In-Depth Articles

Please note:  There are a number of perspectives on the current crisis in Syria and Lebanon. The US media tend to offer one perspective that is not shared by our partners. On this page are some news articles that provide a broader perspective of what is happening in the two countries, by those who have some experience in the region. We encourage all our followers to take in what views are offered and to think critically, pray, and share with one another, that we might clarify the truth in any matter.

“The People of Aram Shall Go into Exile”: Practical and Theological Dilemmas of Middle Eastern Churches since the Beginning of the Syrian War. van Saane, Wilbert, The Journal of Social Encounters: Vol. 3: 2019: Iss. 1, 21-31.

This paper provides a rough sketch of the situation in Syria before the war, plus an overview of the crisis and its impact on the Christian communities of the region. The author outlines and analyzes some practical and theological dilemmas the churches — and especially their leaders — face as a result of the crisis and the displacement of people it has caused.

The author interviewed three Christian church leaders for this article: Bishop George Saliba of the Syrian-Orthodox Diocese of Mount Lebanon and Tripoli; the Armenian Catholic Monsignor George Assoudrian; and Rev Joseph Kassab, general secretary of the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon. READ THE ARTICLE

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101 Facts & Figures on the Syrian Refugee Crisis — Volume II. Yassin, Nasser, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut. July 2019.

A comprehensive look at the displacement of people from Syria in what has been called the greatest humanitarian crisis of our time. This is a long document but can be browsed for the topics of interest to you. Sections address living conditions of displaced Syrians, social relations between Syrian refugees and host communities; health; education; livelihood; unmet needs of Syrians in Syria and host countries; and the return of Syrian refugees.

The publication was supported by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Lebanon. READ THE PUBLICATION

"In Syria, an Ugly Peace is Better Than More War," The New York Times, August 24, 2018 by Jimmy Carter, the founder of the Carter Center, and President of the United States from 1977 to 1981.

At their summit in Helsinki, Finland, in July, President Trump and President Vladimir Putin of Russia reportedly agreed to end the Syrian war and to move Iranian forces away from the Syria-Israel border. President Trump has also indicated that he is willing to accept President Bashar al-Assad’s remaining in office and is prepared to withdraw American forces from Syria. This is a start. But more is needed to end the violence in Syria.  READ THE ARTICLE


"As Syria's proxies converge on Idlib, what's next for Turkey's northern state-within-a-state?  Syria Direct, August 6, 2018.

In Syria’s rural northern Aleppo province, children raised speaking Arabic and Kurdish are set to begin studying Turkish this fall. Meanwhile, local council offices display signs in both Arabic and Turkish, and Turkey’s flag features prominently—alongside the triple-starred Syrian rebel banner—when local photographers cover official meetings. 

Ankara is digging deep into northern Aleppo’s nominally rebel-held towns and villages—and it doesn’t plan on leaving anytime soon, says Joshua Landis, director of the University of Oklahoma’s Center for Middle East Studies.

“Turkey is prepared to, in a sense, quasi-annex this region,” Joshua Landis tells Syria Direct’s Madeline Edwards.

But behind what some local residents refer to as “Turkification” are a slew of complex—seemingly contradictory—diplomatic ties that could collapse as Syria’s warring parties converge on yet another, imminent, military campaign: the battle for Idlib province.  READ THE ARTICLE