The Battle for Syria

September 18, 2012

FRONTLINE journeys to the heart of the Syrian insurgency

27:00
The Battle For SyriaJourney inside the heart of the Syrian insurgency with rebels waging a full-scale assault
22:54
The Regime RespondsEighteen months into the rebellion, how is Bashar al-Assad holding on to power?

FEATURED FROM THIS REPORT

THE LATEST

Syrian President Warns Against Western Intervention

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned this weekend that a Libyan-style Western intervention against his regime will lead to a regional crisis.

Syria Two Years Later: Bloody Civil War With No End In Sight

The Syrian revolution started two years ago today in Dara’a, a small farming town 60 miles south of Damascus. But what began as peaceful protests has grown into a bloody civil war with no end in sight.

Is Kerry’s Syrian Aid Shift a Game Changer?

Earlier this week, Moaz al-Khatib, the leader of the Syrian opposition coalition, had no intention of meeting with leaders from the U.S. and Europe at today’s “Friends of Syria” gathering in Rome.

How Many People Are Dying in Syria?

The U.N. says Syria’s rising death toll is approaching a staggering 70,000 people killed since the rebellion broke out almost two years ago. But determining an accurate death count amidst a conflict is fraught with challenges.

How To Form a Rebel Battalion in Syria

Reporting from Syria, Ghaith Abdul-Ahad breaks it down in “five easy lessons.”

Ghaith Abdul-Ahad on Syria’s Foreign Fighters

Jihadi fighters who go to Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan have to cross many hurdles, dodging intelligence agents and changing … Continue reading

Live Chat Wed. 11 A.M. ET: Behind Syria’s Front Lines

Join a live chat about “The Battle for Syria” on 9/19 at 11 a.m. ET with Jamie Doran, the film’s producer, and Blake Hounshell, managing editor of Foreign Policy. You can leave a question now.

Syria’s Shocking Civilian Death Toll

August was the deadliest month since the Syrian rebellion began a year-and a-half ago — and more deadly for civilians than the bloodiest months in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as the recent uprisings in the Middle East.

What’s Known about Syria’s “Murky” Opposition

What began as a street uprising among united, angry Syrians has become a sprawling, scattered opposition force trying to bring down the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Blast in Hama, Opposition Stronghold, Disrupts Fragile Syrian Ceasefire

An explosion ripped through a poor neighborhood in the opposition stronghold of Hama this morning, disrupting the fragile Syrian ceasefire agreement brokered by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan last month.

Will Syrian Truce Hold?

Despite apprehensions in the lead-up to yesterday’s deadline, a tenuous ceasefire agreement brokered by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan took effect in Syria this morning.

“Syrian Society Is Beginning to Fall Apart”

Neighbors are turning on their neighbors, according to new accounts by refugees who have escaped Syria’s bloody conflict for eastern Lebanon.

With Russian Support, U.N. Security Council Adopts Watered-Down Statement on Syria

After months of diplomatic stalemate resulting from the the objections of Russia and China, the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a statement on the crisis in Syria today.

Syrian Opposition Accused of Serious Human Rights Abuses

Against the backdrop of the Syrian government’s brutal crackdown, the tactics of the country’s armed opposition groups have received considerably less scrutiny.

Syria One Year Later: Growing Evidence of Torture, Detainee Abuse

Bisat al-rih is Arabic for “flying carpet,” but for those detained by the Syrian regime, it can mean being blindfolded, stripped down to the underpants and strapped to a foldable wooden board.

Rare Video Evidence of Torture in Syrian Hospitals

Last night Channel 4 aired chilling footage of evidence of what appears to be the torture of injured Syrian civilians in a military hospital in Homs.

One Woman’s Proposal to Halt the Violence in Syria

Over the past few months, one woman has driven the debate over whether and how the international community should intervene in the Syrian crisis.

Why Hasn’t Syria’s Assad Been Labeled A War Criminal?

Syria’s embattled president Bashar al-Assad could fit the category of a war criminal, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday. But officially designating him one, she added, could “complicate” options for persuading him to step down from power.

What Is Al Qaeda Doing in Syria?

Yesterday, Iraqi forces arrested the head of Ansar al-Sunna, an Iraqi insurgent group Iraqi leaders say has links with Al Qaeda, as he tried to enter the country through its border with Syria.

U.N. Report Accuses Syria of Crimes Against Humanity

The Syrian state has committed “gross human right violations” amounting to crimes against humanity a panel of independent U.N. investigators concluded in a 72-page report released today.

Violence Intensifies in Homs after U.N. Resolution on Syria Fails

Diplomatic efforts to resolve the 11-month-long crisis in Syria have stalled after a resolution condemning the regime’s crackdown on protesters failed in the United Nations Security Council on Saturday.

On 30th Anniversary of Hama Massacre, Syrian Troops Lock Down City

Thirty years ago today, the regime of then-Syrian President Hafez al-Assad launched what’s known as one of the bloodiest chapters of modern Arab history: the Hama Massacre.

High-Stakes Showdown Over Syria at the U.N.

The fight to end the Syrian government’s brutal 10-month crackdown moves to the United Nations today.

Syria: “We No Longer Want Arab Solutions to the Crisis”

Calling it a “conspiratorial scheme” hatched against the country, the Syrian government rejected an Arab League peace plan yesterday proposing that embattled President Bashar al-Assad cede power.

Pressure Mounts on Syria as U.N. Calls for Action to Prevent Civil War

Today U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called for international intervention to protect Syrians from the government’s brutal nine-month crackdown, which the organization estimates has now killed more than 4,000 civilians, including 307 children.

UPDATED: A Guide to Sanctions on Syria

Turkey, one of Syria’s top trading partners, announced wide-ranging sanctions against its neighbor today. But it’s not just Turkey: Below is a round-up of the various sanctions issued against theincreasingly isolated nation.

Syria More Isolated Than Ever as Arab League Suspension Takes Effect

The Arab League formalized Syria’s suspension from the 22-member organization yesterday and threatened to impose economic sanctions if the government did … Continue reading

Syria Calls Arab League Suspension “Extremely Dangerous Step”

Syria’s foreign minister Walid al-Moallem called the Arab League’s vote on Satuday to suspend Syria’s membership in the 22-nation organization “an extremely dangerous step” and announced that the government has taken actions to comply with the terms of a peace plan proposed by the league. His statement comes as international pressure on the Syrian regime mounts.

Report: Violence in Syria Amounts to Crimes Against Humanity

Human Rights Watch called on the Arab League today to suspend Syria’s membership and to support a move by the United Nations Security Council to impose an arms embargo and refer Syria to the International Criminal Court.

Syria’s Secretive Ruling Minority Sect

Because their secret tenets and practices are known only to the few males deemed worthy to undergo instruction, the Alawites, Syria’s long-persecuted minority sect, remain a mystery to most.

Exiled Dissident Ausama Monajed: “The End of the Regime Is Very Close”

As a student in Syria under the Assad regime, Ausama Monajed was arrested and interrogated by security forces several times. The last time he was detained was in 2004, at which point he says he had no choice but to leave the country.

Joshua Landis: “I Don’t See Light at the End of the Tunnel.”

The director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, Joshua Landis writes an influential blog called Syria Comment. He warns there is a very high potential that Syria’s uprising “will turn into a very dark and tough ethnic sectarian fight, the way it did in Lebanon and Iraq.”

Anthony Shadid: Time Is Running Out for a Better Future for Syria

“We’re seeing a government that relies almost solely on repression to keep itself in power,” The New York Times’ Beirut bureau chief tells FRONTLINE.

Anthony Shadid: “In Assad’s Syria, There Is No Imagination”

The country is “rendered in their image, haunted by their phobias and ordered by their machinations,” Anthony Shadid writes of the Assad regime.

Syria Agrees to Cease-Fire Proposal

But the announcement has been greeted with skepticism and reports of new violence.

Syrian President Warns Against Western Intervention

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad warned this weekend that a Libyan-style Western intervention against his regime will lead to a regional crisis.

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