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Syria Media Roundup (January 24)

"Partners in the homeland." Painting by Syrian artist Mohamad Omran.

[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 Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Monday night of every week.]

Regional and International Perspectives


Syria: The Analogies of History Daniel Neep explores “the ways in which the challenges faced by today’s rebels relate to those faced by the rebels of the 1920s, positing that historical solutions may well help the Syrian people in their struggle against the Assad regime nearly ninety years later.”

Bleeding from a Triple Hemorrhage Vijay Prashad provides a summary of developments in Syria’s crisis and concludes that “a fragile hope rests on the revitalization of Arab nationalism as a cord that binds the people across the widening sectarian divides.”

Should Obama Have Intervened in Syria?
Marc Lynch says a US intervention would have made things worse.

Fund Syria’s Moderates
Responding to Lynch, Robin Yassin-Kassab idealistically says there remain ways for the US to help alleviate Syrian suffering which consists in helping the “moderate” and “secular” elements of the armed opposition.


Syria’s Reconciliation Minister: Turkish Role in Syria ‘Very Bad’ Antoun Issa’s interview with Ali Haidar


Iran Shoots Itself in the Foot Robin Yassin-Kassab says “Iran’s backing for al-Assad is ironic because at a certain point the Syrian revolution was the one that most resembled 1979 in Iran”


Will Reversing Roles Help Turkey Avoid War in Syria? Emad Abdullah Ayasrah says there is a case of ‘reversed polarized roles’ with regards to Turkey’s official stance on Syria.


Whispers of Change in Turkey’s Syria Policy  Tulin Daloglu supports that idea, suggesting that Turkey might be considering to ask the opposition to be more conciliatory with Damascus.


Turkey Angered by Petition on White House Website that asked Turkey to open its border with Armenia to allow the passage of Syrian refugees.


Au Liban Les Camps de Refugies Syriens Sont Payants The privately-owned makeshift camps at the Lebanese border are allegedly charging refugees for their accommodation.

Avant la Reunion de Paris, la Coallition Nationale Presse le Pas
Ignace Leverrier provides an overview of the recent structural developments within the National Coalition.

Syrian Narratives


The Syrian Dialogue Project A group of Syrians inside and outside Syria aims to create a platform to give a voice to “the silent majority” in Syria.

Moaz al-Khatib: Letter to the Christians of SyriaIt is no secret that some political regimes, in their cleverness, turn sects against each other. This is usually accompanied by the enacting of special laws and the suppression of institutions. In many countries, only remnants of tired regimes and individuals who call themselves rulers remain. Hypocritical secularism dominates these regimes, which employ false piety and artificial tolerance devoid of spirit and life.” 


Secret Syria Chemical Weapons Cable Revealed The cable confirms several aspects of our original report, but also shows that the cable was less conclusive than our previous item suggested.”

Syrian Banks Face Gangs and Robbery as They Transport Cash to Damascus
Hadeel Al Sayegh says the numbers of banks across the country are dwindling and Syrians have limited access to them as a result of the violence.

Radical Elements are the True Winners in Syria’s Stalemate
Hassan Hassan says “this threat of radicalism is slightly exaggerated by western countries, but at the same time largely underestimated by the Syrian opposition, giving way to misunderstanding of an issue that is complicating the process of finding a way out of this crisis.

My University and my Dreams Were Destroyed in Aleppo
Amal Hanano, on last week’s explosions in Aleppo : “Two explosions took hundreds of lives, ending the plans and dreams of future architects, engineers, teachers, citizens.”


Syria and the Risk of Somalisation Haian Dukhan explores the statement made by envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi

War Rape: the Forgotten Pandemic Sweeping Syria

Inside Syria

BBC program on Syrian women in the Syria crisis.

The Pickings of War
A report from Sarmada on the emerging car selling business


The Battle for Lattakia Part 1 Karen Leigh meets with opposition fighters “waging a bloody guerilla war in the mountains that border the city”

The Battle for Lattakia Part 2


Conversations: The Architecture Student From Aleppo recounts four “traumatic scenes” he saw on his way to the school

Syrian Town Takes Strife in Stride
Basma Atassi reports on the “deceptive” normality in Salkeen


The Lionesses of Syria: Assad Recruits Army of Women as He Starts to Run out of Men


Evolution of a Dissident Part 1&2 Racan Alhoch’s personal struggle growing up with what he then understood as conflicting allegiances


Al-Qaeda Fighters Revealing Their True Colors, Rebels Say Martin Chulov in Aleppo reports that a schism developed between al-Qaeda and the FSA

Arts and Social Media

Social Media Buzz: The Attack on Aleppo University
 Mohammed Sergie on the latest Syria-related events and debates that went viral on social media platforms.

Policy and Reports


Attacks on Religious Sites Raise Tensions Human Rights Watch researchers document the looting and vandalizing of three religious sites in the hands of the armed opposition, one Shi’a place of worship and two churches.


Syria’s Kurds: A Struggle Within a Struggle International Crisis Group’s report.




"Business Networks in Syria": Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad on C-Span Book TV




Keynote Panel on Syria for Conference at the University of Denver



دمشق مطمئنة: الرياح السياسية والعسكرية تتبدّل

Sami Kleib writes about how geopolitical interests are playing into the current Syrian struggle and leading to a reassured Assad regime in Syria.


وثائقيات بي بي سي عن قرب : سوريات

Recently published documentary on BBC in which six Syrian women talk about their different roles in the current Syrian struggles. 

حين قالت لي معلّمتي: "حافظ الأسد كما الله لا يموت"

Farah Assayyed writes about the indoctrination of the Syrian youth under the Baathist regime.


السؤال السوري الكبير

Elyas Khouri writes about the need for constructive criticism of the opposition in Syria.


نعم، الأمم التحدة لا تعترف بنا!

Samir Shishakli writes about the role of the UN in the dire situation inside Syria.


!أميركا والنفط العربي

Michel Kilo presents his views on the recent news about the U.S being self-reliant in terms of the supply of energy and oil.


عروسة سورية لبنى زاعور تروي قصة اعتقالها

Loubna Zaour recounts her experience while being incarcerated in a Syrian prison.


لوران فابيوس الحضاري الناقص

 Osama Attawil writes about France's diplomatic relations and strategies in terms of Syrian politics.


من وحي الحالة السورية

Majed Habou writes about the story of Abu Jum'a, a prison officer in the 80s in Aleppo Central Prison, and his family's political positions in terms of the current struggle.


المأزق السوري بين استنقاع العسكرة وتهافت السياسة

Tarek Azizeh writes about the current Syrian impasse.


استهداف «هيئة التنسيق الوطنية» في سوريا

Mohammad Sayyed Rasas writes about the Syrian opposition's criticism and targeting of the National

Coordination Committee.


معركة سوريا والجيوبوليتيكا الدولية

George Haddad writes about the international geopolitics around the Syrian struggle.


!دير الزور: الخراب يعم... والمسلّحون يتقاسمون الغنائم

Tarek AlAbed writes about the current situation in Deir Azzor.


لماذا يجوع السوريون؟

Fayez Sarrah writes about hunger and food shortages in Syria.


باقة ورد للأحياء

Sahar Abdulla writes poems for Syria.

تزييفُ الوعي وتطييفُ التاريخ في سياقات الثورة السوريّة
Basileus Zino writes about political sectarianism in the context of the Syrian revolution. 

Syrian Population Regression

Population: ~ 17,583,863 (2017 est.)

2011:  5,800+ (killed)

2012:  60,000+ (killed) and 500,000+ (external refugees), 3+ million (internally displaced)

2013:  100,000+ (killed), 2,000,000+ (external refugees), and 8 million+ (internally displaced)

2014: 200,000+ (killed), 3.5+ million (external refugees), 7.6+ million (internally displaced)

2015: 250,000+ (killed), 4.4 million (external refugees), 6.6+ million (internally displaced)

2016: 400,000+ (killed), 4.9+ million (external refugees), 6.3+ million (internally displaced)


Syria Map and Stats

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Population: 17,185,170 (July 2016 est.)
GDP: $24.6 billion (2014 est.); $50.28 billion purchasing power parity (2015 est.)
Unemployment: 50% (2016 est.); Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): total: 35.8% (male: 26.6%; female: 71.1% [2011 est.])
Internet Users: 5.116 million - 30%/pop. (July 2015 est.)
Exchange Rate: ~ 497.8 Syrian pounds per US dollar (2016 est.)
GDP Growth Rate: -9.9% (2015 est.)
Military Expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (World Rank: 10) (2011 est.)
Health Expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (World Rank: 180) (2011 est.)
Population Growth Rate: 1.56% (2016 est.)
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 31.95% (male 2,815,140/female 2,675,166); 15-24 years: 19.65% (male 1,711,847/female 1,664,814); 25-54 years: 39.03% (male 3,342,264/female 3,364,406); 55-64 years: 5.26% (male 447,205/female 457,525); 65 years and over: 4.11% (male 318,691/female 388,112) (2016 est.)
Literacy: 86.4% (male: 91.7%; female: 81% [2015 est.])
Religious Demographics: Sunni Muslim 74%; other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%; Christian (various denominations) 10%
Ethnic Demographics: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%