Analysis

How the White Helmets Fit in Syria’s Present and Future

by: Asaad Hanna

The Syrian Civil Defence, known as the White Helmets, rose to prominence in 2017 due to their efforts to save civilians in areas inaccessible to or deprived of other emergency services.

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Analysis

Division Defines Syria’s Tribes and Clans

by: Akil Hussein

Though all parties to the conflict have tried to take advantage of tribal identities, shifting loyalties and social changes mean often tribal kin fight each other.

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Analysis

Concerns Grow For Civilians Caught Up in Anti-ISIS Hunts

by: Haid Haid

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have captured the majority of ISIS territories in eastern Syria. Consequently, civilians who were forced to live under the group’s harsh rule have been freed. But not all of them feel safe.

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Analysis

Russia’s Brittle Strategic Pillars in Syria

by: Ayman Aldassouky

With unreliable allies and a lack of experience with local power dynamics, Russia’s influence in Syria is built on fragile foundations.

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Analysis

Kurdish and Syrian Regime Forces Take Very Different Routes to Control in Deir Ez-Zor

by: Muhammed Hassan

While the regime wants to co-opt local factions to strengthen its power, the Kurds are trying to monopolize it.

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Analysis

From Turkey to Aleppo’s Northern Rif: Variations in Local Governance and Security

Interview with Mustafa Haid by Lina Khatib and Haid Haid, compiled and edited by Nicole El Khawaja

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Analysis

Who Is Assassinating Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham’s Leaders?

by Haid Haid

More than 35 members of Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) – a coalition of rebel groups led by the rebranded al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham – have been assassinated in Idlib since September. While assassinations in Syria are common, the unprecedented rate and scale of these targeted attacks and their impact on the group’s capacity indicates a significant shift in the way its opponents are dealing with it.

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Analysis

Iran Is Building a New Source of Shia Influence Inside Syria

by: Lina Sinjab

Iran is increasing its efforts to change the identity of Sunni-majority Syria, with the aim of establishing a long-term influence inside the country. 

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Analysis

How the Syrian regime is dividing and ruling Aleppo

by: Khaled Al-Khateb

On 22 December 2016, when the Syrian regime took over Aleppo as the last rebel fighter left its eastern districts, the city fell into the hands of three authorities: state security agencies, pro-regime militias and the Baath party. 

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Analysis

Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham’s Deal With Turkey Further Alienates It From Other Jihadists

by: Akil Hussein

By accepting Turkish intervention in Idlib, Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham has avoided one confrontation but thrown itself into a conflict with its ideological comrades in the Salafist-jihadist camp, with whom it already has tense relations.

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