Near & Middle East

Ahrar al-Sham’s decision to replace its top command this week offers a glimpse at how the outgunned rebel group is adjusting to the ascendancy of al-Qaida-linked factions in Syria, and the changing nature of the insurgency against president Bashar al-Assad. (More…)

Civilians and activists once detained by the Syrian government for joining 2011 protests against President Bashar al-Assad are again facing arbitrary detention and torture in secret jails. But this time, their captors are Syria’s hard-line militant groups. (More…)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been savage in his criticisms of the EU. “The European Union’s court, the European Court of Justice, my esteemed brothers,” Erdoğan exclaimed after an ECJ ruling in March allowing employers to ban the headscarf, “have started a Crusade against the Crescent.” (More…)

Damascus-based communication coordinator, Pawel Krzysiek, discusses the factors contributing to the unprecedented toll of urban warfare on Syria’s civilians, and what the warring parties and their supporters must do to save lives. (More…)

In recent weeks Daraa has witnessed the most intense clashes and aerial bombardments it has seen for years. Despite the plan for “de-escalation zones,” civilians in the city are likely to be caught in the newest battlefield for foreign power proxies and the warring Syrian sides. (More…)

Despite its official policy of non-intervention, Israel has taken on a very proactive role in Syria, working to establish an Israel-friendly zone in Quneitra, akin to its strategy in southern Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War. (More…)

Seven years of war have transformed Syrian monitoring groups into sophisticated investigation centers. But with few options to hold perpetrators of humanitarian law violations accountable, the number of Syrians supplying evidence of human rights violations is dwindling, along with their hope for justice. (More…)

Two forensic social workers who visit Lebanon’s notorious Roumieh prison gained a rare insight through inmates into the activity of female ISIS supporters, whose roles go far beyond that of wives. (More…)

Law professor David Crane, who has a record of taking on the prosecution of war criminals, is keeping a detailed record of the events in Syria for future prosecution. His Syrian Accountability Project’s latest report takes a close look at Aleppo. (More…)

ERBIL The U.S. decision to directly arm the Syrian Kurds fighting the so-called Islamic State is not a complete shift in the White House administration’s policy with the Kurds or Turkey, but it is a necessary step in securing the defeat of militants on the ground, U.S.-backed fighters said. (More…)

As the U.S. and Russia reopen discussions about Syria, Syria Deeply spoke with Russia policy experts about Moscow’s primary objective and what it would take for the Kremlin to drop Assad. (More…)

Experts in Syria Deeply’s community comment on the important developments taking shape in Syria while the world has been focused on the U.S. strike and the chemical attack. (More…)