Syria’s Kurds Have Plenty of Territory — If They Can Keep It
In the war with Islamic State, Syria’s Kurdish forces successfully fought back and extended their territories, most notably by capturing the strategic city of Raqqa and large swathes of Deir ez-Zor province. These territories, which encompass almost all of Syria’s oil reserves, provide the Kurds with valuable bargaining chips... Read more
ISIS Fighters Hid in Tunnels to Ambush Iranian-Backed Troops
The war in Syria isn’t over. On Nov. 2, 2017, Syrian and allied troops advanced into Islamic State-controlled parts of Syria. Marching from the city of Dayr Az Zawr down the Euphrates River toward the Iraqi border, they linked-up with Iranian-supported militias and converged on the town of Al... Read more
A Syrian Town Resisted Islamists … And Then the Regime Attacked
In September 2017, Hayat Tahrir Ash Sham, or HTS – an Al Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria – launched what it described as a “major offensive.” In response, the regime of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad and the Russian air force intensified air strikes on population centers in parts... Read more
«No quiero volver a disparar un arma contra nadie nunca más»
En 2015 Hanna Bohman, mujer canadiense de 48 años de edad sin experiencia militar alguna, se unió a una milicia kurda que lucha contra el Estado Islámico en Siria. «Siempre me habían interesado las cosas militares, pero nunca me alisté porque no dejan combatir a las mujeres», decía Bohman.... Read more
‘I Don’t Want to Shoot a Gun at Anybody Ever Again’
In 2015 Hanna Bohman, a 48-year-old Canadian with no military experience, joined a Kurdish militia battling Islamic State in Syria. “I had always been interested in military stuff but never joined because they don’t let women fight,” Bohman said. “One of the reasons I joined the Yekineyen Parastina Jin... Read more
In Syria, Two Isolated Villages Witnessed Hezbollah’s Rise
Heroic portraits of Syrian president Bashar Al Assad gradually disappear the farther north you drive from Aleppo. The red, white and black colors of the Syrian flag give way to the yellow and green banners of Hezbollah. For three and a half years, the rural towns of Nubul and... Read more
Russia’s Air Defenses In Syria Have Some Big Problems
In late September 2017, satellite photographs indicated that Russia had deployed a second Russian SA-21 surface-to-air missile system in Syria. Purportedly, the system in question is deployed high in the mountains near Masyaf, fewer than 40 kilometers southeast of Lattakia, and right next to a battery of Bastion-P systems... Read more
F-22s Act as Flying Scouts Over Syria
Three years ago, four F-22 Raptors taking part in the second-wave of the U.S.-led coalition’s opening air strikes on Islamic State in Syria dropped their bombs. It was the first time the stealthy fifth-generation fighters had ever engaged in combat. The coalition’s war planners also used the F-22s to... Read more
Itchy Militia Wrecks Syrian Ceasefire
Hard on the heels of the sixth round of diplomatic talks in Astana – facilitated by Russia and Turkey – Hayat Tahrir Ash-Sham, an Al Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria, announced that it launched a “major offensive” against parts of northern Hama nominally controlled by the regime of Syrian... Read more
The Wrath of U.S. Air Strikes Along the Euphrates River Falls on Civilians
It was midday on Sunday, May 7, when the U.S.-led coalition warplanes again began bombing the neighborhood of Wassim Abdo’s family. They lived in Tabqa, a small city on the banks of the Euphrates River in northern Syria. Then occupied by Islamic State, Tabqa was also under siege by... Read more