[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.]
Poverty driving Syrian men and boys into the arms of Isis Poverty, desperation and the desire for revenge – more than religious motivation – are pushing Syrians to join extremist groups, according to International Alert.
Assad’s Plan For a Sweeping Victory With the Support of Russia, Iran… and Obama The gamble made by Damascus and its allies is that the US will be in a hurry to make any achievement in the Syrian crisis, and will accept the idea of Assad’s nomination in the coming elections due to domestic reasons related to their own upcoming election season.
Aleppo Is Burning: Civilians Under Fire Government airstrikes on the opposition-held neighborhoods of Aleppo have targeted hospitals, mosques, bakeries and rescue workers over the past week, as violence in the city escalates to levels not seen in months.
Those Who Remain in Aleppo, the World’s Most Dangerous City Five years of near-continuous violence have pushed hundreds of thousands of people to flee Syria’s largest city, but not all of Aleppo’s residents have left.
Showdown in East Ghouta Aron Lund discusses the clashes that are unleashing in the rebel-held Ghouta. However, this time the battle is not between the Syrian government and the Sunni rebel forces seeking to depose him, but between two rival rebel factions.
Aleppo hospital hit as city faces humanitarian catastrophe Relentless indiscriminate bombardment by government forces and retaliatory shelling by rebels worsens crisis-engulfing city.
The Story Behind the Hama Prison Revolt Al-Modon reveals the events leading up to the riots and the dealings between the regime and prisoners after inmates seized a number of guards.
A generation of Syrian children who don’t count The war in Syria is not just reshaping Middle Eastern borders. It is creating thousands of stateless children.
Syria`s truce is over as airstrikes destroy Aleppo hospital With at least 27 patients and staff reported dead, UN says, on 28 April, urgent aid is needed amid multiple breaches of ceasefire.
Syria`s "monument men" save thousands of historic artifacts A “ trove of Palmyra`s smaller treasures were saved by dedicated archaeologists -- Syria`s very own Monument men and women, led by Chief of Antiquities Maamoun Abdulkarim”
Syria conflict: Air strike on refugee camp `kills dozens` Dozens of people are reported to have been killed in an airstrike on a refugee camp in rebel-held northern Syria, monitors and witnesses said on Thursday May 5.
Assad reportedly struck an ominous deal with ISIS to recapture Palmyra New documents obtained by Sky News revealed that the Syrian government`s recapture of the ancient city of Palmyra from ISIS militants was apparently part of a pre-arranged deal that allowed ISIS to remove its heavy weaponry from the city before withdrawing.
Syria: Security Forces Storming Prison Syrian security forces are attempting to storm Hama Central Prison, trying to end a prison protest that began on May 1, 2016. The action raises major concerns about possible excessive use of force.
Violence, loyalty keep people of Aleppo, Syria in `worst place in the world` Ahmad Haj Hamdo and Tamer Osman reports on the current situation in Aleppo giving visibility to its residents.
In Syria`s rebel areas, journalists complain of new censorship Maher Saman and Ayman Mohammad reports that journalists in Syria`s opposition or rebel-held areas say they are being censored and violently intimidated, sometimes as badly as under the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
Palmyra Hosts `Gate of the Sun` Performance Amid Recaptured Ruins Russian and Syrian musicians stage orchestral event in Palmyra`s amphitheater in tribute to fallen soldiers.
Russia Establishes New Military Base in Palmyra: Activists Local activists claim Moscow has founded a second base in the desert city after taking over the Hmeimim military base in Lattakia last year.
Syrian Prison Uprising Set to End as Release of Inmates is Agreed Dozens of mostly political prisoners held without charge in Syria could soon be released, after a tentative deal was reached to end a strike by nearly 800 inmates at a prison in the west-central city of Hama.
Assad to Velayati: Western, Regional States Still Backing Terrorists Despite Ceasefire Efforts Syrian president receives top Iranian diplomat in Damascus to discuss ongoing counter-terrorism cooperation between the two countries.
Remembering Dr. Hassan al-Araj Cindy Coffman writes a eulogy of Dr. Hassan Mohammed al-Araj who was killed recently in Hama province by a Russian airstrike as he traveled between two hospitals, the “cave” and Kafr Zeta. Dr. Hassan’s death adds to the 730 medical personnel killed in Syria that have been documented by Physicians for Human Rights since March 2011.
Russia`s military in Syria: Bigger than you think and not going anywhere CNN traveled with Russian troops in Syria. The trip to Palmyra demonstrates Moscow`s military muscle in the country.
56 hours with the Russian army in Syria Andrew Roth writes about his trip to Palmyra with the Russian army and Russia`s military recent efforts to craft a new, media-friendly image.
Regional and International Perspectives
Russian bid to blacklist Syrian rebel groups blocked at UN Britain, France, the U.S. and Ukraine blocked a Russian request to add two Syrian rebel groups to a U.N. terror blacklist and sideline them from the Syrian peace process.
“Media really got ISIS wrong”: Its brutality helped al-Qaeda, terrorism expert says, as U.S. policies made it worse Al-Qaeda groups like al-Nusra in Syria have exploited the rise of ISIS to grow, warns terrorism scholar Max Abrahms.
How Britain funds the `propaganda war` against Isis in Syria Government contractors effectively run a press office for opposition fights but communications conceal UK’s role.
Syria’s peace plan is flawed and Jabhat Al Nusra knows it Hassan Hassan on how Jabhat Al-Nusra is gaining ground and popularity as a result of a botched Syria peace plan.
Islamic State yearly oil revenue halved to $250 million: U.S. official Air strikes, a drop in the price of oil, and counter-smuggling efforts by neighboring countries have combined to cut Islamic State’s oil revenues in half to about $250 million per year.
Five Years On: Syrian Refugees Await Turkish Citizenship Syrian refugees who arrived in Hatay in April 2011 will be eligible to apply for Turkish citizenship this week.
America Is Silent as Aleppo Is Massacred The Obama administration prefers not to notice that its diplomatic strategy in Syria has fallen apart.
Norway to train local Syrian groups in Jordan to fight ISIS Norwegian special forces soldiers to train local Syrian groups to support coalition fighting ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
IS Files Reveal Assad`s Deals With Militants ISIS forces pulled out of Palmyra in co-operation that has been going on for years, documents handed to Sky News show.
Partition is not the inevitable solution for the Syrian crisis Omar Al Muqdad writes "The Syrian opposition must stay engaged in the political fight, even if the cease fire breaks apart completely. Negotiations should never stop."
The Guardian view on Syria: the agonies of Aleppo There can be no meaningful settlement to the civil war without an elusive, enduring truce in the shelled-out remains of what was once a nation’s second city
Dozens of Syrians forced into sexual slavery in derelict Lebanese house Victims were tortured and only left house for abortions and treatment for venereal diseases in case that has shocked country.
Moderate Syrian Rebels Torn Between Giving Up, Joining Islamic Extremists Sam Dagher writes: cornered and weakened, moderate rebels can accept a settlement with the Assad regime or fight alongside al Qaeda’s Islamist allies.
Syria and the Holocaust: Putting ‘Never Again’ to the test Robert Satloff writes "As our nation’s leaders gather under the Capitol Rotunda for the annual remembrance of the Holocaust on Yom HaShoah, we should find room in our observance for a discussion of Syria, the setting of one of the greatest humanitarian crises since World War II."
Syrian refugee shot by Slovakian border guards A 26-year-old Syrian refugee woman has been shot and wounded by guards on the border between Slovakia and Hungary.
The war against the Islamic State hits hurdles just as the U.S. military gears up Liz Sly writes :After months of unexpectedly swift advances, the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State is running into hurdles on and off the battlefield that call into question whether the pace of recent gains can be sustained."
Liwa al-Jalil: A New Pro-Assad Palestinian Militia Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi writes that Liwa al-Jalil "movement arises on the basis of considering the Palestinian cause as the base cause since it is the first cause of humanity in its struggle with occupation and hegemony for the sake of liberation, therefore from a foundation of humanity and nationalism we take up our role in this conflict ideologically, politically and militarily to realize victory."
The Syrian Pound at Historic Crossroad Are we witnessing a complete collapse of the Syrian pound during a short period of time, or is the regime’s Central Bank still able to reduce the speed of the collapse?
Is There Scope For a Solution in Syria? Following the failures of the international community to help resolve the Syrian crisis, the country`s cultural, political and social elite should start working toward securing successful conditions for a solution today, as quickly as possible, and with the least possible harm to Syria and its people.
Aleppo like Grozny, Syria unlike Chechnya Marwan Bishara shares his opinion on the question: "Can Vladimir Putin win the Syria war and become the strongman of the Middle East?"
A Letter from Idomeni: America’s Higher Ed Must Respond to the Reality of Syria’s Permanent Refugees Keith David Watenpaugh writes a letter to US academics urging to help Syrian refugee young people adjust to their new lives beyond their homelands and grow into true leaders of the Syrian diaspora.
Pentagon: ISIS Fighter Known as `Desert Lion` Dead A U.S.-led coalition airstrike has killed a senior Islamic State leader in Iraq`s Anbar province and three other extremists, the Pentagon said Monday 9 May.
Policy and Reports
Exploiting Global Warming for Geo-Politics When a severe drought hit Syria a decade ago, the U.S. government chose not to help but rather exploit the environmental crisis to force a “regime change,” a decision that contributed to a humanitarian crisis, writes Jonathan Marshall.
Syria at War: Five Years On In this ESCWA report, indicators based on extensive field research tell the story of the aftermath of five years of violence and war. Special focus is given to the impact of sanctions, and the plight of refugees and its repercussions for regional countries and Europe.
Syrian Civil Society on the Front Lines Against Extremism Two Syrian civil society activists, Salma Kahale and Oula Ramadan, were recently hosted by the Middle East Institute during their visit to Washington and shared their insight into the tireless, and often unnoticed, efforts of Syrian civil society.
Why young Syrians choose to fight This report looks at what makes young Syrians vulnerable to recruitment by violent extremist groups in the Syrian conflict and explores sources of resilience to mitigate that vulnerability.
An Open Letter From Syrians Working with U.S. and European Funded Organizations 150 Syrians working on programs funded by USG and European-funded organizations write this letter to John Kerry and Foreign Ministers of all member states of the European Union insisting that "without immediate action by the US and its allies, including a complete cessation of hostilities throughout Syria and a meaningful political process, our efforts may be lost as the situation on the ground becomes irreversible."
How war trauma is passed down through families After VE Day, a look at how trauma can transcend generations, and the need for peacebuilding work to overcome the consequences of conflict.
Ahrar al-Sham: The “Syrian Taliban” Al-Nusra Ally Seeks Partnership with West This report tackles the question how to treat Ahrar al-Sham, as the largest rebel group alongside ISIS.
From ‘migrant’ to ‘refugee’, our vocabulary has run dry Much as the distended stomachs of starving children have stopped moving publics to action, so the abjection of refugees no longer shocks.
From war to sweatshop for Syria`s child refugees Vast numbers of young Syrians in Turkey and beyond are having to work instead of going to school.
Gaziantep: home to Isis killers, sex traders… and a quest to rebuild Syria The Turkish city hosts the HQ of Tamkeen, a UK-backed aid agency reintroducing democracy to a country ravaged by civil war.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
Who’s Killing Civilians In Syria? A look at the data behind the headlines of what the UN calls the “world’s largest humanitarian crisis”
First laughs since Syria: the clowns getting refugee children smiling Volunteers in Europe and Turkey are helping young people uprooted from their homes with everything from entertainment to education.
Syrian man tries to suffocate himself at refugee camp after finding out sister was killed in Aleppo air strikes A doctor in Idomeni said refugees traumatised by the shelling and relatives` deaths were becoming ill.
Young grassroots activism on the rise in Iraq: voices from Baghdad and Najaf Through banners and slogans, grassroots groups find new, inclusive ways of being Iraqi in a country traumatised by authoritarianism, occupation and sectarian war.
Alleged Syrian hacker sympathetic to Damascus headed to U.S.: source An alleged computer hacker sympathetic to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad`s government is due to appear in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, on Tuesday 10 May after being extradited from Germany.
مخاطر العمل الصحفي في سوريا: من ينقل الحقيقة؟ Hasan Arfeh discusses the reasons behind the decline in the number of journalists who were killed last year in Syria.
An English version of this article can be found here: Journalists Deaths Decline at the Cost of Censorship
مظلومية الضبّاط السنّة في القوات المسلحة السورية: ضبّاط الدرجة الثانية Ahmad Aisha translates Hicham Bou Nassif`s study "‘Second-Class’: The Grievances of Sunni Officers in the Syrian Armed Forces" that deals with the sectarian question in the Syrian officer corps.
الإكمال بما تبقى.. فقدان الأطراف في سورية Rafia Salameh discusses the experiences and challenges of Syrian people with war-related disabilities.
تنظيم "الدولة الإسلامية": القصة الكاملة This is an Arabic translation of Jim Muir`s article "Islamic State group: The full story." This extensive article includes multiple visuals that documents the context of the rise and spread of ISIS.
حلب تختبر قدرة روسيا على فرض حلها الأزمة السورية An analysis of the recent Syrian regime attacks on Aleppo and the the Russian solution strategy.
ثورة سجن حماة Absi Sumaisem discusses the rebellion in Hama prison as a part of the Syrian revolution.
تدهور الليرة السورية و «جفاف» الاحتياط الأجنبي This article discusses how recently the Syrian pound hit its lowest value since the outbreak of the country`s five-year civil war.
موسيقى في تدمر ومجزرة في إدلب... والعالم يرقص Hazem Amin comments on Russian-supported celebrations in ancient Syrian ruins of Palmyra.
سوريا والهدنة: صعود «النصرة» و«داعش» Abdullah Suleiman Ali comments on Syria Truce and how ISIS and Al-Nusra Front are taking advantage of it.
سوريا: الأمور بنهاياتها Samir Aita shares his perspective on the exacerbating bloody conflict in Aleppo and the future negotiations.
تعليق قسم من المساعدات الاميركية الى سوريين بسبب عمليات اختلاس The US government has suspended funding several Syrian aid agencies after discovering a systematic over payment to Turkish suppliers.