News in Images

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    PRICE TO PAY: The Jordanian Prime Ministry has canceled free medical treatment for Syrian refugees in Jordanian public hospitals in a decision that went into effect Saturday, reported the state-run Jordanian daily A-Rai.

    A picture of the decree—initially passed on November 12—was circulated widely on social media websites Saturday. The decree nullifies previous government decisions that had granted Syrian refugees free treatment, and specifies that Syrian refugees will “be treated as uninsured Jordanians,” and will be responsible for “paying treatment fees...directly.”

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    THE LOST ONES: The Syrian Media Organization (SMO) – an Amman-based pro-opposition news agency – teamed up with activists in Syria to launch the #Children_Against_Terror campaign on Thursday to commemorate Universal Children’s Day. 

    “The main goal of the campaign is to draw the world’s attention to the suffering of Syrian children and to highlight the crimes against them that occur at the hands of regime forces and Shiite militias [Hezbollah, Iraqi and Iranian forces],” Hamza Jazar, an Amman-based member of SMO, told Syria Direct Thursday.

    The campaign’s Facebook page is littered with photographs of Syrian children facing dire circumstances across Syria and in its neighboring countries Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.

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    NEXT STOP, LEARNING: Syrian activists in Daraa province are doing their best to give children who have had their lives and schooling disrupted a second chance at childhood.

  • Darayaa

    WAR AND PEACE: Truce negotiations between rebels and the regime in the southwest Damascus town of Daraya collapsed two months ago, ensuring the continuation of the two-year government siege.

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    BAIT AND SWITCH: Although the south Damascus districts of al-Qadam (pictured above) and al-Asali agreed to a truce with the regime 11 weeks ago that would provide relief after more than two years of a total blockade, mortars continue to fall on both neighborhoods.

  • Halab

    MORE COFFINS: A funeral procession for 70 regime soldiers killed by the Islamic State (IS) at the Shar gas fields in the eastern Homs countryside ran through the Alawite-majority city of Tartus Tuesday, reported pro-opposition Halab Today TV. Above, a photo of the procession circulated on Halab Today's Facebook page Tuesday.

  • Nusra-Idlib

    MOVING DAY: Jabhat a-Nusra moves a large column of armored vehicles through Idlib province this week under the caption “men of belief in the unity of God, and of doctrine, in the land of Islam.” The picture was circulated by an official Nusra Twitter account Tuesday.

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    DRAWING ON DEATH: Mohamed Duma, the alias of an artist in the encircled, rebel-held East Ghouta city of Douma, creates striking pieces from used bullet casings and mortar shells, “drawing on death” for inspiration.

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    LIFE LESSONS: Above, a group of civilians from Deir e-Zor city, primarily children, attend a lesson at an Islamic State (IS) “preaching tent” in Deir e-Zor city, in a photo circulated Saturday by the media campaign Deir e-Zor is Being Slaughtered Silently. 

  • recycling

    IMPROVISED HEATING DEVICE: In Syria, an ongoing energy shortage has people using whatever is available to stave off the coming cold of winter.

    Here, in rebel-controlled Daraa province, residents use the tail of a missile to carve out a stove.



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Coalition bombs border town for 4th time

November 19, 2014 By Brent Eng and Mohammed al-Haj Ali AMMAN: Warplanes from the US-led coalition bombed the Jabhat a-Nusra-controlled town of Harem in northern Idlib Tuesday night for the third time... Read more

IS calls Nusra ‘apostates,’ rejects call for ceasefire

November 18, 2014 By Brent Eng and Osama Abu Zeid AMMAN: The Islamic State appears to have rejected a call for peace with Jabhat a-Nusra and the Islamic Front in northern Syria,... Read more

MAP: Nusra Cleanses Idlib Province

November 13, 2014 By Keenan Duffey   Jabhat a-Nusra continues its takeover of Idlib province after driving out US-backed rebels led by Jamal Maruf’s Syrian Revolutionaries Front from their stronghold in Jabal a-Zawiya.... Read more

Jabhat a-Nusra, unchallenged, expands territory in Idlib

November 12, 2014 By Brent Eng and Osama Abu Zeid AMMAN: Jabhat a-Nusra, Ahar a-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa surrounded an FSA-controlled town in Idlib province on Tuesday in an ongoing effort... Read more

US attacks ‘most popular militia of the rebellion’

November 6, 2014 By Brent Eng, Mohammed al-Haj Ali and Moutasem Jamal AMMAN: The US-led coalition reportedly conducted airstrikes against Jabhat a-Nusra and an Ahrar a-Sham base in Idlib province near the... Read more

US-backed SRF ‘no longer’ in south Idlib after Nusra victory

November 4, 2014 By Dan Wilkofsky and Osama Abu Zeid AMMAN: Jabhat a-Nusra appears to have won the battle for south Idlib province in a major setback for the US-backed Syrian Revolutionaries... Read more


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Darayya truce talks have 'failed completely'

November 20, 2014 Last week, the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Darayya marked two years of ongoing war with the Assad regime. An estimated 66,000 people still... Read more

Regime 'desperate' for Handarat as rival rebels unite

November 18, 2014 Regime forces launched a surprise attack in early October against rebel positions just north of Aleppo city, capturing the town of Handarat and... Read more

Mediator: Rogue Ahrar a-Sham unit attacked Bab al-Hawa

November 18, 2014 A curious case of infighting within the Islamic Front took place earlier this week when fighters with Ahrar a-Sham raided the Bab al-Hawa... Read more

Nusra spokesman: Reports of Islamic State alliance 'not true'

November 17, 2014 Western media outlets are reporting on a possible merger between the warring Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat a-Nusra, primarily as a... Read more

Idlib activist: ‘People see that the US-led coalition supports Bashar Assad’

November 13, 2014 Last week, the American-led international coalition launched a series of airstrikes against rebel groups in northern Idlib near the Turkish border. Pro-opposition news agencies... Read more

Aid groups ‘afraid’ amidst Arsal hepatitis epidemic

November 12, 2014 Syrian refugees living in makeshift camps in the Lebanese border town of Arsal are facing an outbreak of all three strains of hepatitis,... Read more

News Roundup

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Syria Direct: News Update 11-20-14

Quneitra rebels intensify campaign against Baath city Rebels including Jabhat a-Nusra assaulted regime positions in and around the city of Baath Wednesday as part of the... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 11-19-14

Nusra, FSA advance in Quneitra   Rebels made progress Wednesday towards the centers of regime power in Quneitra province as part of the recently announced “Victory from... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 11-18-14

Regime barrel bombs Al-Bab, again Regime helicopters dropped two barrel bombs on the Islamic State-controlled city of Al-Bab in Aleppo province Monday night, killing 20 and... Read more

Syria Direct: news Update 11-17-14

Majority of casualties in Kobani from IS, says SOHR The Islamic State reportedly attacked Syrian opposition and Kurdish YPG forces west of the embattled Kurdish city... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 11-13-14

Unidentified warplanes strike Nusra HQ in Idlib Unidentified warplanes struck the Jabhat a-Nusra-controlled town of Harem in northwest Idlib province Thursday, resulting in at least two... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 11-12-14

Red Crescent delivers aid to Waer, residents skeptical The Syrian Arab Red Crescent supervised the delivery of an aid caravan made up of 12 trucks into... Read more