[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.]
Conflict among U.S. allies in northern Syria clouds war on Islamic State A smoldering confrontation between Syrian armed groups, backed by the U.S. but hostile to each other, is escalating. This is complicating the fight against IS in war-torn Syria.
Near Damascus, watch out for missiles, shelling and speeding tickets Al-Monitor spoke with Syrian officials about the latest developments happening in Syria.
Salamiyah Boiling Over: Rebel Factions Warn Regime Against Harming Civilians as Protests Break Out Homs Operations Room says it will response to any “immoral” behavior from loyalist militias if civilians are harmed following renewed demonstrations in the regime-held city.
Are major players shifting strategies in Syria? Russia and the US find themselves in a complex situation in Syria, and their strategies face a possible change in the future of Syria.
Inside a Makeshift School in Aleppo Over the past two years, bombs and shelling have made it too dangerous for students to attend official schools in Aleppo city, so a group of volunteer teachers decided to open their own.
Paris court charges Assad uncle with corruption Prosecutors in Paris charged Rifaat al-Assad, the uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with corruption earlier this month, an anti-corruption group said Tuesday.
Islamic State launches desert attack, repels Syrian army advances towards Tabqa “Islamic State (IS) fighters halted the Syrian army’s march across the eastern desert towards Raqqa—IS’s de facto capital—forcing a more-than 20km retreat and pushing regime forces and their allies to the administrative border of Raqqa province.”
‘My blood is nothing but currency’: Inside Syria’s human smuggling network “Turkish border guards shot dead at least nine people, including four children, marking the deadliest Syria-Turkey border crossing incident since the start of the five-year-old Syrian civil war.”
Wheat As a Weapon of War in Syria “The files of Haji Bakr, an Islamic State mastermind, retrieved by Der Spiegel, indicate that ISIS had a detailed plan on how to take control of the largest flour mill in northern Syria. Once ISIS did, the group applied a typically disciplined approach to the production cycle in an attempt to feed the populations in areas it controlled to win their support.”
Syria`s civil war: `Dozens killed` in Deir Az Zor raids Reports say 58 civilians among victims of Syrian-Russian raids on ISIL-held town amid claims of use of incendiary bombs.
Syria`s war: Women risk death to give birth in Aleppo As air strikes continue to rain down on the besieged city`s hospitals, pregnant women lack proper medical care.
IS Syria stronghold Raqqa next after Manbij operation is completed: U.S. official Once the operation against the Islamic State-held city of Manbij in northern Syria is completed, that creates the conditions to move on the militant group`s main stronghold of Raqqa, Brett McGurk, U.S. President Barack Obama`s special envoy in the fight against Islamic State said on 28 June.
I study in a cave`: Going to school in Syria More than five years of war, which began as a peaceful protest against President Bashar al-Assad and has since drawn in foreign military involvement and allowed for the growth of Islamic State, has displaced millions of Syrian children and limited their access to education. With schools themselves at times attacked, teachers make do with the basics to provide education.
For a Reuters Wider Image photo presentation, please click here.
Reporting Syria: `There`s a direct threat for everyone` Attempts to silence Syrian journalists and activists continue unabated by the regime and armed rebel groups.
Dozens protest rising fuel prices in Syria capital “Dozens of protesters gathered in Damascus on Sunday for a rare demonstration in front of Syria`s parliament against a 40 percent hike in fuel prices announced last week. As lawmakers met inside the parliament building, protesters carried signs reading "No to corruption!" and "Parliament -- stand with the people, say no to raising prices!" "No to rising prices, people are starving…”
Regional and International Perspectives
`Europe pays a heavy price for Syria – it must act to end the crisis` Anti-Assad opposition wants to see the EU – despite Brexit diversions – do more to help secure a political solution to the bloody conflict in its own backyard
Lebanon army detains 100 Syrians after Qaa bombings Lebanon’s army has detained more than 100 Syrian’s for entering the country illegally following a series of suicide bombings in a border village.
The Sectarianism of the Islamic State: Ideological Roots and Political Context The Islamic State’s ideology is multifaceted and cannot be traced to one individual, movement, or period. Hassan Hassan gives his insight on how crucial understanding this is to defeating the group.
US Pressuring Syrian Arab Tribesmen to Join Kurdish-led SDF: Source Sources claim Washington attempting to recruit tribesmen into key rebel faction but says Arabs have reservations because of Kurdish violations and authority within the group.
What Do Syrians Want? Muhammad Idrees Ahmad writes that "Syrians want self-determination, but they are thwarted by a ruthless regime backed by Russian arms and UN vetoes. Western governments are unwilling to act because they see no vital interests at stake in Syria; Western publics are leery because they see everything as a replay of Iraq; both are united in the patronizing, orientalist assumption that the stability of a state is more valuable than the rights of its people."
Hezbollah chief pledges more fighters for `Syria`s greatest battle` in Aleppo Hassan Nasrallah says battle for Aleppo is battle for Syria, as he makes rare admission 26 of his soldiers have died this month.
Sectarianism and the Campaign to Retake Fallujah Marc Lynch writes that "The overpowering sectarian framing of the Fallujah campaign demonstrates the considerable dangers of the pervasive sectarianism which has dominated regional public discourse over the last few years."
Syrian women seek new beginnings in Istanbul’s `little Syria` Felipe Araujo writes about Syrian women who gather to make jewellery and remember a lost way of life in Syria that has been obliterated by war.
The Syria `dissent` memo and US bureaucratic pressure strategy The supposed dissenters knew very well that Kerry has been advocating essentially the same policy they were articulating for years.
Turkey`s unnoticed war against the Islamic State Mehmet Solmaz argues that one may not like president Erdogan but there should be some logic taken into account when bringing up foolish claims against Turkey.
The Failure of International Aid, Empathy, and Innovation for Syria Lina Sergie Attar writes "Since it’s apparently impossible for international world powers and their institutions to efficiently deliver food to the starving, or stop the boats from sinking, or stop the bombs (barrel, chemical, chlorine, phosphorus, cluster, and all the forms Syrians have learned to recognize over the years) from falling, or bring mass murderers to justice, Syrians need a drastic solution. Instead of trying to move the world with empathy, perhaps we have not been nearly innovative or creative enough."
A lesson from Brexit: Stop ignoring Syria Joyce Karam writes "Five years into the war in Syria, it is time to acknowledge the grave cost of inaction and that what happens in Aleppo reverberates in Molenbeek and London."
Heightened terror threat in Lebanon after suicide attacks near Syria Government warns of new wave of terrorist operations after Christian village of al-Qaa targeted in pre-dawn attacks.
Russia is in Charge in Syria: How Moscow Took Control of the Battlefield and Negotiating Table The Kremlin has successfully made itself the most powerful party to this war. The best the White House can do now is to make them own it.
Istanbul Atatürk airport attack: PM says Isis behind deaths of at least 36 – latest news Series of deadly explosions tear through crowds at Atatürk international airport on Tuesday evening in attack officials blame on Islamic State.
DNC Platform Leaves Door Open for No-Fly Zone in Syria, Refuses to Call for End to Israeli Occupation Zaid Jilani writes that the Democratic National Committee`s Platform Drafting Committee quashed efforts by the Bernie Sanders campaign last week to insert language in the platform opposing a U.S.-led no-fly zone in Syria and calling for an end to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories.
Policy and Reports
SYRIA SITUATION REPORT: JUNE 18 - 24, 2016 The control of terrain depicted in this graphic is accurate as of June 16, 2016 - the date of ISW`s last Russian Airstrikes in Syria Map.
Will Turkey Change Its Syria Policy? Four Experts Answer Four eminent Turkish experts from journalism, academia, and the think tank world give their views on whether a change in Turkey’s Syria policy is likely and what it might look like.
Queen of Jordan: Better Data Is Key to Helping Female Refugees Queen Rania Al Abdullah writes on the initiative Data2X that has identified data gap on the lives, experiences and contributions of refugee girls and women around the world.
Why Islamic State Is Losing, and Why It Still Hopes to Win Aron Lund argues that the ISIS is now clearly losing the war on the ground in Syria and Iraq. But the tide may turn, depending on what happens in the Syrian Civil War, among the rival Kurdish factions in northern Iraq, and with the increasingly tense situation in Baghdad.
C.I.A. Arms for Syrian Rebels Supplied Black Market, Officials Say Weapons shipped into Jordan by the Central Intelligence Agency and Saudi Arabia intended for Syrian rebels have been systematically stolen by Jordanian intelligence operatives and sold to arms merchants on the black market, according to American and Jordanian officials.
These Super-Rich Syrians Are Waiting to Return If War Ever Ends Several names come up as possibly playing a role in shaping the country, financially and even politically: Walid Zaabi, Ayman Asfari and Nabil Kuzbari.
Russian Middle East Policy After Syria: An Interview with Nikolay Kozhanov Aron Lund interviews Nikolay Kozhanov who provided his view of the Kremlin’s evolving role in the Middle East, its complex linkages to the Russian-Iranian relationship, as well as other Russian interests in the Middle East.
New Brazilian government suspends plans to welcome Syrian refugees Under the new government, Brazil is abandoning plans to accept more Syrian refugees. Some fear the move will complicate the lives of the 2,200 Syrians who have already come. Bruce Douglas reports to Deutsche Welle from Rio de Janeiro.
UNICEF Statement on the Killings of Children in Deir-ez-Zor, eastern Syria According to UNICEF’s local partners in Syria, 25 children were reportedly killed on 25 June in air-strikes on al-Quriyah town, in the eastern countryside of Deir-ez-Zor.
The Shadow Doctors In the past five years, the Syrian government has assassinated, bombed, and tortured to death almost 700 medical personnel.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
What I Saw in Syria A reporter’s photographs and cellphone videos from a road trip in one of the world’s most violent war zones.
الأسدفيالغوطةالشرقية Video of President Bashar al-Assad`s visit to troops (Rep. Guard and NDF) at the Marj Sultan frontline in the Eastern Ghouta
German town hails Syrian refugee `hero` for turning in €150,000 Minden police praise 25-year-old man for reporting cash he found hidden in a self-assembly cupboard.
‘There were children in there’: A testimony from a surrendered suicide bomber In this Syria Direct dispatch from Daraa, a surrendered LSY operative offers insight into the group’s recruiting and training practices.
Syria: MSF staff on working at Al Salamah hospital, Azaz As hospitals in the surrounding areas of the Azaz district of Syria--between the frontline with ISIS group and the Turkish border--are bombed and medical staff flee, the MSF hospital - itself hit by machine gun fire in 2013, has become one of the only options for people in critical need.
He Fled Syria to Avoid Prison. He Ended Up Living in One Anyway. In the Netherlands, 13 former prisons are being used to detain refugees from Syria.
“The Asad Petition of 1936: Bashar’s Grandfather Was Pro-Unionist” According to Stefan Winter, French archive records show Bashar al-Assad`s grandfather was actually pro-Syrian unionist
الترتيباتالمشبوهةلشركةلافارجالفرنسيةمعتنظيمالدولةالإسلامية Dorothée Myriam Kellou reveals the arrangements between Lafarge, the leading building materials company, and the Islamic State (ISIS) to protect its cement making business in Syria.
The French version of this article can be found here: Syrie : les troubles arrangements de Lafarge avec l’Etat islamique
في اليوم التالي من تحّرير مدينة منبج السوريّة Kamal Sheikho reports “the citizens of Manbij, which is northeast of Aleppo, have high hopes of returning to their hometown in light of the US-backed offensive against the Islamic State in their city.”
The English version of this article can be found here: Can US-backed offensive bring back residents to Syria`s Manbij?
طائفيةتنظيمالدولةالإسلامية: الجذورالإيديولوجيةوالسياقالسياسي Hassan Hassan argues that The Islamic State’s ideology is multifaceted and cannot be traced to one individual, movement, or period. Understanding it is crucial to defeating the group.
The English version of this article can be found here: The Sectarianism of the Islamic State: Ideological Roots and Political Context
حربتركياوالحربالسورية According to Cengiz Çandar, the The driving factors of the new war between Turkey and the PKK are intricately linked to the Syrian theater.
The English version of this article can be found here: Turkey’s War and the Syrian War
الصدمات العاطفيّة تخلّف جراحاً عميقة لدى الأطفال السوريّين اللاجئين Tara Kangarlou reports that the refugee crisis has created a desperate need for mental health services, particularly among Syria’s children, whose chances of healing from their mental and emotional wounds are better the sooner they receive care.
The English version of this article can be found here: Emotional trauma leaves deep wounds for Syria`s child refugees
بناءً على أحكام الدستور.. الرئيس الأسد يصدر مرسوماً بتكليف المهندس عماد خميس بتشكيل الوزارة President Bashar al-Assad instructed Electricity Minister Emad Khamis to form a new government in Syria.
انفلات أمنيّ في الشمال السوريّ يشجّع خلايا نائمة على تنفيذ عمليّات اغتيال Tamer Osman reports “the armed opposition in Aleppo and Idlib has been facing a series of assassinations and assassination attempts, as some leaders accuse the regime and IS of being behind them.”
The English version of this article can be found here: Who is killing Syrian opposition figures in Aleppo, Idlib?
أبو عمر... هاوي سيّارات قديمة يحافظ على هوايته رغم الحرب Abu Omar`s family has sought refuge elsewhere, but he remains in Aleppo with his collection of classic cars and antiques.
The English version of this article can be found here: Classic cars withstood coups, but can they survive war in Aleppo?
إعادةإعمارسورية: ضرورةالخروجعنالنمطالسائد Yezid Sayigh contends that when the time comes, new approaches to economic reconstruction are needed in Syria.
The English version of this article can be found here: Reconstructing Syria: The Need to Break the Mold
في دمشق كلّ الرادارات لا تزال تعمل طبيعيّاً! In a visit to Damascus, Al-Monitor spoke with Syrian officials about the latest developments happening in Syria.
The English version of this article can be found here: Near Damascus, watch out for missiles, shelling and speeding tickets
الزبداني.. مدينة بلا نساء ولا أطفال Celine Ahmedreports on the current situation of Al-Zabadani city in southwestern Syria with a focus on the medical crisis.