Weekly Media Digest (6 December 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.

06 December 2019

Protesters wear camouflage sniper uniforms and hold toy guns as they pass by graffiti at the Saadoun Tunnel, in Baghdad, Iraq. Nov. 17, 2019 (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

An independent media platform advancing critical perspectives on Syria and Syrians.

In Syria, Health Workers Risk Becoming ‘Enemies of the State’ (The New York Times)

Written by: Rick Gladstone and Malachy Browne

“The nearly 9-year-old conflict in Syria has been punctuated by repeated violations of what is considered acceptable in war, including the military’s use of chemical weapons, torture of prisoners and recurrent bombings of hospitals in rebel-held areas. Less attention has been paid to another outcome: the government’s criminalization of medical care.”

Exclusive: U.S. military completes pullback from northeast Syria, Esper says (Reuters)

Written by: Phil Stewart

“The United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria, settling into a more stable posture of about 600 troops in the rest of the country after repositioning and reducing forces, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said.”

The Fight for ISIS’s Old Territory Is Just Beginning (Foreign Policy)

Written by: Seth J. Frantzman

“A host of forces including Turkish and Iranian proxies to Russian troops and Syrian government forces are jockeying for control of the lands that once were held by the Islamic State.”

Syrian front lines heat up, especially in Idlib province (Al-Monitor)

Written by: Khaled al-Khateb 

“On Dec. 1 and 2, Syrian regime fighters launched ground attacks on the opposition in eastern Idlib province, trying to retake their lost positions. In the fierce battles, regime forces succeeded in regaining control of Ijaz village but failed to recapture the rest of the villages, such as Suruj, Rasm al-Ward and Istablat.”

Ain Issa: from an obscure town to SDF headquarters (Enab Baladi)

“Clashes between the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) supported by the Russian-backed Syrian regime forces continue over the M4 international highway and the strategically-located towns of Tel Tamer and Ain Issa even as Turkey and Russia stressed that the Sochi agreement signed on 22 October is still in effect.”

Former soldier who fled to Syria arrested on her return to Ireland (The Guardian)

Written by: Rory Carroll

“A former member of the Irish defence forces who moved to Syria to live under Islamic State has returned to Ireland and been arrested on suspicion of terrorist offences.”


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