SyriaSource|Amplifying Syrian voices

SyriaSource
sFacebook Twitter Instagram YouTube


The countries and organizations attending the second round of Syria talks in Vienna, now calling themselves the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), gave short shrift in their written statement to those Syrians most in need of their support: the victims—past, present, and future—of the Assad regime's relentless program of mass homicide. Buried in a pile of prose were the following words, "The ISSG also reaffirmed the devastating effects of the use of indiscriminate weapons on the civilian population…. The ISSG agreed to press the parties to end immediately any use of such indiscriminate weapons." And in the post-conference press conference the issue of civilian protection was raised by no one, including the press.

Read More

On Saturday November 14, the participants of the October 30 Vienna conference on Syria will reconvene in the same place. This despite the fact that Assad regime attacks on civilians have relented not in the least. Indeed, military aircraft of the Russian Federation have supplemented the civilian-centric bombing campaign of Moscow's client, reportedly adding cluster munitions to the deadly mix. It seems that the subject of who is a terrorist—rather than protection of civilians—will dominate this second round.

Read More

In a November 11 interview with The Washington Post, British Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond explained the psychology that underwrites the negotiations to end the Syrian civil war. “You get people together,” Hammond said, “you force them to make some forward movement, keeping them at it, keeping their noses to the grindstone, keep them in a locked room.” In short, you try to the move the process far enough along to turn irreconcilable adversaries into constructive negotiating partners—hoping that with enough time and determination, countries that differ on how to resolve the Syrian conflict will realize that compromising is the only way forward.

Read More

Speaking for the better part of an hour at the US Institute of Peace on November 12, 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry sought to bring his listeners “up to speed” on the Obama administration strategy to defeat and dismantle the Islamic State (ISIL, ISIS, or Da’esh), end Syria’s civil war, and support “friends in the region.” He spoke eloquently and persuasively about the “symbiotic relationship” between the regime of Bashar al-Assad and ISIL, saying that ISIL cannot be defeated while Assad remains in power. He devoted considerable time to anti-ISIL military operations in Iraq. But he short-changed the crucial issue of civilian protection in Syria, saying nothing about what the United States plans to do to protect Syrians from the ISIL-enabling mass atrocities of the Assad regime. It was this critical lacuna that made him fall short in articulating a strategy aimed at achieving the objectives listed.

Read More

“I will not forgive him, nor will I let God's mercy descend onto him,” uttered a woman activist working to support rape victims at a secret humanitarian organization in Damascus. The activist leveled this charge not against the regime and its Shabiha militias—which use this most cruel weapon of war systematically to intimidate, suppress, and humiliate Assad’s many opponents—but in reference to the father of a twelve year-old girl who was brutally gang raped by pro-Assad factions in her own home in front of her family.

Read More

Remarks of Ambassador Frederic C. Hof to the American Committees on Foreign Relations in Boise, Idaho, on November 9, 2015.

Read More