Our coverage of Syria

Delil Saroukhan Martyrs’ Cemetery

As US Seeks Turkey’s Help With Russia, Ankara Escalates Attacks on Syrian Kurds

 

QAMISHLI, Syria — The workday was ending on August 6 in the industrial zone of Qamishli, a city of roughly a quarter-million people in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) near the Syrian-Turkish border, when 14-year-old Ahmad Husain called his father to tell him a customer was at his automobile shop. 

 

Parked outside the shop where Ahmad and his 16-year-old cousin, Aheng Husain, were gathered was a white Hyundai pickup truck — the apparent target of a suspected Turkish drone strike that, minutes after Ahmad’s final phone call, killed the boys View article …

Book Excerpt: “Syria Burning”

News coming out of the Middle East is nearly always bad, so bad, it’s like a road accident. You just want to look away, and keep on going. There’s nothing you can do.

 

How did it all come to this? Keep reading. Below is an excerpt from Syria Burning by Charles Glass, a book that is so beautifully written that reading it is more like seeing. And you will not want to look away.

 

You will see—better than what any photograph could show—little fragments of history explode before your eyes, as you fly through time and space, now and View article …

Historical Backstory to Those Fleeing Syrians

News coming out of the Middle East is nearly always bad — so bad, it’s like a road accident: You just want to look away and keep on going. There’s nothing you can do.

 

How did it all come to this? Keep reading. Below is an excerpt from Syria Burning by Charles Glass.

 

This book is about much more than Syria or the Middle East. It may be what the poet William Blake meant when he wrote, “To see a world in a grain of sand.”

 

Or a drop of oil.

 

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WhoWhatWhy introduction by Milicent Cranor

 

Below are excerpts View article …

Is America Helping Al Qaeda Take Over Syria?

“I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, “Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.’”

Christian villager in Maaloula, Syria

By:  Joe Giambrone.  Edited by Dave Lindorff. 

The US decision to hold off on directly bombing Syria and to agree to Russia’s proposal to have Syria relinquish control of its chemical arms is just one part of a much larger story. And with the US government still treating Syria like a part of the “Axis View article …

Syrian refugees, Russia, US, flags

Syria 101 — The Basics on the Superpower Flashpoint

The Middle East has been a seething cauldron of conflict since 1918. Twice in the 20th century, in 1967 and 1973, it almost became a flashpoint for nuclear war. The region has always been a chessboard where great powers play out their strategies.

 

In today’s Syria, it’s the US vs. Russia vs. Jihadists plus Saudi Arabia vs. Israel plus Turkey vs. the Kurds, not to mention Iran and Syria vs. the rebels. No wonder the country has been devastated, leaving behind an almost unimaginable humanitarian crisis.

 

In this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast, View article …

War, Syrian Style? Has Assad Ordered Mass Rapes?

A growing refrain out of Syria is that widespread rape is taking place—and sanctioned by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

But when WhoWhatWhy examined the allegations, it found that well-intentioned women’s groups trying to document and prevent such abuses may be falling victim to a deliberate disinformation campaign intent on rallying public support for toppling Assad.

If so, this would not be the first time false or exaggerated allegations involving women or children were used to generate public anger and build support for military action. This is a particularly View article …

Historical Backstory to Those Fleeing Syrians, Part 2

News coming out of the Middle East is nearly always bad — so bad, it’s like a road accident: You just want to look away and keep on going. There’s nothing you can do.

 

How did it all come to this? Keep reading. Below is an excerpt from Syria Burning by Charles Glass. (Published by OR Books, New York and London, 2015.)

 

This book is about much more than Syria or the Middle East. It may be what the poet William Blake meant when he wrote, “To see a world in a grain of sand.”

 

Or a drop of View article …

No Learning Curve: Syria Will Immediately Test Trump

President-elect Donald Trump’s widely reported “bromance” with Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as the foreign-policy skills of his tentative, generals-rich cabinet, are set to be tested the moment the new administration assumes power.

Trump’s lack of experience navigating international politics was on full display earlier this month when he spoke on the phone with Taiwan’s president, violating a Washington policy that dates back several decades and infuriating China. Luckily, for all the complexities of the East Asian arena, View article …

YPG Fighters

Major Powers Mingle in Syria in an Explosive Mix

The US, Russia, Iran, Turkey and Israel are all on a collision course with each other in Syria as each maneuvers aggressively to get the most from the endgame of the brutal Syrian civil war, now approaching its seventh anniversary. The danger of a big-power conflict starting by accident rather than intention has not been so high in decades.

 

All five regional and global powers, except the US, have had an aircraft shot down inside (or from inside) Syria in the space of about a week. During the same period, US jets bombed a Syrian government force — whose patrons View article …

Dr. Rim Turkmani

Peaceful Syrian Opposition Ignored by Peace Laureate Obama – an Exclusive WHY Interview

As Syrian expatriate Dr. Rim Turkmani was watching President Barack Obama give his brief nationally televised address to the American people and the people of the world last night, she says she had two contradictory feelings. “I felt good that it was not a war speech,” says this British-based member of the political office of an organization called The Syrian State Current, a movement that is seeking non-violent democratic change in Syria.  “But what upset me was his repeated referring to what is happening in Syria as a ‘civil war.’  There is an element of civil war in the View article …

Bashar al-Assad

Who Really Used Chemical Weapons in Syria?

The videos shocked the world. Hundreds of bodies lay on the floor of makeshift morgues in and around the town of Al Ghouta on the southeastern outskirts of Damascus.

Early in the morning of August 21, 2013, Sarin gas killed hundreds of men, women, and children. Victims suffered horrible deaths, going into spasms and gasping for air. The videos, produced by the rebels, blamed the Syrian army. (more…)

But Syriasly, Folks…..

An awful long time has elapsed since the media began frenetically covering the uprising in Syria—long enough for more truth to have emerged by now.

At WhoWhatWhy, we’ve had our suspicions that pressworld was getting it wrong (as usual)—but held off from any serious analysis to see what else might come out. A development the other day seemed to mark the right moment to weigh in.

Here’s the New York Times:

Three gunmen ambushed a military general on a residential View article …