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Persecution – Report: Turkey – Challenges facing Christians 2016-2020

Original Report by International Christian Concern, Persecution, 07 December, 2020 From the Introduction: “TURKEY: Challenges Facing Christians 2016-2020 reviews the period between 2016 – 2020. It analyzes how the dynamics of historical revisionism and legal status have impacted Turkey’s Christian community, as well as those living in neighboring regional areas under Turkish influence. The report is not […]

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Report: ISIS sleeper-cell attacks reach record low despite mass releases, multiple Hol Camp fatalities

Key Points – November 2020 saw the lowest number of sleeper-cell attacks since records began since ISIS’ territorial defeat in March 2019– NES ‘amnesty’ seeing hundreds of low-level Syrian ISIS fighters and their families doesn’t lead to any increase in violence – November sees just 16 confirmed attacks (plus 7 attacks in Hol Camp), an […]

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Sheikh Maqsud Council member: “You cannot separate Sheikh Maqsud from Aleppo. We have to cooperate.”

Sheikh Maqsud is a unique enclave within Aleppo, one of the oldest and most populous cities in Syria. Aleppo is under Syrian Government control, but the majority-Kurdish Sheikh Maqsud and Ashrafiya neighborhoods retain autonomy and ties to the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria. Within the tumults of the civil war Sheikh Maqsud gained […]

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US Special Envoy for Syria Joel Rayburn: US “ready to use sanctions” to prevent Turkish attack on NES

Rojava Information Center put questions to the U.S. State Department’s incoming Special Envoy for Syria, Joel Rayburn, during a 3 December press conference. Some of Mr. Rayburn’s other answers also addressed the situation in North and East Syria (NES). His comments to RIC and others concerning the situation in NES follow. Rojava Information Center: The […]

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Translation: Reforms announced in response to Syrian Democratic Council public consultations

The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) this year held 13 public consultations across all the contiguous regions of North and East Syria (NES). Along with ordinary civilians then Kurdish and Arabic opposition groups, Arab tribal representatives, minority religious and ethnic groups, women and youth organizations were all invited to share their perspectives, feedback, criticism and proposals […]

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National Interest – Bashar al-Assad is struggling for influence in North and East Syria

Original op-ed by RIC’s Thomas McClure, The National Interest, 29 October 2020. The October 2019 ‘deal’ between the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Government was poorly-understood from the outset. Foreign press and NGO staff scrambled for the border as irrational panic spread about an instantaneous return of Damascus control to the Kurdish-led […]

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Providence – To Protect Syria’s Christians, Erdogan Must be Stopped

Original op-ed by RIC’s Thomas McClure, Providence, 26 October 2020 Extremists are slowly extinguishing of some of the world’s oldest Christian communities, while the world remains largely silent. The Syrian regime first repressed religious and ethnic minorities’ culture, and then genocidal attacks targeted these groups—most famously ISIS’ genocide against the Yezidis in Sinjar, but also […]

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The National Interest – The Problem with Turkey’s Proxy Militias Isn’t Just Military

Original article by Michael Rubin, The National Interest, 9 November 2020 National leaders are learning that relying on Turkish-backed forces comes at a serious political and diplomatic costs. by Michael Rubin Turkish-backed Arab militias are becoming an increasingly frequent presence in operational theaters, from Libya to Syria to Armenia. Whereas Turkish diplomats once claimed they were […]

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Explainer: Cooperatives in North and East Syria – developing a new economy

Currently, North and East Syria (NES) faces enormous economic difficulties: rampant inflation, a partial embargo, war and the draining of resources by occupying Turkish forces in Sere Kaniye, Tel Abyad and Afrin. In this crisis context, NES is developing an economic model which aims at self-sufficiency and sustainability. The economic program of the Autonomous Administration […]

Explainer: Why is Turkey arresting its own proxy council members in Afrin?

Why is Turkey arresting its own proxy council members in Afrin? Mass arrests, disappearances and kidnappings are nothing unusual in Turkish-occupied Afrin. Since the Kurdish enclave’s invasion and occupation by Turkey at the start of 2018, thousands of people have been seized by the Turkish-backed militias which now control the region – hundreds in the […]

Providence – The Untold Story of Syrian Kurdish Christians

“We feel forgotten and abandoned sometimes. The world does not know much about the challenges and difficulties that face us. All countries in the region do not recognize conversion from Islam. This makes life very difficult for us, especially in terms of marriages, funerals, and obtaining birth and death certificates, because we are still considered […]