January 11, 2016 - Our Weekly Selection

In the News | 11-01-2016

Our weekly selection of articles on Syria.

Weaponizing Syria’s Water: "In the deadlocked fight between the regime and insurgents, Ain al-Fijah represents a kind of nuclear option: cutting its flow parches Assad’s stronghold, but the cost to civilians—and the rebel cause—can be huge."

In snow-covered northern town, freezing residents ‘living in the Stone Age’: "In order to keep warm in north Aleppo, exorbitant diesel and electricity prices limit one's options, Abu Hussein, 28, a resident of Azaz, tells Syria Direct’s Osama Abu Zeid. Even firewood isn’t cheap, particularly since "you need 20 kilos of it a day" just for heating."

Frost destroys crops for 250,000 blockaded northern Homs residents: "Unable to import food from surrounding areas, northern Homs residents depend on locally grown produce. These days, that mostly means potatoes, cabbages, onions and some tomatoes. Other local crops include eggplants, fruits and nuts."

Safe Zones and Assurances: "Nothing good can happen in Syria with civilians on the bullseye. Getting them off is not cartographic work. It does not require remote-control manipulation of Syrian sects and ethnicities. It is not a matter of assurances for those fully complicit in war crimes. That which is required is relentless diplomacy backed by the credible threat of force."

A Peace Plan for Syria: "The proposal calls for deferring a comprehensive political solution and resolution of the Assad question and focusing instead on a ceasefire backed by international enforcement, regional devolution of power, humanitarian assistance, and a longer-term political process."

In Turkey’s borderlands, Syrians show refugees’ economic potential: "His firm is one of nearly 2,000 set up by Syrians in Turkey in the almost five years since their homeland descended into civil war."

Amnesty: Famine in Syrian city of Madaya 'the tip of an iceberg': "Even more chilling is the idea that Madaya may not be the exception in Syria today, after nearly five years of civil war: It might be representative of an ongoing catastrophe of larger proportions."

Russian bombing in Syria 'fuels refugee crisis' says US official as airstrike kills 39: "Only a third of 5,000 Russian airstrikes directed against Isis."

RT pays visit to oilfield recaptured by Kurds from ISIS : "Rich in oil the Syrian Kurds may be, but they have no one to sell it to!"

400 Syrians Stranded at Beirut Airport Following Turkish Visa Revisions: "Ankara's recent decision to prevent Syrians from entering Turkey without visa leaves hundreds grounded in Beirut."

Syria PM Calls for Increased Trade with India: "Prime minister says Syrian government hopes to expand trade with India to alleviate the impacts of economic sanctions and war."

Iran, Syria Look to Bypass Obstacles to Health Sector Cooperation: "Representatives meet to formulate strategy on fulfilling complicated bilateral health sector deals."

Female Activists Tackle East Ghouta's Education Crisis: "Have the Right to Learn campaign aims to help thousands of children without access to education in the eastern suburbs of Damascus."

No jeans, no cigarettes on the bus from Beirut to Raqqa: "Syrian refugees talk about their ordeal as they travel back home to see their families in ISIL-held territory."

The Refugee Band Touring Europe: "They fled to Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, and Germany, turning their nation’s tragedy, and their own, into a rock and roll epic."

Iran's failed cultural diplomacy in Syria: "Nadia von Maltzahn has researched decades-long efforts by Iran and Syria to improve their countries’ cultural relations. Gareth Smyth asks her what went wrong."

Isis 'ran sophisticated immigration operation' on Turkey-Syria border: "Passenger manifests seized by Kurdish forces at Tel Abyad have same stamp marks as other Isis documents the Guardian has been able to verify."

Written by: The Syria Report
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