Dear Deeply Readers,

Welcome to the archives of Syria Deeply. While we paused regular publication of the site on May 15, 2018, and transitioned some of our coverage to Peacebuilding Deeply, we are happy to serve as an ongoing public resource on the Syrian conflict. We hope you’ll enjoy the reporting and analysis that was produced by our dedicated community of editors contributors.

We continue to produce events and special projects while we explore where the on-site journalism goes next. If you’d like to reach us with feedback or ideas for collaboration you can do so at [email protected].

Week in Review: Women and Children, Suffering in the Spotlight

It’s been an eventful week in and around Syria. The regime has been taking back bits of terrain, including the strategic town of Qalamoun. Where the regime isn’t in control – in the northern parts of the country – al-Qaida is gaining ground and growing more influential. .

Written by Lara Setrakian Published on Read time Approx. 1 minutes

This week seven major Islamist groups united to form the Islamic Front, an anti-democracy camp, calling for religious rule over Syria. Meanwhile the “moderate” rebels are losing steam and their revolutionary cause is fading in appeal: enough opposition leaders have proven to be corrupt and ineffectual that they now provoke disillusionment and even disgust.

In diplomatic developments, Geneva II peace talks are now set for Jan. 22, theoretically convening the regime and the rebels at the negotiating table (though there are tough open questions about who gets to attend, i.e., which parties can credibly represent the opposition and whether Iran will be invited in the mix). The U.S. has offered to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons at sea, while overall in Syria U.S. influence is fading.

There’s no clear consensus on whether the Iran nuclear deal will help foster a Syrian peace. It does reorder regional politics in ways that shift Turkey’s position on Syria, at a time when Qatar’s foreign policy is also taking a softer stance (Turkey and Qatar had previously been staunch backers of the opposition).

Even with the flurry of geopolitical news, Syria’s women and children still managed to make it into the headlines through a series of reports chronicling their suffering and exploitation. One European human-rights group found that more than 6,000 women have been raped, and others targeted by snipers and used as human shields. Children, who make up more than half of Syrian refugees, have been left destitute and without schooling, as UNHCR shows in a new multimedia report. Some children have become the family breadwinners, harvesting crops, working in restaurants or sifting through trash for aluminum cans.

Their lives are intertwined with the fighters clashing on the battlefield and the politicians dueling in the court of public opinion. The longer the war drags on, the deeper Syria’s women and children fall into an abyss, away from any “normal” life they had hoped to recover.

Suggest your story or issue.


Share Your Story.

Have a story idea? Interested in adding your voice to our growing community?

Learn more