Latest Blog Posts
Hazano is a locality in north Idlib countryside. Like other localities in the area, it is administered by a local council that is affiliated with the Salvation Government. In accordance with Salvation Government laws on local administration, the most recent formation of the local council was officially dissolved on 19 August 2019.
What is the services and humanitarian situation in Hazano? How has the most recent formation of the local council tried to help residents and IDPs? To learn more, I interviewed on 4 August 2019 the media guy for the Hazano local council. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Kata'ib Hezbollah (The Hezbollah Battalions) is an Iraqi group backed by Iran. It has been involved in the war in Syria, fighting in support of the Syrian government. Kata'ib Hezbollah also has a special wing of Syrian fighters, as I have documented previously.
To learn more about Kata'ib Hezbollah and its role in Syria, I interviewed an Iraqi member of the group on 23 August 2019. He has been involved in the group's efforts in Syria.
The interview is slightly edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Q: Tell me a little about yourself.
The town of Binnish lies in Idlib province and quickly became associated with the uprising and insurgency in the northwest of Syria.
What is the present situation in the town? To learn more, I interviewed a resident of Binnish who used to be a media activist. We also discussed his own view of the long term outlook for the northwest of Syria.
This interview was conducted on 20 August 2019. It is slightly edited and condensed for clarity. Any parenthetical insertions in square brackets are my own.
Q: Can you tell me a little about the town of Binnish generally? The number of inhabitants and IDPs currently, and the general situation in the town.
Recently the analyst Charles Lister wrote on Twitter that he has been told he is on the 'hit-list' of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, which is currently the main insurgent group in Idlib and its environs.
Lister mentioned this claim in part to rebut the frequent attacks on him as a 'pro-jihadi' analyst and apologist for Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham. The critics partly seized on Lister's comments that Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham is evolving "into a more politically mature and intelligent jihadist movement."
As it happens, the attacks on him in this regard are very unfair. In reality, many supporters of Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham strongly dislike Lister because they see him as a purveyor of unreliable information.
The province of al-Suwayda' in southern Syria has mostly remained under government control throughout the conflict, but many internal problems exist such as kidnappings and murders. A more overlooked question regarding al-Suwayda' province is the state of public services. This issue is the main focus of an interview I conducted with 'Meqdad al-Jabal', a media activist who identifies with the 'third-way' trend in the province but wishes to make clear that this interview (carried out on 13th August 2019) represents his opinions alone and not those of any other individuals or parties. As such, the interview answers are not to be considered as statements on behalf of anyone else.