[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.]
Trauma and Deprivation Lead Syrian Youths to Extremist Groups, Says New Report The primary factors driving Syrian youth toward extremist groups are deprivation and personal trauma stemming from five years of civil war in the country.
Against the Odds: Stories of Survival and Ingenuity From underground hospitals to improvised compost to natural power sources, people in Syria’s war-torn neighborhoods have shown willful and often imaginative resolve to survive against the odds.
Syrian Army, Russian Marines liberate several hilltops in southeast Homs Leith Fadel reports that the Syrian Arab Army’s “Tiger Forces” – backed by the Russian Marines, National Defense Forces (NDF), and 120th Brigade – imposed full control over several hilltops near the desert village of Qasr Al-Hayr on Friday after a violent battle with fight with the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) in southeastern Homs.
There`s a `secondary conflict` brewing in northern Syria that `could easily spin out of control` Natasha Bertrand discusses the distrust that continues to cast a shadow over the Kurdish-Arab relationship in northern Syria.
A slow recovery for injured fighters in northern Syria Border closures have caused problems for hospitals in the area, with shortages of key medicines and equipment.
Turkish Army sends more troops to the Syrian border The Turkish Army sent ten armored vehicles filled with military personnel to the border-city of Gaziantep on Friday after the recent influx of jihadist activity near their border with Aleppo.
US rejects Russia proposal for joint Syria airstrikes The US on Friday rejected a Russian proposal that the two countries launch joint air strikes against jihadist groups in Syria including the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.
Top US commander in Middle East makes secret Syria visit Joseph Votel, head of US central command, enters country to see progress in building of anti-Isis alliance. Votel is highest-ranking US officer to enter country since campaign began.
Child Labour on the Rise in Opposition Areas Child labour is on the increase in Syria’s opposition-held areas. In Idlib governorate, the on-going war has forced many children to become family bread-winners.
Syria conflict: Deadly blasts rock Assad strongholds A series of car and suicide bombings has hit two government strongholds on Syria`s Mediterranean coast.
Regional and International Perspectives
Islamic State: Warnings terror group will send out more suicide bombers as battlefield losses mount Analysts fear Islamic State could increase its terror attacks on civilians as it loses ground on the battlefields of Iraq and Syria.
Not Just Russia: The Iranian Surge in Syria Aron Lund discusses the growing Iranian presence in Syria and the Russian-Iranian Intervention in 2015.
Who sent Iranian army green berets to Syria? For the first time since Iran’s 1980-88 war with Iraq, the Iranian army is conducting foreign military operations.
World Humanitarian Summit: New Thinking, Old Feuds This week’s WHS promises wide-ranging consultations and a break with convention in order to find solutions fast, but with some high profile absences.
Hezbollah maintains Lebanese support despite heavy Syria toll After losing as many as 1,500 of fighters in Syria and now pledging to boost numbers, Nicolas Lupo attempts to answer the question: can Hezbollah keep that support?
Noam Chomsky on Syria Conflict: Cut Off the Flow of Arms & Stop Bombing to Stem the Atrocities On the Syrian conflict and the rise of ISIS, Democracy Now! continues conversation with internationally renowned political dissident, linguist and author, Noam Chomsky. "The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a major reason in the development, a primary reason in the incitement of sectarian conflicts, which have now exploded into these monstrosities," says Chomsky.
How the Syrian Revolution has transformed me Budour Hassan writes: "The Syrian revolution put me on trial for betraying my principles. But instead of condemning me, it taught me the lesson of my life: it was a lesson given with grace and dignity."
As long as Iraq`s corrupt political circus continues, there is no solution to IS - See Tallha Abdulrazaq argues that if the international community is serious about solving the Syrian crisis, they need to atone for the original sin that is Iraq.
Hezbollah vows stronger presence in Syria after commander`s death Lebanese Shi`ite group Hezbollah on Friday vowed to strengthen its presence in wartorn Syria and send more leaders to the conflict, a week after its top military commander there was killed.
Mercenaries Are the Silent Majority of Obama’s Military The president’s "light footprint" approach to war has relied on thousands of Americans paid to fight — and die — in the shadows. Under Obama, more private military contractors have died in Iraq and Afghanistan than all the U.S. troops deployed to those countries.
The new coalition to destroy the Islamic State David Ignatius argues that "the United States could try to build the Sunni army it would want, ideally, to capture Raqqah, a Sunni city. But that might take years. Or it can go with the army it has, which is dominated by the tough, experienced Kurdish fighters from the YPG militia."
Policy and Reports
Syria: Opinions and Attitudes on Federalism, Decentralization, and the experience of the Democratic Self-Administration The Day After, recently conducted a survey study on Syrian opinions and attitudes toward federalism, decentralization, and the experience of the PYD’s Democratic Self-Administration. This study provides insight for finding a solution to one of the most central issues facing the future of Syria: administering the country during the transition and beyond. The study surveys respondents in regime-held areas, opposition-held areas, and in areas under Self-Administration. It further disaggregates data according to ethnicities (Arab, Kurdish, and Assyrian), religious sects, and gender.
Foundations of the Islamic State: Management, Money, and Terror in Iraq, 2005–2010 Foundations of the Islamic State: Management, Money, and Terror in Iraq, 2005–2010 draws from more than 140 recently declassified documents to present a comprehensive examination of the organization, territorial designs, management, personnel policies, and finances of the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and al-Qa`ida in Iraq (AQI), both predecessors of the Islamic State.
EU members complain that Turkey sending unfit Syrians in swap deal Turkey is sending ill and less-educated Syrians, EU members complain, as Ankara refuses to send Syrian academics.
At least 60,000 dead in Syria regime prisons At least 60,000 people have died in Syrian government prisons over the past five years from torture or due to dire humanitarian conditions, including a lack of food, a monitor said Saturday 21 May.
Lebanon public schools welcome Syria`s displaced children Half a million of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are children. Across the country, the authorities and the local population have organised for these kids to continue their schooling despite having been displaced by war.
Only 177 Syrian refugees resettled in EU under deal with Turkey Five member states have taken between five and 55 people each under controversial agreement that is at risk of unravelling.
Administrative Governance and Decentralization ESCWA launched the NAFS program when three years ago, one of its objectives was to bring together Syrian experts to produce visions and scenarios for the future that include all Syrians, and establish mechanisms which would prepare Syrian institutions for economic, political and social reconstruction when such time comes. This paper, therefore, is of high importance. Following the launch of two previous papers on the constitution and on political governance, it was only natural for the project experts to gauge that the issue of government administration and institutional reform in Syria has become top priority.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
Video: Syrians Struggle for Room in Turkish Schools As Istanbul gears up to host the inaugural World Humanitarian Summit, Turkish support for Syrians – including its policy of granting access to education to Syrian children officially registered as refugees – will be in the spotlight.
Three out of four Syrians believe a political solution can end the war Rare polling shows that 60% believe the influence of the jihadis of Islamic State has decreased in the last six months.
Syrian Arab Republic: 2016 UN Inter-Agency Humanitarian Operations (as of 18 May 2016) Since the beginning of 2016, the UN and partners successfully delivered multi-sectoral assistance through inter-agency operations, reaching over 791,000 civilians in besieged, hard-to-reach and other priority crossline locations with dire humanitarian needs.
Rebuilding Syria`s Aleppo under fire The project at the Central European University’s Centre for Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery (CCNR) in Budapest, Hungary aims to bring together Syrian citizens and researchers to plot the reconstruction of the historic city, much of which lies in ruins after more than five years of civil war.
ISIS Had a Social Media Campaign, So We Tracked Them Down An analysis of a recent social media campaign by supporters of ISIS who posted pictures on social media from major European cities, revealed the exact locations of the ISIS supporters, in some cases even exposing their home addresses.
Syrian refugees bring life back to Swedish city – with shisha clubs and falafel cafes Migrants fleeing war in the Middle East have brought new culture and a trade revival to Malmö.
تدمر إرث سوريا الحضاريّ ضحيّة "داعش" والأسد Countless antiquities have been obliterated in the fierce fighting and rampant destruction in Syria, where the famous Palmyra archaeological site has lost a devastating portion of its treasures.
An English version of this article can be found here: UNESCO steps in to protect what`s left of Syria`s Palmyra
نظرة على الحياة العامة في الساحل السوري Alia Ahmad reports about the situation and perspectives of Syrian loyalists to the government in the Syrian coast.
تراشق وزاري في فيينا ينعش «الهيئة الانتقالية»... وكيري يقترح «نظاماً برلمانياً» Ibrahim Hamidi reports on a 5-hours-meeting between ministers of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG). While Kerry wants a parliamentary system in Syria, Lavrov wants strong presidential authority.
أكراد سوريا يغامرون بافتتاح جامعة عفرين ويتأمّلون باعتراف دوليّ مستقبلاً Syrian Kurds have big plans to expand the first university based in Rojava, which they launched just last year.
An English version of this article can be found here: Syria`s first Kurdish university attracts controversy as well as students
مدينة دير الزور السوريّة... منسيّة ومنقسمة السيطرة The starving citizens of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria are trapped in the battle between the Islamic State and government forces, squeezed by blockades imposed by both sides.
An English version of this article can be found here: After Madaya, Deir ez-Zor now faces humanitarian catastrophe
مشروع لدعم الثروة الحيوانية في ريف إدلب This article discusses the positive effects of a new project supporting livestock breeders in the Aleppo and Idlib countryside.
An English version of this article can be found here: Supporting Syria’s Livestock Sector
المنطقة الآمنة شرط نجاح الحكومة المؤقتة في الداخل السوري Absi Smim comments on Turkey`s idea of creating a safe zone inside Syrian territory.
وللمناطق المحررة سجلاتها ووثائقها Sonia Al-Ali reports on the establishment of civil and real estate records centers in opposition-held areas.
تأصيل العنف: صور تذكارية مع جثث مقطعة Sawsan Hassan writes on violent social media practices like taking selfies in front of dead bodies in the Syrian conflict.