SyriaSource|Amplifying Syrian voices

SyriaSource
sFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube


Russia announced earlier this month the deployment of its cutting-edge 9K333 Verba Man-Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) to it forces in the eastern Ghouta region near Damascus. According to pro-Russian outlets, the aim is for MANPADS to destroy drones used by Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an alliance dominated by the rebranded al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat Fateh al-Sham. This development followed a Russian brokered new ceasefire deal in the rebel held territories of Ghouta, which exclude HTS members. But a closer look at HTS capacity shows that the group is not known to have the capacity to weaponize the commercial store-bought drones that many groups in Syria use to spy on their enemies. Russia could have also used cheaper drone-buster devices capable of locking onto a drone and jamming its communications.

Read More

Battles between opposition groups in northern Syria have threatened the Syrian revolution and left Jabhat al-Nusra (now part of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham) in control of Aleppo and Idlib; how did that happen?

Read More

The past two years have seen a series of truces between the Syrian regime and rebel groups. Such deals, labelled by the regime as “national reconciliation” agreements, lead the two sides to compromises that extract them from existential battles of attrition. To persist, they require all sides to enter in good faith and abandon the principles of victory and loss, in order to overcome the remnants of the past that led to the conflict in the first place.

Read More

The Pentagon announced on August 21 that it agreed to a buffer zone (or deconfliction line) that roughly adhered to the Euphrates River. This new buffer zone agreement re-establishes a previous agreement and was reached after the United States shot down a Syrian regime SU-22 in June, creating fears of escalation that could draw international players into direct conflict. While the immediate purpose of the buffer zone is to prevent fighting between the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)—and their myriad respective associated backers—to focus the fighting on defeating the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh), it also reconfigures the battlefield and creates new pitfalls and opportunities.

Read More

On August 17, Syrian officials oversaw the opening of the first Damascus International Exhibition since the start of the Syrian uprising. Reflecting the triumphalism now widely on display in Damascus, the exhibition—an international trade fair—has been heavily promoted by the Assad regime, presented as a symbol of its victory over the insurgency that began more than six years ago.

Read More

International political opinion about the future of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has shifted. President Donald Trump's revocation of any remaining support for the covert CIA 'Train and Equip' program, and French President Emmanuel Macron's recent admission that the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is no longer a key policy objective, demonstrate the faded political will to force a transfer of power in Syria. Within that context, the complexity that the current landscape presents for stabilization and reconstruction merits consideration.

Read More

Nothing after May 15, 2017 was as it had been before. It began with the operations to remove opposition fighters and residents from the Damascus neighborhood of Qaboun, in accordance with the agreement between the Syrian regime’s forces and the factions that oppose it. The neighborhood, which lies northeast of the capital, is considered the first line of defense for the Syrian opposition in Eastern Ghouta for confronting the regime’s forces. This agreement comes after two other similar agreements were made in neighborhoods near Qaboun: Tishreen and Barza. After executing these agreements, the squares of Ghouta became more exposed to the regime’s forces and their armed support groups. The most important obstacle that remained for the regime was the neighborhood of Jobar, which is on the outskirts of Damascus and is the strongest line of defense for the different factions of Ghouta. 

Read More

The base of the Islamic State’s (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) power is in Raqqa and Mosul and is connected with each side deploying fighters across the border in mass. But while the United States and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) took back Mosul, the same cannot be said of Raqqa, which continues to deplete the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), despite support by international coalition air strikes and the recent deployment of Apache helicopters. The battle for Raqqa continues for a number of reasons, both tactical and political.

Read More

Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham’s (HTS) military dominance in Idlib has not been translated into total popular support. Today, the province is split between those who accept the extremist group and those who are pushing back against its rise to prominence. 

Read More

As the Syrian crisis enters what could be its final phase and the battle between the regime and the opposition appears to have frozen, discussion is growing around options for a political solution for the country, different parts of which are controlled by disparate forces. A federal regime, as proposed by Russia and welcomed by the Kurds, appears to be the model most likely to be adopted, despite objections from both the regime and the opposition.

Read More