SyriaSource

  • Syria: Hard Times in ISIL-Free Land

    The temptation to heap scorn on the US-led “train-and-equip” program seeking to create an anti-Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) Syrian ground force by recruiting Syria rebels will no doubt increase due to the kidnapping (by the Nusra Front) of the commander of the unit into which new trainees have been funneled.
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  • The Northern Syria "Safe Zone"

    Reports of an American and Turkish agreement to close a sixty mile stretch of the Syria-Turkey border to the Islamic State (ISIL or ISIS) and to create—to an as yet undisclosed depth—a protected “safe zone” from the border south into Aleppo Province may signal a dramatic turn of Obama administration policy toward the crisis in Syria.
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  • Has Syria Been “Sold” To Iran?

    One of the staples of opinion among Syrians struggling to survive the twin onslaught of the Islamic State (ISIL or ISIS) and the Assad regime is that the United States “sold” Syria to Iran to close the deal with Tehran on nuclear weapons.
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  • Syria: Preempting the Worst, Should Assad Fall

    Recent Assad regime reverses on Syrian battlefields have revived Obama administration fears of “catastrophic success:” that the person told by President Barack Obama in August 2011 to step aside might instead be pushed aside and that his fall could entail a regime collapse exploited by extremists intent on avenging the mass homicide atrocities of the regime.
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  • Dealing with Iran Post-Deal

    One may see the nuclear agreement with Iran as the product of a faulty premise and still respect the industry of US Secretary of State John Kerry and his team in arriving at respectable terms consistent with that premise. One may see the prospect of a regionally aggressive Iran soon to be flush with cash as alarming and still—given the positions of Washington’s closest allies and the international community in general—counsel Congress to show solidarity with the commander-in-chief.
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  • Syria’s Hidden Crisis (Part II)

    The Syrian government has trapped hundreds of thousands of its own people in besieged areas, intentionally depriving them of food, medicine, electricity, and water, as a cruel tactic of war. Despite the inhumane conditions they have been living with for years now, the people of these areas have received little help from the international community.
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  • Syrian No-Fly Zone: From Slogans to Details

    The Washington Post, on July 10th,contained an impressive commentary authored by Atlantic Council Director Nicholas Burns and International Rescue Committee CEO David Miliband.  In Syria’s Worsening Refugee Crisis Demands Action from the West, the authors argue—among other things—that, “The debate about a no-fly zone across Syria to protect civilians from the Assad government’s deadly ‘barrel bombs’ needs to move from slogans to details.”  What is crucial, however, is the venue of this detailed debate. 
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  • Trouble in Train-and-Equip Land

    On July 7, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter revealed to incredulous members of the Senate Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon is currently training sixty Syrian anti-Assad rebels to fight the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL).  Even in the context of a train-and-equip program that has aimed fatally low from the outset—some 15,000 fighters over three years—Carter’s report reflects abject failure.  He spoke the truth when he said, “We need a partner on the ground in Syria to ensure ISIL’s lasting defeat.”  The train-and-equip program as currently configured will not meet that objective.
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  • Syria’s Hidden Crisis (Part I)

    The conflict in Syria has trapped hundreds of thousands of civilians in parts of Homs and Damascus, besieged by their own government for years. They struggle to survive, facing shortages of basic goods including food, water, and medicine while continuing to endure violent aerial attacks.
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  • US Human Rights Report on Syria Portends a Merciless 2015

    The 2014 Syria Report on Human Rights Practices released on June 25, 2015 describes at length—and sometimes in graphic detail—the egregious violations taking place in Syria.
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