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A Visit to the Jazeera Canton, Syria

Updated: Sep 11, 2018

By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi

This exclusive report is based on the author’s trip in January 2018 to the Jazeera Canton area of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria in the northeast of Syria. The visit particularly focused on the city of Qamishli on the border with Turkey. All featured photos are the author’s own. Read the full report


The central conflict that has defined the Syrian civil war has been the struggle between the Damascus-based government under Bashar al-Assad and the predominantly Sunni Arab insurgency. This conflict has been ‘central’ in that it has determined who will rule from Syria’s capital and centre of government in what has essentially been a zero-sum game. Either Assad’s regime would remain in power, or a new government would assume its place in Damascus, brought to the capital by the successes of the insurgency. At this point, that central conflict has effectively been resolved in favour of Assad. It is true that his government still does not exert control over many insurgent-held areas like large parts of Idlib province, the Turkish-backed ‘Euphrates Shield’ zone in north Aleppo countryside, the East Ghouta enclave and parts of Deraa and Quneitra countrysides. It is also true that the regime has repeatedly emphasized retaking control of the entire country.

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