18th Round of ‘Astana Talks’ Fizzles as Guarantors Lose Momentum

Syria Update Digest On 15-16 June, the 18th round of the ‘Astana’ talks took place in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, with delegations from the three so-called guarantor states, Russia, Turkey, and Iran; the Government of Syria; and the opposition. The talks yielded no substantive progress. Once a dynamic format where deals could be made between the guarantor […]

Recent Tensions Highlight the Enduring Syrian Refugee Crisis

Syria Update Digest More than 11 years after the outbreak of the conflict in Syria, the refugee crisis it engendered continues to raise challenges for the EU and countries at its borders. From growing hostility towards refugees in neighbouring states to continued hardening of borders across Europe, Syrians are stuck between a rock and a […]

Dar’a Killings Highlight Unseen Local Toll of Syria’s Drug Trade

Syria Update Digest On 31 May, local and media sources in southern Syria reported the killing of five individuals and an additional attempted assassination in Dar’a Governorate over a two-day period. While violence has plagued the region since its recapture by Government forces in 2018, such violence is evolving as it becomes increasingly tied to […]

مجتمع الميم في سوريا: دراسات في برامج الدعم الإقليمية

ملخص تنفيذي يستخدم هذا التقرير دراسات حالة إقليمية لتحديد الفرص المتاحة لتنفيذ البرامج ونقاط الانطلاق لتمكين ودعم أفراد مجتمع الميم السوريين. ويخلص التقرير إلى أن قصور تركيز المانحين يتشابك مع قضايا أخرى مهمة مثل الحماية والقبول المجتمعي والقضايا القانونية والوصمة الاجتماعية مما يزيد من تعقيد عملية تنفيذ برامج حساسة لهموم مجتمع الميم. يرى التقرير أن […]

Deja Vu as Aid Community Sees Turkey’s Military Threat as Political Wedge

Syria Update Digest On 23 May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that his country would soon launch a new military operation into northern Syria to combat “the terrorism threat” along Turkey’s southern borders. The operation will resume Turkey’s effort to create 30-kilometre-deep safe zones along its border with Syria. While limited details have been […]

Islamic State Claims Responsibility for Damascus Bombings

Syria Update Digest On 16 May, the Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for two deadly bombings in the Deir Khabiyeh area of the Al-Kiswah countryside, south of Damascus. With IS long relegated to obscure desert outposts and hideaways in the badiya since its territorial defeat in 2019, the apparent threat of IS near Damascus raises […]

Donors Defy Expectations with $6.7bn Pledges at Brussels VI Conference

Syria Update Digest On 10 May, the European Commission announced that international donors pledged 6.7 billion USD during the Brussels VI conference. The pledges are an unanticipated increase from 2021, which saw a major reduction in funding, allaying fears of donor fatigue for at least another funding cycle. In effect, the pledges cement an early […]

‘Terrorism’ Amnesty Is Wartime Syria’s Most Sweeping

Syria Update Digest On 30 April, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued Legislative Decree No. 7, a general amnesty for terrorism crimes. Anecdotal and local media reports indicate that hundreds of Syrians have already been released from detention, and more continue to be freed. The amnesty is arguably the most significant of the conflict, and the […]

Under Pressure: New Plans in Turkey to Ease Syrians’ ‘Voluntary’ Return

Syria Update Digest The Syrian issue has recently come to the fore in Turkish politics, following multiple statements by Turkish officials regarding the future of Syrian refugees in the country. On 21 April, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that Turkey, along with four other countries, had begun an initiative to repatriate Syrian refugees as […]