[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.]
The ruins of Kobane The ruins of Kobane says a lot about the destruction of Syria and the dragged five-year conflict.
Interm Govt. Decries Border Crossing Incident, Communications Minister Resigns The Syrian Interim Government issues statement condemning the “unacceptable behavior from uncontrolled military factions” wanting to prevent the government from entering Syria.
Ghouta Residents Ward off Hunger With Rye Bread and Mystery Meat “There is no more food here. The siege has forced us to look to other kinds of food to stay alive. Starvation does not discriminate between children and grown-ups.”
In Syria, Assad Foes Pay High Price for Failed Offensive Sam Dagher writes that summer campaign by Syrian "moderate rebels” collapsed, bolstering the Syrian regime.
French Warplanes Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria French warplanes struck ISIS militants in Syria on Sunday (15 Nov, 2015), a French government official said, two days after attackers linked to the terrorist group carried out a coordinated assault on Paris that killed 129 people.
Obama and Putin Discuss ISIS and Syria in Informal Conversation President Obama and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia met face-to-face here on Sunday (15 Nov, 2015), broaching once again their longstanding disagreement about how to confront the Islamic State and deal with the civil war in Syria.
`From another planet`: Syrians react to peace plan Agreement on ceasefire and elections announced by world leaders in Vienna receives lukewarm reception from activists.
Pray for Syria: Killing of innocent civilians condemned Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to social media to condemn air strikes on Syria, which are killing innocent civilians including children.
Anonymous hackers declare war on Islamic State after Paris attacks Anonymous, a loose-knit international network of activist hackers, is preparing to unleash waves of cyber attacks on Islamic State following the attacks in Paris last week that killed 129 people, a self-described member said in a video.
ISIS-held town rocked by popular unrest: activists Residents of the Aleppo town of Manbij have reportedly held a series of protests against ISIS rule.
How ISIS Picks Its Suicide Bombers For all the attention paid to ISIS, relatively little is known about its inner workings. But a man claiming to be a member of the so-called Islamic State’s security services has stepped forward to provide that inside view. This series is based on days of interviews with this ISIS spy.
Read part one of this article here: Confessions of an ISIS Spy
Syrians in Raqqa fear new warplanes in crowded skies Syrians living under ISIS rule in its de facto capital of Raqqa fear they will pay the price for the group`s Paris attacks with more air strikes.
Regional and International Perspectives
Will Syrians Born in Turkey Receive Turkish Citizenship? According to Turkey’s Foreigners Act, Syrians are treated as a ‘special case’, and are therefore subject to specific conditions, an interim government official explains.
Turkey to Roll Out New ID Cards for Syrians Turkey issues new legislation giving Syrians the right to secure their legal status in the country for the first time.
UN ‘immediately’ drafting Syria cease-fire enforcement plan “They agreed on a cease-fire for the start of negotiations between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and opposition groups.
Hollande pressed to amend foreign policy after Paris attacks Following the terrorist attacks in Paris, French President Hollande is under pressure alter the policy in Syria’s civil war and work together with Russia to stop the Islamic State.
IS video threatens attacks in Russia ISIS has released a video threatening attacks in Russia "very soon" in revenge for Russian bombing in Syria, the SITE monitoring group said on Thursday (12 Nov, 2015), and the Kremlin said Russian state security services would study the material.
Saudis Must Stop Exporting Extremism: ISIS Atrocities Started With Saudi Support for Salafi Hate Ed Husain writes "Saudi Arabia created the monster that is Salafi terrorism. It cannot now outsource the slaying of this beast to the United Nations. It must address the theological and ideological roots of extremism at home, starting in Mecca and Medina."
Lebanon holds day of mourning after deadly Beirut blasts ISIS militant group says it was behind the attacks in Burj al-Barajneh, a mainly Shia southern suburb and Hezbollah stronghold.
Attacks in Paris Add Urgency to Talks on Ending Syria War The top diplomats from more than a dozen countries agreed Saturday to press forward on an ambitious timetable to engineer a political transition and ceasefire in Syria, but remained deeply divided on major issues after a round of talks that gained intensity following the terrorist attacks in Paris.
Why ISIS would attack Paris, according to an expert If ISIS was telling the truth when it claimed responsibility for Friday`s Paris terror attacks, then this represents a "major shift in ISIS`s global strategy," according to Will McCants.
My people’s deaths in Beirut do not matter as much as my other people’s deaths in Paris On Saturday the world woke up to tragedy. Carnage in Beirut and Paris. In what seems to have been the work of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in both cities, hundreds were killed, hundreds of others wounded, maimed and scarred. The world has condemned the attacks. But in typical fashion- the condemnation and outrage towards the attacks have been asymmetrical, unequal. Joey Ayoub writes from Beirut on how, like life, some deaths matter more than others.
Why our conversations about Paris have been broken from the start Zoe Samudzi writes that the rush to fit the horrors of Paris into convenient neo-imperial narratives shows a disturbing lack of empathy.
U.S., Russia, and World Powers (but Not Syrians) Agree to Syria Peace Plan A day after the attacks in Paris underlined the global danger posed by the continuing violence in Syria, Russia, the United States, and governments in Europe and the Middle East agreed at talks in Vienna to a road map for ending the devastating and destabilizing war.
You can read the full statement of the International Syria Support Group following their meeting in Vienna here: Statement of the International Syria Support Group
Manuel Valls: France must ‘annihilate’ ISIS Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Saturday that France needed to scale up military operations in Syria in order to “annihilate” the Islamic State group, a day after assailants killed 129 people in the worst-ever terrorist attack on French soil.
Libya IS head `killed in US air strike` A US air strike has targeted the leader of the ISIS group in Libya Iraqi national Abu Nabil, also known as Wissam Najm Abd Zayd al-Zubaydi, and probably killed him, the Pentagon said on Saturday 14 Nov, 2015.
Paris Gunmen Single Out François Hollande, and Leave Him With Few Palatable Responses For the second time this year, France has found itself singled out for calculated terrorist attacks that have at once stunned and united the country. But perhaps no one was singled out by Friday’s carnage more than the nation’s leader, President François Hollande.
We must destroy Isis but not play into their hands – the wrong response would create countless new recruits Sunny Hundal agrees with Hollande that response to Isis must be “merciless," but Hundal says that such response must also be strategic so "we don’t fall into their trap."
Jeb Bush: Let`s Focus On Helping The Christian Syrian Refugees, Rather Than The Muslims Bush said that the U.S. should use a careful screening process to ensure the refugees it accepts are Christian. Hillary Clinton Takes a More Defined Stance on ISIS The day after a debate in which Democratic presidential candidates tangled over the causes of ISIS terrorism but not how to confront it, Hillary Rodham Clinton offered a more forward-looking view of American leadership in response to the threat.
Syrian refugees shunned by some in U.S. after attacks in Paris More than half the U.S.A.`s governors -- 27 states -- say they oppose letting Syrian refugees into their states, although the final say on this contentious immigration issue will fall to the federal government.
Islamic State threatens attack on Washington, other countries ISIS in a new video on Monday (16 Nov, 2105) that countries taking part in airstrikes against Syria would suffer the same fate as France, and threatened to attack in Washington.
Iraq: Yazidi mass grave discovered in Sinjar A mass grave believed to contain the remains of more than 70 members of Iraq’s Yazidi minority was discovered east of Sinjar town after Kurdish forces claimed victory over ISIS militants in the area, the mayor and locals have said.
Paris Attacks: How Great Are the Terror Dangers Posed by Refugees? It has now been confirmed that one of the Paris suicide bombers reached Europe disguised as a refugee. Security officials had long felt that such a scenario was unlikely. How big is the risk?
I was held hostage by Isis. They fear our unity more than our airstrikes Nicolas Hénin writes that in Syria he learned that ISIS longs to provoke retaliation and thus we should not fall into the trap.
Europe’s fear of Muslim refugees echoes rhetoric of 1930s anti-Semitism Ishaan Tharoor criticizes the anti-refugees and xenophobic campaigns in Europe, “...while some characterize Muslim arrivals as a supposedly unique threat, the xenophobia of the present carries direct echoes of a very different moment: The years before World War II, when tens of thousands of German Jews were compelled to flee Nazi Germany.”
What Americans thought of Jewish refugees on the eve of World War II “Two-thirds of Americans polled by Gallup’s American Institute of Public Opinion in January 1939 — well after the events of Kristallnacht — said they would not take in 10,000 German Jewish refugee children.”
Policy and Reports
Exile Has No Religion Aron Lund on sectarian refugee selection.
The Syrian nonviolent Movement: Perspectives from the Ground Dawlaty launches the full English version of this report, which 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.
To read full PDF report in Arabic clickhere.
They Died While They Were Playing In this report, Syrian Network For Human Rights (SNHR) documentes the killing of children in a park in Al Wa’er neighborhood by government forces on the third day of Adha Eid. SNHR communicated with several activists and residents and conducted several interviews.
An Arabic version of this report can be found here: ماتواوهميلعبون
Paris Attacks Come at a Dangerous Moment for Europe Dr Robin Niblett CMG writes that the horrific attacks exposed Europe`s vulnerabilities while further challenging the credibility of EU governments. Strengthening European borders and defeating ISIS will now be policy priorities.
ISIS Leader Takes Steps to Ensure Group’s Survival Eric Schmitt and Ben Hubbard writes that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has empowered his inner circle of deputies as well as regional commanders in Syria and Iraq with wide-ranging authority, a plan to ensure that if he or other top figures are killed, the organization will quickly adapt and continue fighting.
States cannot refuse refugees, but they can make it difficult The federal government has responsibility for accepting refugees -- or not. State agencies have authority to make the process of accepting refugees much more difficult.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
Inside the Battle: Al Nusra-Al Qaeda in Syria “VICE News filmmaker Medyan Dairieh gains exclusive access to the Syrian branch of al Qaeda, al Nusra, a jihadist group fighting against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and the Islamic State (IS).”
Isis in five charts At last count, most `western` Isis fighters hailed from France or Britain.
New app lets you easily donate meals to Syrian refugee children for 50 cents ShareTheMeal, a new, free app launched by the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday, allows users to help feed one child for a day for only 50 cents.
The Syrian women fighting to save their city A documentary maker from Aleppo has filmed the story of female activists facing the twin enemies of Assad and Isis.
To see the promotional clip of Syria`s Rebellious Women click here: Syria`s Rebellious Women - Promotional clip
Many Call For Syrian Flag Filter After Facebook Asks Users to Change Photos for France Some people are disturbed there has never been a Facebook filter to show support for countries that have been experiencing terrorist attacks, specifically Syria.
Why the Paris attacks could mark the beginning of the end for ISIS Ana Swanson interviews William McCants who is a fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy and the author of the recent book "The ISIS Apocalypse." McCants said he is confident that, in the longer run, the ISIS`s government in Syria and Iraq will crumble.
Reality check: Number of displaced Syrians in Europe Very few of the 11.8 million Syrians who have fled their homes during the current conflict are now in Europe.
How should the West battle the Islamic State’s shifting strategy? The attacks in Paris have raised concern about the threat posed by the Islamic State around the world, and how to counter it. Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff talk with William McCants, author of “The ISIS Apocalypse,” Juliette Kayyem, former assistant secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Hassan Hassan of Chatham House and Richard Barrett, a former British intelligence official.
Obama Urges The U.S. Not To “Slam The Door” On Syrian Refugees President Obama addressed the backlash against refugees from Syria during a Monday (16 Nov, 2015) news conference on the Paris terror attacks.
مقابلةمعمحققيكافحلإنقاذماضيسوريا This is an interview by BBC with art specialist Christopher Marinello, the chief executive of the Art Recovery Group, about what can be done to help stop the theft of Syria`s precious antiquities.
An English version of this article can be found here: The art detective fighting to save Syria`s past
الإجرامالروسي Salameh Kaileh criticizes Russian intervention in Syria and outlines some of this intervention ramifications.
داعشيفرضالتجنيدالإجباريفيالرقة.. ومعركةكسرالعظمتقترب This article reports that ISIS started to implement military conscription in Al-Raqqah.
دفاعًاعن "المجاهدين"! Tariq Azizeh analyzes ISIS as a Salafi terrorist phenomenon and criticizes the "western conspiratorial” analyses.
الإعلامالفرنسيبعدالهجمات: المهنةبلارقصفوقالجثث Sahib Ayoub compares between the local Lebanese media coverage of Bourj el-Barajneh’s terrorist attack and the France local media coverage of Paris’ terrorist attack.
لماذايركّز «داعش» علىفرنسا؟ Moustafa Al-Ansari answers the questions why ISIS focuses on France by comparing the terrorist priorities of ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
مسيحيوالرقةفيظل “خلافةداعش” This report cover the situation of Syrian Christians under the rule of ISIS in Al-Raqqah.
هلعورعببيناللاجئينفيالسويد.. لالحيةطويلةأوحجاب This article highlights the fear among Syrian refugees in Sweden after Paris attacks and the possible consequences on their lives.
كاميراأميركيةتتجولفي «سوريةالأسد» Mohammed Musa reviews Martin Smith`s documentary "Inside Assad`s Syria" and comments on the production circumstances.
The link to the documentary "Inside Assad`s Syria" can be found here: Inside Assad`s Syria
رغموعديلزوجيالمعارضاستفتيتبنعمعلىبشار Mariam Mohammed, a Syrian woman (23 years old) shares her story and struggle with education during the current political events.
عشراتالألغامالبحريةعلىمدينةاللطامنةفيريفحماةالشمالي Heavy Syrian and Russian attack on the town of Al-Lataminah in Hama province.
وكالةقاسيون| الطيرانالروسييقصفبقنابلفراغيةقريةالزربةجنوبحلب 14-11-2015 Heavy Russian Airstrikes on the IRGC - Syrian rebel fr