Syria

The UK supports diplomatic efforts aiming for an end to violence and process of genuine political transition, and investigations into the grave human rights situation. The UK is also providing significant humanitarian assistance inside Syria and to refugees in neighbouring countries.

default Building Peace within Syrian Communities

Title: Building Peace within Syrian Communities
Institution: Centre for Civil Society and Democracy in Syria and the Peaceful Change Initiative
Publication Date: March, 2014
Keywords: Peace building, Syria, community cohesion, peace resources
 
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• As a result of a mapping exercise of local peace resources in Syria, this report describes the role of community leaders in rebuilding peace in Syria at a local level. It identifies the strengths and weaknesses of this approach and proposes how these could be translated to a national level.
• This paper provides recommendations that could be used not only in Syria but also to inform peace building in post conflict societies globally.
• The findings seeks to raise awareness of the potential success of local mechanisms being used across Syria, in rebuilding broken community relations and initiating local dialogue across conflict lines in order to reach short term peace agreements.
• It is useful for seeking to understand the challenges posed to peace building in Syria, to develop an awareness of existing initiatives and an understanding of how these efforts could be strengthened to pursue a long term settlement at a national level.

default Managing Militarisation in Syria

Title: Managing Militarisation in Syria
Author: Steven Heydemann
Institution: Foreign Policy
Publication Date: February 2012
Related Categories: Syria

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This article focuses on the issue and implications of the increase in low-level insurgency by an uncoordinated array of armed opposition fighters in Syria over the past 6 months.  This article would be useful to those working on the 2012 Syria crisis response or those working in similar conflict settings where the militarisation of opposition parties is unmanaged.

default R2P in Syria - How to surmount the inaction of the UN Security Council?

Title: R2P in Syria - How to surmount the inaction of the UN Security Council?
Author: Luis Peral
Institution: European Union Institute for Security Studies
Publication Date: 16 November 2011
Related Category: Syria

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On 4th Feb 2012, Russia and China vetoed (for the second time) a UN Security Council resolution calling for the Syrian president to step down.  All 13 other members of the Council, including the US, France and Britain, voted in favour of the resolution, which further backed an Arab peace plan aimed at stopping the violence in Syria.

With the continuation of violence today, and still no strong action from the UN Security Council to protect the people of Syria, this article highlights the problem of how to protect populations threatened by their own governments in the current international order, particularly in terms of action (or inaction) from the UN Security Council.  This article would be particularly useful to those working on UN policy for Syria, or those who have a vested interest in whether Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is applied in Syria.

pdf Scenarios for Syria

Title: Scenarios for Syria
Author: Chatham House MENA Programme
Institution: Chatham House
Publication Date: 2011
Related Categories: Syria

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This paper is a summary of the discussions that took place during a small closed-door study group convened at Chatham House in December 2011 to discuss possible future scenarios for Syria.  The paper tackles critical elements that do and continue to shape the events ongoing in Syria.  These elements include the role of neighbouring states on Syria as well as possible impact of international intervention, internal socio-political dynamics including the role of the opposition.  These elements are discussed in depth in the paper to help explain the trajectory Syria is headed towards.

default Syria: Bashar Doesn’t Know 2012 is not 1982

Title: Syria: Bashar Doesn’t Know 2012 is not 1982
Author:
Wayne White
Institution: Middle East Institute
Publication Date: February 2012
Related Categories: Syria

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This article by the retired Deputy Director of the Near East and South Asia Office in the Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research compares the present uprising to the Syrian civil war of 1976 to 1982.  It highlights the deficiencies in Bashar’s tactics against the opposition and would be of interest to those currently working on Syria scenario planning or who require background information on previous Syrian civil wars.

default The EU and Syria: Everything but force?

Title: The EU and Syria: Everything but force?
Author: Richard Gowan
Institution: Institute for Security Studies
Publication Date: 26 January 2012
Related Categories: Syria

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This article focuses on the role the European Union (EU) has played in utilising its non-military crisis management tools in the Syria crisis.  This article would be useful to anyone interested in coordinated international responses to crises through non-military means.

pdf The Political Outlook for Syria

Title: The Political Outlook for Syria
Institution: Chatham House MENA Programme
Publication Date: February 2012
Related Categories: Syria

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This paper is a summary of the discussions that took place during a small closed-door study group convened at Chatham House in January 2012 to discuss the ongoing situation in Syria.  The paper takes a holistic look at Syria in order to better understand the current state of events.  The paper assesses the root causes of the uprising and determines how history and institutions have shaped today’s Syria.  The paper then goes on to analyze the role of the economy, the opposition, regional and international players in the Syrian crisis as well as determine possible scenarios emanating from the current stand-off.

pdf Towards a Peaceful Democratic Transition in Syria

Title: Towards a Peaceful Democratic Transition in Syria
Author: Dr. Radwan Ziadeh
Institution: Institute for Social Policy and Understanding
Publication Date: February 2012
Related Categories: Syria

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This paper, although presented as a policy paper, should be treated as an opinion piece.  It has been chosen for inclusion in this resource, despite the author making a number of assumptions that cannot be validated, as it represents the types of intense arguments which emanate from the diaspora-intelligencia.  For transition to be affective and for peace to last in Syria it is vital these types of Syrian opinions are taken into account when formulating the new government and political structures.  This paper makes some clear recommendations for the successful transition of Syria from autocracy to democracy and would be useful to those working specifically on Syrian governance issues and transition.

pdf Turkey’s ‘Zero Problems with Neighbours’ Foreign Policy - Relations with Syria

Title: Turkey’s ‘Zero Problems with Neighbours’ Foreign Policy - Relations with Syria
Author: Shaista Shaheen Zafar
Institution:  Journal of European Studies
Publication Date: 2012
Related Categories: Syria

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Turkey considers Syria important owing to its geopolitical location.  Syria connects Turkey to Jordan, Lebanon, and the other Arab countries.  Blood relations among the people living within the borders of the two countries also promoted realisation of the need to establish close relations.  The cordiality of relations between the countries has fluctuated owing to territorial and water issues, and political differences.  However, both countries managed to develop bilateral relations in the political, economic and socio-cultural fields.  This article would be useful to those working on the current Syria uprising who require background and insight into the regional relationship between Turkey and Syria.  It will help to understand the countries stand point in relation to military intervention.

pdf Uncharted Waters: Thinking through Syria’s Dynamics

Title: Uncharted Waters: Thinking through Syria’s Dynamics
Institution: International Crisis Group
Publication Date: 2011
Related Categories: Syria, Political Settlement, Peacebuilding, Conflict

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This paper argues although it is not know whether the Syrian crisis has or has not entered its final phase, it undoubtedly has entered its most dangerous one to date.  The current stage is defined by an explosive mix of heightened strategic stakes tying into a regional and wider international competition on the one hand and emotionally charged attitudes, communal polarisation and political wishful thinking on the other.  In light of this ‘explosive mix’, this paper offers a sober assessment of the challenges provoked by these shifts and the very real risk they could derail or even foreclose the possibility of a successful transition.  More importantly, the paper addresses five key issues likely to shape events and have been absent from the public debate.

pdf Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: 2015 Report

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Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon 2015 Report.pdf

Title: Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: 2015 Report
Author: World Food Program (WFP), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)
Institution: United Nations 
Publication Date: 7 July 2015
Keywords: Syria, Conflict

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As the Syrian conflict enters its fifth year, the UN's 'Vulnerability Assessment of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: 2015 Report' (VASyR) expands upon the VASyR 2013 and VASyR 2014 reports and provides a clear insight into the on-going humanitarian operations in Lebanon as they transition from “emergency” to “protracted crisis” interventions.  

Over the past four years, the periodic data gathered by the WFP, UNHCR and UNICEF has been widely used by the humanitarian community for planning purposes and programme design. This summary draws on the key findings captured in the report’s ‘Executive Summary’ on pages 3-7.  This summary offers a concise and informative overview of the situation currently faced by Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

default Why Young Syrians Choose to Fight: Vulnerability and Resilience to Recruitment by Violent Extremist Groups in Syria

Title: Why Young Syrians Choose to Fight: Vulnerability and Resilience to Recruitment by Violent Extremist Groups in Syria 
Authors: Meg Aubrey, Rosie Aubrey, Frances Brodrick, Caroline Brooks
Institution: International Alert
Publication Date: May, 2016
Keywords: Syria, Conflict, Gender

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Within the last six years, the Syrian conflict has led to destruction, death and displacement at an unprecedented scale.  An estimated 12,000 Syrian children have been killed and according to a UNHCR census conducted in early 2016, the conflict has left two million children as refugees in Syria’s neighbouring countries.  

An increasing challenge to peace in the region is the alarming rate at which armed groups are recruiting children and young people in Syria and its neighbouring countries.  As the international community increases its efforts in countering violent extremism, this research summary shines a light on a demographic group (young Syrian males), often marginalised from mainstream discourse.  The summary weaves in the voices and experiences of 311 young Syrians, their families and community members across Syria, Lebanon and Turkey. In doing so, this summary is indicative of the main issues and trends underpinning the push and pull factors for young Syrians joining armed groups.  This research summary also aims to broaden the discourse; highlighting that radicalisation ‘is not an explanation for joining violent extremism groups’.  Rather, there are multiple overlapping factors making Syrians vulnerable to recruitment.  Although the summary paves the way for expanding our understanding of these push and pull factors, due to security limitations, data was not collected from Syrians living in regime held areas.  

Therefore, this research summary provides a platform for policy makers and humanitarian actors to advocate for further research and programme development into this subject.  This research summary is particularly relevant for development practitioners working on gender and youth in conflict, as well as, countering violent extremism (CVE) initiatives.

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