The involvement of external powers in Syria's civil war has led to sheer devastation, writes Yanis Iqbal. Fantasies of "regime change" have fuelled sectarian war and revived jihadi groups.
War-torn Syria faces the danger of a potentially very severe COVID-19 crisis. But in the north and east of the country, the Autonomous Administration is working hard to stop the spread of the virus and save lives, writes Chris Slee.
The escalating war in Idlib has forced another million people to flee the northern Syrian province, but Turkey and Greece have closed their borders to these desperate refugees, writes Chris Slee.
The Bashar al-Assad regime has captured more than a third of Idlib, a province in north-western Syria, which had been controlled by rebels. Chris Slee writes that in the process, about 900,000 people have been displaced according to United Nations figures.
A popular uprising has broken out in Idlib, a province in the north of Syria, against the reactionary Islamist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), according to Leila al-Shami, a well known Syrian activist and author.
The uprising began in the town of Kafar Takharim, when people refused to pay increased taxes imposed by HTS on goods and services, including bread, electricity and olive oil. They stormed HTS-controlled olive presses and police stations and evicted HTS from their community.
The horrific violence that has been devastating Syria for the past eight years is intensifying, writes Tony Iltis. On October 9, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gave the order to NATO’s second largest army to begin the shelling and aerial bombardment of civilian populations of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AA).
The Bashir al Assad regime has made little progress in its attempt to recapture rebel-held territory in northwestern Syria. Rebels continue to control most of Idlib and parts of adjacent provinces, writes Chris Slee.
Famous British singer Joss Stone performed a concert in the largely-Kurdish region of Rojava in northern Syria after sneaking across the border.
This is a war film unlike any other that you will see, written and directed by a woman, focusing on a squad of the Kurdish autonomous women’s protection units (YPJ). The systematic female enslavement and mass rape by ISIS are its subject matter.
US president Donald Trump announced by tweet on December 19 his intention to withdraw US troops from Syria. This followed a phone call between Trump and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who had often stated his intention to invade north-eastern Syria.
Russian president Vladimir Putin, the main backer of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, met with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which has supported the rebels seeking to overthrow Assad, in the southern Russian town of Sochi on September 17.
After the meeting, it was announced that Putin and Erdogan had reached an agreement on the future of Idlib, a province in northern Syria.
What is happening in Syria? More than half a million people have died since the war in Syria began in 2011. Five million Syrians have sought refuge abroad and more than 6 million have been internally displaced.
Large rallies were held in towns throughout Idlib on September 14 in response to the threat by the Assad regime to invade the province in Syria’s north-west.
Idlib is currently controlled by a mixture of rebel groups. The strongest is Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), an extremely reactionary Islamist group that controls 60% of the province.
The Assad regime and its allies have been building up their forces around the rebel-held Idlib province, in Syria’s north-west, in preparation for a major offensive. Some bombing raids have already been carried out in the south and west of the province.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are carrying out guerrilla resistance against the occupying Turkish army and its militia allies in the Afrin canton, a predominantly Kurdish area of northern Syria.
The Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) is an umbrella group of left-wing organisations in Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran that adhere to the ideology of Kurdish revolutionary leader Abdullah Ocalan (known as “Apo”), currently in jail in Turkey. Forces associated with the KCK have helped lead the Rojava Revolution in Syria’s north, which marked its sixth anniversary on July 19, the day Kurdish-led forces staged an insurrection.
Manjib is an ethnically diverse city in northern Syria. In 2014, it was occupied by ISIS (also known as Daesh). In 2016, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, an alliance of armed groups supporting the model of grassroots democracy associated with the Rojava Revolution) had liberated the city.
Emel Dede is one of the Manbij Turkmen women who lived under the Syrian regime first, and then the Free Syrian Army and Daesh. She has been working for two years now for her future and the future of Manbij. She talked to Bêrîtan Sarya and Axin Tolhildan about this.