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Monday, February 2, 2015

Syria Media Roundup January 2015

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[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.] 

Inside Syria
Syria rebels overtake strategic base in southSyrian, US-backed, rebels fighting with Nusra overtake strategic base in south near Deraa, helping 2 cut highway and more.
Syria: Mortars, Rockets Rain Down on DamascusAlloush al-Islam’s Army fires 40 + rockets at Damascus center killing from 7 to 50 in revenge 4 regime killing in Ghouta.
Coalition Agrees on Principles for Political Settlement in SyriaCoalition includes a path for a political solution in Syria
Ugly as it sounds, Assad will be part of Syria’s future
Alan Philps discusses what role al-Assad family can play as part of a long-term transition of power.
Syrian Airstrike Hits Damascus Suburb, Killing Dozens
Anne Barnard reports on recent airstrikes and loses inside Syria among different conflict parties.
The secret world of Isis training camps – ruled by sacred texts and the sword
Hassan Hassan writes about the ways in which Isis bases its teachings on religious texts that mainstream Muslim clerics ignore and the effect of these teachings on recruits.
 Syria's Democracy Jihad
Vera Mironova, Loubna Mrie, Richard Nielsen, and Sam Whitt explore the Islamists’ version of democracy among jihadist groups in Syria. 
Map: How the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria has surged since October
According to the ICSR,  the number of foreign fighters traveling to Iraq and Syria has grown to 20,000, which indicates that the Syrian conflict has attracted more foreign militants than the 1980s Afghan conflict.
Turkey's porous Syria border no barrier for jihadists
This Al-Monitor article raises questions about Hayat Boumeddiene as well as Ankara's political will to control its borders with Syria and confront the threat posed by ISIS jihadists.

Regional and International Perspectives
U.N. Envoy backs Moscow talks, says Geneva II needs to be 'Reinterpreted'The Syrian crisis has become overwhelming and its victims wonder how much long it can be sustained. U.N. Special Envoy for Syria calls for a cessation of violence in efforts to increase humanitarian aid. 
Exclusive: Obama Cuts Off Syrian Rebels’ CashCIA says strategy to help Syrian rebels not changed, only “individual case-by-case shutoffs”
John McCain leads US delegation of senators on tour to train Syrian rebelsJohn McCain and a delegation of senators met separately with Saudi King Salman and emir of Qatar focused on training Syrian rebels. 
Why the fight against Islamic State is not the success we're told it is
Scott Lucas explores the fundamental political challenges in Iraq and Syria and some alternatives that could challenge ISIS. 
When Women Become Terrorists
Jayne Huckerby criticizes the West’s inability to appreciate the role that women play in terror by discussing the example of the hunt for Hayat Boumeddiene. 
A conspicuous failure of U.S. foreign policy in Syria
Doyle McManus discusses the failure of U.S. foreign policy in regard to Syria from his perspective.
Govt bans Saudis from adopting Syria orphans
The Saudi Social Affairs Ministry banned Saudi families from adopting Syrian or other foreign children.
US gives $6 million to Syria opposition government
The US sent its first direct financial support to the Syria's opposition interim government for development and relief projects.
Policy and Reports
The secret world of ISIS training camps - ruled by sacred texts and the sword
Hassan Hassan on ISIS and its teachings/ideology, but more importantly, the suppression of true Islam. 
What’s Behind the Kurdish-Arab Clashes in East Syria?Aron Lund on the divided Arab community, the role of Iran in Syria, and the rising Arab-Kurdish tension.
SHRC publishes its annual report for 2014
This is the Syrian Human Rights Committee (SHRC) annual report of 2014 that documents human rights violations inside Syria such as the use of chemical weapons. 
Most Prominent Massacres Perpetrated by Shiite Militias in Syria ”It barely goes unnoticed“
In this report by the Syrian Network for Human Rights, the Shiite foreign militias involvement in the Syrian conflict is discussed. 
"I must save my life and not risk my family’s safety!”: Untold Stories of Syrian Women Surviving War
Katty Alhayek provides several case studies of Syrian women whose lives were irreversibly changed as a result of the events that unfolded after March 2011. The stories of these women vividly illustrate how difficult it is to come up with a neat and easily accessible profile for the suffering of Syrian women. Yet, this is precisely what Western media, albeit sympathetic, has attempted to achieve. 
The Revolution “From Below” and Its Misinterpretations “From Above”. The Case of Syria’s Neglected Civil Society
Billie Jeanne Brownlee reminds us that civil society in the Arab world in general, and in Syria in particular, was not born in the Arab Spring, and perhaps more important, it was not eliminated even after the Uprising evolved into an armed conflict.
The Politics of Revolutionary Celebrity in the Contemporary Arab World
In this essay by Marwan M. Kraidy: "through the prism of a media battle between the singer Assala and the Assad regime in the Syrian uprising since March 2011, a politics of celebrity is explored that pits the body of the star against the body of the sovereign, at the nexus of revolution, transnationalism, and circulation across media."
Economy and Agriculture
Exclusive: Obama Cuts Off Syrian Rebels’ CashCIA says strategy to help Syrian rebels not changed, only “individual case-by-case shutoffs”
Bekaa’s Brewing Conflict: Syrian Refugees vs. Syrian Workers
“The influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon can no longer be seen from a purely political or security-based point of view.” There is a clear socio-economic struggle that is gradually getting worse day by day.