An Israeli solider hands out water on a bus, during the Syria Civil Defence extraction from the Golan Heights // 22 July 2018, provided by Israeli Army to Reuters
The collapse of the opposition in southern Syria is the final destruction of the originally constituted rebellion against President Bashar Assad. It is also a demonstration that the United States under President Donald Trump is no more invested in shaping the outcome in Syria than his predecessor, and marks the potential end of the diplomatic pact that had allowed Turkey to retain some sphere of influence unmolested by the pro-Syrian government coalition. Continue reading →
Syrians being deported from East Ghuta after the regime conquest, 15 March 2018 // Credit Louai Beshara, Agence France-Presse
There has been an unprecedented wave of assassinations, and assassination attempts, in Idlib, beginning on 26 April and lasting about two days, targeting mainstream, Free Syrian Army-branded rebels, opposition activists, and journalists, as well as Islamist and jihadist insurgents.
Syria has broken down as a functioning entity. There were some who saw in the takeover of Aleppo City last month by the coalition of states and militias that supports Bashar al-Assad’s regime the beginning of the end of the war. The pro-Assad coalition will make further territorial gains in 2017, but peace—even the peace of the graveyard—is still a long way off, and unlikely to ever arrive while Assad remains in power. The West, unwilling and apparently unable to remove him, nonetheless has vital interests in Syria that cannot be outsourced and must be secured by navigating a fragmented state. Continue reading →
The leader of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, gave an untitled speech on January 19, 2014. It was a response to the Syrian rebellion having launched a full-scale offensive against ISIS on January 3, 2014, which had driven them from large swathes of territory in northern Syria and was ongoing at the time. The rebel offensive continued for six months—until Mosul fell to ISIS in June, and the captured resources were fed into eastern Syria, breaking the rebels. Al-Baghdadi struck a relatively conciliatory note, though did accompany this with threats, should the rebels continue resisting the jihadists. A translation of the speech was made by Pieter Van Ostaeyen, and is reproduced below.Continue reading →