Aleppo Weekly

The Aleppo Weekly is a compilation of what CCNR staff found to be the week's most compelling stories, images, videos, and other resources that provide information about the life in the Syrian city, analyze the conflict that is destroying it, and help residents plan for their future. The weekly follows topics of interest to the Center's researchers, and has a special focus on those displaced from the city and others whose voices are rarely heard when it comes to peacemaking or reconstruction.

Click here for the December 28-January 3 Aleppo Weekly

DECEMBER 21-27

STORIES OF THE WEEK

On December 27th, noted Syrian journalist Naji Jerf was assassinated in Gaziantep, Turkey.

Food prices have increased dramatically throughout Syria. In rebel-held Aleppo, tomatoes went to their highest price in five years, 400 SL, or 1 USD per kilo, while in Damascus, courgettes (zucchini), a Syrian staple food, reached 1000 SL per kilo. This made an average government employee’s salary worth around 35 KG of the vegetable. Orient TV also reported the economy in government-held areas would worsen in 2016.

Numerous sources reported about continued bombing of Aleppo city and countryside, killing civilians and destroying infrastructure. This includes a hospital in Azaz, mortar shelling from rebel-held districts that killed three sisters and damaged residential homes on Nile Street in Western Aleppo, and an alleged Russian bombing of Hayyan town in northern Aleppo countryside.

Halab News Network reported ISIS executed nine in Manbej eastern Aleppo countryside for collaborating with the Kurdish YPG.

In Aleppo, DSL Internet has stopped working again. 

IMAGES OF THE WEEK

The Washington Post reported on Rami Jarrah’s haunting Instagram collection #SyriaSpeaks that explores the human toll of the continued bombing of rebel-held Aleppo city.

The Busra al-Sham City Directorate of Antiquities posted photos of what it said was regime barrel bomb damage to Busra Castle and Theatre, one of the world’s best preserved Roman theatres and one of Syria’s six UNESCO World Heritage sites. Rebels claim they do not have any military positions inside the castle or theatre. 

Aleppian man swims in Quweiq River in Aziziyeh district western Aleppo. Temperature: 5 C. 

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Busra Director of Antiquities Suleiman Issa explains that in addition to visible damage from bombing of the Busra Castle and theatre, there is structural damage that require urgent intervention. He said Busra had appealed to UNESCO to support efforts to safeguard the site. Click here to watch the video.

A report by the same TV channel nine days prior to the bombing highlights the the newly established directorate’s work, including providing tours for school children. Click here to watch the video. 

DECEMBER 14-20

STORIES OF THE WEEK

Since the beginning of the conflict, the supply of water all over Aleppo has been very unstable. Residents have to use water from wells, parks and mosques, or rely on water tank trucks that deliver water to homes for a fee. Western Aleppo news outlet Zahraa News Network reported that last week the price of 1000 liters of water was 2500 SP, or 12 USD. 

Government forces and Russia continued their airstrikes on different parts of Aleppo city and countryside, killing civilians.

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK

 A Christmas tree decorates a corner of the al-Mogambo district of regime-held Aleppo.

Photo: Abu Ammar al-Mashhadani, Halab News Network. The displaced, southern Aleppo countryside.

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Source: TV al-Mayadeen

Pro-government TV al-Mayadeen visited regime positions in Old Aleppo and reported about tunnel use. Syrian Army military officials explain that rebels both use natural tunnels and caves and dig their own for two purposes: to hide from air strikes and to carry out bombings against regime forces and advance their positions. The Syrian Army counters these tactics by digging counter tunnels and carrying out pre-emptive bombings on rebel positions, using, according to the interviewees, smaller amounts of explosives than the rebels use and causing less damage. Click here to watch the video.

Source: ANA News

Residents of Aleppo have resorted to breaking up wood they find in destroyed homes and cutting down trees for firewood. Click here to watch the video.

DECEMBER 7-13

STORIES OF THE WEEKSource: AlMuhtalla NewsSource: AlMuhtalla News

Opposition activists reporting news from regime-held areas posted the picture above of displaced persons from southern Aleppo countryside. They are in a camp established on sidewalks in the New Aleppo district of western Aleppo.

Source: Halab News Network

Source: Halab News Network

“From the heart of the most dangerous city in the world, a group wedding of [couples]”. It is a traditional Aleppian men’s wedding and the singer is the famous Sufi Nasheed singer Sheikh Ahmad Habboush who still lives in Old Aleppo. Click here to watch the video.

IMAGES OF THE WEEKSource: Halab News Network

Photo:Abdo al-Halabi: Halab News Network

Over the past week, daily regime and Russian air strikes killed civilians in Aleppo city and province, including the districts of Sakhour, Marjeh, Maadi, Salheen, Sukkari, and Jazmati, and the towns of Atareb and Maskana. The image above shows the aftermath of a December 13th air strike on the Jazmati informal settlement in eastern Aleppo.

Source: Institute for the Study of War

The Institute for the Study of War published a new backgrounder on Russian airstrikes.  

VIDEO OF THE WEEKVideo by the Syria Campaign

Journalist Rami Jarrah broadcast live from Aleppo about life in the city and the political situation. #AleppoLive. Click here to watch the video. 

NOVEMBER 30 - DECEMBER 6

ISIS beheaded Ibrahim Shukri, a 40 year-old school principal and arrested four of his relatives in the ISIS-controlled village of Sarreen east of Aleppo for collaborating with the regime.

Syrian Network for Human Rights

The Opposition Coalition in cooperation with the Syrian Network for Human Rights published a report on the November 29th air strike attack on a market in Areeha, 70km west of Aleppo.

Photo: Russian Ministry of Defense

Photo: Russian Ministry of Defense

A Russian airstrike destroyed the al-Khafsa water treatment plant in eastern Aleppo countryside.

Fighting continued over the week in northern Aleppo province. ISIS took control of Baraghideh after pushing the opposition out of nearby Kafrah village. Halab TV said ISIS advanced under the cover of Russian and regime air force cover while rebel towns were being bombed.

FSA regained control of two villages, Al-Kharbeh and Qizil Mazra'a, that had been occupied by ISIS.

Syria Deeply discusses "A Growing Jihadist Presence in Syria's Opposition."

IMAGES OF THE WEEK

Photo by Abu Taim Al-Halabi, Halab News Photography: Aleppo child’s search for warmth

Photo by Abu Taim Al-Halabi, Halab News Photography: Aleppo child’s search for warmth

Thousands of civilians have fled fighting in Aleppo, Idlib and Hama for unfinished apartments in Aleppo city.

Photo by Abu Taim Al-Halabi, Halab News Photography: IDPs who have fled the bombing. Southern Aleppo Countryside.

Photo by Abu Taim Al-Halabi, Halab News Photography: IDPs who have fled the bombing. Southern Aleppo Countryside. 

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Tall Rifaat Media Center

Russian or regime planes bombed two trucks, including one that appeared to be an oil tanker, in rebel-controlled Kafar Naseh. The town is in northern Aleppo province near the frontline with ISIS.

On December 4, truck drivers at the Salameh border crossing told Sham Network they do not transport oil or diesel out of Syria because it is too scarce in Aleppo to be taken to Turkey. This was the day after Russian or regimes planes bombed Syrian trucks near the border. Watch the video here.

NOVEMBER 23-29

Forbes highlights the success of a cooperative with fifty women who package Aleppo’s famous soap in crochet and export it to the United States, Dubai and Hong Kong. The women earn about $150-200 a month.

PHOTOGRAPH: IBRAHIM EBU LEYS, ANADOLU AGENCY, GETTY IMAGES.After a November 7th attack by the Syrian army, residents of Salahiye dig through the rubble. 

National Geographic challenges the notion that Daesh is the only group to blame for looting Syria’s cultural heritage. “It is quite evident that overall incidents of looting are much higher in Kurdish and opposition-held areas than in either Syrian regime or ISIL areas.” Archaeologist Jesse Casana, Dartmouth University.

“…the grand city of Aleppo—the formerly bustling heart of commerce, often likened to New York but dating back at least five millennia—is now compared to Stalingrad, because of its devastation.” The Rubble-Strewn Road to Damascus, The New Yorker

Syria Direct reports on ‘low-level, localized fighting’ within rebel groups in Aleppo.

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Photo Halab TodayDestroyed walls and ramparts of the Aleppo citadel. Photo Halab Today.

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34944520

Syria's drought: How has the country at war coped? Click here to watch the video.

http://edition.cnn.com/2015/11/28/opinions/syria-reporting-kurt-pelda/

Kurt Pelda, the first Western journalist in Aleppo since the Russian intervention, talks about his risk of kidnapping, young boys who want to grow up to be fighters, and rebel fighters’ perception that no one cares about their situation. Click here to watch the video.

NOVEMBER 22-28

Earlier this week, residents of Manjib protested against ISIS in response to its oppressive practices. In Arabic. On November 23, a local activist reported that ISIS had started arresting people in response.

Local sources report rebels have liberated the towns of Harjala and Dalha (blue on the map) near the Syrian/Turkish border from ISIS.

Harjala and Dahla, Syria. Photo: Halab Today TV

In addition to its interactive feature Life on Hold documenting the lives of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Al Jazeera published, "Growing up in Aleppo: 'We are scared of the bombs.'"

Photo: Zouhir Shimale/Al Jazeera

Human Rights Watch said that, "Turkey has all but closed its borders to Syrian asylum seekers and is summarily pushing back Syrians detected as they try to cross."

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

The Aleppo City Council prepares for the rainy season.

Photo: Wissam Zarqa

ISIS mines from and around Harjala and Dalha removed by the rebels.

Photo: Halab Today TV

Halab Today TV reported 'long-range missiles' destroyed factories and other infrastructure in the town of Hayyan just northwest of Aleppo.

Photo: Halab Today TV

UNOCHA

UNOCHA

Opposition journalists reported that on Tuesday Russian warplanes bombed a bakery in Atareb serving about 120,000 people in several communities west of Aleppo.

Photo: Aleppo Today

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Zein Al-Rifai won the 2015 Rory Peck Award for his documentary, "Aleppo: Life in Ruins" Commissioned and broadcast by AFPTV.

Over the past week, Zaina Erhaim, who was recently awarded the Reporters without Borders award for her defense of press freedom, screened her series of short documentaries, "Syria's Rebellious Women" in London, Washington and New York.

NOVEMBER 9-15

Forty nine rebel groups in Syria issued a statement strongly denouncing the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, asserting that they go against the teachings of Islam. "We believe that this is not different to the terror the Syrian people have been living under for five years, and which the Syrian Regime and its arm ISIS have promised to export to Europe... We call on the international community to address the roots of terrorism in their dealing with the Syrian file because the real sufferers from the continuation of the problem is not the Syrian people alone, but the whole world."

Pray for Syria: Killing of innocent civilians condemned
Over the weekend, thousands of people tweeted #PrayforSyria amidst concerns that kneejerk reactions to the ISIS attacks on Paris could be, in the words of Charlie Winters a security analyst on SkyNews, "harmful," and called on the public and policymakers to "to react with unity, defiance in the face of Islamic State trying to cleave us part."

ABD DOUMANY/AFP/Getty Image

Aleppo's Displaced Left to Fend for Themselves
Thousands have been displaced in the Aleppo countryside over the past several weeks because of fighting. Syria Deeply reports how the displaced are attempting to organize themselves, in part, because as an ICRC spokesperson said, "the needs by far exceed our ability to respond, which has been further exacerbated by the challenging conditions on the ground."

On November 16, local news reported that government-aligned forces had installed Hezbollah made "Elephant Rocket" pads near al Eis in the countryside south of Aleppo and fired 30 rockets into the surrounding areas where civilians have been caught in the shelling.

On November 15, local news also reported that rockets fired from the rebel-held district of Bani Zeid killed civilians in government-held Western Aleppo and damaged buildings.

On November 14, London-based Al Hayat provided a situational update in Arabic about government advances in the countryside south of Aleppo towards rebel-held territory west of the Al Khanaser road and ISIS-held areas to the east of the road.

This week, the General Committee of Aleppo Province in rebel-held Aleppo elected a new Aleppo City Council. Only one woman was elected to the 25 member council which serves a one year term.

Source: Halab TV

Palmyra will be flattened by Isis within six months, warns antiquities director
Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, director-general of antiquities and museums for Syria and Syria's chief "Monuments Man," recently visited Britain where he appealed to the international community to, "be with us, to support us. Do not leave Syrian archaeologists to fight this cultural battle alone. We need you."

Photo: Getty Images

Aleppo activists blame rebels for 'anarchy' after kidnappings
Dozens of demonstrators gathered in a rebel-controlled central neighborhood to protest a recent spate of activist disappearances. The protestors are calling for accountability and security following the disappearance of local activist Mohammed Karman. Although no group has claimed responsibility, local activists suspect Jabhat a-Nusra is responsible for the disappearances.

Image of the Week

White Helmets

Videos of the Week

Idllib University

University education recently resumed in Idlib city, 100 km west of Aleppo after closing in March when a coalition of Islamist rebels called the Army of Conquest took control of the town. The university buildings, which belong to the University of Aleppo headquartered in government-controlled Aleppo, is now operating as Idlib University. Click here to watch the video.

A light-hearted moment, as a young boy interrupts CNN's Arwa Damon reporting live from Greece. Click here to watch the video.

CNN

NOVEMBER 2-8

PAX's new report takes a thoughtful look at how war-related environmental damage will not only negatively affect the health of Syrians, but also interfere with post-conflict recovery.

The Al Eis hospital in the countryside south of Aleppo was destroyed by Russian airstrikes on November 2nd. The town's school had been destroyed the week before.

Source: Halab Today TV

Source: Halab Today TV

Chemical weapons experts have determined that mustard gas was used in Marea, north of Aleppo in August 2015.

We found "Iran is using Assad" by Khairallah Khairallah interesting. The author asks, "Will Assad, in time, understand that he is nothing more than a card that Russia will play to serve its own political interests?"

IMAGES OF THE WEEK

Regime airstrikes level ‘economic powerhouse’ in Aleppo, Syria Direct.

Regime airstrikes level "economic powerhouse" in Aleppo, Syria Direct. Click here for the Arabic version.

All the elements of life depend on electricity’: Aleppo in the dark for 10th day, Syria Direct.

"All the elements of life depend on electricity": Aleppo in the dark for 10th day, Syria Direct. Click here for the Arabic version.

Government Forces Clearing Aleppo Road after a two week siege of Western Aleppo, Zahra News Network.

Government Forces Clearing Aleppo Road after a two week siege of Western Aleppo, Zahra News Network.

On November 8, rebels shelled the government-held districts of as-Sabeel, al-Khaldiyeh and Tishreen Street in Western Aleppo. Residents report that the bombing and gunfire came from rebel-controlled Bani Zeid district. Many were killed and wounded and buildings were destroyed. As of November 9th, the area was mostly quiet with limited gunfire in Tishreen Street.

Source: Zahra District News Network

Source: Zahra District News Network

This week, The New York Times published a compelling series about displaced children. Read Hana's story.

Photo Credit: Lynsey Addario

OCTOBER 26 - NOVEMBER 1

Model: New Palmyra. Photo: http://www.newpalmyra.org/

New Palmyra is a digital archive to reconstruct UNESCO World Heritage Site Palmyra, using models from photos gathered by Damascene advocate Bassel Khartabil from 2005 until he was arrested by the regime in March 2012. In early October 2015, he was transferred to an unknown location. Human Rights Watch and 30 other groups demanded the regime disclose Khartabil's whereabouts.

October 27 UNOCHA map showing flight routes in Aleppo, Idleb, and Hama. Source: UNOCHA

From UNOCHA: Due to intense fighting around southern Aleppo countryside, most prominently in al-Wadiheh, Khan Touman and Abdin...at least 44,568 people have fled al-Hader, Tel ed-Daman and Jebel Saman sub districts towards towns and villages in the western countryside of Aleppo from 15 to 25 October. Eyewitnesses have recounted incidents of civilians vacating entire villages in anticipation of further government expansion in the area. Al-Hader, a town of 25,000 people has been completely emptied out over the last week. Most IDPs have fled to Atareb, Qanater, and Tel Ed-Daman towns in the western countryside, with the majority of families fleeing to Zerbeh town and villages...[S]ince 23 October the main access route from Hama to Aleppo Western City has been cut due to an offensive by ISIL. An estimated 700,000 people living in Western Aleppo city are at risk.

On October 26, Halab TV reported that most parts of Aleppo had no water and the city had been without electricity for three days. It also reported that the Khanaser road to Western Aleppo had been cut off for five days, there was very little diesel available, and there were long queues for petrol in western parts of the city.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

The Al Eis school in the countryside south of Aleppo was bombed in late October. Watch the video here.

IMAGES OF THE WEEK

Photo: Gene Thorp/Washington Post

Refugees travel through Slovenia on 25 October. Photo: Maja Hitij/DPA/Corbis.

Refugees travel through Slovenia on 25 October. Photograph: Maja Hitij/DPA/Corbis.

Refugees at the Slovenian/Austrian Border. Late October. Photograph: Maja Hitij/DPA/Corbis

Refugees at the Slovenian/Austrian border. Late October. Photograph: Maja Hitij/DPA/Corbis.

OCTOBER 19-28

The Aleppo Project launched its website thealeppoproject.com. Photo: SPP/Daniel Vegel

The Aleppo Project launched its website thealeppoproject.com. To read more, click here.

Institute of Language Studies. Photo: Facebook/Institute of Language Studies

In rebel-held eastern Aleppo, a group of Syrian academics have started the Institute of Language Studies which will offer a four-semester degree in English. The fees are $50 per semester, but top students will be offered scholarships. There are no operating universities in the area, which means students have generally had to leave to continue their studies.

A third grade class studies in Aleppo. Photo: Syria Deeply/Tamer Osman

Despite extensive damage to eastern Aleppo's schools, Syria Deeply reports that the area's 32,000 school children, 99% who are elementary students, have returned for the new school year to 130 makeshift schools in basements and other "secure areas."

The UN recently convened a High-level Review to assess implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000)—the first resolution to link women's experiences of conflict to international peace and security. As part of its review, the UN also published a Secretary General-commissioned Global Study and recommendations. We found Chapters One and Seven, Setting the Context and Building Inclusive and Peaceful Societies in the Aftermath of Conflict particularly relevant for thinking about Aleppo's post-conflict future.

Similarly, the Badael Foundation and Kvinna till Kvinna's joint report, "Peacebuilding Defines our Future Now, A study of women's peace activism in Syria" provide recommendations for why and how women should be included in peacebuilding and reconstruction planning.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Tens of thousands have fled new offensives by the regime and its allies near Aleppo.

Source: AFP TV

IMAGES OF THE WEEK

Civil Defense emergency responders in northern Aleppo disarm cluster munitions.

Source: Civil Defense Hayan

Source: Civil Defense Hayan

For more, click here.

The Institute for the Study of War published an easy-to-read infographic explaining the current multi-pronged offensive by the regime and its allies in Aleppo Province.

Source: Institute for the Study of War

Source: Institute for the Study of War

OCTOBER 12 -18

Earlier this month, a CCNR panel explored the refugee crisis from a Syrian perspective.

Photo: CEU/Zoltan Tuba

Recent protests in and near Aleppo, including ones in the eastern part of the city and Tall Refaat, north of Aleppo on the main road to Turkey, contributed to the resignation of Deputy Levant Front leader Mudar Najjar. Najjar wrote in his October 11 resignation that he would "continue the fight along with jihadis and revolutionaries in the struggle for justice and what's good for Syria and Syrians."

In Tall Refaat, protesters chanted, "We want to live in Freedom," and banners included slogans such as, "Lances refuse to break if they are united, but if they are not, they break one by one," and "The blood of our martyrs is your responsibility. Your hands will bring about victory."

Source: Tall Refaat Media Centre

In Eastern, rebel-held Aleppo, protesters called on various moderate and less moderate armed groups, including Noureddeen Zenky, Ahrar ash-Sham and Nusra Front, to unite.

Source: Halab News Network

Mudar Najjar's resignation letter. Source: Halab News Network

Source: Halab News Network

On October 12, the Free Aleppo Council's Directorate General of Services said it had started using diesel engines to pump water into the water grid which will improve the water supply in districts on both sides of the city. Two of the three comments asked whether water would reach the Qadi Askar district in central Aleppo, which according to them has not had water in three months.

VIDEOS OF THE WEEK

Recent drone footage from near the frontline in central Aleppo. The drone was flown from the Bab an-Nasr district at the western edge of the Old City. Most of what can be seen is rebel-held.

Center for Conflict, Negotiation and Recovery Fellow AlHakam Shaar, CEU School of Public Policy student Yahya Al-Abdullah, and Syrian asylum seeker Maan Abu Layla are featured in this Euronews report on the dire situation in Syria and what it is like for Syrian refugees in Europe.

IMAGE OF THE WEEK

Source: Syria Direct, http://syriadirect.org/news/syria-week-1011-1014/

OCTOBER 5 - 11

As of October 9, ISIS was advancing in the province of Aleppo, and was as close as it had been to the city since opposition forces expelled it in early 2014.

ISIS destroyed the Arch of Triumph in Palmyra, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is the latest in a string of high-profile attacks on Palmyra's cultural heritage, which UNESCO previously condemned as a war crime, including the destruction of the Temples of Bel and Baalshamin, Roman-era funerary towers, and the murder of antiquities expert Khaled al-As'ad since ISIS gained control of Palmyra and its surrounding area in May.

Footage emerged of what appears to be the destroyed Arch of Triumph in Palmyra.

The Army of Iran confirmed that Brigadier General Hossein Hamedani was killed on the northern outskirts of Aleppo.

Images of the week

Source: Halab Today (local Aleppo news agency)

Recent photos show pro-government fighter positioned on top of Aleppo Citadel. The damage seen is of the Ottoman Barracks within the citadel. The frontline in Aleppo goes through its Old City and the fighting has devastated the UNESCO World Heritage site.

Source: Halab Today (local Aleppo news agency)

Source: Halab Today (local Aleppo news agency)
https://www.facebook.com/HalabTodayTV/posts/1231981076819328

Video of the week

The SMART News Agency reported the aftermath of Russian airstrikes on October 3 in Ehsem, south-west of Aleppo city. According to the Civil Defence, the bombs hit a chicken farm where a displaced family was staying and killed eleven civilians including four children and one woman.

SEPTEMBER 27 - OCTOBER 4

Stories of the Week

Thanks to former Aleppo Project team member and CEU student Tamilla Dauletbayeva for highlighting this story about Zeina Erhaim, Syria Project Coordinator at the Institute for War and Peace Reporting and winner of the 2015 Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism. Ms. Erhaim, a regular contributor to National Public Radio, is teaching others to become journalists.

Ms. Erhaim also helped Tamilla survey almost 100 people inside Aleppo last year about their experience with their city and vision for its future as part of the Aleppo Project's anonymous survey of about 1200 Aleppians inside and outside Syria. We will publish the results on our new website later this month.

UNICEF blogged about the Syrian conflict and Europe's refugee crisis in numbers—including 7.6 million internally displaced persons in Syria, more than 4 million refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, 2 out of 3 hospitals are not functional, and 1 out of 4 schools has been destroyed or is being used as a shelter. 

and Syrian refugee children took over @UNICEF Twitter to tell their powerful stories  #childrenofSyria #youthtakeover

Some reconstruction efforts are already underway south of Aleppo. The Free Aleppo Governorate Council, in cooperation with the Union of Syrian Civil Society Organizations, introduced the first of three mud-brick housing projects which will each have 100 houses, a mosque, a school, shops, and land for vegetables, chickens and cows. (In Arabic)

The regime-affiliated Homs City Council approved a 217 hectare reconstruction plan (in Arabic) for the Baba Amr district, which was almost completely destroyed by government bombing. The planned area includes 465 apartments, hospitals, schools, and commercial and entertainment spaces. Although the plan promises to ensure original owner and occupant rights by offering "relocation or compensation," in Syria this has almost always meant unjust compensation. In addition, there is a credible fear by many that this appears to be a plan to change the face of the city and make it more Alawite by forcing out the majority Sunni Homsi population that has been opposed to the regime. The families who originally lived in this area are currently either internally displaced or in neighboring Lebanon as refugees.

Image of the Week

View of Karameh internally displaced person camp inside Syria near the Turkish border " Source: Halab Today (local Aleppo news agency)

View of Karameh internally displaced person camp inside Syria near the Turkish border " Source: Halab Today (local Aleppo news agency)

Video of the Week

Syrian war: the boy who dreams of rebuilding Aleppo. From Channel 4 News:  

Mohammed Qutaish’s rebuilding dreams were also mentioned in the above story about Zeina Erhaim.

AUGUST 31 - SEPTEMBER 6

Stories of the Week

Exodus: One Family’s Journey from Aleppo to Austria 

Youth in Aleppo educate their communities on health and hygiene - why one innovative pilot project, funded by the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) and other donors, has been so important in empowering youth to mobilise their own communities

The Armenians who stay and resist in Aleppo 

Videos of the Week

BBC News: This teenager maps the Syrian war from his bedroom. Every day, Thomas van Linge scours Twitter, Facebook and YouTube for the latest on the Syrian conflict. But Thomas doesn't work for an intelligence agency. In fact, he doesn't work anywhere at all. He's 19 years old, he just finished high school and he lives with his parents in a suburb of Amsterdam. Watch the video above to meet the teenager mapping the Syrian conflict from his bedroom.

Video journalist: Alvaro A. Ricciardelli

And an App…

…that warns of airstrikes in Aleppo.  The app was explained to us by an ex-military research academy student:

"Based on different spots along the aerial route from where Syrian Army helicopters take off at Hama Military Airport or the Defense Factories in Sfireh until the load is dropped in Aleppo City and other towns in the province, rebels with walkie talkies send messages to alarm the Civil Defense, who, once helicopters reach civilian targets, run WW II style hand-driven sirens so people evacuate streets and markets and take shelter at home in a corner furthest from the street. This is what we don't see on TV. We only see the aftermath of the air strikes."

AUGUST 24 - 30

Story of the Week

Islamic State accused of using mustard gas in the battle around Aleppo in Syria:
Doctors say they treated patients with suppurating blisters, raising fears ISIL are using chemical stockpiles belonging to Saddam Hussein and Bashar al-Assad

Pictures of the Week 

From Greek Media: When the Greeks arrived refugees in Syria - a shocking picture showing Greek refugees in Aleppo following the 1923 exchange of populations between Greece and Turkey:

Tweeted by Edward Dark, “A Syrian in Aleppo writing about the conflict”

Child street vendor, Aleppo. This war has been harshest on our youngest. #Syria

by the Middle East Monitor

Fouad, 11, pushes his juice cart through the streets of Aleppo to provide for his family

by CNN Senior International Correspondent Arwa Damon regarding refugees at Hungarian border:

Refugees wait in field in #hungary w/no shelter, little if any water 2 B moved 2 processing center 

by CNN Istanbul-based producer “Gultuysuz”: Sidra 5, Mohammad 2, Adil 6 yrs old from #Aleppo. Sitting in open field #Hungarian collecting point. Travel days: 15

AUGUST 17 - 23

Stories of the Week

Inside Aleppo, Syria's Most War-Torn City

Barrel Bombs, Not ISIS, Are the Greatest Threat to Syrians

Aleppo divided by push to drop Syrian pound for Turkish lira 

Video of the Week

Al Jazeera World follows the everyday lives of Aleppo residents living amid the on-going conflict and destruction

AUGUST 10 - 16

Stories of the Week

Inside the Underground Trade to Sell Off Syria's History

Is the Phoenix Rising From the Ashes in Syria? Progress that many local communities are making in protecting and restoring mankind’s shared global cultural heritage 

Video of the Week

‘Welcome to Aleppo': Enter a War Zone for the First Time Ever With Virtual Reality (play, and then click and drag for 360 degree views)

AUGUST 3 - 9

Stories of the Week

Syria regime ramps down Aleppo bombing: NGO 

What will happen to the children of Aleppo and Syria?

A Turkish couple spent their wedding day feeding 4,000 Syrian refugees 

At Least 58 Massacres in July 2015; 26 were in Aleppo and 39% of the victims were women and children, according to the Syrian Network for Human Rights 

Video of the Week

Drone Images Show Ancient City Of Aleppo In Ruins From War:

JULY 27 - AUGUST 2

Story of the Week 

From the Syrian Institute for Justice and Accountability

Aleppo Water Crisis Puts Syrian Children at Risk of Disease and Illness, Says UNICEF 

Picture of the Week

New situation in Syria zone of control map (zoomable, high quality version here)

Video of the Week 

Interview with Head of ICRC team in Aleppo about survival in the devastated city of Aleppo and the organization’s efforts to alleviate the humanitarian situation there

JULY 20 - 26, 2015

Stories of the Week

Scenes from Inside Aleppo: How Life Has Been Transformed by Rebel Rule

Water, power return to Syria's Aleppo after three-week cut 

Damage Assessment of Aleppo, Syria using satellite imagery identifies 14,034 affected structures, of which 2,878 were destroyed, 6,879 severely damaged, and 4,277 moderately damaged 

Rebuilding lives — and livelihoods — after war: displaced Syrians are rebuilding their lives and establishing themselves professionally, financially and artistically throughout the region. Click on the arrow above to see their stories 

Video of the Week 

Syrian Women Find Refuge, a short documentary that highlights the plight of Syrian female refugees living in refugee camps in Turkey 

JULY 13 - 19, 2015

Stories of the Week

Water Shortages Leave Syrians in Aleppo Thirsty and Desperate

Photos of the Week

Civilians play foosball in front of a damaged building in Aleppo's Bustan al-Qasr neighborhood, Syria, July 13, 2015. Credit: REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

Photo on Twitter from Aleppo on the first day of Eid - the first day after Ramadan.  “Finding a place for joy between the mountains of rubble”, the tweeter wrote.

Video of the Week 

Footage posted by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights showing children drawing water from converted garbage canisters 

JUNE 29 - JULY 5, 2015

Stories of the Week

Syria military resists major rebel assault in Aleppo 

Al Jazeera Interactive: What's left of Syria? What was once a land steeped in history and diverse culture is now a war-torn nation reduced to rubble 

Image of the Week

New Syria zone of control map, by freedom and democracy activist Thomas van Linge (larger version)

JUNE 22 - 28, 2015

Stories of the Week

Two pieces from a Chatham House Associate Fellow on Syria's Economy: Picking up the Pieces and War has left Syria 'on brink of economic collapse' 

Leaving Aleppo With 700 Works of Art 

Images of the Week

From JINHA News Agency, an organization based in south east Turkey providing daily news by and about women from Kurdistan, Turkey and around the world: The Kurdish women's self-defense forces (YPJ) have trained a group of Kurdish, Arab and Turkmen women in using weapons to defend their neighborhood, Şêxmeqsûd, from attacks.

Photo of Aleppo from 1890, purportedly from the Ottoman Archives

JUNE 15 - 21, 2015

Stories of the Week

Intense rebel shelling of Aleppo kills more than 30 - Syria monitor 

Photos of the Week

Selection from HVG article on Syrian Refugees at the Turkish Border 

JUNE 8 - 14, 2015

Stories of the Week

Rare visit by a Western correspondent to government-held Aleppo makes clear the jarring toll of nearly three years of warfare

Damage reports from various sources indicate continued severe damage in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Ancient City of Aleppo

Photo of the Week

"Help Syria" - a young Syrian refugee left this drawing on the wall of a reception centre in Sicily...

Videos of the Week

Syria: living under the horrors of barrel bombs in Aleppo

JUNE 1 - 7, 2015

Stories of the Week

From small-town N.H., a stream of relief to Syria

Syrian civilians trapped as ISIS launches new offensive 

Residents in Syria's Aleppo are using old buses as new barricades

Images of the Week

Videos of the Week

Amnesty International's 'Virtual reality Aleppo' street fundraising campaign 

MAY 25 - 31, 2015

Stories of the Week

Save the Children CEO Justin Forsyth (‏@justinforsyth) tweeted on May 28: "Health systems have been devastated in #Syria. In Aleppo governate there used to be 5000 doctors, now 50. 37% of hospitals destroyed." According to Save the Children, the "most vulnerable children are those who remain inside Syria, who risk death, illness, abuse and exploitation on a daily basis". In Syria:

• More than 10,000 children have been killed; 5.6 million children need humanitarian aid.
• Inside Syria 3.5 million children have been forced from their homes.
• Nearly 2 million children have fled the country and are now living in over-stretched refugee camps or villages.
• Alost 3 million children are unable to go to school (2.3 million inside Syria, 685,000 refugees)
• 10 million people do not have enough to eat.

Syria: UN envoy condemns death of at least 70 civilians in Aleppo

Images of the Week

Government helicopters dropped barrel bombs on the city of al-Bab and in eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo [Getty Images] 

MAY 18 - 24, 2015 

Stories of the Week

According to Harper’s Magazine: Percentage of lights in Aleppo that have been extinguished since the beginning of the Syrian civil war: 97

 A glimpse into current conditions in Aleppo: “Forgotten in Aleppo”  

Images of the Week 

Reuters Slideshow: “Children of Syria” 

MAY 11 - 17, 2015

Stories of the Week:

Follow the work of volunteer emergency trauma surgeon David Nott, who traveled to Aleppo and northern Syria with UK NGO Syria Relief

Syrian child refugees use photography to help overcome trauma of war

Videos of the Week:

The video documentary of David’s work in the war zone

MAY 4 - 10, 2015

Stories of the Week

 ‘Voices of Syria:’ Survey offers an inside look at a worn-torn country [in Aleppo and Idlib] and its people.  Follow this link or double-click on the icon below for the presentation:

Female Scenes from the Syrian War”, an account of the experiences of the lives of women in wartorn Syria. Written by our Aleppo contact Zaina Erhaim, a Syrian journalist educated in Syria and at City University in London now working as the Syria project coordinator with the Institute for War and Peace Reporting.  She lives in the opposition held areas in northern Syria.   

Other interesting stories documenting life in Aleppo from her blog: 

Civilians in the city of Aleppo, Syria are being subjected to appalling human rights violations committed by the Syrian government and many armed opposition groups:  

Photos of the Week:

The aftermath of an air strike on Al-Fardous neighbourhood, 2 April 2015.

This underground playground in the opposition-controlled area of Aleppo city was established in late 2014 to provide private care for children orphaned by the conflict, 6 April 2015.

 A child drinks spring water exposed following a missile attack on Qalaseh neighbourhood in Aleppo, 1 September 2014. Civilians in Aleppo face severe shortages in essential services such as electricity and water, as well as appalling sanitary conditions, with rubbish and sewage clogging the streets.

 APRIL 27 - MAY 3, 2015

Story of the Week

Group of archaeologists and urban planning experts in Germany say that President Bashar al-Assad is already seeing dollar signs in the ruins of his country's cities: 

Photo of the Week

APRIL 20 - 26, 2015

Stories of the Week

Aleppo residents 'left to fend for themselves'

Three years after Mahmoud and his family fled the war in [Aleppo] Syria, the young boy reflects on their new life in Sweden

Video of the Week

Barrel Bombing Campaign Intensifies in Aleppo, Syria

APRIL 13 - 19. 2015

Images of the Week

United Nations Institute for Training and Research: Damage Density in Aleppo 

Pictures from the National Archive of Aleppo documenting the renovation of the Beylouny Mosque in Aleppo in 2007-2008.

Video of the Week

"We were thinking we were going to die every minute" - Twins from Aleppo share their Mediterranean ordeal

Children of war in Syria (Aleppo) hope for a life "without killings"

APRIL 6 - 12, 2015

Stories of the Week

A Trip Through Aleppo's "Crossing of Death"

Syria: Communities besieged - Hundreds of thousands of civilians intentionally denied basic necessities such as food, water and medicine

Syria After Four Years of Mayhem

Images of the Week

Girls who survived what activists said was a ground-to-ground missile attack by forces of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, hold hands at Aleppo's Bab al-Hadeed district April 7, 2015. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail

MARCH 30 - APRIL 5, 2015

Stories of the Week

Syria's war-scarred citadel of Aleppo: a history of cities in 50 buildings, day 2

Images of the Week

A child walks past a bus barricade erected to protect against snipers

Kids swimming in pools made by bomb craters

Videos of the Week

Reuters: Grief fills the streets of Aleppo:

Al Jazeera World follows the everyday lives of Aleppo residents. Includes 45 minute video "Death of Aleppo", that captures the scale of human suffering and destruction in the historic city; but also the resilience of its citizens who battle daily as their city falls apart all around them. 

The Aleppo Project launched its website thealeppoproject.com

Palmyra will be flattened by Isis within six months, warns antiquities director

Dr. Maamoun Abdulkarim, director-general of antiquities and museums for Syria and Syria’s chief “Monuments Man,” recently visited Britain where he appealed to the international community to, “be with us, to support us. Do not leave Syrian archaeologists to fight this cultural battle alone. We need you.”