[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 Editors. 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

Offensives target ISIL on Lebanon-Syria border(19 August 2017) Lebanese army starts operation near Ras Baalbek while separate Hezbollah-Syrian army offensive begins in Qalamoun.

Syria: Bashar al-Assad rejects security cooperation with west (20 August 2017) Assad praises Russia, Iran, China and Hezbollah for supporting government as shell kills several at international fair.

ISIL mine kills three Lebanese troops on Syrian border (20 August 2017) Lebanon army advances against ISIL in border battle and has recaptured two thirds of the territory, says military.

Living in a void: life in Damascus after the exodus ( 22 August 2017) During six years of civil war in Syria, novelist Khaled Khalifa has watched wave after wave of friends and family flee his home city. But despite everything, he has decided to stay.

Civilians in Raqqa under fire ‘from all sides’: Amnesty (23 August 2017) Rights group says civilians are at a greater risk as the battle to remove ISIL from its de facto capital intensifies.

“Spent Eid Holiday While the Father Detained” ( 24 August 2017) Account of the Disappeared Journalist Barzan Liani by Pro-Autonomous Administration Asayish Forces.

Syrian army surrounds Islamic State enclave in central Syria ( 24 August 2017) The Syrian army and its allies have surrounded Islamic State forces in a second large enclave in the center of the country, a military media unit run by Hezbollah said.

Lebanon, Syria declare ceasefires in fight against ISIL (27 August, 2017) Lebanon declares truce to pave way for release of ISIL-held troops as Syrian army and Hezbollah halt separate campaign.

Entire Families Are Being Killed by U.S.. Airstrikes in Raqqa, Syria  (28 August 2017) As the battle for Raqqa moves into the heart of the city, coalition airstrikes and artillery fire have been blamed for attacks that have resulted in civilian deaths.

US-led air attacks block ISIL evacuation deal (31 August 2017) Jets carry out two sets of air raids to block ISIL evacuees from reaching area held by the group near Syria-Iraq border.


Regional and International Perspectives

Rules for reconstruction in Syria (24 August, 2017) Steven Heydemann writes: “For the Assad regime…reconstruction is not seen as a means for economic recovery and social repair, but as an opportunity for self-enrichment.”

Netanyahu: Iran building missile production sites in Syria, Lebanon (28 August, 2017) Netanyahu said  that Iran is building sites to produce precision-guided missiles in Syria and Lebanon, with the aim of using them against Israel.

After Syria fall-out, Hamas ties with Iran restored: Hamas chief  (28 August, 2017) Hamas and Iran have patched up relations, the Palestinian militant group’s new leader in Gaza said on Monday, and Tehran is again its biggest backer after years of tension over the civil war in Syria.

Moscow’s mercenaries reveal the privatisation of Russian geopolitics (29 August, 2017) Further revelations regarding the role of Russian private military contractors in Syria exposes how, under Putin, “state” and “private” are often one and the same thing.

Victory for Assad looks increasingly likely as world loses interest in Syria  (31 August, 2017) States that were until recently committed to toppling the Syrian leader are now resigned to him staying.

When did protest against the Assad government turn to war in Syria? (31 August, 2017) Instead of serious political advice, the West, especially the US and their proxy Arab allies in the Gulf, then poured weapons into Syria – enough arms to destroy Syria but not enough to overthrow the regime, as one ex-rebel told me.


Policy and Reports

Reports of Khaled Sharrouf’s death ‘reliable’, defence minister says (18 August, 2017) Marise Payne says Australia has power to ‘red flag’ coalition attacks but declines to comment further on death of Sharrouf’s two sons in the airstrike.

Syria: ‘This case is about saving humanity’ (20 August, 2017) A group of Syrian torture victims, now refugees in Germany, have taken a key step on the long road towards justice.

Russia says 200 ISIL fighters killed in Syria air raid (21 August, 2017) Russia has intensified an air campaign this month to help drive ISIL out of its major stronghold of Deir Az Zor.

Two North Korean shipments to Syria intercepted in six months, UN told (22 August, 2017) Security council reportedly investigating suspected chemical and conventional arms cooperation between two countries.

U.N. calls for pause in air strikes to spare civilians in Syria’s Raqqa  (24 August, 2017) The United Nations called on Thursday for a humanitarian pause to allow an estimated 20,000 trapped civilians to escape from the Syrian city of Raqqa, and urged the U.S.-led coalition to rein in air strikes that have caused casualties.

Report: Saudi, UAE weapons end up with armed groups (27 August, 2017) Investigative journalist says Azerbaijan-owned carrier used to move large quantities of heavy weapons to conflict zones.

Syria: Talks Should Address ‘Disappeared’ (29 August, 2017) Human Rights Watch demand that international backers of negotiations to end the conflict in Syria should ensure that any transitional process includes a robust independent body to investigate thousands of “disappeared.”

The Arabic version of this article can be found here:سوريا: يجب أن تعالج ملف “المختفين”

Tortured and abused: hidden horror of ‘disappeared’ women in Syrian prisons (30 August, 2017) On International Day of the Disappeared, campaigners are calling on the UN to bring the world’s attention to the terrible plight of Assad’s detainees


Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media

Syrian actress who became icon of the rebellion against President Bashar Assad dies at 46 (17 August, 2017) Fadwa Suleiman, an outspoken Syrian actress who took center stage at anti-government protests in the early days of the uprising against President Bashar Assad, has died after battling cancer, Syrian opposition groups and friends of the actress said Thursday. She was 46.

The evolution of war photography (19 August, 2017) From Lebanon’s civil war to ISIL’s takeover of Mosul and Aleppo, how has war photography changed over the years?

‘Dragon’s Den’ for migrant entrepreneurs (23 August, 2017) An initiative is trying to turn Middle Eastern migrants in Europe into technology entrepreneurs.

Fairouz in Exile (Fall, 2017) How hellish could it be after the horrors of Syria? Until Ahmad got to Germany, he could never fathom the warnings from these lucky Syrians in Europe.

Is Hezbollah stronger after its involvement in Syria? (28 August, 2017) ISIL fighters moved from northeast Lebanon to Syria as part of deal with Hezbollah and Syrian government forces. Kamel Wazne, Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, Sami Nader discuss with Richelle Carey what will this mean for Hezbollah’s future and the power dynamics in the region.

Zakaria Tamer: “On the side of the Syrian people” (31 August, 2017) Syrian writer Zakaria Tamer, 86, gives a unique interview reflecting on the current situation in Syria.

World Cup qualifying: Syria beat Qatar to keep hopes alive  (31 August, 2017) Syria earned a vital 3-1 win against Qatar to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for a first ever World Cup.



MAPPED: The battle against ISIL (20 August, 2017) In the past year and a half, ISIL’s territory has been shrinking steadily.

What is left of ISIL’s ‘caliphate’? (31 August, 2017) The armed group used to control one third of Iraq’s territory and a large part of Syria, but now it has lost most of it.


Arabic Links:

صور من الحياة في وادي النصارى Laial Hanna describes different scenes from daily life in Wadi al-Nasara, an area that is mostly populated by Christians.

حمص 2017: انحسار الطائفية وامتعاض الموالين من الإيرانيين Through interviews with different people from Homs city who have various political affiliation, this article shows people’s tiredness from sectarianism and the Iranian presence.

فدوى سليمان.. الموت قهرًا        Mohamad Dibo reflects on the death of Fadwa Soliman, a Syrian actress who was one of the most recognized faces of the Syrian Uprising.

أي سوريّة هذه يا فدوى؟ Ammar Daioub reflects on the death of Fadwa Soliman, a Syrian actress who was one of the most recognized faces of the Syrian Uprising.

فدوى سليمان: فارق الأنثى وتنميط الطائفة Subhi Hadidi reflects on the death of Fadwa Soliman, a Syrian actress who was one of the most recognized faces of the Syrian Uprising.

وقف الديانة التركيّ يرمّم المساجد في منطقة درع الفرات في ريف حلب  The Turkiye Diyanet Foundation embarked on a mission to rebuild and renovate a large number of mosques in Aleppo province that were destroyed by fighting that raged between the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the Turkish army and the Islamic State (IS).

The English version of this article can be found here: Turkish foundation helps Syrians recover from devastation of war

المنظّمات النسائية السوريّة بين الواقع والمأمول  This article explores the rise of several Syrian civil society organizations that focus on women’s issues since March 2011 and the opportunities and challenges that face such organizations.

حوار مع ميّة الرحبي: النسوية والإسلام  Rehab Shaker interviews Dr. Maia Al-Rahbi about her book “Woman and Islam” and her contextual, historical reading of this topic.

انتصار نظام الإبادة السياسية  In an interview, Yassin al-Haj Saleh describes how Syrians have been denied any meaning for their suffering.

The English version of this article can be found here: The Triumph of Politicide

عاصي: المواطن السوري يعيش يومه بأقل من 50 سنتاً من الدولار  Former Syrian minister of Economy says most of Syria’s population lives on less than 50 American cent a day.

تركيا تدعم المجلس المحليّ في مدينة الباب للنهوض بالمدينة وإعادة إعمارها  In a bid to facilitate the return of Syrian refugees in Turkey to their homes, the Turkish government has been making considerable efforts to reconstruct and rehabilitate the destroyed Syrian areas that were liberated during Operation Euphrates Shield.

The English version of this article can be found here: Why is Turkey so invested in rehabilitating Syrian city of al-Bab?

[This article is published jointly in partnership with Jadaliyya.