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Syria Today – ISIS’ New Propaganda Tool, Jordan Plans to Deport Two Refugees to Syria; AANES Wants International Monitoring of Elections

Your daily brief of the English-speaking press on Syria.
Syria Today – ISIS’ New Propaganda Tool, Jordan Plans to Deport Two Refugees to Syria; AANES Wants International Monitoring of Elections

ISIS has recently developed a new form of propaganda, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday., as per Kurdistan 24

Using artificial intelligence (AI), ISIS is creating what appear to be news reports about its terrorist attacks and posting them online.

This practice began four days after a so-called branch of ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) attacked a Moscow music hall on March 22, killing 145 people. 

That attack followed an assault on Jan. 3 in Kerman, Iran, which was also claimed by the same branch of ISIS—namely, ISIS-Khorasan. That attack killed over 100 people.

Until then, ISIS appeared to have suffered significantly from the extended U.S.-led war against it. There had been no major attacks outside its core areas—Afghanistan/Pakistan and Iraq/Syria—for the previous five years, since April 21, 2019, when an Easter Day attack on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka killed 251 people. 

ISIS claimed responsibility for that attack, which, it said, was retaliation for an assault on two mosques in New Zealand the month before. That attack, carried out by a 28 year-old Australian white supremacist, Brenton Tarrant, killed 51 people.

Jordanian Authorities must stop forcible deportation of two detained refugees to Syria

The Jordanian authorities must immediately halt the forcible deportation of two Syrian refugees who would face credible risks of serious human rights violations if they are returned to Syria, Amnesty International has said

It is crucial for the Syrian opposition, and all Syrian elites regardless of their stance on the conflict that began in March 2011, to recognize the danger of state collapse. This risk was exacerbated by the Syrian regime’s deliberate use of state institutions as tools of war against the Syrian people, a practice that began with the Baath Party’s rise to power in 1963 and reached its peak during the Assad family’s rule, where most state institutions were controlled and managed by the family.

This issue is further complicated by the difficulty that all Syrian forces and elites face in separating the security services from the family’s authority. The faint hope of neutralizing the army vanished early on when Syrian army tanks were turned against civilians in their cities and homes. However, a crucial step could have been taken: resisting the plan orchestrated by Bashar al-Assad and his allies, Iran and Hezbollah, to fragment the Syrian social fabric and incite internal conflicts.

Rehabilitating the Syrian nation as a supreme unifying identity is essential. The greatest threat to this rehabilitation comes from external actors who benefit from and reinforce societal divisions, aligning their interests with this fragmentation. This is compounded by the rise of divisive populism and the spread of hate speech, often fueled by exaggerated grievances.

Today, the task of restoring the state is more challenging than ever, but it remains the only viable path for Syrians. Despite the state’s current fragmented condition, the priority is to restore respect for the Syrian nation as a unifying identity. External actors continue to exploit and deepen societal divisions, linking their interests to this fragmentation. Additionally, the growth of populism and hate speech, driven by exaggerated grievances, poses a significant threat.

To address these challenges, it is necessary to develop both short-term and long-term strategies. In the short term, it is imperative to confront and counteract voices, both domestic and international, that support the regime and exploit Syrian suffering to promote oppression and sub-identities. In the long term, the goal should be to nationalize politics, creating an ideal field for managing the conflict and restoring the Syrian nation. This includes ending the existing tyranny and preventing the monopoly of power by ruling mafias. These strategies must be clearly categorized and pursued with determination to achieve the restoration of a true, unified Syrian state.

AANES urges international organizations to monitor NE Syria municipal elections

The High Electoral Commission of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) issued a statement on Tuesday, calling on international organizations to participate in monitoring the municipal elections in Northeast Syria, scheduled for June 11.

In the statement made in the city of Raqqa, the Commission urged both governmental and non-governmental international organizations to oversee the upcoming elections. The Commission emphasized that international monitoring is crucial to ensuring the success, integrity, transparency, and independence of the electoral process.

The Commission outlined that the monitoring process would cover the entire electoral cycle, from the readiness of polling centers to the accuracy of the vote counting process. This comprehensive oversight aims to uphold a free and democratic election.

Last week, the Commission announced it would accept requests from local and international election observers, as well as political party agents, to monitor the electoral proceedings. This initiative underscores the commitment to a transparent and democratic electoral process.

The High Electoral Commission, established in February, is composed of 20 members dedicated to overseeing the elections.

Northeast Syria Joint Market Monitoring Initiative 

To facilitate humanitarian cash programming, the Northeast of Syria Cash Working Group (NES CWG), in collaboration with local and international NGOs, carries out a monthly Joint Market Monitoring Initiative in Northern Syria, according to a UN website

This initiative assesses the availability and prices of basic commodities typically sold in markets and consumed by the average Syrian household. These include food, water, and non-food items such as fuel, shelter and clothing items. 

Among these, 18 components (measured by 24 items) form the Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB), which signifies the minimum culturally adjusted items necessary to sustain a household of six individuals for a month.


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