The Factions of Raqqa Province

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi Much has been noted of the presence of the Islamic State in Raqqa province, where the group controls all major urban localities (Raqqa city, Tabqa, Ma’adan, and Tel Abyad), as well as the Kurdish militias just west of Tel Abyad, from which town they were expelled back in August 2013 on […]

Starvation: a Twisted Example of the Assad Regime’s Terrorism

  by Matthew Barber A fabulous documentary about the situation of children in Syria is being shown on Canadian and British television. The documentary, “Children on the Frontline,”  will be available for viewing for a limited time online, but unfortunately only for viewers in Canada or the UK. The documentary contains enlightening footage of life inside […]

“Why Syria’s Kurds are beating Al Qaeda,” By Balint Szlanko

Why Syria’s Kurds are beating Al Qaeda By Balint Szlanko – @balintszlanko For Syria Comment, December 16. 2013 The Kurds of Syria have been in the news lately. Fighting—and beating—Al Qaeda-allied groups and other rebel militias in their struggle for Syria’s northeast, in the past year they have in effect set up their own ministate […]

Problems for Syrians in Egypt; News from Kurdish North; Looting & Oil; Round-up

by Matthew Barber The scale of this propaganda piece is impressive: An ISIS billboard in Raqqa promoting shari’a law. The yellow text at the top says “The state’s civil law is contrary to the religion of Allah,” followed by a verse from the Qur’an (3:83 “Do they, then, seek a religion other than Allah’s, while […]

Obama Owes Syrians and Americans a Vision of Syria’s Future

Obama Owes Syrians and Americans a Vision of Syria’s Future By Joshua Landis June 15, 2013 [Addendum (24 June) See Thomas Friedman’s op-ed of Sunday 23 for comparison of his three Obama options with my three. Putting it in the context of collapsing Ottoman Empire and nation building is also similar. It is still unclear […]