[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.]
How Rebel Territory in Aleppo Was Encircled After more than four years of fighting in Aleppo, Syria, forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have effectively fenced in the city`s opposition-held areas. Faysal Itani, senior fellow with the Atlantic Council, explains how the encirclement of Aleppo happened.
For Syrian Kids in Lebanon, School Is ‘Like A Miracle’ A quarter of a million Syrian children are growing up in Lebanon without an education. We look at the obstacle course they have to cross to get into the classroom.
Al-Qaeda Steps Back to Let Nusra Move Forward in Syria The leader of the Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra), Abu Mohammed al-Joulani, has announced that the organization would split from al-Qaida and become the Levantine Conquest Front, aiming to “close the gap” between Syria’s fighting factions.
Syria Aleppo siege: Government forces `roll back rebel gains` Government forces have reportedly gained ground after a rebel offensive in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Amid changing circumstances, the ground in the Golan shifts Geoffrey Aronson claims, “the situation on the Golan offers a forum to chart the rise of a new, informal set of rules.”
Why most Syrian men are not joining ISIS It is by recognising the role masculinities and gender expectations play in societies that we can fully understand and hope to address violence.
How Do Civilians Teach Their Children in ISIS-held Deir Ezzor? ISIS established its education system in Deir Ezzor to supplement its forces with young male fighters who are imbued with its extremist ideology. However, civilians in Deir Ezzor have found ways to counter the education system imposed upon their children by ISIS.
What drove Syria`s Nusra Front to detach itself from al-Qaeda? Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the more powerful jihadist groups in Syria, has rebranded itself. It officially announced its separation from al-Qaeda and "any other external entity" in a video broadcast on 28 July 2016. The group changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (Front for the Conquest of Syria/the Levant) and its leader, Abu Mohammed al-Julani, was seen with his face uncovered for the first time.
“What the Rebel Loss of Aleppo Will Mean for Syria,” by Landis, Heras, Lund & Abdulhamid Four Analysts respond – Joshua Landis, Nicholas Heras, Aron Lund and Ammar Abdulhamid.
Syrian maternity hospital bombed, says Save the Children Charity says the facility that it supports in a rebel-held area of Idlib province has been extensively damaged.
Rebels launch major assault to break siege of opposition-held Aleppo Syrian opposition armed fighters launched on Sunday, 31 July, a major assault on government-held southwestern parts of Aleppo in the first major drive to regain ground after major losses last week.
Meet the woman who founded the first all-female unit of the Free Syrian Army Omar Al Muqdad shares the story of a syrian woman who calls herself Bahar who not only joined the Free Syrian Army, but went on to form the first all-female battalion, fighting against president Bashar Al Assad’s forces on the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.
“Who is to blame for Syria’s nightmare?” “The Syrian opposition members who bet that Assad would be quickly deposed in 2011 are now largely spectators. Their country lies in ruins. Their goal of bringing down the state (Isqat al-nizam) looks as far as ever from being achieved”
Regional and International Perspectives
Turkey’s Failed Coup Will Affect Syrian Conflict Christopher Kozak, a Syria analyst at the Institute for the Study of War, discusses the effects the attempted coup in Turkey will have on Syria`s battlefields, the fight against ISIS and the Syrian opposition.
Hillary Clinton will reset Syria policy against `murderous` Assad regime “Hillary Clinton will order a ‘full review’ of the United States` strategy on Syria as a "first key task" of her presidency, resetting the policy to emphasize the "murderous" nature of the Assad regime, foreign policy adviser with her campaign has said."
How Will the Failed Coup in Turkey Affect Syria? Aron Lund on the changing nature of Turkey’s involvement in Syria and how it will be a matter of life and death for Syrians.
The only way to defeat Islamic State is to give young Arabs hope Daoud Kuttab writes that overturning the jihadi group will leave an ideological vacuum – and to prevent it from rising again, young people need jobs and political representation
Can You Confront the Death Toll in Syria? Vijay Prashad writes: "Where Syria becomes of interest is when the detritus of that war sweeps through the West: a butchering in Normandy, a truck battering through Nice, a machete attack in Reutlingen."
The Guardian view on the battle for Aleppo: stop it now The Guardian Editorial says that the Aleppo battle is an urgent humanitarian catastrophe which could end all hope of a negotiated peace.
Aleppo must not become synonymous with global inaction To Assad, Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra are strategic assets. These terrorist groups allow Assad to portray himself as the lesser of two evils, urging the world to back him in the fight against terrorism. Such a policy ignores the majority of Syrians, who do not want to be ruled by either Assad or extremist groups.
What`s behind Russian humanitarian corridors in Aleppo? Humanitarian passages out of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo are causing controversy.
The Destruction of Islamic State is a Strategic Mistake Efraim Inbar argues that the destruction of ISIS is a mistake. The West should instead use it against Hizbullah, Iran and Assad.
Policy and Reports
Why’s Obama Covering for Russian War Crimes in Syria? A new Human Rights Watch Report presents a devastating picture of Russia’s use of cluster bombs against civilians. And Washington says…nothing.
What to do when containing the Syrian crisis has failed Michael E. O’Hanlon proposes three changes in Syria policy that includes confederation model as a Western political goal, destroying Syrian planes on the ground, arming anti-Assad groups and creating safe havens in Syria.
Revealed: the £1bn of weapons flowing from Europe to Middle East AK-47s, machine guns, explosives and more travel along new arms pipeline from Balkans to countries known to supply Syria.
Fatal airstrike on maternity hospital in Syria a potential war crime An aerial attack which struck and partially destroyed a maternity hospital in rural Idlib province, north-western Syria, this afternoon appears to be part of a despicable pattern of unlawful attacks deliberately targeting medical facilities, Amnesty International said.
Lebanon sex trafficking: Syrian woman describes nine-month ordeal Rama, twenty-four, was lured to Lebanon with the promise of a restaurant job, endured beatings and torture before finally escaping with four other women.
The Killing of 1557 Civilians in July 2016 SNHR has published its periodic death toll report for the month of July 2016 in which it documented the killing of 1557 civilians at the hands of the main influential parties in Syria, including 1008 Civilians at the Hands of the Syrian and Russian governments.
Syria Conflict Mapping Project Reports
July 21-27, 2016 | Weekly Conflict Summary “Government forces, working from both eastern Aleppo and the northern countryside, have consolidated their control over Castello Road, fully besieging opposition areas in eastern Aleppo.”
SYRIA SITUATION REPORT: JULY 22 - 29, 2016 The rebranding (of abhat al-Nusra as Jabhat Fatah a-Sham’) does not represent an abandonment of Salafi-Jihadism but rather a calculated move to facilitate the unification of armed opposition groups in a “grand merger” that continues to pursue the long-term strategic vision of Al-Qaeda to establish an Islamic Emirate in Syria.
Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media
Rio 2016: The Syrian refugee who swam for her life - all the way to the Olympics There are those whose footsteps we would not want to follow, whose shoes we would not want to be in--yet we strive to have their character, their strength, their drive and their courage. It is from them we learn that the worst of humanity can bring out the best in humanity.
A Syrian in Auschwitz An insightful account of a Syrian’s visit to Auschwitz.
Understanding Iran`s Role in the Syrian Conflict Kamal Alam provides a comprehensive analysis of Iran`s role in the Syrian conflict, drawing on the perspective of major regional state and non-state actors.
IS `running out of gas` in Europe, says ex-MI6 counter-terrorism chief Richard Barrett told King College London audience that response to IS has been `disproportionate.`
Campaign aims to enhance living conditions of Syrians in Egypt In an attempt to save their lives, millions of Syrians left their bombarded homes behind. Ever since the start of the civil war in Syria five years ago, the lives of Syrian refugees have been a chain of suffering and misery. Those who came to Egypt were some of the luckiest, as the main challenges.
Across borders, Syrian women gain strength from each other This article discusses the work of Women Now for Development a nonprofit that helps teach Syrian women to read and write, and offers them vocational training, such as sewing, knitting, secretarial work, first aid and hair-cutting to enable them to earn a living.
"حرب جيل": أطفال سورية بين مطرقة الصراع الداخلي، وسندان صعود الدولة الإسلامية Benedetta Berti and Axel Bea Osete examine the impact of the conflict on Syria’s children and the necessity to address the legacy of the war on the long term by both regional and international stakeholders if they hope to restore a measure of stability to Syria and the Levant.
An English version of this report can be found here: “Generation War”: Syria’s Children Caught between Internal Con ict and the Rise of the Islamic State
الضحية السورية أو كيف نعلم العالم الندم؟ Jon Rich writes about Syrian refugees and their role in teaching the world how to regret.
الجولاني يكشف عن وجهه..وتغيير في اسم النصرة On 28 July 2016, al-Julani announced that Jabhat al-Nusra has split from al-Qaeda. In his recorded message, Abu Mohammad al-Julani said the new name of his organization would be Jabhat Fateh al-Sham.
نقد موقف المدافعين عن الدولة السورية Rateb Sha`abou analyzes the non-Islamist Syrian opposition and focuses on discussing who perceives the major threat to Syria today as the destruction of the Syrian state.
مزعل لـ"المونيتور": روسيا تستهدف المدنيّين يوميّاً والمعركة النهائيّة لقصم ظهر "داعش" ضربه في الرقّة In an interview with Al-Monitor, a senior member of the New Syrian Army, Abdulsalam Muzil, talks about his force’s achievements and what`s to come in the battle against the Islamic State.
An English version of this article can be found here: Is new strategy needed for fighting IS in Syria?
متطوعة في الدفاع المدني: أريد إنقاذ الأرواح لا البقاء متفرجة This article shares the perspective of Abeer--a mother of five young children--who is one of dozens of women across Syria serving as first responders with the Syrian Civil Defense.
An English version of this article can be found here: The woman in the white helmet: ‘I don’t want to be a spectator; I want to save lives’
مكتبة سرية في سوريا! This report shows the ways in which students and young people in the town of Darayya (eight kilometers south-west of Damascus) create a secret library as a space for entertainment and learning.
الأتارب: ملاذ المهجرين ينزح تحت وطأة القصف العنيف According to Syria Direct, Atareb (a town 30km west of Aleppo city) was known for hosting internally displaced Syrians; however, this has changed after several dozen airstrikes hit civilian and medical sites over the last two weeks.
An English version of this article can be found here: Once a haven for the internally displaced in west Aleppo, new wave of airstrikes drives out Atareb residents; ‘no place is safe around here’
وثائقي قصير عن الصراع بين أكراد سوريا والعراق BBC`s short documentary about the rivalry between Syrian and Iraqi Kurds.