[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Media Roundup Editors or of Salon Syria. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week’s roundup to info@SalonSyria.com by Monday night of every week.]

Inside Syria

Syrian opposition rejects Russia talks as west frets over influence (01 November 2017) Western diplomats hope reconstruction costs could prevent Russia or even Iran taking control of Syria’s future

Isis dealt twin blows with loss of Deir ez-Zor and key Iraq border post  (03 November 2017) Syrian troops’ recapture of Isis’s last major city in country’s east and Iraqi forces’ seizure of Husaybah border post mark fresh defeats for militants

Burying the dead in Syria’s Yarmouk camp  (04 November 2017) Tom Rollins describes the ironic reality in Yarmouk the Palestinian refugee camp in southern Damascus  which remains open to the dead and closed to the living.

Isis ousted from last major stronghold in Syria  (09 November 2017) Terror group’s withdrawal from Albu Kamal caps series of major defeats and leaves self-styled caliphate virtually wiped out

Cubs to lions: What’s next for ISIL’s child soldiers? (10 November 2017) Since the start of the Syrian civil war, armed groups have been using child soldiers in combat. ISIL, or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, is thought to have recruited around 2,000 children. They are called “ashbal al khilafa”, the “lion cubs of the caliphate”.

 The Disappeared of Syria (13 November 2017) A look at the invisible weapon of Bashar al-Assad’s regime: the kidnapping and torture of tens of thousands of Syrians.

Dozens of Syrians reported killed in air strikes on Aleppo market (13 November 2017) At least 53 people have been killed in the air strikes, believed to be Russian, according to war monitor

A year after the fall of Aleppo, Syria’s Ghouta faces same fate (25 November 2017) ‘Assad sees this as the final attack on east Ghouta and does not intend to stop until the entire besieged enclave is a smoking pile of rubble and dead bodies’

When hospitals become targets (26 November 2017) “Various rebel groups continue to fight, and Assad means to break them with another war crime — the destruction of hospitals.”

Syria: 80 people killed in just over 24 hours (27 November 2017) At least 80 people have been killed in just over 24 hours in suspected Russian and Syrian government shelling in the eastern and southern parts of Syria.

As Syrian Government Trumpets Military Wins, Fear Continues to Grip Locals in Damascus (28 November 2017) Manal Ismael reports: “In a country gripped by a devastating conflict like the Syrian war, Halloween’s flippant, playful quips contrast with serious, gruesome horrors that have become part of the Syrians’ macabre reality. Although the capital city Damascus has been spared the worst of fighting, different shades of fear diffuse the lives of the Damascenes.”

Syrian government to join UN peace talks in Geneva (28 November 2017) Russia brokers deal to keep future of Bashar al-Assad off initial agenda and postpones rival meeting in Sochi

Regional and International Perspectives

How Assad ‘won the war’ (03 November 2017) Malak Chabkoun wrties “So long as Assad continues be an obedient tyrant, throwing contracts their way and allowing them to control not only their fighters, but also large factions of Syrian fighters, Iran and Russia can continue to implement their agenda in Syria.”

No Justice for Khan Sheikhoun (06 November 2017) “A few years ago, it could have sparked a major international crisis, but now, the conclusion of a UN investigative panel that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have used nerve gas is unlikely to change the course of the war.”

Russian Presence Not Viewed as Occupation on Syrian Coast (08 November 2017) “The “Russian buildings” (Binayat Ar-Rus), as they are dubbed by the residents of Latakia, stand at the fringes of the city in a small gated neighborhood separated by a wall a few meters tall that dates back to the Soviet era in the eighties, when Russian military experts trained Syrian soldiers on the use of Soviet arms.”

U.S. to fight Islamic State in Syria ‘as long as they want to fight’ – Mattis  (13 November 2017) The U.S. military will fight Islamic State in Syria “as long as they want to fight,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday, describing a longer-term role for U.S. troops long after the insurgents lose all of the territory they control.

A lesson from Syria: it’s crucial not to fuel far-right conspiracy theories  (15 November 2017) The way discredited stories spread after a chemical weapons massacre in Syria should be a matter of serious concern.

Syria opposition meeting in Riyadh sees no role for Assad in transition  (23 November 2017) Syria’s main opposition stuck by its demand on Thursday that President Bashar al-Assad play no role in an interim period under any U.N.-sponsored peace deal, despite speculation it could soften its stance because of Assad’s battlefield strength.

Can Russian Presence Be Least of Evils in Opposition Stronghold? (25 November 2017) “Perspectives on the Russian soldiers in Al-Waer neighborhood, west of Homs, vary between welcoming them on the one hand, judging by their good treatment of residents compared to the regime’s soldiers and allied Shiite militants, and the absolute rejection of their presence on the other.”

De Mistura: Assad team not ‘confirmed’ for Geneva talks  (27 November 2017) The UN special envoy for Syria says the government delegation has not yet confirmed that it will attend the latest round of UN-mediated talks with the opposition in Geneva.

The UK hypocritically condemns blockades in Syria but not in Yemen  (27 November 2017) Britain angrily denounced this tactic when it was carried out by our established enemies, but when our allies are culpable for those same actions, we offer only ‘deep concern’

Turkish PM warns EU over refugee deal ahead of Syrian peace talks (27 November 2017) Binali Yıldırım suggests Turkey could withdraw from EU agreement if Kurdish forces are given a role in talks.

Policy and Reports 

Syria signs Paris Agreement – leaving US only country in the world to refuse climate change deal (07 November 2017) The Paris accord was first signed by nearly 200 countries in December 2015.

8,000 Syrian refugees settle in UK following public call for action  (08 November 2017) Vulnerable families grateful for ‘genuine’ welcome, although integration is harder in rural areas – UNHCR study.

Syria: ‘Surrender or starve’ strategy displacing thousands amounts to crimes against humanity (13 November 2017) In a comprehensive new report Amnesty International says that whole civilian populations who have suffered horrific sieges and been subjected to intensive bombardments have been given no choice but to leave or die under so-called “reconciliation” agreements between the Syrian government and armed opposition groups.

Male rape and sexual torture in the Syrian war: ‘It is everywhere’  (21 November 2017) When Sarah Chynoweth was asked to report on sexual violence against men and boys in the Syria crisis, she had no idea of the scale of the problem.

Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic push in Middle East seals both Syria’s fate and diminishing role of the US in the region (23 November 2017) An eighth round of UN-backed Syria peace talks begin in Geneva next week. As Washington falters in the region, however, Moscow is increasingly in the driver’s seat

Pentagon likely to acknowledge 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria: U.S. officials (24 November 2017) According to  U.S. officials , the Pentagon is likely to announce in the coming days that there are about 2,000 U.S. troops in Syria as the military acknowledges that an accounting system for troops has under-reported the size of forces on the ground.

24,746 Females Have been Killed in Syria since March 2011  (25 November 2017) SNHR has released a report entitled: “The Syrian Woman… A Society’s Shattered Half” on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The report documents the most notable violations against Syrian women by the parties to the conflict in Syria since March 2011.

Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media

Syria’s children: The impact of six years of war on young lives  (November 2017) Since the Syrian civil war broke out in 2011, more than eight million Syrian children have been affected by the conflict – out of which 2.4 million have become refugees in the neighbouring countries. The impact of the war on these young lives ranges from direct loss of family members and war injuries, to mental and psychological toll of growing up in warfare.

Syrian graphic novelist Hamid Sulaiman: ‘I don’t present villains or heroes’ (05 November 2017) The author of Freedom Hospital on dealing with the trauma of war in exile, the late friend his book is dedicated to, and why he still has hope.

Syria in ruins  (08 November 2017) A Canadian photojournalist captures scenes from Syria’s second-largest city before reconstruction gets underway.

Syrian dancers explore a new kind of movement in Berlin  (10 November 2017) Three Syrian dancers are using the stage to show the challenges – and possibilities – of cultural integration.

Is the war in Syria really almost over? (21 November 2017) Syria’s president visits Russia to thank his allies for their sacrifices and for ‘saving’ his country.

Iran declares ‘the end of Isis’ in live state TV broadcast (21 November 2017) Iranian leader’s comments come in wake of Arab League meeting in which Saudi Arabia called on region to unite against Iran’s ‘destabilising’ role.

We pressed pause the day we had to leave Syria. The shock never goes away (27 November 2017) War has shattered our society and put our lives on hold. Now we women are demanding that our voices are heard in building peace in our damaged country.


Syria: Who controls what? (02 November 2017) A map of the Syrian civil war that shows who controls what after years of fighting.

The rise and fall of ISIL (05 November 2017) A chronology of ISIL’s quick territorial victories and defeats in Iraq and Syria.

Secret convoy let hundreds of IS fighters escape  (13 November 2017) The BBC has uncovered details of a deal that let hundreds of IS fighters – including foreign militants – and their families escape from Raqqa in Syria, under the gaze of the US and British-led coalition and Kurdish-led forces who control the city.

These are the countries with the most terror attacks, mapped (16 November 2017) The 10 largest attacks occurred in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Afghanistan. Seven of the 10 occurred in Iraq

Arabic Links:

النساء العربيات والكرديات في سوريا يوحّدن صفوفهن للنضال من أجل المستقبل  Scores of Arab women are joining the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units in Syria as they see an opportunity to improve their lives and the lives of future generations of women.

The English version of this article can be found here: Syria’s Arab, Kurdish women join forces to fight for future

الديمقراطية إذ تدافع عن نفسها  Tareq Azizieh discusses the consequences of the recent German parliamentary elections and the rise of the Alternative für Deutschland.

الطريق نحو إعادة إعمار الرقة The city of Raqqa, newly liberated from the Islamic State by the Kurdish-led and US-supported Syrian Democratic Forces, will now face the challenges of reconstruction.

The English version of this article can be found here: The road to rebuilding Raqqa

ليس من السهل أن تكون نسويا  Rula Asad reflects on the experiences that shaped her feminist consciousness and the problematic understanding of the concept feminism.

 كيف يبقى سكّان الغوطة الشّرقيّة على قيد الحياة رغم الحصار  The 350000 residents of Eastern Ghouta continue to live under the siege, where aid is never enough and the semi-autonomous way to survive the blockage was halted due to water shortage and contamination.

The English version of this article can be found here:How Eastern Ghouta residents survive siege

معتقلون سابقون يقاضون المخابرات السورية أمام المحاكم الألمانية  Thirteen former detainees and detainees in Syrian regime prisons filed a complaint against prominent military figures and officials of the regime’s National Security and Air Intelligence Bureau supported by Amnesty International and the European Center for Constitutional Rights and Human Rights.

هولاكو في الرقة… من النظام إلى “داعش” فالمليشيات الكردية  Ali Hammad overviews the history of foreign and military influences over Raqqa and the recent political developments.

الهوية والاستعمار في الجولان المحتل، ملاحظات في جدلية الوعي والهيمنة  Mounir Fakhreddine discusses issues around identity and political awareness in the occupied Golan Heights and historical and future strategies of self-building and resistance to colonialism.

المساكنة في دمشق حرام … والصمت عن أسبابها حلال  Malek Abou Kheer writes about the reality of cohabitation in Syria and the economic, social circumstances that facilitate it.

الشمس تضيء مخيّم الزعتري ليلاً ونهاراً!  A German-built solar power facility is helping to improve life for residents of the Zaatari Syrian refugee camp and other camps in Jordan through clean energy.

The English version of this article can be found here: Syrian refugee camp in Jordan goes solar

مؤشرات التنمية البشرية في سورية، قبل الثورة وبعدها  Hossam El Saad and Talal Mostafa analyze the human development index in Syria and the effects of the absence of some development indicators on sustainable development and the current political unrest.

اللاجئون السوريون يستفيدون من قانون التأشيرة الجديد للأرجنتين Argentina is among a group of countries in South America that have agreed to accept more resettled refugees.

أرشيف رقميّ يحفظ الجانب الابداعيّ من الثورة السوريّة  A project called “The Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution” is building an online archive of artistic expression during the Syrian revolution.

The English version of this article can be found here: Digital archive preserves creative side of Syrian revolution

[This article is published jointly in partnership with Jadaliyya.]