In Last-Minute Vote, UN Salvages Cross-Border Mechanism — For Now

In-Depth Analysis   On 9 July, the UN Security Council voted unanimously to extend the mandate granting UN aid access to northwest Syria from Turkey, through the Bab al-Hawa border crossing. The resolution, 2585, extends the cross-border aid system’s mandate for six months, with another six-month extension contingent on a substantive assessment by the Secretary […]

Dar’a Siege: Russia Abouts Face, Amps up Pressure

In-Depth Analysis   Since 24 June, Dar’a al-Balad has been under siege by Government of Syria and Russian forces, which have blocked the entry of food and other basic necessities and intermittently shut off electricity and water. Main roads linking Dar’a al-Balad, the half of Dar’a city that remains under the partial control of reconciled […]

Northeast Syria Social Tensions and Stability Monitoring Pilot Project May 2021

Introduction This is the third report in an ongoing pilot study by COAR to monitor stability and social tensions in northeast Syria. Data collected and verified by COAR field researchers has been classified and analysed according to a broad set of indicators. This brief report assesses data collected in May 2021. As with the previous […]

Bye, Bye Badia: IS Challenges SDF in Bid for Wider Relevance

In-Depth Analysis On 22 June, Islamic State (IS) media released a 38-minute audio statement recorded by the group’s spokesperson, Abu Hamza al-Qurashi. The recording was primarily intended to boost the spirits of IS affiliates in contexts as far-flung as Western and Central Africa, Asia, and the Middle East; although Syria was not the focus of […]

LGBTQ+ Syria: Experiences, Challenges, and Priorities for the Aid Sector

Executive Summary A comprehensive study of LGBTQ+ Syria has yet to be written. Although LGBTQ+ issues have come to the fore at various stages of the ongoing conflict, gender and sexual minorities in Syria have more often than not been ignored and actively marginalised. As a result, the impact of conflict-related violence on LGBTQ+ persons […]

Deadly Afrin Hospital Attack As Violence Flares in the Northwest

In-Depth Analysis On 12 June, local and media sources reported that at least 22 people were killed and 50 injured in a two-part rocket attack in Afrin city, northern Aleppo Governorate. The first salvo targeted residential neighbourhoods and was followed by an attack on Shifa’a Hospital, which had received many of the victims of the […]

Northeast Syria Social Tensions and Stability Monitoring Pilot Project

Introduction This report introduces an ongoing pilot study by COAR to monitor stability and social tensions in northeast Syria. Building on COAR’s previous work on Syria’s eastern region, the project employs incident monitoring through data collected and verified by COAR field researchers and classified according to a broad set of predetermined stability and social tension […]

The Syrian Economy at War: Captagon, Hashish, and the Syrian Narco-State

The Syrian Economy at War Captagon, Hashish, and the Syrian Narco-State     This is the third in a series of research papers intended as primers on understudied aspects of Syria’s profound economic deterioration. In a decade of unrest, Syria has been reduced from a liberalising middle-income nation to a collapsing state in which nearly […]