News in Images

  • EastGhoutaElectricity

    POWER FAILURE: Syrians in regime-controlled areas have become accustomed to electricity rationing, with some living with only four hours of electricity a day.

    Meanwhile, in many rebel–controlled areas, a lack of fuel for electricity generation has meant a total cutoff, with residents turning to alternative solutions to meet their energy needs. 

    Above, residents of East Ghouta build turbines to generate electricity from running water.

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  • HomssMedia

    WAER UNDER FIRE: Regime airstrikes in Al-Waer pounded the last opposition-held district in Homs city Tuesday, punishing rebels and civilians who have been besieged by the regime for more than a year, reported the pro-opposition Homs Media Center.

    “The neighborhood was hit by 16 airstrikes in a way that we have never seen before,” an Al-Waer-based media activist, who goes by the pseudonym Mohammed al-Homsi out of fear for his safety, told Syria Direct Wednesday.

    “[The attack] may be in retaliation for the fall of Wadi Deif,” al-Homsi said, referring to the opposition’s capture of one of the largest military regime bases in the country, located in Idlib province, on Monday.

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  • RegimeSoldiersFlee2

    THE GREAT ESCAPE: Regime forces fled en masse from the fallen military bases of Wadi Deif and Hamadiya in Idlib province on Tuesday, resulting in opposition forces seizing control of southern Idlib and reportedly taking hundreds of prisoners.

    “The number of regime prisoners [rebels captured] is more than 250, including a commander and 15 regime soldiers who tried to escape by dressing like women,” an Idlib-based journalist, who goes by the pseudonym Alaa al-Din and works for the pro-opposition Idlib News Agency, told Syria Direct Tuesday. The journalist’s story was corroborated by other opposition news sources based in Idlib.

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  • SNHR

    DEATH TRAP: Syrian government forces have killed an estimated 3,273 civilians nationwide since the beginning of US-led airstrikes in Syria on September 23, a total that is 30 times the number killed by the Islamic State (IS) in the same period, according to pro-opposition monitoring group the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR).

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  • EastGhoutateachers

    MONEY TEACHES: Dozens of teachers and students organized a protest in East Ghouta Saturday to demand the Syrian interim government provide them with financial support amidst a crippling regime blockade, reported pro-opposition news agency Siraj Press.

    “The criminal regime is killing us with bullets and you are killing us by cutting the support from us [in] East Ghouta,” reads the sign above carried by a protester.

    “I am a teacher and I want to live,” says another sign.

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  • RedCrescent

    CONTROVERSIAL CRESCENT: Syrian Red Crescent representatives celebrate the one-year anniversary of the regime takeover over of al-Nabek in the Qalamoun region with members of the National Defense Force (shabiha) on Wednesday.

    The National Defense Force's flag is visible above the female Syrian Red Crescent worker showing the victory sign.

    One media activist expressed his surprise at the photo in comments made on Syria Reporter's Facebook page, which originally uploaded the photo. The page hosts a network of opposition activists.

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  • IS-Damascus

    GO SOUTH: IS-affiliated news outlets published photos on Tuesday, including the one above, confirming the Islamic State’s capture of parts of the desert region populated by Bedouins that is administratively part of Outer Damascus province.

    The pictures appear to confirm reports that have circulated in recent weeks of the Islamic State attacking, and then taking control of, the rebel-held area of Bir al-Qasb near the Outer Damascus-Suwayda border in southern Syria.

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  • DoorsofDestroyedHouses

    BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE: “The doors of destroyed houses have become firewood because of the lack of fuel for heating,” reads the caption on this picture from East Ghouta's Hamuriya district, which circulated on social media Monday.

    Residents of the encircled, rebel-held East Ghouta suburbs have turned to increasingly desperate measures to heat themselves as winter sets in. “Wood from trees, furniture, plastic, trash and animal dung” are all now used as fuel, a local Douma resident told Syria Direct.

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  • NusraUNCar

    CONFLICT RESOLUTION: Jabhat a-Nusra detonated two car bombs Sunday targeting regime forces in Sheikh Miskeen, including one rigged from a United Nations vehicle.

    A suicide bomber called 'Abu Adam' detonated the first vehicle—which appears to be a Russian-made BMP-1—in the Sheikh Miskeen's regime-held officers' quarters. 'Abu Khitab' followed Abu Adam in a United Nations armored vehicle, with the black letters UN visible on the back.

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  • DoumaProtest

    FALSE PROMISES: A handful of residents in opposition-held Douma reportedly held a silent protest against the encircled city’s judiciary council on Wednesday as the regime continues its total encirclement of the town.

    “We died of hunger and begged you for promises,” reads the sign a protester holds, purportedly addressing a well-known Islamic judge in Douma posted to Facebook Wednesday.

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Reports

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Trapped by hunger and encirclement, Douma struggles under rebel leadership

December 17, 2014 By Dan Wilkofsky, Ammar Hamou and Kristen Gillespie AMMAN: Soaring prices and chronic shortages of food and fuel have left residents of Douma caught between the regime encirclement of... Read more

Homs fighters abandon battalion after pledge to Islamic State

December 15, 21014 By Osama Abu Zeid and Brent Eng AMMAN: An Islamist rebel group in northern Homs province lost a majority of its fighters after declaring allegiance to the Islamic State... Read more

One year on, activists demand answers in Razan Zaitouneh disappearance

December 9, 2o14 By Dan Wilkofsky AMMAN: Tuesday marked the first anniversary of the disappearance of internationally recognized human rights lawyer Razan Zaitouneh and three of her colleagues, and while no new... Read more

INFOGRAPHIC: Anatomy of an IS Massacre Part II

December 7, 2014 In Part II of Open Syria’s investigation into the Tabqa massacre, we pick up the story as 160 regime prisoners are driven 93km to the execution site outside... Read more

Anatomy of a Massacre Part II: The Killing

December 4, 2014 Anatomy of a Massacre by Joseph Adams Mapping the Execution of Syrian Army POWs at Tabqa Airbase Part II: The Killing Introduction, the Gathering Silos, Thoul Nayel, and Conclusion Open in full... Read more

INFOGRAPHIC: Anatomy of an IS Massacre Part I

December 3, 2014 In Part I, we map the long march north of captured Syrian army soldiers from desert hamlets southwest of Tabqa airbase, to nameless grain silos for transport to... Read more

Interviews

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Noah Bonsey: Nusra 'has gained strength' since US-led strikes began

December 18, 2014 On December 15, al-Qaeda affiliated Jabhat a-Nusra and hardline Islamist militia Ahrar a-Sham launched a coordinated assault to overrun Syrian government forces in... Read more

A conversation with Eliot Higgins

December 17, 2014 Eliot Higgins, formerly known as Brown Moses, is an open-source analyst who works on tracking weapons, geo-locating sites of interest and profiling militant... Read more

Former FSA fighter: Regime fearful of IS advances

December 16, 2014 A regime delegation led by Major General Mohammed Deeb Zeitun met a council of rebels in Homs's embattled Al-Waer neighborhood earlier this month... Read more

Zaitouneh colleague vows to use ‘any means available’

December 15, 2014 A group of 57 human rights organizations issued a statement on December 9 demanding the immediate release of internationally recognized activist Razan Zaitouneh... Read more

Ghouta doctor: ‘1 in 8 injured face amputation’

December 11, 2014 Syrian opposition activists commemorated International Human Rights Day on Wednesday by launching a social media campaign to raise awareness of the plight of... Read more

Former FSA fighters help IS in battle for Deir e-Zor airport

December 10, 2014 Last week the Islamic State launched its second major attack against the Deir e-Zor military airport since it captured Deir e-Zor city and... Read more

News Roundup

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Syria Direct: News Update 12-18-14

Nusra accelerates Idlib offensive Following up on their rapid success capturing Wadi a-Deif, Jabhat a-Nusra attacked the regime military base of al-Mastumah in Idlib Wednesday, resulting... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 12-17-14

Regime renews airstrikes against Deir e-Zor The regime escalated its aerial campaign against the Islamic State in Deir e-Zor province on Wednesday and Tuesday, bombing IS... Read more

Syria Direct: News update 12-16-14

Syrian army gone from Wadi Deif Regime forces fleeing from the Wadi Deif and Hamidiya military bases in southern Idlib province reportedly arrived at the regime-controlled... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 12-15-14

Nusra takes Wadi Deif, Hamadiya military bases Jabhat a-Nusra captured the Wadi Deif military base in southern Idlib province from the regime Monday, while its... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 12-11-14

Regime fires on Ein al-Fijeh The regime launched mortar shells into the rebel-controlled village of Ein al-Fijeh Thursday in an apparent violation of a truce signed... Read more

Syria Direct: news Update 12-10-14

Rebels find burned civilian bodies in Sheikh Miskeen Rebels reportedly discovered the burned corpses of an unconfirmed number of civilians in Sheikh Miskeen in Daraa province... Read more