News in Images

  • WaerCarbomb

    SHAKY HOMS: A car explosion in front of a school in the regime-controlled neighborhood of Akrama killed at least 20 people and injured 60 others on Wednesday, reported the pro-regime news agency National Defense of Homs.

    Most of the victims were children, as the bomb went off when students were leaving from school.

    No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

    At least one pro-regime supporter on social media laid the entirety of the blame for the attack on Al-Waer’s residents.

  • Kobani-IS

    ENDGAME: The Islamic State continues to creep closer to the Kurdish city of Kobani near the Turkish border in northern Aleppo, even after as fresh Kurdish attacks and coalition airstrikes on IS positions Tuesday. 

    “IS continues to advance and is now only three kilometers from the city,” Adnan Hussein, a Kurdish journalist based on the Turkish side of the Syrian border, told Syria Direct Tuesday. 

    “In the past few days we have seen hundreds of of young men return to defend [Kobani].”

  • Barzeh

    TRUCE AND LIES: Birzeh was the first neighborhood in Damascus to launch protests against the rule of Bashar al-Assad in April 2011, and also the first to sign a truce between rebel and regime forces at the beginning of this year after enduring total regime encirclement for eight months. 

    Although the truce stipulated the “return of services to the neighborhood, and the repair of infrastructure,” electricity is still only available for a few hours a day, and sometimes once every few days, a citizen journalist present in Birzeh told Syria Direct Monday.

    Food is scarce in the neighborhood, due to regime checkpoints surrounding Birzeh that impede movement in and out, the activist said. Here, a child searches for kindling amidst debris.

  • Photo Caption Nusra

    MARCH FOR NUSRA: Protestors took to the streets across Idlib and Aleppo provinces on Thursday condemning the US-led coalition airstrikes on al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat a-Nusra, which killed 50 fighters on Monday night and Tuesday, according to the pro-opposition monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    Jabhat a-Nusra entered Idlib province in mid-2012, and gradually came to control a narrow strip of land bordering Turkey.

    In the picture above on the left, a protestor can be seen holding a sign that reads, “Jabhat a-Nusra came to our aid when the entire world abandoned us,” while another sign on the right says “we are all Jabhat a-Nusra.”



    YALLA YALLA: Fighters with al-Qaida franchise Jabhat a-Nusra abandon their headquarters in Idlib province, heading for an unknown location to avoid further casualties after US-led coalition warplanes killed 30 Nusra members Tuesday, reported the pro-opposition monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    Among the dead was Nusra commander and renowned sniper Abu Yusuf a-Turki, whose picture circulated on social media websites Tuesday.

    In one attack, warplanes struck a Nusra command center in Idlib province, resulting in 15 dead, “most of them civilians” including several children, the Violations Documentation Center in Syria said on Wednesday.

  • Massacre4

    LAMESTREAM MEDIA: One day after the PYD announced a campaign on September 13 to drive the Islamic State (IS) from the Kurdish-majority area of Tel Hamees in the northeast outskirts of Al-Hasakah province, news of a Kurdish-led massacre in two towns around Tel Hamees swept the mainstream Sunni Arab news media.

    It is one of the perils of reading the Arabic news media; poorly sourced and vague reports quickly get shared despite little evidence or basis in fact within the articles.

    In the case of an Al-Jazeera published on September 14, the article opens by saying “sources” tell the satellite channel that the PYD committed a “massacre” in the northeast of Al-Hasakah province. Jazeera then went on to cite “activists” saying that the massacre had taken place, with no direct quotations and no names mentioned in the article.

  • Al-Waer9-22

    STONE SOUP: Rebels in the holdout neighborhood of Al-Waer – the last opposition-controlled area in Homs city – agreed upon a tentative truce with the Assad regime Sunday, leading to a mixed reaction from residents.

    “I do not trust the regime in this truce because a number of [regime] security officers benefit from the siege of Al-Waer and profit from it,” Hassan Abu Zein, the director of the pro-opposition Coalition of Youth for the Revolution in Homs, told Syria Direct Monday.

    The regime and rebels have agreed to truces before, none of which have lasted.

  • EMINENT DOMAIN: Displaced residents of the formerly rebel-held neighborhood of Ghweiran in Al-Hasakah city marched Wednesday in protest of Tuesday’s joint Kurdish PYD and regime takeover of the district, demanding that the regime forces leave the neighborhood and allow them back in.

    After over a month of fighting, Ghweiran rebels, mostly composed of local fighters and former Free Syrian Army commanders, agreed to cede control of the besieged neighborhood Tuesday in exchange for safe passage out of the city. The regime and PYD share joint control over the provincial capital.

    Meanwhile, the hundreds of displaced Ghweiran residents who were forced to evacuate the district when violence escalated have been trapped outside of their homes.

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    BACKTRACKING: Rebels led by Free Syrian Army-associated battalions and Jabhat a-Nusra announced Monday that they captured the east Damascus suburb Dukhaniyeh as part of their larger strategy to retake the town of Mleiha – the east gateway in and out of the capital.

    While much of the media attention around Damascus has been focused on the regime’s vicious aerial campaign against nearby Jobar, ultimately al-Dukhaniyeh may prove to be more crucial in the battle for the capital.

    By taking Dukhaniyeh, the rebels hope to cut off the central road that transports troops and military supplies between central Damascus and Mleiha.

  • 10676335 828469537203622 2635465123097869297 n

    BRIDGE TO NOWHERE: The Deir e-Zor Siyasiya Bridge, the last active supply route into the Islamic State-controlled provincial capital, was crippled Monday morning by a blast by an as-yet unknown party, isolating the city from its suburbs.

    “The explosion took place after charges were placed on the sides of the bridge and detonated by remote control,” a spokesperson for the city who asked not be named told Syria Direct Monday.

    In this photograph taking shortly after the explosion, the suspension bridge is severed just before it stretches over the Euphrates River.



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