SyriaSource

  • The Risks of Ignoring Former ISIS Women Members

    The relationship between the Islamic State (ISIS) and its female members has always been complicated. On the one hand, the extremist group imposed rigid restrictions on women’s dress and their ability to appear in public places. On the other hand, it conscripted and trained many women to undertake various tasks within its ranks. Now, as the military defeat of ISIS draws near, many women want to go back to their lives before they joined.


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  • ‘A Slow Death’ : Syrians Continue to Suffer in Idlib

    In light of what appears to be Assad’s victory in Syria, domestic and international attention is increasinglyshifting towards Syria’s reconstruction phase and the future of post-war Syria. But for many Syrians, the horrors of war are far from over. 


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  • Constant Attacks Continue to Displace Thousands in Syria

    The Syrian government along with its Russian allies launched a brutal assault on Idlib province, the last rebel-held areas, on Monday 30 April. The United Nations said the attacks included the worst use of barrel bombs by the Syrian army in 15 months. It said an estimated 323,000 people have been displaced in northwest Syria since last year. This bloody assault has been going on for two weeks and is a violation of the ongoing ceasefire agreement. The only victims of the daily barrel bombs and the Russians airstrikes are the civilians in Idlib.


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  • Why Europe Won’t Rebuild Syria

    Since the fall of 2018, we have seen increasing signals of disagreement among European Union (EU) member states regarding Syria. The official EU position remains one of non-engagement with the Bashar al-Assad regime until the realization of an “inclusive and Syrian-led political process that meets the legitimate aspirations of the Syrian people”— as stated in the United Nations Resolution 2254 that inspires the EU position. However, some European governments are breaking away from this position and beginning to engage with the Syrian government. Although some degree of political normalization between single EU member states and Damascus is likely in the near future, several powerful factors still prevent any significant European contribution to

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  • In Syria, Trump Claims Victory but ISIS Remains

    US President Donald Trump’s December 2018 tweet announcing the withdrawal of American military forces from Syria has inadvertently invited ISIS (ISIL, IS, Daesh, Islamic State) to resurrect itself. Even though American officials have walked-back the presidential decree, the president himself has signaled no enduring or enthusiastic support for the essential, victory-sealing stabilization of areas liberated from ISIS.


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  • Mapping Ceasefire Violations in Idlib

    The Idlib deconfliction zone created by Russia and Turkey at Sochi in September 2018 is currently subject to violations by both the Assad regime and armed opposition groups. Regime and armed opposition groups have targeted each other since February. Tension is increasing between Russia and Turkey due to these ongoing violations and ultimately over the fate of the agreement. These violations are important because of the danger they pose to the three million inhabitants in the area. If the agreement collapses and the regime mounts an offensive on Idlib, using similar tactics ...
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  • The Institutionalization of Demographic Change in Syria

    Before 2011, Syria’s population was estimated at twenty one million people. But after eight years of conflict, five million fled the country, and more than six million are internally displaced people (IDP)s between Idlib province and northern Syria. This displacement is not merely a consequence of the war, but rather a specific goal of the regime and its allies’ strategy in order to regain control of the country. The regime carried out widespread forced displacement in Homs, Damascus, Aleppo and the nearby countryside to effect demographic change. The regime rewarded loyalists with homes in Damascus and punished opposition figures and communities by forcibly evacuating them from their homes to the other

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  • Annex the Golan, Make Assad’s Day

    A new flurry of reports suggesting Israel may formally annex the occupied Golan Heights is music to the ears of Bashar al-Assad, a mass murderer who would welcome a decisive change of subject from his own criminality to what he will characterize as Israel’s theft of Syrian land. Among the delighted will be Iran and Hezbollah, whose resistance pretentions will be gratuitously elevated above their sewer of transnational terror, drug running, and money laundering. As there is nothing substantive to be gained by Israel through formal annexation and much to be potentially lost, one wonders why its proponents are so eager to do it.


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  • The Heavy Lift

    The declared top objective of the Trump administration for Syria is “the enduring defeat of ISIS [ISIL, Daesh, Islamic State].” Presumably this means not only killing the bogus caliphate in its physical and ideological dimensions, but keeping it dead. If the presumption is correct, the administration should prepare itself for a heavy and sustained political, diplomatic, developmental, and military lift in Syria; east of the Euphrates River. There is no sign it is preparing to do so. The concern here is that the security of American allies and friends in the region and in Europe will be jeopardized by a half-hearted American effort; that an undead ISIS can threaten North America itself.


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  • The Horrors Inflicted on Idlib: Ongoing Ceasefire Violations

    The de-escalation zone in Syria encompassing Northern Hama and Idlib Provinces is witnessing ongoing and large-scale cease-fire violations by multiple parties. Recent escalations last night showed the first use of incendiaryphosphorous attacks—a flammable chemical weapon—in almost a year and targeting the towns ofal-Tamanah,Sarmin, and...
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