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, Jun 14, 2021

Narcos: Syria edition—and what the US can do about it

Little-consumed outside the Middle East, captagon—also known as the “poor man’s cocaine”—has proliferated, owing to an industrial boom centered predominantly in war-torn Syria, where the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad now relies on narcotics as a financial lifeline.

MENASource by Ian Larson

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Tue, Jun 8, 2021

Five years of Russian aid in Syria proves Moscow is an unreliable partner

After Russia’s first year in Syria, Russia became even more explicit with its intentions about the use of humanitarian aid. In other words, humanitarian aid had become a key soft power instrument.

MENASource by Jonathan Robinson

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Mon, May 24, 2021

The US sanctions regimen against the Assad regime is working. Here’s how.

The US’ targeted and tailored sanctions regimen not only give the US and its allies leverage toward a political resolution to the conflict, but so too do said designations hold together a de facto nationwide ceasefire throughout Syria.

MENASource by Peter Metzger

Economic Sanctions Middle East

Tue, May 18, 2021

Factbox: Iranian presence in Syria’s Deir ez-Zor province

Since the beginning of 2018, Iran has been directly involved in the battle against ISIS in eastern Syria. Through its participation, Iran has been able to carry out its expansion project specifically in Deir ez-Zor, a province bordering Iraq that is troubled by a fragile security situation.

MENASource by Navvar Saban

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

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


Fri, Oct 18, 2019

Turkey’s “pause” in Syria: Will the US tourniquet stop the bleeding?

Time will tell whether the United States can take advantage of a pause in Turkish military operations to broker a diplomatic solution to the Northeast Syria crisis.

SyriaSource by Frederic C. Hof

Politics & Diplomacy Syria

Tue, Oct 15, 2019

Syria: Is anything salvageable?

The importance of Syria to the West generally and to the United States specifically dictates that something of value be salvaged from the wreckage. Facilitating the resurrection of ISIS and the restoration of a terrorism-abetting Assad regime to all of Syria should be unthinkable.

SyriaSource by Frederic C. Hof

Middle East Politics & Diplomacy

Thu, Oct 3, 2019

In solidarity with Sudan: Syria’s graffiti movement

Within this project, local volunteers planned and organized graffiti murals, based off of London artist and social commentator Banksy, reflecting on current events while tying in the Syrian conflict.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion by Rana Riziq

Civil Society Resilience & Society

Fri, Sep 20, 2019

Samantha Power’s uneasy legacy on Syria

It is the memoir of someone who is anything but a time server; someone who truly cares about things and who has tried—often successfully—to make a difference for the better.

SyriaSource by Frederic C. Hof

Politics & Diplomacy Syria

Thu, Sep 12, 2019

War and art: The graffiti movement in Syria

A local Syrian civil society organization, Kesh Malek, is focused on supplying humanitarian aid and services to Syrians throughout Syria. One of its successful media campaigns this year is the Syria Banksy project.

SyriaSource by Rana Riziq

Civil Society Syria

Mon, Aug 5, 2019

The evolution of Syrian revolutionary art

Perhaps, it is unsurprising then, that political posters and street art became so ubiquitous in the Syrian Revolution. The regimes of the Middle East knew the political potential for art. For this reason, it has always been closely monitored.

SyriaSource by Natasha Hall


Thu, Aug 1, 2019

Why is the US clashing with the Dutch over Syria?

As the women’s national soccer teams battled it out for the World Cup title in early July, another clash was taking place in the political realm between the Americans and the Dutch over the latter’s military contribution in Syria.

SyriaSource by Grace Wermenbol


Thu, Aug 1, 2019

Syrians at the Turkish border: humiliation, torture, and death

Yet the journey is fraught with danger that doesn’t end at the border. If anything, the border itself is the most dangerous part of the journey with Turkish border guards known as “Jandarma,” who frequently capture, beat, and steal from Syrian refugees only to send them back into Syria.

SyriaSource by Tesbih Habbal


Wed, Jul 17, 2019

Getting out – again?

Will allies and partners be certain of American steadfastness? Can American officials genuinely claim to know the commander-in-chief’s intent? President Trump may not wish to make Iran’s day by gifting northeastern Syria to it, Russia, and the Assad regime.

SyriaSource by Frederic C. Hof


Thu, Jul 11, 2019

The conflict has torn apart Syrian tribes, but they remain an important player

Despite the lack of focus on the Syrian Arab tribes’ social and political roles, they continue to be an important player between the conflicting parties in Syria, especially the Euphrates region and in northern Syria.

SyriaSource by Khalifa al-Khuder