News in Images

  • Atmah camp3

    MUD BATH: Unexpectedly heavy rains over the past week in Syria and Lebanon gave an early preview of winter, particularly to those in living in camps.

    The first rains of winter flooded areas across the region last week and left thousands caught off guard by its ferocity.

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  • FALSE PROMISES: The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Sunday delivered medical aid to the embattled neighborhood Al-Waer, the last rebel-held part of Homs city for the first time in a month, but residents say it is not nearly enough.

    “The medicine that enters Al-Waer comes about once a month,” an activist who works with the Homs Media Center in Al-Waer told Syria Direct Monday. 

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  • Tartus-Wedding

    LET THEM EAT WEDDING CAKE: A pro-Assad charity thanked members of the Syrian army by hosting a mass wedding over the weekend in the regime-controlled city of Tartus for 36 military-affiliated men, including soldiers injured in war and the brothers of soldiers killed in combat.

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  • Idlib

    NO SANCTUARY: Heavy rains poured down on Aleppo province's Bab a-Salama refugee camp on the Syrian-Turkish border Wednesday, home to more than 10,000 displaced Syrians from Aleppo and Hama, turning the camp into “a mud swamp,” the camp's administration was quoted by pro-opposition Aleppo News as saying.

    Camp administrators called on humanitarian organizations to intervene immediately to aid hundreds of people whose tents were flooded, such as the unnamed woman pictured above.

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  • FORCED TO FIGHT: This past weekend, Kurdish police forces loyal to the PYD (known as Asayish) began to round up hundreds of young men across Al-Hasakah province, including Kurds, Arabs, Syriac Christians, Armenians and Yazidis, for military training in accordance with a new mandatory service law.

    A spokesman for the Democratic Union Party (PYD) justified the conscription campaign as necessary for upholding Al-Hasakah's security in an interview with Syria Direct.

    “What has happened is not an arrest campaign—in the true sense of the phrase—but rather the implementation of laws that need to be enforced, especially in the state of chaos that Syria is living,” said Ibrahim Ibrahim.

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  • عدسة دمشقي

    BLACKOUT: The battle for Syria’s oil and energy resources has meant years of power outages, leaving citizens on their own. 

    Here, a man in the rebel-controlled suburb of Qadem takes his turn charging a group of cell phones powered by riding a stationary bicycle in a photograph posted on social media.

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  • Tartus mall

    SOLD OUT: Syria's Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi recently presided over the opening of a new mall in Alawite-majority Tartus province, which cost the state 10 billion Syrian Lira [$62 million] in a move that has angered some pro-regime supporters, reported pro-opposition news agency All4Syria.

    The mall, measuring a total of 32,000 square feet, consists of five floors and is home to various restaurants, shopping outlets, and luxury stores, including RICCI, Sephora, and Explore Apparel, according to the mall's official Facebook page.

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  • PIC

    EVICTION NOTICE: The Islamic State on Friday declared 15 villages in northern Aleppo, near the contested city of Kobani and the IS-controlled city of Manbij, a “military zone” and forced approximately 15,000 residents to flee, citing ongoing military operations in the area, reported Dubai-based Al-An TV Saturday.

    Here, a young boy from the village of Mazrat al-Quba loads his family's belongings on a truck in preparation for their departure.

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  • sweida

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH: Pro-regime activists took to the streets of the Druze-majority city of Suwayda to distribute pamphlets condemning the mounting death toll among Suwayda's young men performing mandatory service in the regime army, reported pro-opposition Orient News Wednesday.

    Here, a pamphlet reads “Enough is enough...the sons of Suwayda are being murdered in A-Raqqa and elsewhere...for whose sake...until when...the chair [of power] is for you [Bashar al-Assad]...and the tomb is for our sons,” while women in the picture to the left mourn over their deceased relatives.

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  • Jobar

    NO EID IN JOBAR: A young girl in the formerly rebel-held, now contested East Damascus neighborhood of Jobar dons festive Eid clothing [a religious holiday that runs October 4-7], under the caption “I want to go to Eid, but there is no Eid in Jobar...Happy New Year.”

    “Bashar al-Assad is bombing us...Bashar didn't leave us any Eid,” the girl continues, in a video clip circulated Tuesday by pro-opposition channel Syria al-Ghad.

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Reports

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In a Turkish enclave, IS backs off for now

October 1, 2014 By Brent Eng and Mohammad al-Haj Ali AMMAN: The Islamic State may have avoided a confrontation with Turkey on Wednesday by reportedly releasing 36 Turkish soldiers guarding the tomb... Read more

Syrian civil society reacts to coalition bombings

September 29, 2014 Following is a sampling of civil society reactions to the American-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State and other Islamist brigades across the north and east of Syria,... Read more

Despite reported airstrikes, Islamic State edges toward Ain al-Arab

September 24, 2014 Reports of US-led airstrikes around Ain al-Arab have not hampered the Islamic State’s march toward the major Kurdish city close to the Turkish border. By Brent Eng and Mohammad... Read more

UN: 130,000 Syrians fleeing Islamic State arrive in Turkey

September 22, 2014 By Mohammed al-Haj Ali and Dan Wilkofsky AMMAN: An estimated 130,000 Syrians--the majority of them Kurdish--have crossed the border into Turkey since last week, fleeing a rapid Islamic State... Read more

Turkish authorities reportedly deny entry to Syrians fleeing IS in north

September 18, 2014 By Osama Abu Zeid and Brent Eng AMMAN: Thousands of residents fled north to escape the Islamic State's notorious violence after the jihadist group attacked Kurdish villages near the... Read more

Moderate rebel leaders being picked off in ‘new phase’ of battle

September 17, 2014 By Osama Abu Zeid and Dan Wilkofsky AMMAN: A recent string of precise regime airstrikes suggests a campaign to take out moderate-leaning FSA commanders, including those tied to the United... Read more

Interviews

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Activist: More killed in Deir e-Zor than Kobani

October 21, 2014 The Islamic State and regime are both targeting media activists in Deir e-Zor. The comparative lack of interest in the province from local... Read more

IS, coalition, regime: 'They're all criminals'

October 20, 2014 Since beginning airstrikes across Syria in August, the US-led international coalition has focused heavily on the Islamic State-controlled Iraqi border town of Al-Bokamel,... Read more

Air strikes ‘have not limited IS movement’ in Al-Hasakah

October 15, 2014 Located in the northeast corner of Syria, Al-Hasakah province has been home to a burgeoning independent Kurdish government run by the PYD –... Read more

‘I see Al-Yarubiyeh as more important to the Kurds than Kobani’

October 14, 2014  As the world closely watches the battle for the besieged city Kobani, a more strategic Kurdish-controlled border town has also been fighting off... Read more

Lebanon squeezed by 1.3 m Syrian refugees

October 13, 2014 When Jabhat a-Nusra and the Islamic State crossed the Syrian border and launched a joint attack on Lebanese forces in Arsal last August,... Read more

In one border town, Islamic State adapts to coalition strikes‏

October 2, 2014 Since commencing airstrikes across Syria over one week ago, the US-led international coalition has focused heavily on the Islamic State (IS) controlled Iraqi... Read more

News Roundup

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Syria Direct: News Update 10-21-14

Regime advances against IS in Deir e-Zor Regime forces launched an attack against Islamic State (IS) fighters in Deir e-Zor’s provincial capital Monday night and into... Read more

Syria Direct News Update: 10-20-14

Turkey to allow Iraqi Peshmerga passage Turkey will facilitate the passage of Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters to the besieged Kurdish city of Kobani in northern Aleppo,... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 10-16-14

Truce talks over, regime moves to take Al-Waer The Syrian army is reportedly renewing efforts to capture the last opposition-controlled part of Homs city, slamming Al-Waer... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 10-15-14

Kobani airstrikes clear the way for Kurds The US-led international coalition reportedly struck Islamic State military positions in and around the Kurdish city of Kobani on... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 10-14-14

IS terrorizing Kobani US-led coalition warplanes struck Islamic State (IS) positions in Kobani located in northern Aleppo province five times Tuesday morning, with two strikes directed... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 10-13-2014

Backed by airstrikes, Kurds fight for Kobani US-led coalition warplanes carried out four strikes Monday against Islamic State (IS) positions in Kobani and its perimeter, resulting... Read more