Here are some highlights from the first issues of our newsletter, Syria Notes.

Printed copies are available on request – contact:

Syria Notes No.1, 9 November – view and download PDF
  • Listening to Refugees

    Most Syrians are fleeing from Assad, not Isis: 70% are fleeing the violence of the Assad regime and its allies (32% Isis, 18% Free Syrian Army, 17% Al Nusra, 8% Kurdish forces).

    Stopping barrel bombs would help them stay: 73% said barrel bombs were a threat to their personal safety. 58% said a no-fly zone would help more stay in Syria, only 24% said the same for increased aid.

    Further reading with link to full results:

  • A Government of Corruption, Nepotism, and Impunity

    “The much-touted mantra of reaching a ‘political solution’ that keeps Assad in power belies the reality of a decayed governance system, ravaged by the rampant corruption that has plagued the country for decades,” writes Rashad al-Kattan.

    This article was first published by the Atlantic Council, 20 October 2015, as A Political Solution in Syria Needs to Break the Unholy Alliance.

Syria Notes No.2, 23 November – view and download PDF
  • Who is killing civilians in Syria?

    The vast majority of violent deaths of civilians documented by the Syrian Network for Human Rights since March 2011 have been attributed to Assad’s forces. The following figures from SNHR’s report, The Main Conflict Parties Who Are Killing Civilians in Syria, are for the period from March 2011 to the end of October 2015.

    Civilians killed from March 2011 to Oct. 2015
    By Assad forces: 180,879   95.96%
    ... armed opposition groups: 2,669 1.42%
    ... unidentified groups: 2,002 1.06%
    ... ISIS: 1,712 0.91%
    ... Kurdish self management forces: 379 0.2 %
    ... al-Nusra Front: 347 0.18%
    ... Russian forces: 263 0.14%
    ... International Coalition forces: 251 0.13%

    The SNHR also release monthly reports. For October 2015 they documented the following numbers of violent civilian deaths.

    Syrian civilians killed in October 2015 alone
    By Assad forces: 793
    ... armed opposition groups: 45
    ... unidentified groups: 50
    ... ISIS: 53
    ... Kurdish self management forces:   10
    ... al-Nusra Front: 1
    ... Russian forces: 263
    ... International Coalition forces: 1

    All reports can be found on the Syrian Network for Human Rights website:

  • The Malice of Power: Arrests in Syria as Part of a Politico-Economic Rationale

    “Free rein when it comes to arrests is one of the ways in which the regime renders it possible for various parts of its security apparatus to enrich themselves,” writes Ansar Jasim, in a detailed account of how extortion of enormous sums from prisoners’ families has become the norm in Syria.

    This article was first published by Heinrich Böll Stiftung Middle East.
The next issue of Syria Notes is scheduled for 7th December. Contact to be added to our mailing list.