An inflow of Russian-made weapons. Political and military support from Iran and the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah. Sharp dissension among fractious rebel groups. And the unyielding loyalty of the armed forces.
Three months after averting a military strike against Syria with a last-minute deal to deprive it of its chemical weapons arsenal, U.S. policy toward the world's most violent conflict appears increasingly at sea.
Kurdish fighters have emerged as a powerful player in the Syrian war thanks to the Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (YPG - “People's Protection Units”), a seemingly well-organised armed group which has so far proved capable of defending the territory it claims in northern Syria.
With U.S. intelligence agencies' concluding that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against rebel forces, the White House announced Thursday that it will increase "the scope and scale" of assistance it has been providing to the opposition, including direct support to its military arm.
At seven o’clock in the morning on Mar. 1, Kurdish militias took over the only operational oil refinery in Syria, located about 800 kilometres northwest of Damascus.
Tunisian families have begun to dread knocks on their doors, or late-night phone calls, fearing that the messenger will bear the news that their son has been smuggled out of the country to join the “jihad” in Syria.
As the Syrian uprising enters its third year, the United States and its allies are preparing to materially increase their support of the armed opposition in Syria.
As Syria descends further into civil war, the Barack Obama administration has struggled to balance its support for anti-Assad groups with its concerns that the opposition leadership – including the newly-formed umbrella coalition – is controlled by hardline Islamist groups.
As the death toll in Syria tops 40,000 and some 400,000 have taken refuge beyond the country’s borders, a dearth of funding for civilian projects in areas under Free Syrian control risks undermining efforts to keep inhabitants united and the limited lines of communication flowing.
Following its failed efforts to contain the 19-month-old insurrection in battle-torn Syria, the United Nations has issued a new warning: the besieged country is heading towards "destruction".
As violence in Syria spikes after a short lull, the prospect of international military intervention appears to be growing by the day. Earlier this week, almost exactly one year after President Barack Obama first called on Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad to step down, Obama warned of "enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front or the use of chemical weapons".
The Syrian army has launched a ground assault on the northern city of Aleppo, sparking fierce clashes with opposition fighters in the frontline district of Salaheddine.
As government security forces continue a week-long siege of Aleppo, Syria’s second-largest city, high-ranking Syrian officials have begun to defect from the regime in record numbers.