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March 2017

U.S. Eyes Syrian Air Base, Kurdish Forces Overshadow Arabs in Raqqa Plans

As the battle for Raqqa city draws closer, a rebel spokesperson laments Kurdish domination of upcoming operations, also predicting that American forces will remain in Raqqa for years at the airbase they seized from ISIS last week, Alsouria Net writes

Syria’s War Economy Gives Birth to Inventive Trades

Circumventing a formal economy that does little to lift them out of poverty, citizens have adapted to new, innovative and sometimes dangerous methods to supplement a lost livelihood in times of financial hardship, Souriatna explains

Former Tabqa Dam Engineer Claims Collapse is Imminent

Despite statements from Western-backed forces that the damaged structure is not at risk of collapse, former workers stage press conference warning of huge destruction that could affect millions in the Euphrates Valley area, opposition outlet Zaman al-Wasl reports

Tit-for-Tat Kidnappings Push Tensions to the Brink in Syria’s South

With a recent surge in mutual kidnappings in Daraa and Suweida reaching a tipping point, culminating in the recent torture and murder of a young man, community leaders are being urged to intervene to end the strife before it threatens to unravel the southern region

Damascus: Rebels Thwart Regime Attempts to Retake Qaboun Industrial Zone

Dozens of regime forces are killed and wounded in a botched campaign to storm the industrial district in the capital’s northeast, while the WHO warns ‘time is running out’ as health situation deteriorates in the Eastern Ghouta, opposition media outlet reports

Sulaiman Pushes Opposition Spectra on Visions for a Future Syria

Opposition figure and Syrian personality says he has tasked delegations at Geneva with providing their take on four key issues, including governance, the constitution, elections and security, also adding that meetings with Kurdish and women’s groups were successful

Assad’s Militias Turn to Schoolchildren to Fill Manpower Void

Opposition outlet claims loyalist paramilitary groups are routinely exploiting Syrians’ needs for a stable income by recruiting children into their ranks for up to $200 a month, with many of them being sent to battlefronts without proper training

Arms Dealers See Peace as Bad for Business in Northern Syria

With fighting slowing on a number of fronts in Syria’s north, weapons traders face a sharp drop in arms prices as new players enter the market, bringing with them a surplus of stock, Iqtissad reports