[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 Roundups 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

Countryside Dwellers and City Dwellers… About the Syria that we Know very well (10 September 2017) “Munira says that countryside dwellers have started to feel they are proud of their belonging to their small towns and villages only after the revolution.”

As War Rages, Tabqa Schools Offer Hope to Syrian Children (12 September 2017) “Local officials face numerous challenges as they struggle to get students back into the education system while the war continues, but several Tabqa schools are set to reopen for Syrian children this week, just months after the city was liberated from ISIS.”

Hundreds of Isis defectors mass on Syrian border hoping to flee (12 September 2017) Several dozen former fighters have already crossed into southern Turkey in recent weeks as terror group loses territory.

Turkey deploys 80 military vehicles near Syrian border (17 September 2017) Deployment comes after Russia, Turkey, and Iran agreed to send ‘de-escalation’ forces to Syria in the coming weeks.

SOHR: Israeli warplanes hit near Damascus airport (22 September 2017) The air raids reportedly struck sites controlled by the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah, says UK-based activist group.

Syrians vote in Kurdish-led regions of north (22 September 2017) Syrians voted in an election organized by the Kurdish-led authorities of northern Syria, the start of a three-phase process to set up new governing institutions that aim to shore up regional autonomy.

Syria to consider granting Kurds greater autonomy (26 September 2017) Discussions on extended powers for Syrian Kurds to begin once Assad government defeats ISIL, foreign minister says.

British film-maker killed by Isis militants in Syria (27 September 2017) Mehmet Aksoy, from London, was working as a press officer for Kurdish forces in Raqqa when military base was attacked

Behind the story: Meet the journalists who risk the wrath of all sides to cover Syria’s south (27 September 2017) Five journalists, two from Suwayda province, two from Daraa and one from Quneitra, who cover the Syrian conflict on the ground at great personal risk share their stories and talk about challenges they faced.

Suwayda residents, citing weak government authority, turn anew to tribal laws to resolve civil, criminal matters(27 September 2017) “Residents of regime-held Suwayda province in Syria’s south are turning to centuries-old tribal practices to combat lawlessness, solve familial disputes and handle marriages in the absence of an effective civil authority, residents and local leaders on the ground tell Syria Direct.”

Joshua Landis: Syria on track ‘to go back to what we had before’ (28 September 2017) In this interview,  Joshua Landis says that the way forward is an economy revitalized by regional transportation, trade routes and tourism.

‘New Baghdadi tape’ posted by Islamic State group (28 September 2017) Islamic State militants have released what appears to be an audio recording of their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Rare Islamic State victory in rural Homs splits displaced families apart (2 October, 2017) If confirmed, the capture of Qaryatayn is a rare victory for IS as the group’s forces suffer major losses in eastern Syria’s Raqqa and Deir e-Zor provinces, amid separate campaigns by US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces and the regime to eradicate the group from its remaining territory.

Deadly bombing hits Damascus police station (3 October, 2017) ‘Terrorist explosion’ in al-Midan area kills more than 10 people, including civilians and police, in continued violence.

Syrian Soldier Is Guilty of War Crime, a First in the 6-Year Conflict (3 October, 2017) “For the first time, six years into a war that began with Syria’s secret police accused of torturing teenagers and has escalated in brutality ever since, a member of the Syrian military has been convicted of a war crime.”


Regional and International Perspectives

The best weapon to de-radicalise Isis returnees? Our own humanity (15 September 2017) Extremists coming back from Syria must not be seen as one-dimensional, Bond-movie bad guys. Our task is to remember that perpetrators can be victims.

US funding cuts and the impact on Syrian refugee women (20 September 2017) How the US went from all to nothing at a maternity clinic in the world’s largest Syrian refugee camp.

Exclusive: Turkey to deploy troops inside Syria’s Idlib – Erdogan (22 September 2017) Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday Turkey will deploy troops in Syria’s northern Idlib region as part of a so-called de-escalation agreement brokered by Russia last month.

Has the Syrian opposition lost the war? (23 September 2017) Journalist Patrick Cockburn and Syrian American Council adviser Mohammed Ghanem offer differing views on the Syrian war.

Moscow clashes with EU over aid to Syria (23 September 2017) Russia clashed with the EU over Syria, accusing the bloc of politicizing aid by linking reconstruction funds to a political transition that would end the war.

Evicted Refugees in Lebanon Have Nowhere Left to Run (28 September 2017) Lebanon wants to evict 12,000 refugees who live near an air base where foreign military assistance is delivered. The evictions, which began in spring and recently resumed after a short respite, have left refugees more vulnerable amid rising demands they return to Syria.

Expert Views: Is Jordan Headed Toward Detente With Damascus? (29 September 2017) Syria Deeply’s expert community weighs in on a possible rapprochement between Amman and Damascus and the drive in some quarters for improved relations between the two states.

Do Russians care about Syria? (30 September 2017) Two years into the Russian intervention in Syria, we ask what Russians think of the war.

Saudi king heads to Russia, with oil, investment and Syria on agenda (3 October, 2017) The leaders of Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world’s biggest oil exporters, are expected to discuss cooperation on oil production and differences over Syria and Iran on Thursday during the first visit to Moscow by a reigning Saudi Monarch.


Policy and Reports

EU launches “Brussels process” for Syria, Mogherini announces at UNGA (21 September 2017) The EU is ready to contribute to the stabilisation and early recovery of areas where violence has decreased, and will hold a second conference on Syria in Spring 2018. In parallel, the EU continues to support the Geneva talks with the aim of a credible and inclusive agreement.

The socio-economic roots of Syria’s uprising (21 September 2017) While the outbreak of revolution in 2011 took many by surprise, the pre-conditions for such an upheaval had accumulated for decades.

German justice handed 27,000 images of ‘torture and killings by Assad regime’  (22 September 2017) More than 27,000 images of torture and killings allegedly perpetrated by the Assad regime in Syria have been handed to German prosecutors who are investigating possible abuses, a rights group said on Friday.

Intolerable Living Conditions in “al-Rukban Camp” on the Jordanian-Syrian Border  (25 September 2017) “Tens of Thousands of Displaced Persons have Difficulty Accessing Potable Water and Health Care”

Syria: Coalition Airstrikes Killed Dozens Near Raqqa (25 September 2017) Human Rights Watch said in a report that two aerial attacks near Raqqa, Syria in March killed at least 84 civilians, including 30 children, and raise concerns that US-led coalition forces fighting the ISIS did not take adequate precautions to minimize civilian casualties.

Post-ISIS Governance in Jarablus: A Turkish-led Strategy (26 September 2017) Turkey’s capacity to ensure the sustainability of its successes against ISIS depends largely on improving governance in Jarablus.

Will the U.S. Abandon the Kurds of Syria Once ISIS is Destroyed? by Landis, Itani, Simon (1 October 2017)  Joshua Landis, Faysal Itani, Steven Simon shares their perspectives on whether the United States would stand by the Kurds of north Syria once ISIS is destroyed.

Jordan: Syrian Refugees Being Summarily Deported (2  October 2017) Human Rights Watch said in a report that Jordanian authorities have been summarily deporting Syrian refugees – including collective expulsions of large families.

The Arabic version of this report can be found here: الأردن: ترحيل مستعجل للاجئين سوريين


Documentaries, Special Reports, and Other Media

Campfire songs in a war zone: Syria’s girl scouts earn their stripes (19 September 2017) Arabic could become the fourth official language of the world Girlguiding movement, as Syria’s girl scout network wins international recognition

We felt so lucky to foster a young refugee. Don’t let Parsons Green tarnish a proud tradition (20 September 2017) Fostering a teenager from Syria has been a privilege and given us a new perspective on our lives. I hope this horrific attack does not deter future carers.

Syrian opposition activist and her journalist daughter murdered in Turkey (22 September 2017) 60-year-old Orouba Barakat and 22-year-old daughter Halla were found overnight in their apartment in Istanbul’s Uskudar neighbourhood.

How One Syrian Fought to the Death for a Free Internet (27 September 2017) Della Ratta says. “We should take it very seriously when the international community is dealing with Bashar al-Assad like he’s not doing what he’s doing, which is killing his people and executing people like Bassel. It’s a very sad story but it deserves to be told. Otherwise an entire chapter of this situation in Syria will be lost.”

Fatal Attraction: The Islamic State’s Politics of Sentimentality (28 September 2017) “The ability of the Islamic State (IS) to gain virtual and literal ground in terms of recruitment throughout the world is very much linked to its politics of sentimentality.”

5 amazing ways #MeWeSyria is helping young Syrian refugees (1 October 2017) The work that #MeWeSyria is doing to support and facilitate young Syrians in telling their stories is a fundamental part of the effort to bridge the gap between educational and emotional needs.

The 13-year-old Syrian refugee who became a prizewinning poet (1 October 2017) A year after learning to speak English, Amineh Abou Kerech has won this year’s Betjeman prize. She tells us how she found her voice.

Review: ‘The Impossible Revolution’ in Syria (3 October 2017) Lebanese writer Joey Ayoub reviews Yassin Al-Haj Saleh’s The Impossible Revolution: Making Sense of the Syrian Tragedy.



Mapping the Battle Against ISIS in Deir Ezzor (26 September 2017) Syria Deeply examines the pitched battle for Deir Ezzor, including advances by both the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Assad government against the so-called Islamic State in the oil-rich province.

The city fit for no-one  (26 September 2017) A collection of maps and visuals that shows aspects from inside Raqqa, the ruined ‘capital’ of the Islamic State group

Mapping out Syria’s remaining battles  (26 September 2017) Battles intensify as fighting in Syria now focused on three key areas.

Syria’s civil war explained from the beginning (1 October, 2017) The Syrian civil war is the deadliest conflict the 21st century has witnessed so far.

Deir Azzour Tribal Mapping Project (2 October, 2017) Deir Azzour is in the strategic eastern region of the country, on the border with Iraq, and the governorate is approximately 500 kilometers (311 miles) from Damascus.


Arabic Links:

إصبعٌ على الكيبورد.. وآخرُ في عين الكارثة Ola Hosamow writes about the growing number of Syrian artists who use digital arts as an expression of the Syrian tragedy.

إزاحة رأس النظام السوري وتناقض التصريحات This article examines the contradictory statements made by Western officials towards whether Assad should stay in power or leave.

بعد اعتقال دام 4 سنوات ..”حازم الحريري” قتيلاً في سجون النظام Family of Hazim Alhariri was informed that Hazim (22 years old) was executed in 2014. Hazim was a Law school student at the University of Aleppo and a musician.

الوجود الكردي في سورية تاريخيًا واجتماعيًا Abdulbaset Sieda, a Kurdish-Syrian academic and politician, writes about the socio-historical existence of Kurds in Syria.

أغاني العرس الفلّاحي في العراق والشام Anas Al-Asaad analyzes peasant wedding songs in Syria and Iraq.

المثقف النذل Gassan Jebai criticizes Arab intellectuals who supported oppressive regimes against their own people.

نص المداخلة الشفهية لرئيس المركز السوري للإعلام وحرية التعبير مازن درويش، خلال جلسة “بناء أسس العدالة في سوريا” The intervention of  Mazen Darwish, Director of the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression (SCM),  “Accountability High Level Event” at the United Nations General Assembly, 72nd session

The English version of this article can be found: here.

إطلاق سراح لاعب سوري بعد وساطة من عمر السومة؟ Upon a personal request made by Syrian football player Omar Somah,  Mohammad Kunis, a Syrian football player, was released from the regime’s prison.

حمودة صباغ .. رئيسا لمجلس الشعب السوري Hammouda Sabbagh was elected as the new Speaker of the People’s Council of Syria.

ما بعد السيطرة على جسد المرأة Jad Al Karim Jebaei criticizes the patriarchal structures and Arab/Islamic culture which control the body and deny individual freedom.

المرأة السورية ومنظمات المجتمع المدني! Syrian Women’s Network organized a workshop in Gaziantep to empower Syrian women.

لقاء مع مالك جندلي An interview with Malek Jandali, a Syrian-American pianist and composer.

14 الجاري.. “يوم الغضب السوري” في العالم Syrian activists call for “a day of rage” worldwide on October 14.


[This article is published jointly in partnership with Jadaliyya.