News in Images

  • OneHand

    THE WILL TO LIVE: Mohammed Sawan, a fighter with the rebel Liwa a-Tawheed brigade in Aleppo province, fled to Antakia after losing his right arm to a regime shell during a firefight, where he resorted to collecting plastic in his handcart to make ends meet, reported pro-opposition al-Etihad Press.

    “I went around to stores searching for work, they told me, 'my son, guys with two hands don't work and you want to?'” Sawan, who appears in the picture above, said in an interview with al-Etihad's correspondent.

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  • YaldaTruce

    THE TRUCE HURTS: The Red Crescent distributed food aid to the formerly opposition-controlled town of Yelda in southern Damascus on Wednesday for the second time this month as civilians there still face bombardment and shortages despite a truce signed with the regime nearly a year ago.

    “This installment consists of around 1,000 food baskets, while the first batch, also of 1,000 baskets, entered 10 days ago,” Walid al-Agha, a citizen journalist in southern Damascus, told Syria Direct on Thursday.

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  • HomsBombing

    DOUBLE DOWN: A car bomb detonated in the pro-regime Alawite neighborhood of Akrama in Homs city on Wednesday, killing at least seven and injuring dozens of others, reported the monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

    “A terrorist car bomb on Hadara Street in the Akrama neighborhood,” said official state news SANA immediately after the bombing. 

    “Initial reports indicate that there are a number of martyrs and injured amongst the civilians.”

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  • FuelPrices

    PANEM ET CIRCENSES: The Syrian government raised prices on fuel and bread over the weekend, sparking a crisis in regime-controlled areas in and around the capital amidst cash-strapped civilians.

    “The situation has become unbearable,” Abu Talal al-Homsi, the alias of a resident of regime-controlled Damascus originally from Homs told Syria Direct on Tuesday. 

    “Even before the rise in prices gas was scarce and difficult to obtain,” he said.

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  • DamascusBegging

    FLIGHT OF THE CONQUERED: Thousands of civilians reportedly seeking to escape a third year of regime encirclement of their towns streamed from opposition-controlled areas in East Ghouta to regime territory in and around the capital over the weekend.

    “Since Thursday, families have been leaving from different parts of Ghouta, especially residents from al-Ahwash,” a media activist in East Ghouta, who asked to remain anonymous, told Syria Direct on Monday.

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  • Syriatna

    NUSRA DRAWS: Jabhat a-Nusra fighters stormed a radio station and a women’s center in Idlib province on Saturday in an attempt to stifle a pro-opposition publication that had distributed pamphlets in support of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, reported the Turkish-based, pro-opposition radio station Radio Watan.

    “A group belonging to Jabhat a-Nusra broke into a local media office and the Radio Fresh headquarters,” said Ra’ed Firas, the director of the Union of Offices for the Revolution in Idlib – a collection of media activists in Idlib – in an interview with Radio Watan.

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  • Daraa1234

    DEADLY DARAA: Regime warplanes launched a series of airstrikes over the divided city of Daraa and its outskirts Wednesday, leading to at least six civilian deaths, reported pro-opposition website SyrianPC.

    “The regime is focusing its bombing on [rebel-controlled] areas of the city to force civilians to accept a truce with the regime,” al-Muatasem Billah, the alias of a citizen journalist in the city, told Syria Direct Thursday.

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  • AleppoChildLabor

    HARD LESSONS: Children in Aleppo as young as 10 years old are increasingly spending their days performing menial labor in Aleppo city, where a suffocating encirclement of rebel-held areas and the deaths of able-bodied young men have left families with no other choice than to send their kids to work.

    “Children in Aleppo are working—smuggling gas, performing services [i.e. cleaning, preparing tea] in the headquarters of some military brigades, selling tobacco, and generally staying totally away from education in order to make money,” Mohammed Nur al-Halabi, a citizen journalist in Aleppo, told Syria Direct Wednesday.

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  • Car Boom

    WHO BLEW IT: Five explosions struck rebel and Kurdish positions in Aleppo city and its northern countryside Saturday. Although the perpetrator remains unknown, Jabhat a-Nusra has pointed the finger at the Islamic State for attacking its checkpoint that was among the targets.

    “Two car bombs blew up at a Jabhat a-Nusra checkpoint near the entrance to Musqan village, and a third struck a Kurdish 'People's Protection Units' checkpoint in the city of Afrin,” a local citizen journalist living in the northwest Aleppo countryside who goes by Ahmed al-Ahmed told Syria Direct.

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Reports

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Regime steps up East Ghouta air raids

January 22, 2015 By Brent Eng, Ammar Hamou and Firas Abd AMMAN: Regime warplanes heavily bombed key rebel positions in the opposition-controlled Damascus suburbs of East Ghouta on Thursday for the... Read more

Islamic State less visible in Al-Bokamel amidst assassinations, airstrikes

January 19, 2015 By Dan Wilkofsky and Ammar Hamou AMMAN: The number of Islamic State checkpoints and al-Hisbeh patrols have reportedly dwindled in the Syrian border town of Al-Bokamel on Monday following... Read more

Rebel sources deny Waer truce; negotiations in ‘trust-building’ phase

Fragile ceasefire talks for the last rebel-controlled district of Homs are disrupted by reported regime shelling and sniper activity as UN officials meet with rebels on Thursday. January 15, 2015 By... Read more

Syrian army hostages in plea to regime: ‘Why aren’t you negotiating for us?’

January 13, 2015 By Dan Wilkofsky AMMAN: Pro-opposition news sources circulated video footage Monday of 20 Syrian army soldiers captured in Al-Hasakah imploring the regime to begin negotiating for their release from... Read more

Syrians strike against ‘inhuman’ camp conditions

January 12, 2015 By Osama Abu Zeid and Brent Eng AMMAN: Thousands of residents across camps in northern Syria reportedly began a hunger strike on Monday protesting their “inhuman” living conditions, one... Read more

Questions of ‘overstepping’ judiciary as Jaish al-Islam claims Douma victory

January 9, 2015 By Ammar Hamou, Dan Wilkofsky and Kristen Gillespie AMMAN: Although the result appears to have met with public approval, Jaish al-Islam’s defeat this week of a rival faction in... Read more

Interviews

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Nusra raid to avenge Charlie Hebdo alienates Kafr Nabl journalists

January 22, 2015 Jabhat a-Nusra fighters stormed pro-opposition Radio Fresh's office in the Idlib province town of Kafr Nabl last Saturday, acting on false information that... Read more

‘I was scared they would take my sister for recruitment’

January 21, 2015 The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) passed a mandatory military service law in July stipulating the enlistment of one young man—between the ages... Read more

‘Nusra strategy is similar to that of the Islamic State’

January 20, 2015 Jabhat a-Nusra captured the Idlib village of Tel Selmu from regime forces January 13. The village overlooks the regime-controlled Abu a-Thuhur military airport,... Read more

Sectarianism hides truth that ‘people have no role in their destinies,’ says Alawite dissident

January 19, 2014  As sons of Alawite and Druze families continue to come home in coffins year after year, members of Bashar al-Assad's sect and other... Read more

Shiite towns loom over battle for Aleppo

January 15, 2015 Jabhat a-Nusra’s assault on the regime-controlled Shiite towns of Nubul and Zahra north of Aleppo city last November broke a nearly two-year long... Read more

‘Despite regime violations, the truce has lifted a huge burden’

January 14, 2015 Nearly a year ago, the pro-opposition towns of Yelda, Babila and Beit Sahem in southern Damascus agreed to truces with regime after being... Read more

News Roundup

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Syria Direct: News Update 1-22-15

Fighters leave Islamic State after friends executed for ‘treason’ A group of Islamic State fighters in A-Raqqa defected from the jihadist group on Wednesday and on... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 1-21-15

Barrel bomb on Kurdish sheep market Regime helicopters dropped at least one barrel bomb on a sheep market in a primarily Kurdish town in Al-Hasakah province... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 1-20-15

Shishani escapes assassination Regime helicopters dropped barrel bombs on four separate rebel-held neighborhoods in north Aleppo city Tuesday, reported pro-opposition Halab News Network late Tuesday afternoon. The... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 1-19-15

PYG, regime turn on each other in Al-Hasakah Regime forces captured an unspecified number of Kurdish [YPG] checkpoints in the divided city of Al-Hasakah on Sunday,... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 1-15-15

US, regime bomb Deir e-Zor amidst civil discontent The US-led coalition and the Syrian regime targeted separate Islamic State positions in the largely IS-controlled province of... Read more

Syria Direct: News Update 1-14-15

Virus targets newborns in northern Syria Four children have died of a potentially new viral infection in opposition territory in northwest Aleppo province, as one of... Read more