Salon Syria, a platform dedicated to cultivating a space for wide-ranging views on Syria, its past, and future, is proud to publish the first of its English language roundtables. These roundtables consciously solicit contributions of Syrians and Syria experts from different perspectives and backgrounds.

In this ongoing roundtable (we are happy to continue reviewing submissions), authors responded to our call to comment on critical turning points in the Syrian uprising. What started as a largely non-violent uprising has become a major humanitarian disaster and geopolitical crises. Along the way the conflict has gone through numerous stages and transformations. As we reflect on seven years of an ongoing and brutal conflict, what can we identify as the most crucial developments that have altered its course? What forces, factors, and actors created those turning points? What were their implications on the nature of what was taking place. What if any, do these turning points imply about how we should understand the conflict’s reality today and options for the future? The authors in this roundtable offer us a variety of thoughts that enrich our understanding of Syria’s difficult past years.

Should you wish to submit your own analysis of turning points, in either Arabic or English, please email us at


Samer Abboud
Josephine Lippincott – Syria Turning Points: The International and the Local
Aron Lund – Syria Turning Points: External Leverage and Its Limits
Nikolaos van Dam
Joel Veldkamp – Syria Turning Points: The United States and Syria’s Armed Uprising
Ola Rifai – Six turning points on the Syrian uprising