SyriaSource

SyriaSource followed the dynamics in Syria through in-depth analysis of the impact of the conflict on Syria, its neighbors and the international community. Amplifying a diverse range of Syrian and regional voices—to reach both English—and Arabic-speaking audiences, SyriaSource transforms their words from strong but distant ideas to resounding perspectives not often heard among Washington and international policymakers. For the latest work on Syria, please visit MENASource.

The Latest on Syria

Mon, May 3, 2021

Syrian Transitional Military Council: A ‘social media invention’ or much more?

Recent weeks have seen a crescendo of rumors claiming that local, regional, and international support is growing to establish a Syrian Transitional Military Council. It would allegedly be led by defected Brigadier General Manaf Tlass, whose mandate would be to midwife the war-ravaged nation into a post-Bashar al-Assad future.

MENASource by Matthew Ayton

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Mon, Apr 26, 2021

In the game of Syria, the US and Europe hold the cards

This is the time for the United States and European Union to exact concessions from Iran, which needs the financial benefits of a full nuclear deal, and from Russia, which needs reconstruction money.

MENASource by Rime Allaf

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Mon, Apr 5, 2021

Strapped for dollars, the Syrian government is forcing its citizens to pay up

A decade since the start of the popular uprising, the Syrian lira is in an unprecedented freefall after years of armed conflict, an economic crisis in neighboring Lebanon, deep-seated corruption and cronyism, and Western economic sanctions targeting Syrian government officials as well as Syrian-operated industries.

MENASource by Reem Salahi

Human Rights Middle East

Tue, Mar 30, 2021

Some advice to my Syrian and Syrian-American friends

President Biden cannot do everything. Nor should he try. But what happens in Syria won’t stay there. It never has and never will. Still, advocates for an American policy in Syria focused on political transition must be sensitive, in their advocacy, to the policy priorities of an administration whose success would be vitally important to the US and the world.

MENASource by Frederic C. Hof

Politics & Diplomacy Syria

Wed, Mar 24, 2021

Assad is testing Biden. The US president must not fail.

Regardless of what the Biden administration may wish to think or acknowledge, it may well be sitting for an initial examination administered by Bashar al-Assad—the teacher of many harsh lessons to American presidents. Failing the test will not be consequence-free.

MENASource by Frederic C. Hof

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Tue, Mar 16, 2021

The many paths to Syrian-Israeli reconciliation

A reported January meeting between several senior Syrian, Israeli, and Russian intelligence officers in Syria failed to advance bilateral discussions between the parties despite allegedly being attended by Bashar Al-Assad.

MENASource by Samir Altaqi

Israel Middle East

Tue, Feb 23, 2021

Don’t rely on Moscow to help with “reconciliation” in Syria’s Daraa province

Any deal Russia strikes in Syria’s southern province will be volatile and temporary, given that resolving underlying conditions are impossible under the Bashar al-Assad regime and Russia’s direction.

MENASource by Jomana Qaddour, Abdulrahman al-Masri

Middle East Russia

Mon, Feb 1, 2021

Syria: Which way forward under Biden?

The default position of President Joe Biden and his team will likely be along the lines of trying to manage the mess.

MENASource by Frederic C. Hof

Middle East Syria

Wed, Jan 20, 2021

Fragmentation and perceived bias: The shortcomings of US policy towards tribes in Syria

The fragmentation and divisions that plague the Arab tribal population in northeastern Syria played a major role in the US’s decision not to rely primarily on tribal auxiliaries in its fight against ISIS.

MENASource by Haian Dukhan and Ammar Alhamad

Middle East Syria

Mon, Jan 11, 2021

The Assad regime faces a Rubik’s Cube of challenges in 2021

The coming year will likely present the Bashar al-Assad regime with a perplexing stalemate as it attempts to navigate a political, economic, and security landscape beset with a Rubik’s Cube of challenges.

MENASource by Nizar Mohamad and Abdulrahman al-Masri

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Content

Wed, Jan 29, 2020

The uncounted: Life after war for Syria’s living martyrs

For all Syrians, honoring the men who died fighting for their side’s cause is a central social event. But while martyrs are immortalized in life-sized posters on every street corner, wounded fighters, known as “living martyrs,” risk becoming outcasts in their communities.

SyriaSource by Gregory Waters

Conflict Syria

Tue, Dec 24, 2019

The relentless assault on Idlib

The relentless airstrikes campaign on Idlib by the Syrian regime and Russia air forces predicted by many analysts, including this author, remains a defining battlefield to the regime in the Syrian conflict, nine years later. Seen as a last opposition stronghold populated by extremists and a millions of civilians and internally displaced people (IDP), Idlib province and its surroundings are a deadly place.

SyriaSource by Reema Hibrawi

Conflict Corruption

Tue, Dec 24, 2019

Looking back at 2019: Our top five blogs

It was an especially bleak year for Syria as displacement across the country continued especially in Idlib province. Below are our top five blogs in 2019 that touched on these important issues that captured the attention of our readers.

SyriaSource by Reema Hibrawi

Corruption Political Reform
The complete destruction in Syria

Wed, Dec 18, 2019

Hof’s analysis of Susan Rice’s Syria comments

Former national security advisor, Susan Rice, recently wrote an op-ed lamenting the lack of options in solving the Syrian crisis, much like Samantha Powers, however, their arguments do not hold up against scrutiny.

SyriaSource by Frederic C. Hof

Politics & Diplomacy Security & Defense

Tue, Dec 10, 2019

Life after war: The impact of conflict on Syrian artists

After a scrawled graffiti message in Daraa, Syrian artists began to express themselves more than they ever could since the Assad family took power. Revolutionary art exploded on to the global scene during the Arab Spring. Particularly in Syria, artists, writers, and filmmakers found a new voice, free of fear. Defiance, grief, and frustration were […]

SyriaSource by Natasha Hall

Conflict Resilience & Society

Fri, Dec 6, 2019

Reconstruction and security sector reform in Syria must go hand in hand

The structure and characteristics of the pre-conflict Syrian security sector contributed heavily to the outbreak of the Syrian civil war; for decades, it stood for corruption, discrimination, violent repression, and large-scale human rights abuses. When the Arab Spring began to unfold in Egypt and Tunisia in early 2011, a group of Syrian school boys got […]

SyriaSource by Nora-Elise Beck and Lars Döbert

Germany Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

Mon, Nov 18, 2019

After the Syria withdrawal, it’s time the US rethinks the use of proxy forces

Proxy warfare is a 21st century military playbook utilized by great powers, like Russia, and the United States with some using it better than others.

SyriaSource by Mona Alami

Security & Defense Syria

Fri, Nov 8, 2019

The death of Baghdadi: How ISIS used al-Qaeda’s mistakes to grow a caliphate

Optimistic predictions about the end of the Islamic State (ISIS) surged in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s October 27 press conference announcing the death of the ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but prove misguided in the long term. The threat posed by ISIS remains high, particularly outside the para-state’s previously held territories in […]

SyriaSource by Amanda E. Rogers

Extremism Iraq

Thu, Nov 7, 2019

Journalists in northeast Syria fear the return of state security services

US President Donald Trump’s decision in early October to withdraw American troops from the Syria-Turkey border put the US’s local partner in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS, Daesh), the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in an unenviable position. Faced with an offensive by Turkey, NATO’s second largest military, the SDF struck a deal with […]

SyriaSource by Dan Wilkofsky

Conflict Media

Wed, Oct 23, 2019

What the Turkish-Russian deal in Syria means for Vladimir Putin

The Kremlin stands to reap significant rewards from its agreement with Turkey on Syria.

SyriaSource by Frederic C. Hof

Politics & Diplomacy Syria