Think tanks and policymakers are taking stock of the status quo, while humanitarian groups are launching global awareness campaigns. Analysts say the conflict could go on for at least another decade, while President Bashar al Assad all but officially readies his reelection. Whatever the disarray of actors on the ground, there is a clear consensus that world powers are responsible for failing to stop Syria’s war.
On our platform this week marks the relaunch of our website, SyriaDeeply.org.To better serve our readers and the story itself, our team has spent months improving our platform to produce a more dynamic, mobile-friendly, and generally seamless experience. We hope you like it and await your feedback on how we can make it better.
As always, we aim to bring more clarity in covering the conflict, as it grows more complex by the day. This week the Islamic State of Iraq in and Syria(ISIS) said it faces a war with Jabhat al Nusra – so dramatically has an inter-rebel rivalry escalated between the two Islamist fighting groups. The Islamic Front, a body that was created to unify the other rebel fighting groups in the field, has been beset by problems according to a piece this week by Hassan Hassan. Once the great white hope of the Syrian opposition, the Islamic Front has “collapsed in all but name,” he wrote in Foreign Policy. Meanwhile the Free Syrian Army and its successor, the Supreme Military Council, have yet to become the organizational force they were touted to be when created, in 2012.
In other words, as of now, there is no real connective tissue that holds the rebels together. And yet the fighting continues and keeps attracting foreign fighters. It is a continual descent toward entropy.
This week rebels and regime forces waged fierce clashes in Aleppo, with the government gradually retaking ground.
“No one knows what to expect, anything can happen,” said Omar Nasir, one rebel fighter told the LA Times. “The regime is using all its strength here.” Government forces also took the town of Zara, in a strategic area near the Lebanese border.
Among the wounded in Syria’s War: its ancient history. The New York Times ran a searing profile of Syria’s heritage sites and priceless antiquities, now being destroyed and dismantled through nefarious channels.
Syrian people are making heroic efforts to carry on their lives. We’ve carried the stories of Syrians taking a polio vaccine campaign into their own hands and education moving underground, as teachers strive to operate a makeshift school in Deir Ezzor. We carried a piece from our partners at Iqtisadi on olive farmers in crisis – in the land of olive oil, the iconic foodstuff has now become a luxury. And with a public health system in dire need and disarray, we profiled Syrian cancer patients forced to turn to alternative treatments, from rare fruit to camel milk. There is no other medication within reach.
Their lives are a kind of metaphor for the crisis. Syrians have shown great resilience in the face of a seemingly interminable war. Three years on, with no grand solutions from the international community, their small-scale Syrian solutions are the only ones in sight.