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Syria Deeply: High-Octane Diplomacy, Big Shifts on the Ground

Syria Deeply: High-Octane Diplomacy, Big Shifts on the Ground

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Published by: impunitywatch on Sep 23, 2013
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9/22/13 8:37 PMSyria Deeply: High-Octane Diplomacy, Big Shifts on the GroundPage 1 of 3http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=8b78e9a34ff7443ec1e8c62c6&id=5c75eb87f8&e=821d467fa8
This Week in Syria, Deeply
Dear Deeply Readers,
The diplomatic moves around Syria last week were preparation for the debate on Syriathis week, asthe U.N. General Assemblyconvenes in New York. Over Russian objections, the U.S. is pushing a strong U.N. Security Council measure that would enforcea chemicalweapons dealwith President Bashar al-Assad (the agreement that would have him hand over the regime’s chemical weapons stockpile in exchange for avoiding a U.S.military strike). This weekend Assad fulfilled the first step inthe framework, handing over alist of chemical assets. But the U.S. and its allies want to ensure he’ll follow through, andface consequences if he cheats or falters in delivering on the deal. While diplomats convene at the General Assembly,the Syrian National Coalition, the opposition organization in exile, will be holding meetings on the sidelines. The hoped-for long shot is that we’ll see a breakthrough in planning a new round of peace talks, knownasGeneva II, which would restart a political track for ending Syr ia’s war.  While global diplomacy inched forward, conditions on the ground shifted dramatically. Inthe northern border town of Azaz we saw the gulf between rebel groups widen, separatingal -Qaida-linked rebels(who push an extreme Islamist ideology) from themoderate, U.S.-backed brigades of theFree Syrian Army. In the same week, in the town of Raqqa, we saw a deepening rivalry between the al-Qaida-linked groups themselves. Jabhat al Nusra and the Islamic Stateof Iraq and Syria(ISIS), both considered terrorist groups by the U.S., are competing for power in areas freeof Assad regime rule.In Raqqa, moderates told Syria Deeplythey’ve chosen to align withal -Nusra to protect themselves from ISIS. Civilians in Raqqa are caught in the middle,unhappy with any al-Qaida influence and afraid to speak out againsttheir new extremistoverlords.What’s the fallout for the average Syrian citizen?Among other things, ongoing power cuts,
9/22/13 8:37 PMSyria Deeply: High-Octane Diplomacy, Big Shifts on the GroundPage 2 of 3http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=8b78e9a34ff7443ec1e8c62c6&id=5c75eb87f8&e=821d467fa8
a women’s health crisis, and a surge of children fleeing Syria alone– amid an escalating rise of child labor among refugees.
Highlights from Syria Deeply:
Raqqa’s FSA Brigades Join Jabhat al-NusraSyria ER: Pregnant in War, A Growing Women’s Health CrisisHow Art Is Helping Children in One Syrian Refugee CampBurning Books for Firewood: Three Generations of Hasakeh Women An Isolated Life in “The Island” District of HomsOn the Ground, Aid Workers Face Kidnapping and Stolen Food BasketsSocial Media Buzz: Frustration with Global InactionSyria Deeply Asks: What Are the Implications of the U.N. Report?In Homs, A Systematic Destruction of SchoolsIn Darayya, Residents Build a Life Beyond AssadSchool Year Begins in Rebel-Held Aleppo We featured a range of stories on our Syria Deeply podcast.And as always, to help youreview, here’s our day-to-day roundup of Syria headlines last week:
:Chemical Weapons Deal Seen as Victory for Assad;UN Inspectors' Report Due Today;Syrian Healthcare at ‘Breaking Point’
 U.N Confirms Chemical Attack,Rebels Demand Response;US, Allies Push for  UN Measure;Islamists Execute Alawites
Syria Debate Moves to Security Council;Russia Dismisses Allegations Against Assad; Car Bomb Hits Turkish-Syrian Border  
 Assad Speaksto Fox News, Blames Civil War on Al Qaeda;US BacksOff First Chemical Arms Deadline;Rebels Clashon Turkey Border 
Regime Hints at Ceasefire; Major Powers at Odds Over CW Plan; Aheadof UNGA, AdvancingDiplomacy with Syria and Iran
Reads from the Week:
Economist:Syria’s War, An Unlikely Band of BrothersNew York Times:Syria Meets First Test of Accord on WeaponsReuters:Fragmented Opposition, Syrian Government Hamper Aid

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