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 by Monday night of every week.


Inside Syria

Pro-regime forces advance toward base in Syrian desert as US warns: Coalition will ‘defend’ itself (22 May, 2017) Pro-regime forces in the eastern Syrian desert are advancing towards a coalition base near the Iraqi-Syrian border, while a US military spokesperson tells Syria Direct that the American-led forces will “defend themselves” from any further encroachment.

Syria: Suicide car bombs hit Homs city, Damascus suburb (23 May, 2017) At least four people are reported dead after a car bomb goes off in Homs, as a second explosion hits a Damascus suburb.

U.S., Russia military increase communication in skies over Syria (24 May, 2017) The United States and Russia have increased communication to avoid warplane accidents in the skies over Syria as Islamic State militants lose territory and the air space becomes more crowded.

Inside Syria: How life goes on in a besieged town (24 May, 2017) Civilians in Erbin, one of Eastern Ghouta’s besieged communities, live with no water, electricity or public services.

Syrian army says senior Islamic State militant killed (24 May, 2017) The Syrian army said on Wednesday it had killed Islamic State’s military commander in Syria during operations in the north of the country, where the Russian-backed government forces are seizing more territory back from the jihadist group.

US-led strikes kill 35 civilians in east Syria: monitor (25 May, 2017) US-led strikes kill 35 in east Syria, just days after monitor reports highest monthly civilian death toll for coalition.

Syrian army advances south toward rebel-held area (26 May, 2017) The Syrian army said it had retaken a swathe of territory from Islamic State in southern Syria on Thursday in a rapid advance near areas held by U.S.-backed Syrian rebels at the border with Jordan and Iraq.

Iraq’s Iran-backed paramilitary advances toward Syria border (28 May, 2017) Iraq’s Iran-backed Shi’ite paramilitary force said on Sunday it had dislodged Islamic State from a number of villages west of Mosul, scoring further progress toward the border with Syria.

Regional and International Perspectives

Syrians roll back extremism in Idlib without military intervention (23 May, 2017) “In Idlib City, ordinary citizens have shown that they are capable of managing their civil affairs, alleviating suffering at the local level and rolling back extremism by themselves.”

Intrepid Sisters Reveal How ISIS Depends on Role of Women (26 May, 2017) Two forensic social workers who visit Lebanon’s notorious Roumieh prison gained a rare insight through inmates into the activity of female ISIS supporters, whose roles go far beyond that of wives.

How Manchester bomber Salman Abedi was radicalised by his links to Libya (28 May, 2017) The 22-year-old was influenced in part by the people who formed the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, a little-known al-Qaida affiliate outlawed in 2004.

Policy and Reports

Jordan has ‘hit limit’ hosting Syrian refugees (22 May, 2017) Jordan said Monday it has hit the limit of its ability to host Syrian refugees as Washington’s United Nations envoy Nikki Haley visited on her first overseas trip. 

France says not planning to reopen embassy in Syria (23 May, 2017) France’s foreign ministry said on Monday that the reopening of its embassy in Syria was not on the table, signaling there may be no fundamental change to Paris’ approach to the Syrian conflict under new president Emmanuel Macron.

Syrian refugee crisis: All your questions answered (25 May, 2017) More than five million people have fled Syria since the conflict began, and half of them are children.

U.S. Quietly Lifts Limit on Number of Refugees Allowed In (26 May, 2017) Despite repeated efforts by President Drumpf to curtail refugee resettlements, the State Department this week quietly lifted the department’s restriction on the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States.

Revived U.S. role in Syria offers opportunity for G7: French diplomat (26 May, 2017) The United States’ reengagement in Syria’s war gives impetus to the Group of Seven nations to find a political solution to a conflict going on now for over six years, a senior French diplomat said on Friday.

Executive Summary for May 26th (26 May, 2017) Syria Deeply review the key developments in Syria, including business as usual at the airfield that was attacked by U.S. forces last month, more claims of civilian casualties from coalition airstrikes, and assertions that the Manchester bomber did not travel to Syria, despite claims by British intelligence officers.


Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media

ISIS claims deadly Manchester attack at Ariana Grande concert (23 May, 2017) At least 22 people, including children, have been killed in a blast at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, in the deadliest terror attack on British soil since the 2005 London bombings.

War through Syrian eyes (25 May, 2017) In their own words, Syrian photographers reflect on the images that moved them most

Surgeons in Lebanon offer hope to wounded Syrian refugees (26 May, 2017) Six operations have failed to cure the constant pain that Ismael Moustafa suffers since he was wounded in an airstrike on his village in Syria three years ago.

Spring Reign review – rough and ready account of the Syrian conflict (26 May, 2017) Inspired by testimony from refugees, aid workers and journalists, Rob Johnston’s drama homes in on the streets of Aleppo



Searching for Syria (May 21, 2017) Exploring the world’s top questions about the Syrian refugee crisis. A project from UNHCR in partnership with Google.

Who and where are the Kurds? (23 May, 2017) One of the world’s largest stateless people that reside primarily in mountainous regions of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey.

Syria Crisis: Ar-Raqqa Situation Report No. 6 (as of 23 May 2017) SDF advances east and west of Ar-Raqqa city resulted in the displacement of over 20,000 people bringing the total number of IDPs tracked since November 2016 to almost 200,000.


Arabic Links

دار الأيتام في إعزاز ترعى مئات الأطفال السوريّين الذين فقدوا أسرهم بسبب الحرب وتطمح إلى استيعاب المزيد وتطوير خدماتها (May 17, 2017) An orphanage in Azaz, near Aleppo and the Turkish border, serves hundreds of Syrian children who lost their families in the ongoing war.

The English version of this article can be found here: Syrian orphanages overcrowded with children traumatized by war

بلاد لا ينبت القتلى في صباحاتها  (May 18, 2017) Widad Nabi shares her story of crossing Bab al-Salameh border checkpoint and the feelings and thoughts she encounters from that experience.

رسم خطط إعادة الإعمار في سوريا (May 22, 2017) Although an end to Syria’s conflict is not in sight, plans for reconstruction projects by the Syrian regime and international aid organizations are underway.

The English version of this article can be found here: Syria’s reconstruction plans take shape

ديما بياعة أولى الفنانين السوريين الداعمين لحقوق المثليين  (May 22, 2017) Dima Bayaa is the first Syrian artist to support gay rights publicly.

أسس لمشروع وطني سوري (May 22, 2017) Hussein Ghrer shares his perspective on what a national project to rebuild Syria could look like.

في مراجعة السنوات السورية الست  (May 22, 2017) Rateb Sha’abo argues that the military tyranny in the Syrian conflict became more important that any political positions resulting in marginalizing any possible political solutions.

عن حديث نهايات الثورة السورية (May 23, 2017) Ammar Daioub argues that Syrian revolution will not end until its causes end.

الإعلام… المعركة التي ربحها النظام مبكرًا (May 25, 2017) Azam Amin argues that the Syrian government official media discourse  has won the media war in the Syrian conflict.

أكاديميون وباحثون روس وسوريون يتوافقون على أسس للحل في سورية (May 25, 2017) This report is about a meeting between Syrians and Russians intellectuals who met in Moscow recently about political solution for the Syrian conflict.

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