Our coverage of Syria

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Donald J. Trump

Syria Violence Continues Despite Trump-Erdogan Amity

Turkey has started deporting Westerners who are Islamic State members back to their countries of origin, including one to the US on Friday, as violence continues to spiral in northern Syria and cracks between Ankara and the rest of the NATO alliance continue to widen.



President Donald Trump said he was “a big fan” of Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, a populist turned authoritarian, when they met in Washington, DC, on Wednesday. But the meeting failed to quell the crisis between the countries, and it is unclear that it View article …

US Media Double Standard–on Uprisings in Syria and Uprisings in…the US


A recent article in the New York Times underlined the double standard at the heart of mainstream news coverage of the conflict in Syria—and of unrest back home in the United States.

Under the headline “A Faceless Teenage Refugee Who Helped Ignite Syria’s War,” the Times tells the story of bold teenagers whose acts launched the uprising that will likely lead to the end of the long-running Assad family dictatorship in Syria:

That war’s brutality has made it difficult to recall, let alone celebrate, the uprisings’ View article …

Flags, Russia, Syria, Turkey, NATO, YPG

Western Alliances Threatened by Chaos in Syria

It is increasingly difficult to understand who is allied to whom in the brutal civil war that has devastated Syria for almost seven years.


The danger of accidental big-power conflict, which has rarely been greater in the past three decades, is compounded by threats to the existence of NATO and even the UN. In recent days, Russia has reportedly posted its most advanced stealth fighter jets to Syria, a design that has no challengers in the area except the US and Israeli air forces.



On Friday, France reportedly cautioned that failure to stop the bloodshed View article …

RadioWhoWhatWhy: Fanning the Flames of Syria

The Middle East has been in one kind of “crisis” or another since the end of World War I, nearly a century ago. However, the US-led invasion of Iraq, coupled with a civil war in neighboring Syria, has led to an unprecedented devolution into chaos, which the Islamic State is now trying to capitalize on.

Last week, WhoWhatWhy published an excerpt from Syria Burning to give our readers a glimpse into this chaotic part of the world and the “confused” role the US currently plays in it. Today, we sit down with the book’s author to delve deeper.

Foreign View article …

Syria Is Burning, The Pope Is Pontificating & Bumblebees Are Dying: July 10, 2015


RadioWhoWhatWhy: Fanning the Flames of Syria
By Jeff Schechtman
Just how bad is the situation in Syria? Four million Syrians have fled the country in the past four years as its cities smolder and civil war rages on. Strategic dysfunction on the part of the international community, led by the US, continued airstrikes, and growing violence perpetrated by the Islamic State are definitely part of the story that led to Syria’s descent into chaos. RadioWhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman sits down with Charles Glass, author of Syria Burning, to learn the rest of it.


View article …

John Kerry

Leaked Kerry Audio Shows Hidden Syria Backstory

It appears CNN and The New York Times gave the public a sanitized report on US Secretary of State John Kerry’s meeting with Syrian opposition leaders back in September.

Unlike those two media giants, Wikileaks released the full, unscrubbed audio of the 35-minute conversation this week. Included was the revelation that the White House knew of the growing threat the Islamic State presented in the region and that it actually hoped ISIL’s progress would lead to regime change in Syria.

CNN decided to remove the audio from its site months ago, while the NYT never actually published the audio in the View article …

Vladimir Putin, Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Erdogan Moves Against Syria’s Kurds

Following several days of intense artillery bombardment and air strikes, the Turkish army launched a ground invasion of the Syrian Kurdish canton of Afrin on Monday.


WhoWhatWhy reported on the likelihood of such an operation last August. Many experts are now saying what we wrote months ago: that the Turkish operation tests American resolve to bring the war against the Islamic State to a completion and reveals American weaknesses in Syria.



Many details about the operation and its progress are still unclear. As of Sunday evening, View article …

GitHub, Octocat

Oscars Propaganda on Syrian Civil War

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Financial Horror Show Looms in DC? (Jeff C.)

Could the mother of all debt showdowns hit after all the April tax collection figures are in? This author and former Congressman sure thinks so.

What Will Happen to the ‘Dreamers’? (Dan)

Trump’s movements on Immigration have already stirred controversy. His next move may be View article …

Syria Burning, NSA Spying & Vultures Dying: July 1, 2015


Book Excerpt: “Syria Burning”
By Charles Glass
If you want to know the who, what, why of how things got so bad in the Syria (and, in some ways, the rest of the Middle East)—read this excerpt from Syria Burning by Charles Glass, a book so beautifully written you will hardly know you are reading. It is more like seeing.


NSA’s Google for the World’s Private Communications
Here’s the latest bombshell from the treasure trove of Snowden documents. This time, The Intercept has fully explained and diagramed XKEYSCORE, View article …

Vladimir Putin, Sirius Educational Centre

Syrian Refugees Return Home

PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Syrians Return Home as the Terrorists are Pushed Out (Trevin)

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians return home as Syrian army prevails on the ground.

China Goes Big on A.I. (Dan)

And it’s just as frightening as any sci-fi story. Silicon Valley and American defense contractors are also involved.

Declassified Docs Confirm View article …

Syria Air Strike

Polling on Syria Reveals GOP’s Partisanship

Americans are bombarded with polls. It seems that we need to know how everybody feels about everything — possibly so that we know what to believe if we want to be like the majority.


Every now and then, however, a nugget of true insight finds its way into such a poll.


That was the case Monday, when the Washington Post released the results of a survey on whether Americans agreed with President Donald Trump’s decision to fire missiles at Syria. The results themselves are not View article …

CLASSIC WHY: Real Reason for Syria War Plans, from Gen. Wesley Clark

We originally published this in September, 2012. More relevant now than ever. Also be sure to see this other piece with views from Clark on oil and activism, and our other related stories by typing “Syria” in our search box.


In this stunning but little-known speech from 2007, Gen. Wesley Clark claims America underwent a “policy coup” at the time of the 9/11 attacks. In this video, he reveals that, right after 9/11, he was privy to information contained in a classified memo: US plans to attack and remove governments View article …