Tag: Bashar al-Assad

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces and their allies regained control of several strategic opposition-held areas in recent weeks, as its aerial campaigns and ground offensives culminated in a series of so-called evacuation deals. (More…)

Qods Force leader Qassem Sulaimani expressed anxiety over an escalation of tension and possible war with the US. The general claimed Iran is doing its part to reduce conflict by pressuring allied Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr to impose a freeze on attacks on American forces by his Jaysh al-Mahdi (JAM) militia, and by stopping the flow of Iranian weapons to Iraq. (More…)

Theresa May backed Donald Trump’s Syrian airstrikes out of weakness, not strength. But this is nothing new. The need to project strength goes to the heart of UK foreign policy since the end of empire. This is one of the symptoms of our post-imperial malaise. (More…)

BEIRUT – Syrian government forces are allegedly in full control of the last rebel pocket in Eastern Ghouta, the Russian military announced on Thursday, ending a nearly two-month-long campaign that has killed at least 1,600 people and has largely cleared the area in the Damascus suburbs of rebel forces for the first time since 2012. (More…)

For decades, the impoverished residents of southwestern Damascus’ Basateen el-Razi district have lived in poorly built shacks and ramshackle housing facing the upscale Mezzeh district, one of the wealthiest areas of Syria. (More…)

BEIRUT – Situated within mortar-range of the Syrian capital, the Eastern Ghouta region has been the main launch point for rebel attacks targeting Damascus – thus a grave threat to the government’s seat of power – since it fell to opposition forces in 2012. (More…)

BEIRUT – The Syrian war has often been cast as a sectarian conflict between a Sunni majority population and a minority Shiite ruling elite. However, sectarianism is only one component of a multi-faceted conflict that is also partially driven by socio-economic grievances, according to Fabrice Balanche, a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. (More…)

Bassel, a photojournalist from Homs, has documented what he calls the “intentional destruction” of his city, the third largest in Syria, over two years of siege and battles. He says he has noticed a pattern: Certain buildings with no military value have been targeted. (More…)

DAMASCUS – According to the Syrian government, the worst of the war is over. New businesses are opening, domestic tourism is booming and investors are slowly trickling back into the country. (More…)

Author Joseph Daher examines the Syrian government’s reconstruction strategy and warns that Assad will use rebuilding to reward foreign allies and consolidate power around a small core of Syrian elite. (More…)

President Bashar al-Assad’s allies in Lebanon have continued to challenge Beirut’s muddled policy of disengagement with the Syrian state – so far without any repercussions. (More…)

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…)