Read an an excerpt from the new book ‘Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War’ by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami. The book tells the story of how Syrians took to the streets in 2011 to demand the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and the political and humanitarian nightmare still unfolding today. This excerpt explores how the regime responded with overwhelming violence to the initial non-violent protests, and the choices facing grassroots activists as the revolution militarized.
Category Archives: Syria
As American and Russian negotiators discuss a cease fire in Syria, both countries are supporting forces carrying out atrocities in the county.
Jeff Klein reports on the horrific devastation left in the wake of the ISIS occupation of the world-famous ancient city of Palmyra and the neighboring Syrian town of Tadmor. He traveled there with a delegation that was the very first group of international civilians to view the site in the aftermath of the battle that took place there.
Sonia Grieco follows two Palestinian families who have fled Syria to Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp. “The life in the camp is tough, but at least the war is far”, says Rajaa, a recently widowed mother of two.
Yonatan Shay, an official of the American Jewish Committee, seeks to paint Syrian refugees in Berlin as anti-Semitic, and as putting Jews in Europe in danger, with the obvious agenda of riding the nationalist xenophobic wave.
On December 3rd 2015 a statue was unveiled in honor of Richard “Dick” Cheney at the United States Capitol. Coincidentally, the previous day witnessed the British parliament, specifically the House of Commons, inadvertently honor Cheney in the debate on whether to extend the military intervention aimed at ISIS in Iraq into ISIS’s supposed heartland in Syria.
The crisis in Syria is still in full throttle. President Obama pretends to be a powerless bystander in Syria when in fact US policy has played an important role in creating the quagmire now playing out. For example, the events of this past weekend present a microcosm of how US policy has failed and it’s time […]
Read an excerpt from Charles Glass’s new book Syria Burning from Or Books. In it, Glass puts the failure of the Syria revolution into a broader historical context where the United States, with its European and Arab allies, have manipulated and subverted movements for change in the Middle East for decades.
The world is witnessing the largest refugee crisis since the horrors of World War II. There are close to 60 million war refugees, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, an all-time high, as people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Yemen are fleeing violence in their countries. Human rights organizations warn the Gulf states, Israel, Iran, and Russia—all of whom have taken zero refugees—along with the US, Canada, and Europe—which have taken few—are not doing enough. Ben Norton presents a guide to the refugee crisis and how every country you need to know about is responding.
After two years of siege and nearly one-year of rampant starvation, fighters from the Islamic State (ISIS) and an al-Qaeda affiliate, al-Nusra Front, overran Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria on April 1st, 2015. The militants launched a surprise midnight attack and beheaded three Palestinians during their first raid. Today they control an estimated 80% of the camp. In this area arrests, killings, and even the burning of musical instruments—which are considered sinful under the austere salafi group’s interpretation of Islam—are common.
This week a horrific scene unfolded in Syria as a besieged Palestinian refugee camp fell under attack by ISIS and al-Nusra Front, another extremist Salafi group. When the fighters gained control of Yarmouk in Damascus, harrowing reports circulated of ISIS’s iconic beheadings and executions. This time it was Palestinian refugees who were victim and amid the chaos 18,000 Palestinians and Syrians were stranded and starving behind ISIS sharpshooters. In response, Palestinian leaders in the West Bank announced they were planning to coordinate a major convoy that would truck humanitarian aid inside of Yarmouk. Then yesterday, the Palestinian officials reversed their decision.
Yarmouk camp in Syria was once a capital of Palestinian Diaspora. As the Assad siege choked the camp, the world was silent. Now Islamic State has invaded, and the world must act
On April 1, 2015 armed groups belonging to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) launched an attack on Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, , which is the largest Palestinian refugee community in Syria. The Jafra Foundation for Youth Development and Relief which operates on the ground in Yarmouk compiled this timeline of the attack from people who witnessed the unfolding events first hand.
Four Palestinian residents of the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria reflect on the state of the camp, what Palestine means to them now after what they have experienced and what they would want to say to Palestinians outside of Syria.
The case of Palestinian refugees is a prevailing topic when discussing Palestine and liberation, but when Palestinian refugees are being besieged and slaughtered in Syria there is a piercing silence towards them. Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus has been under siege for nearly 550 days and counting. Over 1,020 Palestinians have died in the camp by torture in regime jails, execution, and bombing.
As you are surely aware, the gruesome murders of American journalists by the Islamic state group in Iraq and Syria have been seized on by demagogues to argue that the US must go to war in the Middle East. Chris Matthews has championed a “nationalistic response” to the killings and faulted Barack Obama for not […]
Before it was a refugee camp, Al-Yarmuk was long known as the battle that consolidated Syria under Arab rule after the landmark defeat of the Byzantine Empire in 636 C.E. From now on, however, it will symbolize a different event. Al-Yarmuk now stands between Tel Al-Za’tar – the Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut that was […]
It is far too early for a conclusive historical verdict on the wave of uprisings that have swept across the Middle East since a street vendor in Tunisia named Mohamed Bouazizi protested his unfair life by burning himself to death in December 2010. A half dozen Arab nations have been torn by massive popular uprisings, […]
This is part of Marc H. Ellis’s “Exile and the Prophetic” feature for Mondoweiss. To read the entire series visit the archive page. The Syrian talks went nowhere. As expected. Everyone knew they were show and tell. In Geneva, there was no breakthrough but there were accusations and yelling galore. Along with the fear of […]
A week ago the world rejoiced when food trucks finally arrived to Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria to alleviate mass starvation, after nearly 200 days of siege and over 50 dead. Parcels of lentils, oil, sugar, rice and noodles were distributed. People gathered in the streets to cook a coffee-table-sized pot of soup. But an […]
Let us suppose for the sake of argument that Syria’s Assad regime does enjoy a considerable amount of legitimacy, and that their concerns of an armed insurgency designed specifically to advance Western imperial interests are acceptable. Let us also accept, for one second, that the revolution in Syria is the main bastion of extremism and […]
Note: This statement, originally published on Sixteen Minutes to Palestine, is a response to the posting from Cornell SJP on the situation in Yarmouk camp in Syria. This is not meant as a comprehensive statement on the conflict in Syria. It is also not our intention to cast aspersions on or vilify Cornell SJP but to […]
While you were insisting on neutrality about Yarmouk, the Syrian regime dropped barrel bombs on it. Mohammad Al Far. Husam Abo Ahmad. Mohammad Tafori. Mohammad Suhaib Al Qides. Ala’a Fri’j. These men are all dead. Mohammad Taha would later die too when he, along with a larger demonstration, approached a regime checkpoint in frustration after the carnage rained […]
The situation in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Syria, the ghost capital of the Palestinian Shatat, is intolerable. Over the last several months, the camp’s remaining Palestinians have been closed off from without and deprived of food by government troops, invaded from within by the Saudi and Qatari-armed insurgents whom the siege seeks to contain. […]
Reading the news of Hassan Hassan’s murder, the Palestinian actor and comedian, in Syria’s Yarmouk refugee camp, was like a bombshell. Hassan and his wife were arrested by Al-Assad forces three months ago; his wife and son were released two days later. However, he was detained until his family was informed to issue a death […]