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

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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…

VICE – Kurdish Women Are Working the Land to Achieve Financial Independence

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Original article by Rachel Hagan, VICE, 12 September 2020. Ahin Hassan’s family were angry when she decided to get a job. Her parents expected the 22-year-old to stay at home and focus on her domestic duties. They warned her that…

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

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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…

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

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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…

Update: Coronavirus crisis in North and East Syria – October 2020

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Our latest monthly update on the coronavirus crisis in North and East Syria finds: October sees as many deaths and twice as many cases as rest of year combinedExponential growth through September and October with daily cases increasing…

Database: Former ISIS members now part of Turkish-backed forces in Sere Kaniye and Tel Abyad

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Download the full report here. It's one year since Turkey launched its devastating 'Peace Spring' operation, green-lit by Donald Trump and primarily targeting the Kurds in North and East Syria. The invasion displaced an initial wave…

Report: Counter-ISIS raids and attacks in Hol Camp increase as amnesty for ISIS-linked women announced

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Body of an Iraqi refugee, shot dead by ISIS sleeper cells active within Hol Camp Key Points - Rate of anti-ISIS raids increases 118% (11, 24) in response to demand by local communities - 4 raids took place in Hol Camp, plus 6 attacks…

Translation: Criticism and proposals from Syrian Democratic Council consultation, Raqqa

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The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) has launched a series of consultations across North and East Syria. RIC researchers recently attended one such public consultation in Raqqa, summarized below, following on from another meeting in Heseke…

The Siasat Daily – Women, unwell kids smuggled in tightly closed water tanker, video goes viral

Original Article by Sana Sikander, The Siasat Daily, 26 September 2020 The video, posted online on September 11, shows Kurdish Asayesh (internal security) officers opening a compartment of a water tanker. Four women and six semi-conscious…

Update: Coronavirus crisis in North and East Syria – week ending 27 September

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Our latest weekly update on the coronavirus crisis in North and East Syria finds: Director of National Hospital in Raqqa refusing to wear face-mask in protest at shortsupplyInfamous former ISIS prison in Raqqa’s ‘black stadium’…

“Our aim is that these women open their minds” – Roj Camp management on transfers from Al-Hol

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Recently, around forty families have been transferred from Al-Hol camp to the much smaller Roj camp (with less than 2000 inhabitants as compared to around 70,000 in Al-Hol). RIC visited Roj Camp and talked to Nura Abdo, head of camp management.…

Update: Coronavirus crisis in North and East Syria – week ending 20 September

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Our latest update on the coronavirus crisis in North and East Syria finds: Total cases increased by 37% (840, 1151), and fatalities increased by 13% (46, 52)Only the rate of recoveries decreased by 58%, last week there were 124 new recoveries,…

Translation: Criticism and proposals from Syrian Democratic Council public consultation

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Key stakeholders including opposition politicans and tribal leaders were invited, as well as members of the general public The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) has launched a series of consultations across North and East Syria. The meetings…

Summary: UN report on war crimes, atrocities committed by Turkish and other forces in Syria

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Turkish-backed militias are found culpable of an "onslaught" of war-crimes often conducted in the presence of Turkish officers An "onslaught of violations" against civilians including "war crimes" of "hostage-taking, cruel treatment, torture,…

Explainer: Christian Communities in North and East Syria

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Syriac Orthodox Church, Heseke Origins The Assyrian and Syriac Christian communities in North and East Syria trace their origins to the Assyrian empire, a Mesopotamian kingdom in the ancient Near East and the Levant that existed as a…