacy amid divisions on the way forward, a former US diplomat urged moving for a cease-fire first before convening talks on Syria’s political future, which could take years.
ISIS in Afghanistan: School of Jihad A FRONTLINE documentary, ISIS in Afghanistan, is one of the first to show the degree to which ISIS has gained a foothold in the country, introducing a new level of brutality to the conflict beyond what the Taliban have practiced.
The Military Escalation in Iraq and Syria Frustrated by the resilience of ISIS, the Obama administration is taking steps to expand a military campaign that remains untethered to any coherent strategy. Instead of challenging an escalation of American military forces in the Syrian war, several prominent members of Congress are irresponsibly demanding even more hawkish approaches.
Hands of Power: The Rise of Syria`s Assad Family The conflict in Syria has drawn in major global powers, some supporting and some opposing President Bashar al-Asad. The Asad family has ruled Syria for more than four decades, but how did they rise to power? That is what Dr. Neil Quilliam aims to answer in this article.
Top UN official calls for helping Syria refugees make living Aid to Syria`s millions of refugees must "go beyond relief" and help them make a living close to home, a top UN official said Sunday (8 November 2015), as key international decision makers gathered to find a new approach to the Syria refugee crisis.
Syria crisis: UK `letting down` allies over air strikes The United Kingdom is "letting down" its allies by failing to launch air strikes in Syria against the terrorist group ISIS, says Britain`s top military commander.
Syria`s `moderate jihadis` elated by Turkish election results The Syrian opposition wan ts to know what kind of support it can expect from Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) government after the AKP won solid support in the recent election.
America’s Vital Interests in Syria John Cassidy writes that for the United States, involvement in the refugee crisis is also about safeguarding stability in Europe.
Assad’s Lifeline The Authoritarian Stabilization Pact in Syria Steven Heydemann writes, "Syria today stands out as a case of how developed global authoritarian networks have become. It sheds important light on the growing capacity of authoritarian actors to mobilize for the collective defense of regimes that are seen as central to the stability of such networks."
Policy and Reports
Syria: State profits from crimes against humanity as policy of enforced disappearances drives black market The vast scale and chillingly orchestrated nature of tens of thousands of enforced disappearances by the Syrian government over the past four years is exposed in a new report by Amnesty International, published on 5 November 2015.
To download the full English file of the report see this link: Syria: `Between prison and the grave`: Enforced disappearances in Syria
An Arabic version of the report can be found here: سوريا: مابينالسجنوالقبر: حالاتالاختفاءالقسريفيسوريا
Economy and Agriculture
Taking Stock Of ISIS Oil: Part 1 The first installment of Matthew Reed’s greater explanation of the Islamic State’s oil business in Syria.
Taking Stock Of ISIS Oil: Part 2 The second installment of Matthew Reed’s greater explanation of the Islamic State’s oil business in Syria.
East Ghouta Residents to Brave Impending Winter Amid Firewood Shortage An increase in firewood prices has encouraged some locals to turn to raiding Ghouta’s famous fruit orchards for fuel.
North Syrian food-for-diesel trade routes invite smuggling One of the trucks transporting supplies to Islamic State, as part of the food-for-diesel agreement, was found to be carrying ammunition.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
Transnationalism and the 1925 Syrian Revolt The 1925 Syrian Revolt was catalyzed by contestation over authority between local notables and the French Mandate government, but it soon spread throughout the Mandate as a form of anti-French protest. In this episode, Reem Bailony explores the ways in which the Great Syrian Revolt was also a transnational affair, sharing her research on the activities of the Greater Syrian diaspora in the Americas, Europe, and beyond over the course of 1925-27.
Syria Outside the Media: A Cultural Week in France The Syrian organization Syrian Freedom, in collaboration with French solidarity organizations with the Syrian opposition, exhibited poetry, and testimonies, as well as Syrian art through the first week of October 2015 in the Saint-Georges-de-Didonne Cultural Center.
Syrian Arab Republic: United Nations cross-border operations under UNSC resolutions 2165 and 2191 (July 2014 to October 2015) [EN/AR] This infographic covers UN cross-border operations into Syria from July 2014 to October 2015.
Refugee Crisis – Western Balkan route This map by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office shows the main migration routes of Syrians as of 5 November 2015.
جيشسورياالجديد A new Western-backed rebel group in Syria called New Syrian Army is to fight ISIS.
الاعترافاتالكاملةلـ"أبيالوليدالتونسي" بعدانشقاقهعنداعش، تفاصيلخطيرةومثيرةتؤكدجرم "داعش" This video includes recorded confessions of "Abu al-Walid al-Tunisi" after defecting from ISIS.
بينمعتقلاتالنظاموأقفاصعلوش Mohamad Dibo writes about detention in Syria and comments on recent news in this regard.
كلمةأحدمؤسسيالرقةتذبحبصمتاماملجنةالشؤونالخارجيةفيالبرلمانالهولندي This article includes the speech of Abu Mohammed, one of the co-founders of Raqqa Is Being Slaughtered Silently, to the Parliament of the Netherlands on 4 November 2015.
An English like to this article can be found here: We will bring back luster to the city of Raqqa
البنكالمركزيالسورييتدخللإنقاذالليرةمنالانخفاضأمامالدولار The Central Bank of Syria (CBS) interferes to save the value of the Syrian pound’s exchange rate with US dollars after it decreased sharply.
موسكوتحتاجإلىاستراتيجيةخروجمنورطتهاالسورية Raghida Dergham writes, "Moscow has achieved for the United States and the UN what they could never achieve despite numerous attempts, by convincing Tehran to sit at the negotiating table for the future of Syria. Riyadh agreed after initial reluctance, because Moscow has made a tradeoff between Syria and Yemen."
An English like to this article can be found here: Moscow Needs An Exit Strategy for Its Syrian Quagmire
حاملةالطائراتالفرنسية "شارلديغول" تشاركفيعملياتضدتنظيمالدولة France deploys aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle to Syria and Iraq to fight ISIS. President Hollande described the move to deploy the aircraft carrier as "a rational choice" that would "allow us to be more efficient in coordination with our allies."
نقطةغيّرتمعنىالكلمة.. قطّعتأوصالهوفصلترأسهفيالرقة Ahmed Ibrahim shares personal accounts about different aspects of oppression in al-Raqqah during one day.
ابراهيمعبدالقادرفيسطور This is a biography of Ibrahim Abdel Qader—one of the co-founders of the citizen-journalist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently—who was beheaded along with his friend by ISIS members in Turkey.
المفكرتيزينييبكيماضيومستقبلبلاده Ammar Daioub reflects on a recent lecture by Syrian philosopher Tayyeb Tizini in Morocco.
10 أسئلةيطرحهااللاجئونالسوريونبعداجتيازالبحر.. وأغربهاعنالإنترنت This article summarizes ten questions that Syrian refugees ask after passing the sea and arriving into Greece.
الحياة اليوميّة في دمشق: زهران علّوش «أقوى» من بوتين ! Souhaib Enjrainy writes about daily life in Damascus as well as the economic and service challenges in the city.
عن روسيا في سوريا Thaer A. Deeb analyzes the consequences of the Russian military intervention in Syria.
ماذا لو قُسّمت سورية؟ In this article, Omar Kaddour invites Syrians to engage in the debate about Syria`s partition.
طائرةإسرائيليةترسمخطالافتراقبينموسكووطهران Hazem Alamin writes about the recent political announcements and involvement of some international and regional political actors, such as France and Iran, in the Syrian conflict.