Weekly Media Digest (22 November 2019)

SyriaUntold brings you a new edition of our digest. We want to share with you the features, investigative pieces and long-form essays that we read and thought would interest you.

22 November 2019

A ‘satellite’ image of Saydnaya prison, based on an Amnesty reconstruction. (Photograph: DigitalGlobe)

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James Le Mesurier: hero in a white helmet (The Times)

Conspiracy theorists descended like vultures to pick over the death in Turkey last week of the founder of Syria’s volunteer rescue force, the White Helmets. Such lies benefit only his enemies.

Lubana Quntar: The Story of a Syrian Opera Singer in Exile (Salon Syria)

Status host Raghad Al Makhlouf speaks with Lubana Al Quntar, a Syrian opera singer from Suwayda (a Druze stronghold south of Damascus), who had to flee the country because of her political opinions. Al Quntar has lived in the United States since 2011 and describes the difficulties and challenges she faced both personally and professionally in this transition.

Syria war: Who benefits from its oil production? (BBC)

President Donald Trump says he expects the United States to benefit by millions of dollars per month from Syria's oil revenues while US troops remain in the country.

The Moscow School of Hard Knocks: Key Pillars of Russian Strategy (War on the Rocks)

The Russians earned yet another political victory with audiences at home and abroad. Meanwhile, Washington is in the midst of self-immolation. When the next peer adversary comes knocking, the United States must be better prepared. The United States can’t return to the past, but it can certainly learn from it.

Undoing Trump’s Syria Blunder (The New York Times)

According to a report released on Tuesday by the Department of Defense inspector general, President Trump’s withdrawal from Syria has allowed ISIS to “reconstitute capabilities and resources within Syria and strengthen its ability to plan attacks abroad.”

Who was behind the attack on Qah IDP camp in Idlib? (Enab Baladi)

Sources in the field, interviewed by Enab Baladi, said that the missile, which targeted a camp for internally displaced persons near the Turkish-Syrian border, was launched from the Jabal Azzan area in rural Aleppo.

Despair and Decay: East Ghouta After 18 Months of Renewed Regime Rule (Etana)

East Ghouta is perhaps the darkest example of renewed Assad regime rule over former opposition territory. Eighteen months after the regime recaptured the area, its security forces and intelligence apparatus continue to terrorize Syrians there. Night-time raids on homes, mass arrests, and forced disappearances are common occurrences across the region. Intelligence forces assert themselves in every aspect of daily life, especially at the ubiquitous checkpoints where personnel extort residents for bribes when they pass, subjecting them to security checks that can lead to civilians either being arrested on the spot or conscripted into military service. In addition, residents of East Ghouta are facing a humanitarian crisis amid a total lack of basic services, from sewage to schools and hospitals, and the basic pillars of the local economy remain in total disrepair.


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Illustation by Dima Nechawi Graphic Design by Hesham Asaad